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    Legacy of Yesteryear (AV18)
Legacy of Yesteryear

Frozen in ice for thousands of years, three humanoid Daleks are about to awaken... to find their planet of Skaro ruled by Yarvelling’s inventions. But these original Daleks guard a secret, one that must never fall into the hands of their cybernetic descendants...

Our production of this story was released in 2008.

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

    Legacy of Yesteryear: Gallery
Being frozen alive in ice gives you a terrible ice cream headache...Cooking tips from Delia (Davros) Smith
Ka-Boom!Zet was horrified to discover his ear had frozen to the cold metal of the Dalek's travel machine....
How do they keep these ancient hidden bases dust free? I can't keep my flat dust free for more than two hours!Daleks battle sand creatures
Frozen deep in the ice - Ice Warriors! Er, actually no. It's human Daleks.Desert Daleks
Does this outfit make my face look blue?Kaboom!!! Probably.
There be Daleks in them there mountains!What's that dodgy Dalek up to?
Human Daleks in their base.Polar Dalek
Looks lovely, but the apres ski is awfulDalek-tech. Doncha love it?
One more door to freedom. Reckon he'll make it?
    Legacy of Yesteryear: Reviews

Keith Johnson writes:

Thanks for sending me Legacy of Yesteryear - These episodes just get better and better - as does the extras you include. I especially enjoyed The Blue Radioactive Planet. You must have had fun putting it together.

My only concern is that there there are only three more episodes of the Dalek Chronicles left. I know you have done other comic strips and these are just as good - but I shall really miss the DC's once you have reached the last episode - I just hope that you are able to find another series to continue with.

Thanks again for the copy and for using my music video.

All the best and keep up the good work.

Richard Dadd writes:

Ah, it's that time again - a new AV Dalek Chronicle disc lands on the old doormat! Well this is yet another unusual story, this time taking the surprising move of bringing back the blue goblin Daleks of Genesis of Evil that were last seen so very long ago. It's interesting to note that the strip was clearly and purposefully building up its own mythology, with the humanoid Daleks (these ones having been frozen for centuries) referring back to the original strip.

In animation terms there is much to enjoy here. The pre-titles scouring of Skaro showcases all manner of terrains, culminating in the impressive realisation of the snow landscapes at Skaro's pole. Much of this story is set in snow, and it looks wonderful throughout. On top of the attractive scenery, the humanoids in this story must be the very very best that Altered Vistas has yet managed. The detail of the faces, and the fluidity of their movement, not to mention the lip-syncing, all contribute to these humanoid Daleks being head and shoulders above any other humanoids so far featured in these animations. All in all the whole of Legacy of Yesteryear looks and moves in an incredibly pleasing way.

So sit back and enjoy another yarn with the good old Golden Emperor (oh I do love him and his big shiny head) and the Daleks' ruthless actions against the ancient survivors of their ancestors. If this is the quality of animation that Altered Vistas is now capable of then the future of these animated strips is very exciting indeed.

Included are a decent look at the Cardiff exhibition (and cameraman Roger clearly managed to pick a day that was considerably less busy than when I visited!) with its various props from modern day Who, and an impressive animatronic Dalek.

There is also a music video (splicing together clips mainly from Series Two) for the latest in the long tradition of excruciating Doctor Who-related songs. Admittedly not as bad as some of the 1960s efforts, or for that matter 1985's Doctor In Distress (the most painful and embarrassing attempt at music ever committed to tape), it is still nevertheless pretty dire and I applaud its inclusion here as a perfect illustration of AV's celebration of all things 'Who' no matter how cheesy.

Rather more watchable is the David Attenborough-inspired Blue Radioactive Planet feature, which is a marvellous parody of BBC natural history programmes, only this time focussed on Skaro. Aside from the amusing premise (the camera crew keep getting eaten/killed/shot/turned into  Vargas) and the witty script, Stuart gives a fun performance as the aforementioned narrator, and takes us on a planet-wide tour of this most dangerous of planets. Some of the scenes are quite beautifully realised, particularly the vibrant green of the swamp lands. One of the most thoroughly enjoyable aspects of this feature is in its bringing together of Skaro mythology from all over the shop. Thus we get the Slyther and Varga plants from the 1960s TV adventures (the former of which made a pleasing cameo in the disc's main feature); the many weird and wonderful beasts imagined up for the TV21 comics (and later animated in these here AV animations); an attractively animated Magnatron; the Daleks themselves, and even Davros's hilarious giant clams from Genesis of the Daleks. It makes you realise quite how complete a picture has been painted of Skaro over the past 45 odd years, and I love the fact that Stuart has gone to the trouble to make a comedy feature of it. Brilliant stuff.

