Welcome to Altered Vistas
    Impasse (AV14)

As war between the Daleks and the Mechanoids draws ever closer, a third party decides to take matters into their own hands. The Zerovians dispatch robot agent 2K first to Skaro and then to Mechanus to stop the war at any cost. But is a robot enough to outwit the might of both the Daleks and the Mechanoids? And can he prevent a terrifying war in space that could destroy millions of innocent lives?

Altered Vistas’ production of this story was released in 2007.

DVD and CD-style covers and disc labels for the production can be found here.

   Impasse: Gallery
2K. Not to be confused with K2On the surface of Skaro
Climbing the Dalek CityHigher and higher he goes
Flat screen TV was invented on SkaroSitting inside bombs - just one of 2K's hobbies
It was raining outside so the video arcade was unusually busy...
Zeros, a nice place for a holiday. Probably
It's like Planet of the Daleks all over again!Come on in, boys!
Lights, giant magnet, action!Sunday Night at the Skaro Palladium
Trapped!It's behind you!
The Daleks do 60s futurist so well...DC1117
   Impasse: Reviews

John and David Anderson write:

I just received your latest production from Steve.

At the risk of repeating myself (again!), my son was totally enthralled with the story of 2K.

Following the story faithfully (as always) with the same production values that we have come to appreciate from Altered Vistas in both the CGI and soundtrack components. I appreciated the comment about "weapons of mass destruction" from the council member!

The sweet cigarette cards was a fascinating addition to the disk - I remember them well (so did my teeth)!

Davros’ appearance was welcome (RTD has forgotten him but you haven't)!

Once again you have made my son's evening viewing (quite an achievement in this era of multichannel Sky,etc).

Jonny D writes:

This is another great story which Mr Palmer has beautifully put on to our screens.

The story line starts of with a secret meeting with the Zerovians who send an agent to stop the Dalek-Mechanoid war. It is intelligent with a nice plot twist at the end.

The animation is once again brilliantly done. I especially enjoyed the scenes where the rocket is gliding through space, it is very awe-inspiring and beautiful. The dramatic music blends with the action in such a way which put me on the edge of my seat and increases the tension of the story. The actors have played their parts very well and everyone involved in the production deserves a big round of applause.

Guy Newmountain writes:

The Dalek Stripper was a great idea!

And the shots of the rocket speeding away from the turning planet were fantastic.

Keep up the brilliant work, this was one of the best yet.

Roger Smith AKA Black Dalek writes:

Stuart yet again has somehow managed to raise the bar on this, the eleventh instalment of The Dalek  Chronicles.

This time we get Impasse with three extras. More of them later.

1/ Impasse

Set on three planets with two warring factions and only one secret agent to stop the war. James Bond eat your heart out. Its a great little story and Stuart does well, the lip synch at the start in the chamber room is the best I have seen, as for 2K - wonderful! Could Earth hire him to sort out our planet. On a lighter note I could not help but smile when the wife said he looks like a washing machine on legs, but I could see what she meant. He does look like he has a front loader as a chest.

Over all, I love it.


2/ Cadet Sweet Cigarettes Part 1

Closest we ever came to a First Doctor / Dalek comic strip, but better than nothing and, considering what little I gave Stuart, he has done very well and I am happy he split the cards in to the two stories. I look forward to seeing part two as to me it’s the better one and it appeals to my warped sense of humour.

3/ Message from Skaro.

Great fun but I will not spoil it.

4/ Cannot say title as it gives it all away, but it is great and shows off Stuart’s versatility.

I must say I look forward to the extras as much as the main feature now.

A great addition to my growing collection.

Thomas Tyrrell writes:

Impasse is probably the most stylish Dalek Chronicle to date. Yes, Black Legacy was dark and gothic, but it simply can’t compare to the wonderful, dark, rain soaked shots of the planet Skaro. Having gotten used to the psychedelic cityscape in the previous instalments, this was a wonderful contrast. And the Daleks look    stunning – there’s just that extra bit of motion to them that really brings them to life. 2K is a nice piece of  design, granted, but overall the Daleks look better.

This can’t disguise the point that the plot is ever so slightly rubbish. Shut up, you Zerovians – we want a big budget space war between the Daleks and the Mechanoids, not some cop out peaceful solution. And whatever happened to the Menoid Master from Eve of the War? Plus, how come Skardel, which smashed through suns and planets in the last Chronicle, is blown to smithereens by one rubbish Dalek warhead?

