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Last Update: August 2012
Ross Porter writes:
Amazing to see how much has changed in the way of animation. I received this fantastic revamp today and I must say this: Stuart, you have made one Dalek fan very happy.
One thing though - WHY DID YOU HAVE TO ADD THAT GOD AWFUL SONG TO THE DISC?!? The Go-Gos should have burned all copies of that record when they first released it. That Dalek didn’t even sound like a Dalek.
Apart from that, I enjoyed the animation, the Story of TV Century 21, and The Chronicle Years (a real step back into history). I hope to see more animations from you and I hope they are as good as this one.
Trevor Sproston writes:
Received my copy of Genesis of Evil today. Once again, you are to be congratulated.
It’s a little difficult to write a review, this being a re-telling, so I’ll restrict my comments to the visual aspects.
The advances that you and the team have made over the course of the series really do show up in this new version of Genesis and genuinely enhance the story. Zolfian and Yarvelling are well realised, particularly Yarvelling, who seems somewhat more developed as a character than in the original. Expression and lip-synching are good, and the individual characters interact well. The backgrounds and rendering reflect the progress the team has made, and the bridging sections – in particular the detonation of the nuclear stockpile and its effects – provide increased visual interest. The scenes in the war factory are nicely realised: I particularly liked the reflection in the metalwork of the rolling Daleks below – very nice. This contrasts well with the later scene showing the rust and dilapidation of the abandoned building, which also successfully conveys the anthill atmosphere of the production line. The deaths of Zolfian and Yarvelling beneath the disinterested gaze of a Dalek machine achieves a certain poignancy.
Now the quibbles. For me, the human Daleks aren’t short enough; rather they look about six foot tall, and built like brick outhouses. Is this a limitation in the software – perhaps providing limited templates? I found the same in Legacy of Yesteryear, so at least they match. Also, why do the Dalek skirts on the first view of the production line have one row of balls missing at the back? Was this to allow for overlap with the next skirt behind?
Those queries aside, thank you very much for revisiting your original production. You deserve to have it reflect your present high standard (not that it wasn’t to begin with, but you know what I mean, I hope). Now, whereabouts do I place it in the collection? As no. 20? As 1a?
Ah, decisions, decisions.
Guy Newmountain writes:
Stuart - this has to be broadcast-standard stuff now! Truly magnificent: just when I was thinking your Chronicles can't get any better, you prove us wrong again.
"That's brilliant - he's perfected (figure) control!" (who said that!) - could this be down to a different software package... Either way, the thing that most impressed me is when the two scientists are walking - it looks natural now, they seem to engage with the ground; all that horrible twist and distortion is gone, which was the only real limitation of the original... The lip-sync, as you said, is much improved, and the Daleks themselves, particularly the Emperor's casing, are awesome! - totally believable, especially the eerie end bit on the darkened production line in the ruins of the building. (I hope you keep the menace in their voices...) I always thought the landscapes and sunsets were great, but they look even better now...(is that a brown "waterfall", or is the landscape still tricky in one moving shot across the surface of Skaro? - only got a small screen you see so I couldn't tell!).
That BBC Intermission was great to see as well, and so was the Chronicles 60's thing. I never realised such a string of hits occurred so close together; must have been amazing to be old enough to have appreciated that era... The start of a complete remake of all the episodes so far, or just a one-off celebration of the 20th release? Time will tell I guess; will get them all over again.
Thanks! A superb job.
I was surprised when I visited your web site last week to find that for the twentieth release you had revisited the very first episode of the Dalek Chronicles - Genesis of Evil.
Even though this is not a brand-new story from AV, and I have the original, I still decided to order the new version from a dub site (again credit must go to Colin Gunn for another quick turn around).
I have to say that I felt it was a huge improvement on the original. Okay so the plot and ending were the same but the improved graphics and lip synchronisation with the voices were spot on. Far better than the mainly static images of the original - even the portrayal of the characters was better (far less childlike) - how things have improved since those early days.
At the time I was amazed at how you had achieved so much - but now watching them side-by-side you can clearly see how your production values have improved ten fold.
The extras are great too - well maybe that is pushing it with regards to the third and final extra (but that is not the fault of AV). The article on The Story of TV Century 21 is especially interesting. It made me wish that I had been around at that time when these comics were issued.
The only down side with this unexpected release is that I hope that revamping the earlier episodes like this will not delay the release of the final two instalments of the Dalek Chronicles (assuming that you will be remaking the other early episodes). Yes it will be sad when we reach the end but that does not mean that I want their releases strung out. And there will, I hope, be plenty of time afterwards to revisit your earlier work - as well as bringing some of the other Doctor Who comic strips to life.
Thanks again Stuart for another great release.
Keep up the good work.
Richard Dadd writes:
Fantastic stuff! I've just watched my newly arrived revamped version and really enjoyed it.
The atmosphere, story, characters and general feel of the tale remains identical to the original release (As was expected) but the whole thing just looks so much better, and is now a much worthier stepping-on point for new viewers.