Last but not least is the Give-a-Show Projector. A glimpse back into the weird and old-fashioned world of 1960s merchandise. We are well entrenched in the World Distributors-style universe here. The illustrators betray exactly which reference photos they had available to them by rendering very accurate depictions of the TARDIS console, whilst simultaneously managing to present an external view of the ship that looks absolutely nothing like any type of Police Box I've ever seen (it's not just the windows that are weird, the whole thing seemingly turns into a crazy tall blue wardrobe or something).

Doctor Who is joined by two companions (Ian and Barbara?) in a series of incredibly brief and gloriously pointless 'stories' sometimes battling 6ft Louis Marx Daleks. There are some remarkable concepts on offer here, including the Doctor taking off with a dinosaur still inside TARDIS, only for the creature to 'become extinct' when the Ship accelerates past the historical point of dinosaur extinction. This rather makes you wonder how long Ian and Barbara are going to live if they have managed to survive trips to the far future! Crazy, pointless, psychedelic and garishly-coloured I loved every minute of it!

Guy Newmountain writes:

Legacy of Yesteryear - Got to hand it to you once again - thoroughly entertaining to watch and a fantastic achievement throughout. The polar landscape scenes are superb but the most atmospheric moments have to be those with subdued lighting: the pre-credits shot of the Emperor in his chamber, and Daleks moving eerily through the darkness into the light - could watch them forever! Completion of the masterpiece is in sight - DO keep going no matter how disenchanting the journey feels at times - you are way beyond the halfway mark - and be sure there are those of us out here whose admiration knows no bounds: arrival of the next instalment is always a special day; the other titles like Black Legacy are equally faithful adaptations and fascinating to watch - but surely the Chronicles must be the jewel in the alien crown of Altered Vistas and should take priority!!!

The Daleks are perfect, those I cannot fault; but even the software's slow humanoid movement struggling to engage with the ground (originally the only reservation I had) has begun to lend an ancient, epic feel to the episodes, that one can make allowances for: it actually seems increasingly fitting to the retelling of a legend.

I often cite the following anecdote...Many years ago I was given a tour by the great Danny Boon around the National Film & Television School in Beaconsfield. Those, he told me, who were lucky enough to get in (they only took around three students a year then) got to stay literally as long as it took to make the animated film of their dreams - several of which eventually became Oscar-winners. One person I knew had been there seven years... Seriously. The real courage, as he put it, when they got three years or so into their film, reached the halfway mark and realised they could have done it infinitely quicker and better using a different technique, comes in then continuing for a FURTHER three years using the same original technique, to ensure that the finished film has a consistent look throughout... when considering your own mammoth project, this does apply!

Also loved the David Attenborough spoof, especially the Slyther; and a great ending just at the right moment, before the joke wore too thin! - and the Give-A-Show projector extra - you've saved me the job of finding a way to do that myself with my own set...

Many thanks & keep up the great work!

Trevor Sproston writes:

Just received and watched Legacy of Yesteryear.

At the risk of repeating what I have already said on numerous occasions – brilliant. The facial modelling in particular has greatly improved, and become more subtle and natural, with body movement in the fight scenes more convincing and tight. It really is remarkable to compare the first issue [good though that was] to the current output. The humanoid daleks are well conceived and rendered, and the individual elements of the figures sit well with one another.

The spoof Attenborough documentary is a delight, as is the compilation of the Chad valley Give-a –Show projector slides. This is real nostalgia, and really does provide whole minutes of entertainment. The record of the Cardiff Exhibition is great for people who like records of the Cardiff Exhibition. AV are doing a worthwhile job in preserving details of these events, which might otherwise languish in private collections.