On to the special features.

First of all, I’d like to say the sweet cigarette cards represent everything I love best about Altered Vistas – the ludicrously completist bits and pieces that I’d never even dreamt of before. The plot is laughably bad – the Voords and the Daleks invade Earth to eat some dodgy mushrooms! Only in the Sixties! This is by far favourite Altered Vistas special feature, and I’m eagerly looking forward to the next production.

A Message from Skaro made me laugh my head off, and I liked the new style of animation introduced for Davros. The Dalek Stripper was just plain weird though.

The best release so far. Compared to the original productions, the gap in quality is simply staggering. And it’s all for free!

Trevor Sproston writes:

Just received Altered Vistas’ latest offering, Impasse, the story where a robot is sent to prevent the war between the Daleks and Mechanoids.

This story was never properly resolved in TV21, and seemed very much a filler. AV have done their usual exacting job, and the extras (a narrated Cadet Sweet Cigarette card story, A Message from Skaro and a Dalek stripper), go to make a nice addition to the series.

And it's free, remember!

You’ve produced your accustomed miracle – well done, although I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that. Watching the story does bring out its wasted potential - it gives the impression that the writer either lost interest, or was pressured by other things. Perhaps there were problems in staging a Dalek-Mechanoid war. The same thing happened with The Elders I believe.

Keep them coming.

Bryan Simcott writes:

Hi Stuart and all at Altered Vistas. Brilliant latest addition Impasse... terrific fun and it’s wonderful to see the stories come alive... and as for the Stripper... well, I laughed so much... wonderful... Keep up the good work.

Robert Barclay writes:

Even though this wasn't one of my favourite original strips (Daleks outwitted by a boring robot indeed!), it's probably one of my favourites in your  ever-growing list of animations. Why? Just because it looks so good!

The humanoids at the beginning are your best yet, the night-time scene at the top of the information chamber in the blue light (and the rain) when that robot's surprised by two of Skaro's finest on their hoverbouts, and the image of the aforementioned mechanical man caught in the searchlights (if it's not a scene from Fritz Lang's Metropolis it looks like one!) are all marvellous.

Add quotes from Blair and Davros, and what more could anyone want? Except of course the extras, including the masterclass in Davros voiceovers (hope Ben Kingsley's been watching), the rather weird cigarette card tale and the frankly deranged stripper!

Looking forward to catching up with the next one.

Richard Dadd writes:

I watched this instalment late at night, and I'm rather glad I did as I think its night-time atmosphere is one of its plus points. In the past DALEK CHRONICLES have been sunny and colourful, like some technicolour version of sixties Who, but Stuart's direction (and, presumably, the original strip - although I have never read this one) make IMPASSE somewhat darker and more atmospheric. We even get some Noirish flirtation with rain and some dramatic lightning flashes - although the animation of the former is not overly convincing, I greatly appreciate the gesture, and the textural difference it lends. Even the Daleks are all silvers and dull blues these days, so that (what with silver 2K and the inky skies) the whole palette of this episode is shady and dark.

It's an unusual plot, but that's one of the things I love about Whitacker's scripts for these. But, aside from the focussing upon 2K, we do get some nice Daleky bits and some more of those attractive space vistas (as in ROGUE PLANET).

I've always loved the TV21 Dalek Emperor. He's like some terrible metal Dictator. His scenes pacing (pacing? You know what I mean!) on stage before his mass audience of silent Dalek warriors make for a really striking image. This culminated with an arty shot looking up at him (the scene all so blue and dark) only for the screen of stars behind him to start bleeding a red burst where the Rogue Planet is destroyed. These scenes paint the Daleks as hordes of fascist clones in a way that the series hasn't managed, quite possibly ever (maybe some of the early Hartnell Dalek stories, possibly the Cushing films, but certainly nothing post-Troughton). I take these Daleks over the camp bronze efforts of the new series any day.

The conclusion is perhaps somewhat undramatic, but with some good direction Stuart makes the most of mediocre plotting.

Finally I have to praise the actors of the council seen in the opening and closing scenes. As well as being better realised and animated than previous blue-skinned peoples of this series, everyone gives a very good performance, and they are played with suitably serious delivery, with no one approaching melodrama.