It's an honour to find myself retconned into the cast, and the improved animation and sound make this a dramatic beginning for the series. I particularly enjoyed the (near) obliteration of life on Skaro, with the meteorites and the vast mushroom-cloud explosion, which is much more dramatically and impressively realised this time round.
Skaro looks great, and the scene with the Dalek man being scorched by nuclear winds was horrific. The first appearance of the Dalek machine was great as well.
Top notch work, Stuart!
David Barnes writes:
I received my updated Genesis of Evil last week. The work you have done with this is fantastic. Every part of it surpasses all expectations, and really sets the whole series up nicely. Your work is much appreciated.
Steve Hills writes:
Just had to offer my congratulations on the Shadow of Humanity just fabulous. Your productions just get better and better with every production, which brings me to Genesis of Evil the new version, which I received with Shadow, it is absolutely breathtaking, you have created a masterpiece. I now can't wait for the next instalment of the Chronicles. I just hope you do not stop with the Dalek stories when the Chronicles are complete, the latest Dalek comic strips by Iain, and Second Empire by Mechmaster all look very good to follow on with, (he said hopefully!!!!)
Keep up the very, very good work, and thank you for doing this for all Dalek fans everywhere.
Ross Simpson writes:
Just watched Shadow of Humanity & Genesis of Evil. The remade episode is like a whole new story. I was really impressed with the original, now it blows you away. The new render, lipsync and sets are simply brilliant.
Robert Barclay writes:
Colin, yet again, thanks for the quick turnaround. I know I always say this, but wouldn't want you feeling taken for granted!
And Stuart, a common theme in the reviews is how much the technical standard of your Dalek Chronicles has increased with time, so I suppose it made sense that you'd revisit your earliest one, at least. Initially I wasn't sure how big a difference it would make, because the largely still-frame technique you originally used for the humanoid Daleks was very effective - probably because that's all that readers of the comic strip were used to.
But seeing really well-animated human figures makes the new version of this story a different experience, and definitely lifts it to the same standard as your recent productions. Your only problem now is deciding how many of the other early productions can be improved as much, so the (I hope!) complete set of Chronicles can be viewed as a consistent series.
The whole disc is great, with real nostalgia blasts of extras. The Chronicles Years was especially good, and it would be great to see more!
Believe it or not, I've just got one tiny quibble with this release... and no, it's not the fact that you've kept in the maddest Christmas single ever! It's the black pupil in the Dalek's eye. I know it's irrational of me, but it's a development I associate with the generally less good Dalek stories on TV in the 70s and 80s. Probably just me showing my age...
But, keeping a sense of perspective here, I can't wait for the next release - whether it's a new story or a re-working of an older one!
Dan Tessier writes:
Altered Vistas have done a marvellous job in recreating this story. This story formed the basis of their first release, but has now been recreated from scratch, with greatly improved animation and rendering. The original version was a fairly static affair, more like a partly animated comic strip, whereas the AV20 version is a fluid, striking animation. The performances are suitably over the top, and the Dalek machine voice are excellent. The new release also comes with several special features, including a brief but informative documentary on the original TV Century 21 comic, and a look at the era of the Dalek strips, highlighting news coverage and chart music of the time, as well, more importantly, what episode of Doctor Who was currently on the telly. The release is rounded off with the truly dreadful 1964 Go-Gos single I’m Gonna Spend My Christmas With a Dalek, which tells the familiar tale of a friendly Dalek who come round for Christmas dinner. Fortunately, Altered Vistas have supplied an amusing piss-take video to accompany it.
You can read Dan’s full review at Doctor Who Reviews by clicking here.
Alan Mackenzie writes:
I’ve just had the pleasure of viewing my copy of the new Genesis of Evil, kindly produced for me by Colin Gunn. It's very impressive indeed, the full animation adding immeasurably to the overall effect. Apart from the technical excellence, you have taken the opportunity to invest the characters with far more emotion and life; Drenz's despair; the ruthlessness and single-mindedness of Zolfian; the "amorality" of pure science as personified by Yarvelling and, albeit for a fleeting instant, the grief of a bereaved father cradling his dead son... the Daleks were human, once!
In my own opinion, your productions have reached the stage where you could very well approach the BBC and broach the possibility/feasibility of creating a mini-series for television screening - it might be worth considering.
Apart from the main feature, the supporting items were well-chosen too. The story of TV Century 21 brought back some very happy childhood memories. I really wish that I'd kept all my original copies, as I had them all, from the first issue in January 1965, right up until about 1969 - they probably would be quite valuable now. As far as I remember, after they dropped the Daleks and changed the format away from the Gerry Anderson productions, I rather lost interest in the publication and gave it up.
One thing I did notice, however, was the brief flash of the cover with the headline ‘New York Blaze’, showing a high-rise block on fire and thought how spookily reminiscent it was of the pictures of the World Trade Centre burning after the terrorist strike in September 2001. Strangely and sadly prophetic for this to appear in a boys' comic thirty-five years earlier.
‘The Chronicles Years’ was a nicely constructed time-capsule of the mid-1960s and it was a little surprising to realise that many of the events included completely passed my by at the time - well, I was only nine in 1965! I do remember the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill however, sitting all morning with my parents in front of our grainy old 405-line black and white TV set!