I have to say though that I didn’t enjoy the “Doctor Who Is Gonna Fix It” song, and found that I was wanting it to end well before it did finally expire. Was it especially written for the release, or is it another archive discovery? [Archive discovery by Australian band Bullamakanka - Stuart] I can however, enjoy I Want to Spend my Christmas With a Dalek (from Genesis of Evil) over and over again. Does that say something about me?


Roger Smith AKA Black Dalek writes:

I have enjoyed this a lot. How Stuart keeps raising the bar is beyond me, but yet again he has achieved wonderful stuff.

I do like the way Iain's spaceship and hoverbout models have been used.

Even the extras are getting better and better. Blue Radioactive Planet was very good. My apologies for Cardiff, but I took two one-hour batteries with me and gave them a full charge the day before, but they were both knackered. Got about ten minutes from each. At one stage, I was changing batteries every minute to get it all. Stuart has done very well with what I got him - and yes it is all there.

Doctor Who Is Gonna Fix It was new to me and had me in stitches.

Give-a-Show was interesting in that I have one but did not know there were more slides - looks like I will be on eBay again.

Only problem now is there are only three Dalek Chronicles left for Stuart to do. But we do have Star Tigers to look forward to.

Robert Barclay writes:

It seems like a while since the last instalment, but it's been well worth the wait! In contrast to the joyously silly tale of the Terrorkons, Legacy of Yesteryear is more thoughtful - even downbeat - but that just shows the surprising variety in the Dalek Chronicles.

Other reviewers have quite rightly commented on the ever-improving humanoid figures, the really impressive landscapes and the brilliant opening sequences showing Skaro's finest exploring their planet in their own inimitable style. But for me, it's also some of the little moments that make each release special.

A very personal selection this, but standouts include the flexing hand of one of the humanoid Daleks as it revives, the lilac tinge on the casing of the Dalek that's exploring the polar region (just like in the original comic strip), and finally the closing scene where the Emperor looks at the recorded image of the humanoid Dalek before gliding off without a word (not in the comic strip, but a really good ending).

These are the things that make it clear you're not just working your way through the last few stories in order to complete the full set of Dalek Chronicles. There's still the same thought and creativity put into bringing each story to life, and I certainly don't mind if this means it takes longer to do them all.

Meanwhile the extras are as mixed a bunch as regular viewers have come to expect. I can't decide which is my favourite from this release; the David Attenborough-worthy natural history of Skaro, or the endearingly naff and very nostalgic Chad Valley Slide Show. Having them both appear together shows that Doctor Who-inspired silliness has a long and continuing history.

Needless to say, really looking forward to the next episode!

Thomas Tyrell writes:

This was a story where I really felt the animation came to a whole new level. The depiction of the surface of Skaro in the opening sequence was simply stunning. This wonderful, radiation addled nightmare world finally burst into life, there was even time for in-jokes like the Slyther and the magnet beast, that had me rolling on the floor.

The snowy, ice-strewn landscapes were also stunning, and I was deeply impressed with the amount of character animation. Admittedly, Lodian does look like he has a bit of frost still stuck on his face from when he was thawed, but I actually began to suspect Zet was a traitor even before he revealed himself, just by watching the expression on his face. Top marks for subtlety!

This is the first production I've watched, though, where the standard of the original strip really lets down the rest of the production. However exciting it is to see the strip referencing its own continuity, the story itself seems lazy and poorly thought out to the point of laughability. Five minutes after they've been defrosted, the blue-faced Daleks have accurately deduced every event of significance for the past hundred years or so, indicating their incredible intelligence. Then Zet betrays his incredible stupidity - he has watched Yvric try to betray them to the Daleks, and seen his hasty extermination at their hands, but he still comes up with the exact same plan and seems surprised when the same fate befalls him. I for one will be rather glad when the Dalek Chronicles is over and done with. It has been a thrilling ride, and it has been enthralling to watch the standard increase with each new release, but I'm now looking forward to more ambitious projects, like Star Tigers or The Masters of Luxor.

The extras were excellent. Blue Radioactive Planet had me in stitches, though I must admit I've never had time or patience enough for the exhibition walkthroughs. The Give-a-Show slides, meanwhile, were hilarious. Even given the limited boundaries of their form, they're an absolute disaster. And yet, like the sweet cigarette cards, I find myself waiting for the next instalment with bated breath.