I have often wondered what animating these Altered Vistas discs must do to the sanity of the animator (especially considering Stuart is also the script-adaptor, director, actor etc etc). The answer to this query is contained within 2 of the special features: an animated rant from Davros (of the 1975 variety I perceive) and a glimpse into the seedy world of Dalek strip clubs. If it weren't for the fact that I desperately want a complete collection of DALEK CHRONICLES discs then I would seriously suggest locking him up. Slightly less mad (but only just!) is the cigarette cards story. I appreciate having this presented to me as I have no experience of it whatsoever. But it really is bizarre. And the strange manner in which the text is written really does have you scratching your head. It's like some crazy dream (think World Distributors and then some) and is that really Hartnell!?

Overall though this is yet another enjoyable Altered Vistas release. A nicely directed furthering of the Dalek/Mechanoid conflict with a bundle of fun and bizarre extras thrown in for good measure.

Bryan Letts writes:

I have just received episodes 9 to 12 of the Dalek Chronicles from Steve and I wanted to express my delight with them. The animation seems to be growing from strength to strength and the Dalek vocals are as good as the Daleks on television! I just love the golden Emperor! Excellent stuff... BUT, and isn't there always a but...? (lol), imagine my delight when a dream came true! When I wrote to Steve about the receipt of CDs, to make sure he received them okay, I mentioned if there was any chance that the Cadet cigarettes' Doctor Who and the Daleks could be turned into a story and next thing I know - cards 1-25 and 26-50 appear on episodes 11 and 12 as bonus items. I was over the moon as I have always wanted to see this series of cards, only ever having possessed two cards when they were first issued in 1965 (showing my age!) and subsequently lost them in a series of house moves! So a BIG thank you to you and your team. Now, about those Skyray ice lolly cards... (lol)

I know I once suggested animating the Doctor Who annuals (in particular the Zarbi stories) but my vote goes to the original Dalek annuals. I'm sure you have already given this some thought, particularly when the TV21 adaptations come to a close, but I shall be very interested to see what you have lined up for the future. I would also like to congratulate you and team on the comic strip series. The Mechanoid story is particularly good and the artwork is the best of its style I've seen in ages. In summary, Stuart, I wanted you to know I think you are doing a terrific job and I would like to wish you and your team on-going success for the future!


Prog. 1:  Impasse    (23:40)

        2:  Cadet Sweet Cigarette Cards – Story One (cards 1-25)  <bonus>    (10:35)

        3:  Transmission from Skaro  <b>    (3:23)

        4:  The Dalek Stripper   <b>    (2:36))


Prog. 2 review:  "Cadet Cards – One Sweet Story (First Pack – ciggies 1-25)"

Original (apparently) Hartnell-Doctor Who in his younger, yet still white-haired days meets the Voords again* this time becoming their ally against the Daleks.

[* previously shown in 'The Keys of marinus' (by Terry Nation) ]

I have scans of these (courtesy of the Early-WhoMedia collectors/scanners at 'The Doctor's Talbot Samba' {formerly 'TheDoctorsReceptacle'} Yahoo-Group) and many of these images are lovely examples of 60s-style painted panel-art.


As Stuart points out, the text for these is cursorily-scripted rough-outlines seemingly for a fuller text version of this story, possibly intended for a booklet like the SkyRay-Cards collection.  (Is That one likely to be a future AV-production?)

This first (of 2) sweetcigarette-card stories is (in)famous for introducing the concept of Daleks imbibing Mushroom-juice (with inevitable images of Tripped-out mutants in Deathmachines!*)

[* Daleks On Mushrooms!?!  Those deadly little scamps – whatever next?  >>EX.PERI.MENT!<< / >>YOU.WILL. SMELL..THA.FLOU.WERS..IM.MEEDIATE.LY!<< / >>DAA.LEK..PEEEACE.AND.LOVE..WILL.CON.QUER.THA..U.NI.VERRRSE!<< / >>FAR-OUT.PSYCH.A.DELIC..DAA.LEX..ARE.HIP(less).AND.BUMPY..KA.LED!<<  Cower in fear & confusion from Squads of drug-wrecked 'Dippies' in garish dayglo mind-exterminating colours Invading your head-space!!  I now wonder about those Bright-Red-with-White-Bumps Daleks – not to forget the ever-desirable Gold(top)Daleks!!!  (Don't eat the Black ones tho' – they're not Liquorice-flavoured, that's for sure.) ]

And all that is Nothing compared to what you will see when they discover Flower Power!

