Prog. 1: Rogue Planet (15:46)
2: Rogue's Gallery (The Art of Ron Turner) <bonus> (3:21)
3: An Interview with The Dalek <b> (6:26)
4: 'Impasse' Trailer (1:19)
Prog. 2 review: 'Rush'd Gallopery – Part of Ron Turner'
Yet another artful 'EMPIRE 639' composition carries us along on a tour of selected Ron Turner panel-enlargements which are dramatic & colourful, but strangely static. I miss the more loving CU+Pan-style of dwelling over these images that i had expected to see in such a production. The stillness of these images makes the music less relevant too. Pity – could have been longer and more >>EX.AM.IN.A.TORY<<! Also might have been a good place to include the last(unfinished)panels of the Dalek Chronicles. (See 'General Reviews' Update for more thoughts about these...)
Prog. 3 review: 'The Interrogation Of A (Pink)Dalek" (by Stuart "The" Palmer)
This is more like it. A typically silly piece with a lovely Pink(yes-you-Are-seeing-things)Dalek – PR & Performance Unit – detailing its Thespic career to Stuart's laconically 'patient' questioning (whilst striving to remain sufficiently "UnProbing" to avoid Etceteration*).
[* a good position for any interviewer to take when interviewing a Xenophobic-KillingUnit with the touchiness of an actor combined with a/n(unproven) record of 'sterminating Extras, Critics or Unruly Audiences! ]
It's nice to know once-and-for-all just Who(sorry) we have to thank for bringing the Dalex back (to you-know-What) in the 80s – albeit with arguable success. The Dalek's later career moves into a) Tv-Production & b) Government explains a great deal about the BBC and UK-governance in the 80s & 90s. Could even explain the (then) Extermination of the(that) Series!
"Death to the Human Scum!" – now There's a Platform that Daleks can vote for!!
Prog. 1 review: "Rouge Planette" (apologies to Stuart)
This one is a bit strange. Rather than use the original setup from the panel-page (1 of only 4 for that story!) Stuart opted to save even that little bit of action for the body of the story. Consequently the pre-titles opening/'teaser' is a drawn-out space-scene with a bunch of meteoric boulders (and unexplained geometric moleculemodel-type lattices!?) tossing uninterestingly about whilst one, somewhat undramatic, glimpse of the 'Red Rogue' passes by into an even longer(but-not-better)drawn bit with smoke-rings!(?). The origin of these things is found in the original art, but not at all in the sequence nor meaning (or loss of it) of the AV-version.
What is not shown during any of this is the ostensibly spectacular formation of the RP and its transformation into the bright, burning menace of the story. A long, narratively empty space-scene should be an opportunity for the animator to indulge in the generation of some scenic and imaginative visuals to make up for the lack of other action/interest. Sadly, not here.
This is the first serious case of Stuart having to resort to 'padding' in order to produce a reasonable length of programme. Which is why it needed to be a Visual Feast instead.
Fortunately, once we cut to the Dalek-Observatory after the titles, the Look of the episode improves dramatically. Daleks do that. But even here we get to see the RP passing through a Star only on the Dalek viewscreen – why no cut to the 'real thing'?!
The later space-views of RP are more impressive – even without the unconscionably-overused "cheap cinematographic effect"* of 'lensflare&optical-refraction'. So how come the Really 'spacey' space-backdrops are reserved for shots of fleets of Dalek-AttackSaucers, huh, huh?!
[* Peter Sellers – 'The Fiendish Plot Of Dr Fu Manchu' ]
Other opportunities to turn art to advantage with this story are missed, such as a dramatic 'in-situ' view of the surface of 'Omega Three' as Skardel approaches – or even their collision could have been taken as opportunities for more complex renders (a good opp. for a spot of RogerDean-type 'Fragile' planetary-bits imagery, perhaps?)
Stuart makes some of his (best and most extensive) "allowable&useful" extra-dialogue inclusions here and significantly extends the Viable Screen-Time of this piece. Indeed, nearly a whole new page's-worth of (appropriate & entertaining) dialogue between Golden Emperor & Black Dalek is added inbetween the end of the Skardel/Omega3*-collision and the RougePlanet/Skaro-approach sequence.
[* nonetheless failing to cure RP of its 'BadCholesterol' condition ]
The wonderful LongShot-view of masses of Daleks filing into the 'Information Chamber' is only spoilt(a-bit) by the farthest ranks of teensy-Dalex falling prey to the pixilation-effect of the scan-rate causing them to jitter seemingly Away-from rather than In-to their destination.
There is a hilarious moment watching the Dalek Emperor practising his speech in his bedroom with its Wallpaper of cardboard-cutout Dalex.
There is a staggering CloseUp of eight (count 'em, 8!) definitely Not "cardboard-cutout" Daleks chanting: >>I..OBEY!<< – like, Where'd he Get them?! The BBC only had half-a-dozen at it's best!!
Stuart has more fun with shadows-over & reflections-within shapes&surfaces, particularly when the Emperor speaks with Black Dalek in 'the hallway'.
Now surely a "Mag-Ray" is not a 'Mag-Bolt'? So why are 'energy-packets' used to show the ships firing magnetic-charge into asteroids, bombarding them with little bright-blue balls (for that ExtraWhite/Pure/Dalek-Clean) instead of properly "coruscating beams of raw 'electronomagnetotronic' force"!? (Bah!) The less said about the MagnetoGravitic-choreography of Skardel & the Asteroids* (in either version) the better, I suppose.
[* now performing in a Pub near Skaro ]
All-in-all, this one counts as both the nadir of Stuart's willingness to really go-for the 'astro-animation' here, and as the pinnacle of his successful script/dialogue-expansion technique. As usual it's the Daleks themselves (and their gonzo equipment designs) that hold the interest – although a plethora of cute ViewScreen-moments* adds a lot of pleasure too.
[* i wonder how he gets the BackProjection so accurate?! ]
[The new krool RetroRobot 'Gets Tough'; Turns Mean; 'Does it Hard'; Points-the-Protuberance; Puts the Boot-On; Sticks the Knife-In and Twists, Shimmies & Rocks-Around-the-Clock for some Cred.]