As for the music video, well, it was pretty hideous. But well edited!

RetroRobot writes:

1.  Episode 13  [28:56]

2.  Blue Radioactive Planet  [10:13]

3.  Cardiff (DrWho) Exhibition 2007  [5:05]

4.  Doctor Who is Gonna Fix It  [4:05]

5.  Give-a-Show (Chad Valley slides)  [6:13]

5. Starts (most appropriately) with The Daleks – the backing music by EMPIRE 639 (available on AV soundtrack-disc#3 WARMONGER as track#17, titled ‘The Moiety Lounge’) is an appropriately whacky treat – and danceable too.  Just the sort of thing for kids bouncing around high on Sweet Ciggies and making their own psychedelic-lightshow. There are the usual nice little Stuart Palmer touches like “gate-jumping” title frames with “film noise”(hairs/dirt) and properly-intrusive “soundtrack-edging” to enjoy.

The slides, however, appear to have been scanned from the wrong side (in order to read the text the right way ‘round) but this means that the colour-dye layers are in front of much of the black linework and slightly out-of-focus.  They should be scanned from the same side as the Projector would shine through, then reversed.

Most of these 4 frame mini-tales are quite wonderfully silly – a race of interstellar-capable beings are stranded by a loose wiring-connection that only the Doctor is quick enough to spot & fix, who then sees them off on their “Millions of Lightyears” journey!  The half-dozen Dalek stories in the full set can actually be arranged in a workable narrative order (a future Altered Vistas-production no doubt).  But sometimes there are beautifully concise pieces of cleverness, such as one of the best explanations of TARDIS’ transdimensionality!

I knew I’d sunk to the depths of Dalek-fandom when i added scans of these to my Dalek-Research Project files – my 60s nostalgia usually maintains some sense of quality – but these cute little items have a charm of their own (only exceeded by the Sweet Cigarette Cards series covered in prior AV issues).  Scanned up for the ‘big-screen’ they look almost as enticingly lurid as the imaginations of the kiddies shining them on their playroom walls must have been!

4.  Aha – a rare “Guest Spot” on AV, K(?) Johnson’s vid.edit of New Series-clips to Bullamanaka’s ‘DrWho is Gonna Fix It’ is only sometimes "in tune" with the lyrics and not especially outstanding as such compilations go (but then I’ve seen a lot of these) –  i presume the song is of that period, so fine.  But what’s with the extended Billy Piper schmaltz?! (particularly as it was from a good example of The Doctor not “fixing it”!)  I guess i’ll have to take this one ironically... oh, I have.

3.  A “guest source-material” clip this one, and whilst the moving image is generally experienced as more “interesting” or exciting than stills, issues of quality do make the difference. I’m not at all against using what is available rather than nothing – for which we are grateful to Roger Smith – but the low quality of the footage rather dulls the experience.

Presumably, filming is prohibited at these exhibitions so what we have is perhaps something surreptitiously taken by ‘phonecam?  If so, why not edit it as a ‘Spy report’ sort-of thingy – with good quality stills combined with linking moving-shots or suchlike?  Mind you, this one would have been a lot easier to produce and Stuart puts so much time into making AV discs such worthwhile entertainments as it is.

As usual it’s worth it for the EMPIRE 639 track (also on WARMONGER – track#1, titled ’Cube‘) but I much prefer Stuart’s earlier experiments in these Exhibition-coverages.

2.  Overactive Blue Spaceballs

A real highlight of AV Special-Extras, this is Stuart displaying an uncanny genetically-mutated resemblance to a certain Sir Avid Databurrower, the renowned intergalactic CCB (Corporate Communications Board) documentary-presenter, known to almost everybody except the general universal population for his infamous mockumentary series ‘U.NATURE’.

Here Stuart lampoons the uniquely-copied style of Sir Avid with a straight-faced & factually-accurate tour of Planet Skaro, which might have been quite enjoyable with some serious hamming-it-up.  Some jokes would perhaps have helped leaven the tedious, scholarly style all too typical of This Sort Of Thing.