Nicely narrated by Stuart Palmer.


Prog. 3 review:  "Curmudgeon from Skaro"  (apologies to Thals & Dalex)

Featuring an elegantly-simple animation of Davros (complete with wiggly'chairwalk'movement!) building up to his usual Rant, but this time over AV's own D.C. productions.  It was inevitable that Davros would eventually trundle-across these Dalek-propaganda stories about Their (>>DAV.ROS?...WHO'S..DAV.ROS?<<)non-D. origins and adventures.  It was equally inevitable that he would be incensed by Either version, but it's the more'modern' AV-productions that cop it in this case.

Honestly, he goes on about it so much, and in typically tedious Davros-detail, you'd think it was an Altered Vistas Promo!  A clever bit of voice & character work by Stuart, there.  (Plus the regrettable contribution of the unforgettable/ly mental-image of Davros "wee(ing) through the/ir letterbox"!)


Prog. 4 review:  "Deconstructed-Dalek Skit"  (aka 'Dalek Throwaway')

A bit of a "Phfwoarrr" for Daleks, but just silly to anyone else, this 'bit-teaser' has a prop-Dalek (it's got no working parts inside, so no DaletekSecret-giveaways here i'm afraid) progressively divesting itself (tossing its parts) of itself, to the tune of the Skarosian Global Anthem – a nicely subversive twist to the old Bumps&Grind-routine.  What's left in the end is better left to the imagination so, naturally for AV, it's rendered in full (affrontal).  (And I thought those Peter Gabriel/Aardman animated dancing plucked-chickens were Scary!)  [CREEPYNESS-RATING: max!]


Prog. 1 review:  "Tin Asset"

A bunch of Zeros (from the planet of the same name) are getting nervous about the impending Dalek/Mechonoid-stoush.  Concerned that they might actually end up the most powerful civilization left in the Comicverse if the D's & the M's kablooey each other, the Zeros seek to avoid such Responsibility by making sure that One side actually wins.

Their leader, Cwy, is limp enough to confess that "must debate in secret' he will from now on.  The people however, are more alarmed to hear a small boy exclaim that "...the Clothes have no Emperor!" because they cannot see their Rulers any longer.  (Although alien-translation being what it is these days* this might be a reference to some sort-of adjustment of scale.)

[* ie, nonexistent ]

Speaker Aww rises to the occasion, but his risible idea is derided by a cowardly poot called Wah.  Undaunted by Wah's racist suggestion that their blue skin-colour would be prejudicial to Daleks or Mechonodes, Aww proceeds to propose that perhaps this problem turns, probably, the proverbial tables provided they produce their spy in the form of a Robot!  (Well I could have told them that – we Robots are generically Superior at just about everything ... except being Alive of course.)

Aww swings open the oven-door with a 'Chefly'gesture, saying:  "... and here's one i prepared earlier", revealing Robot agent '3D'.

Placed in a Space-toboggan, Agent '3D' slides off on its louche mission to slip sneakily into Skaro, skating around the Dalek Desert Patrol (to avoid the singing and overacting) its nerves cooled to ice by its refrigerator unit* as it snows the Daleks with its flakey moves.

[* Kelvinator by the look of it ]

Meanwhile, the Golden Emperor is entertaining the troops with a popular reperformance of his >>THE.ROGUE.PLAN.ET..WILL.DES.TROY.THA..MECH.A.NOIDZ<< speech just in time for '3D' to overhear it. 

So captivated by this performance is '3D' that it is unaware of being surrounded by Daleks (despite their loud off-key singing of selections from 'The Desert Song' and their Hoverbouts humming along with them aboard).  Concerned for '3D's wellbeing, the Daleks politely advise it>>MOVE ...*AND.YOU.WILL.BE..DES.TRAUGHT!<<. 

'3D' is mildly concerned by this.  

[* seemingly ordering the subject to do something before telling them Not to in the hope they will disobey-by-obeying – a typical Dalek jape ]

Utilizing the awesome calculating-power of his stupendous 2K-ZerotronicBrainchip '3D' suddenly switches to Rocketeer-mode and zooms away.  The two arresting Hoverbout-Daleks are so disgusted with themselves for falling for this obvious ploy that they execute each other.