Andrew Panero writes:
Thank you ever so much for this; what a truly excellent idea. The remake really helps to propel the story along and it is gob-smacking to think how far you have come since the original version. Out of the extras I particularly enjoyed the nostalgia fuelled Chronicle Years and of course I’m Gonna Spend My Christmas with a Dalek, nuff said.
Paul Watson writes:
Just wanted to drop you guys a line to let you know how NUTS!!! I am about your Dalek Chronicles. These are soooo good. I recently got the new version of Genisis Of Evil and it’s really interesting to see how you guys have developed as animators as the series has progressed.
The new Genisis Of Evil stands up pretty well against most of the official BBC releases like Dreamland or The Infinite Quest. Please keep up the good work.
I also love the Revenge Of The Black Dalek comic strip, the stylised appearance of the Daleks in this strip is very typical of the later Dalek Chronicles. Great, I'd love to see these animated.
Anyway you guys have inspired me to have a go at doing a bit of CGI myself.
Jamie Lenman writes:
I just thought I'd E-mail to say that I've recently watched my first AV production, the above mentioned 'genesis', and i wanted to congratulate you on your work.
I'm fairly uninformed about the bright, slightly bizarre worked of the TV 21 strip, but that's all bound to change now! needless to say, I'm filled with admiration for the work that you and Loose Canon (which is where i found you) do to make the world of Doctor Who even richer.
Adrian Frost writes:
I can’t believe I didn’t order these discs before. Considering what a huge Dalek fan I am.
I think I feared disappointment, that I’d send off my discs and receive something of low quality. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
It is 3D animation, which in my opinion always suffers as an art form because it is unfavourably compared to live action, rather than being favourably compared to other forms of animation. So if you get over the fact that it doesn’t look real and stop looking for the flaws, like you would for the Simpsons for example, then you have to judge it on its merits and in my humble opinion these merits by far outweigh the few visual flaws and glitches.
The quality of the sound is amazing. I listen to a lot of Doctor Who audio, Big Finish, Audio Soundtracks and Audio books, spin offs etc. mainly professional productions but have recently been listening to other free fan produced Doctor Who such as “Giant Gnome Productions”. So have a wide perspective on audio quality. I’d say just as an audio it surpasses any other non-profit production and many for profit spin off productions.
The plot, or rather the embellishments to the plot, adds depth and character to the original often two-dimensional characters. I found the script well paced and the voice actors outstanding, Dalek voices are so easy to do badly, just listen to some of the original series audio and you will find plenty of examples of bad Dalek voices. And I’m talking about the Daleks from planet Rainbow here.
I was born in 1965 whilst these classic comics were being published and during the height of Dalekmania, I suppose that they must have been on the TV when I was really young, but I could not have been aware of them, as my first real memory ever is of the end of episode 4 of the Invasion, Saturday, 23rd November 1968 three weeks shy of my 3rd birthday. I literally grew to love Daleks second hand. Growing up there were still a lot of Dalek memorabilia doing the rounds being handed down by cousins or appearing for pocket money on bric-a-brac tables.
Some of my most fondly remembered toys were those I didn’t own, but belonged to older boys or were located in the toy box at nursery. The latter was a jigsaw that featured the first Doctor; some of the pieces were shaped like Daleks, one of the Doctor and the one of the Tardis. I really wanted it, (still do) but it belonged to the school. Similarly, there was the first Doctor Who annual at my local church and I loved the way it smelt, but could never own it.
My favourite toy ever was my own Dalek, it was a Marx Dalek, a proper Dalek no slats like the original Daleks, the head was different taller and more elongated. I was given it by one of my older cousins, they were a large family of boys, they had a veritable army of them and as a child just starting school I latched onto it. I loved it and asked if I could take it home with me, in my innocence I didn’t know that was wrong.
For the rest of the summer holidays it went everywhere with me. You could peer into the dark plastic of the neck forever and never make-out what was inside, I swear mine used to have sparks inside, to illuminate the gloom, though I’m not sure, but in my mind I’d imagine the creature inside. This lasted until the first day of school, when I took it to class and it was instantly confiscated until the end of lessons – I was never given it back. Nearly 40 years later I bought myself a near identical one on Ebay.
My biggest find was, at a school fete, a whole stack of TV century 21’s, this must have been the mid to late 70s, and unbeknownst to me these comics were by then about ten years old, every single one of them had Daleks on the back page there were about twenty to thirty of them and I bought them all for about 50p. Doctor Who merchandise was so rare in those days you collected everything and anything to do with Doctor Who, cards from Wheetabix packets, ice lolly wrappers and of course every target book they published.
This was during the Baker era, when you had the strong notion that the best of Doctor Who was already in its past, the monsters just weren’t as exciting as the deadly Daleks or the sinister Cybermen. The books seemed so much more exiting than the current series; I felt they just never got it. Why not tell us more about these creatures, show us their worlds. It’s why these comics stood out; I knew the Daleks could carry a story on their own. I read the reprints in the Doctor Who mag years later and bought the reprint. It was great to discover all these missing episodes.
Thanks again for the discs.
From a life long Dalek fan.