Surely yet another earnest Edutainment on the world of the Dullhicks is not what this universe needs?  One could almost believe it is part of a peppered-plot to condition humanoids into a blasť attitude toward those who would cruelly conquer us and ruthlessly extirpate all dirty, unDalek sentient-lifeforms in order to cleanse untidy reality of individuality & diversity in a move that all good Corporate-Social Engineers would surely approve!?  But that would, of course, be silly.

Still, this nicely-timed 10 min short does have some interesting new facts to offer:  the attrition-rate of CCB camera crews in a hostile universe for instance, and the salutary effect of Varga Plants (which might be profitably employed by infecting CCB-execs and thus rendering them a bit less murderously insane than usual).  A couple of quibbles about this piece, about which far too many words have already been written:  you’ve got a planet magnificently replete with Rocks – lots of rocks (with that typically ’computer-generated’look that alien worlds so often have) so why not a single Quarry?!  And no Corridors either!  Dullhicks are famous for corridors.

Interior Designers & Mining Engineers should give this one a miss.


[Stuart, this one can be for your ‘Feature Review Of The Minute’ section]

(At a nominal rate of one word-per-second (allowing for lip-movement) for the average Dalek-fan, this review should take exactly as long as the actual programme which will then, mercifully, be over – or, if you’ve skipped the big words, you can try keeping up with the credits...)

We open with a view of Planet Sharon, sorry, SHARO (ah, it’s the typeface...) apparently travelling through HYPERSPACE, even though the stars aren’t doing that “streaky” thing (more scientifically real I s’pose).  The Golden Emperor, in his ‘Ribcage’model Travelsuite, is in his badchamber practising decrees & speeches as usual when he comes up with the spiffy idea of Global Domination* by a One World-Government CorporateMonopoly-Board ruled by S.K.A.R.O. (Superior Kaled Armaments & Robotics Organization) making SHARON the, sorry, The – Planet Of Tha Daaalex!

With the tone of ‘Virginia Plains’ (by Ritzy Muzak, as covered by Lefty Devious) ringing in their dPods, two Daleks are playing “Chicken” in their latest bling unsportsmodel SfKD-WP13’s (“Superfast-KillerDeath-WeaponsPlatform”) – on the Under The Volcano route.

Meanwhile, to the tune of ‘The Forbidding Aisles’ by BunnyJungle, three dirty Daleks, glowing a cute red with embarrassment, are put through the TravelMachine-Wash. (>>CLEANING-BY-MUTATEDJUNGLE-PROCEEDS-AS-COMMENTED!<<)

Meanwhile, two “spaghetti-western” Daleks, Old-BlueCasing & TheDalek-with-theGoldenGun, are wrasslin’ Slythers* – Goldie reflecting on how good one would look in a quarry (or even a corridor).Typical of these cheap productions they could only afford the one, so you have to imagine vast herds of WildeSlythers migrating pathetically across the immensity of the short strip of cg-bg – in true BBC low-budget “Pantomime Effect” use-your-own-imagination style.

Meanwhile, on Darren Eastern’s climbatology show ‘Mountains’, two blackballed Daleks are... doing something... in a river (one can only go by the soundtrack – or in a river) whilst another (right) pair discuss mineral rites and how to sell beads & trinkets to the native prim-a-tives* on other planets (see episode#2 of the mystery series “Dalek Who?” called ‘Purchase’).[* typical Daleks – superb diction and crap spelling ]

Meanwhile, in Heathen Tantarra, a bunch of five Daleks are cooking-up dessert by laser-heating a number of wild blancmanges (this takes a deft touch with a Neutralizer as too little leaves them well-cooked in the middle but also well icky on the outside, whilst too much makes them explode deliciously).  There is actually more-than-one blancmange in this scene!  (>>ILLUMINATION-OF-SAID-CREATURES-PRODUCES-ORDERS!<<)

Meanwhile (and this is where the story really starts*) somewhere in the Polar Region (the North one) a winter-camouflaged SfKD-WP13 ruthlessly assays the Mountain range of Golden Oldies from their background catalogue of Explosive Hits, breaking new ground with some ancient numbers (who thaw out remarkably quickly and move the action narrative along with some spiffy non-Dalek dialogue). Needless to say, it’s all needlessly technological & sparky, but “zaps” are amongst my favourite fx.*

The SfKD-WP13’s cabin-heater goes on the fritz so the Dalek decides to chill out in the alps until help arrives (presumably in the form of a St.Slyther with a barrel of antifreeze around its, um, anatomy). Back up the mountain, three disgustingly organic humanoids (one with snot & drool frozen all over his face) with the biggest brains that ever stretched a cranium (in this ‘tooniverse leastways) rub their hands over their grossly swollen domes and, stunned with amazement and stupefaction beyond belief, contemplate breakfast.  Clearly room-service has not survived the post-cataclysm Crust Displacement-Rotation Movement (which probably had them shot as “Useless Feeders”).

