Prog.1: Power Play (32:36)
2: Dalek Cutaway <bonus> Dalek Tech.Specs! (8:01)
Prog.2 review: "Dalek Undone By Wonderful Pun" (apologies to Mission To The Unknown)
A nicely-rendered depiction of the comicbooks' era of Dalek design-concept.
What's particularly interesting about this is the confirmation that from the very beginning the Daleks definitely were able to levitate for short hops (e.g. Upstairs!) which explains their flat base-profiles, whilst also rolling about on an omnidirectional driveball (which makes the little "Rolykins" Dalex strangely more accurate designs! – albeit lacking the 'levitational stabilization' effect of the Lifting Platform-Base itself).
The backing soundtrack to this is a nicely creepy piece of vocal soundsculpture combined with a suitably sci-fi 'technifex' mix.
Many of us, of course, have our own ideas about the internal layout and functioning of Dalek-machines (I know I do) so whilst i disagree with a lot of these (old fashioned) original ideas it is nonetheless very entertaining to see how some of these original notions work. For example, the idea that those ear-like 'headlamps' actually were 'ears'! (In one early Dalek Annual they are described as heat-exchangers: "…excess energy is released through these 'light bulb' safety valves…" [good grief!].)
Equally weird is the need for "Grav(ity*)Deflectors" to protect the Dalek Mutant from Skaro's "gravity conditions"!? (Mind you, Levity being the opposite of Gravity – whilst Daleks could scarcely be accused of Humour [other than 'bad'] – they probably would need a device like this to prevent them collapsing under the weight of their own Seriousness.)
[* I rather like the idea of "Grav(y)Deflectors" myself – something so delicious to humans is bound to be deadly for Daleks!]
The infamous(ly mysterious) 'Dalek Bumps' are revealed to be "Hostility Sensors" – it is not mentioned whether special internal shielding was necessary to prevent these being overloaded by the Dalek-machine's own occupant, however.
And just to inject some fun into these dreary technical considerations i wish to enquire of Stuart's backing band, the 'Skiffle Music Combo': "EMPIRE 6E9", just what the 'E' stands for – or have I got that the wrong way 'round? [You have - it's Empire 639! - Stuart]
Prog.1 review : "Executive Skit"
This episode, having taken so much more work to complete and/or being such a complicated production that it was left to later and became #4 in the production-sequence, jumps way ahead of Episode One (&3) in design and animation quality. This works well as an inadvertent Self Promotional effect as the sudden evolution/improvement gives a most encouraging 'feel' to the new viewer in contrast to the limitations of Stuart's (worthy)1st effort – and a subliminal sense of Significant New Developments appropriate to the series itself.
There are lots of extra (little) touches to this one: e.g. views of distant parading/manoeuvring Daleks; the workings of Dalek-indicators & screens; even the depiction of an absolutely traditionally appropriate and comixly-correct oversized bar-magnet for the heart of the Dalek-Magnetizer (which was not shown in the originals). The prologue's vision of the 3D-version of the original Dalek-City view provides us with a sneaky 1st glimpse of what I take to be the Black Dalek alongside the Golden Emperor as he surveys his new domain.
(WARNING! 'The Spoiler') "Great Dalek Logos, CyberBat!". Also a moment of lovely Dalek-byplay (Significant Looks Dalek-style) over certain "loaded terms' to watch out for!
Just what does "INSLI" mean anyway – anybody know? Or is it open to interpretation? [See the Chronicles Encyclopedia for the definitive answer!]
Time for some criticizm: there are occasional disappointing failures-of-the-imagination (seemingly… one must always allow for difficulty-of-execution Production-Time Constraints) such as not depicting a magnetic field-pattern for the sand to be drawn around which might then slump or vibrate to settle the sand into an innocuous heap – OR – leaving magnetic ripples that would look like windblown rills…
A missed opportunity to show a Dalek "Control Arm" holding something light, like paper (or plastic/metallic sheet) while the Emperor is studying the captured spaceship's schematics (from the 'Dalanalysis Machine' [my 'contribution']). However this scene has rather weirdly been rendered as looking like (him) standing in front of some sort of foodwafer production line with the Emperor shown ready to start munching on one, but is either too busy talking or is waiting for his Dalek-Icecream* (Thal flavour) to arrive! In the original strip he's clearly holding a page of diagrams (which would have been a nice design opportunity and fun to see). [* marketing opportunity there!]
And now, inevitably, we come to that infamous flaw in the sound-quality of the character Sala's voice. Perhaps she doesn't 'spikka-da-lingwich' and uses that golden ring around her head as a translator device, thus the strange sound of her voice!?* (This is, of course, a silly suggestion as she's surrounded by relatives in the story!) [* PERSONAL ASIDE: I love making enjoyable excuses for flaws in productions – these actually add to my enjoyment by providing openings for a bit of co-creative input of my own into them. I have a rule for movies though: if I can't rapidly-rationalize a logic/info-gap without being 'thrown out of the story' or losing track of the plot/narrative or missing following dialogue then it's a definite flaw/failure that has inexcusably disrupted the experience.]
Apart from her 'vocal-impediment' though, this Sala'nimation is one Hot Babe! Most fitting for the Boy's-Joys of the contemperotic – sorry – contemptorary comix-age (I myself being of an highly con-temptable "comic age"). Perhaps "Sala" is short for 'salacious'?! My thoughts certainly often were – a definite sensation of Dalek Lust re CyborGirl fantasy! (And the way the Emperor says "…WOMAN…" – oooh! Phwoah!!)
N.B: VoiceActor Millie Brookes (Sala) would also make a good Sophie Aldred (Ace) replicant.
This is also the first episode to show any degree of divergence from the faithful reproduction of original dialogue where a seemingly needless editing occurs in the final scenes (which nitpick only goes to show how consistently it was preserved throughout Episode One that such should stand out now!).
However, this ep. is particularly impressive for the quality of the extra narrative and dialogue that has been created to flesh it out. This skill was intimated by that of Ep.1 (AV01), but here it's in full swing. Whole additional backstory & subplot elements are seamlessly added here to Episode 2 (AV04) and it's a real surprize to discover what isn't in the original stories as it all seems so organically integral to the prime material!
Overall this is a great episode with high production values, groovy special effects, some cool wipes – and I even spotted some of those "in-jokes" this time (ref. other reviewers).