Other, more grounded Daleks go for the technological fix and operate the 'Magnetrap' – a device normally used for capturing magnets.  They cunningly calculate by fiendish reasoning that by Reversing the Polarity of the Magnetronic-Flow* the device will be perfect for attracting Robots. (mmm, i zee vot zey meen!)

[* curse you JonPertwee-Doc! ]

Sure enough '3D' is 'fixated' on this machine and so eager to get-down with it that it falls headlong (and spinning*) hard, hitting bottom and penetrating to an underground silo (accompanied by humorously appropriate Jackhammer-fx).

[* with wonder at all this Daleteknaaarlogy ]

The silo is occupied by a Rocket that "...can fly faster than any(other?)spaceship"!  (Oh yeah?! – and how does it know that!?)  Firing the Rocket by use of the amazing strategy of destroying the ground-controls (something that not even Daleks would ever think of, which is probly why it worked!) '3D' escapes into space.*

[* in one of the most "neato" Rocketship-designs seen anywhere short-of 'Dan Dare’ or the Trigan Empire ]

The 'Controlroom-interior Dalek-action' hots up* as they plot, plan & posit what to do in this situation.

As usual, Golden Emperor has a Cunning Calculation in plunger. ((>>THAT.IS..WHY..I.AM..EM.PER.OR..AND.YOU..ARE.NOT!<<))

They will use the missile as intended and be rid of '3D' into the bargain.

[* it has lately dawned on me to consider those 3-tined "gunsticks"(Neutralizers) on these 'Turneroid' Daleks to be the cgi-animation equivalent of 3-finger 'Toon Characters' hands! (or did somebody already say that?) ]

In the meantime the Rogue-RougeRed-Planette (remember 'Skardel'? – It must have had a good Agent, an entire Phunny planet didn't last as long as this thing!...probly coz itsa Prop an' don't draw Salary) will smash into Mechanus later on (as a <bonus> extra).

But '3D's 2K-Processor is on the job with a scheme to turn the Warhead back on the Daleks (probly got the idea from the Magnetrap incident, which just goes to show you can't afford to be too clever and still let your foe get away with new ideas).

Ah, but it doesn't end there!  The Writer, clearly considerably "cleverer still" than Emperor, Mechanoids & Readers has a fiendish turn-of-the-plot in mind...

Back on Skaro, a 'gab-fest' has broken out in the Dalek-Controlroom as they respond to the challenge by firing yet more missiles at the problem (Daleks having long ago worked-out that this was much more effective than using money).

Meanwhilst, on Mechanus the Menoids, which have been responding as rapidly as they sedately can, finally arrive at '3D's landing-site to offer it Compulsory Accomodation & Locked-Roomservice in still-undertenanted Colonial City.  '3D', being a most polite Robot – who says "Please" & "Thankyou" – diplomatically declines their offer by changing the subject entirely.

Taking out its portable ultra-minaturized Super8mm-filmprojector '3D' shows them a home-movie it has made (using cardboard cutouts) which demonstrates how he has tricked the Daleks by getting them to fire on their own missile as it fails to give-way at the Hyperspace Bypass and collides at the intersection of Rogue Planet Way & Rocket-Trajectory Path.  The Mechans, with typically audience-level intelligence, completely fail to understand '3D's point – instead presuming that those Skarosians must be nice neighbours after all and have helped take-out the Galactic Garbage without even being told to by the usual means of firing a CosmicDebris-obsessed InterstellarCouncil-official at them!

At home on Zero, the Prime Zeros are having a fine time being pompous, officious & supercilious at each other, seeing as how they are in the rare situation of not actually being on view to the Voters (and the Parliament Questiontime Broadcast not due to start until after the 'The Daleks In An Exciting Adventure With The Mechanonoids' movie) and are enthusiastically arguing about how '3D's unexpected Plot Device has backfired.  Instead of causing a clear victory for one Machine-Race to assume the tedious responsibility of Galactic Governance (conveniently locked into a one-party system) there is now a bi-partisan powerblock determined to outdo each other at the polls and liable to introduce all manner of disruptive "Reforms" and other Local World Council headaches.

'3D' may have had one Rocket already, but when it gets home it's due for another!  (Which is presumably why we never get to see '3D' again in this series either.)