With mountain concern they discern that the “Metal Slaves” have been switched from >>I-AM-YOUR-SERRRVANT<< mode to >>EXTERMINATE-ANNIHILATE-DESTROY<< mode (which wasn’t supposed to have happened until they were actually on Mars, ready to deadify the astronauts) [* this could, however, be what is known as a “CrossOver”, ie. a breach in the Space - Time Economy according to the rules of Media Separation along the lines of the Violation of Narrative Discontinuity Principle as determined by the highly Intellectual Copy-rightclick&paste Law ]

A flotilla of Dalek Slice & Dice-Machines arrives at the stranded Daleksicle and rather than abort the mission they abort the objective instead – thus maintaining an unblemished rescue-record plus earning a bonus gold-star for gratuitous extermination.

The humanoid called Limeric goes out to practise some of his oration on the Daleks.  Little does he know that the Daleks have radically redefined the meaning of “hostile critic”.  His agent, Nicky Lodeon and his gagwriter, Dez, mildly upset at the fall of their star, go down to the rumpusroom to dull their vague grief with some old Earth-movies.

The Emperor Dalek is quite taken with the humouroids’ pointy shoulderpads and orders his minions to see if they can find more.

Lodeon, horrified that their anachronous garb might launch a Dalek retro-fashion fad – let alone the development of a taste for sartorial style – thus distorting the original Dalek Hemline, refuses to allow them to download the designs. Dez, with visions of career-advancement clouding his enormous brain ever since Limeric bit the snow, gently taps the back of Lodeon’s head with a fashion-accessory (after-the-fact) thus causing a massive concussion.  He dreams of becoming the Impressario of Dalek House Of Fashion and teaching them an Earth-concept they got from the movies called a Fashion Parade. Daleks like parades.

Meanwhile (again) the Daleks are naughtily riding their new hover-scooters around the corridors, riotously bumping off the precious artefacts and fragile ancient columns, threatening to bring the house down. They run into Dez and the unconscionable Lodeon. Dez tries to face-down the Daleks with his snappy quips, but the Daleks are not only a tough (& faceless) audience, they know a joke or two of their own (always at someone else’s expense) and they wear him down with a barrage of Dalek repartee.  (>>NOBODY-CAN-OUTRACE-OUR-WIT-FOR-LONG!<<)

The rest of this Comedy of Terrors involves Dez’s attempts to trap Lodeon into surrendering his Bookings Files to the Daleks by which they could invade & conquer the Intergalactic Fashion Industry and Sit-up Comedy Circuits.

I won’t spoil what’s left by telling you there’re any good bits.  Ooh, except for this one scene with a rad Turner spaceship – a beautiful sleek&curvaceous missile with huge boosters and well-hung accessories on a taught 36-26-16 body (all lovingly hand-reconstructed in Palmer3D) that Lodeon entirely gets off on.

Meanwhile, the Daleks have found the Humouroids’ rumpusroom and discover their stash of Earthoid”Cinemas.  They are just getting all sorts of ideas from a picture called ‘The DalekProps’ Invasion Of Theatre’ when Lodeon pulls off the old joke cigar trick. There is an explosive punchline.

Stuart’s stuff is a constant joy to watch evolving. Character ’acting’ is well developed now, and lots of little subtleties – such as the explosion blowing the Daleships away cutting to the Emperor’s viewscreen p.o.v. and reversing – make attentive viewing delightfully compulsorive. Also on a serious note, btw, some beautiful voices in this show – well done lads!

Lovely to see a contribution by Iain McClumpha, a favourite Dalek Artiste (and Master of uncompleted Dalekomix).