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    Rogue Planet (AV10)
Rogue Planet

With war between the Daleks and the Mechanoids looking ever more likely, the Daleks encounter a new threat to their safety as a rogue planet is formed deep in space. The new world, which the Daleks christen Skardel is soon heading straight for Skaro, and it seems that nothing can stop it. If it strikes, then all life on Skaro will be obliterated, but can the Emperor devise a plan to turn this situation to his advantage?

Our version of this story was released in 2007.

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

    Rogue Planet: Gallery
Fleet Away!Fleet Ahoy!
Emperor on the vidphone.To be or not to be?
Thursday was bingo night on Skaro. Daleks love their bingo.
The Emperor's Chamber
The Emperor and his matesThe Astrodome
Something fishy's going on on Omega 3Three cheers for AstroDalek
AstroDalek's chumsThe Emperor's address: 1, Emperor House, Skaro, Hyperspace
Dalek's new sat nav was slightly intimidating...Dalek Disco in full swing
Blue Dalek conventionSkardal
    Rogue Planet: Reviews

Roger Smith AKA Black Dalek writes:

Stuart does it again, proving just how versatile he is. This time we have four items to wow at.

1 Main Feature : Rogue Planet
2 Tribute : Art of Ron Turner
3 Interview : With a Dalek
4 Preview : Impasse

Right, main feature: Rogue Planet.

A very creepy opening showing how the Rogue Planet was created, then bang into the opening credits I have come to love.

A new Emperor and more Daleks than you can count and there is a danger they can do little about. The Black Dalek gives the logical answer, but the Emperor says no, Daleks do not run. Helped by the AstroDalek, the Emperor comes up with the answer that not only saves them, but also aids them in their war effort.

First signs of the colour of a Dalek denoting its function, as Red Daleks are all saucer commanders and it is an impressive fleet that they deploy.

Not one of the most dramatic stories. No battles or exterminations, but still well done 8/10

2/ Rogue’s Gallery: The Art of Ron Tuner.

Gives you a good insight in to what Stuart had to work with if you do not have a copy of Rogue Planet. Nicely done.

3/ Interview with a Dalek.

Maybe because Stuart bought this out on the 1st of April, I found it very good. But I won’t spoil it, so you’ll have to find out for yourself.

4/ Impasse Trailer.

Does what it says on the tin, nice idea.

Over all, a great addition to The Dalek Chronicles.

Steve Norris writes:

I just had to write and tell you that Rogue Planet was absolutely fantastic. I've just watched it and I stayed glued right till the end.

That opening sequence was quite something, and I enjoyed every single minute of it! The Dalek interview was hilarious - well timed. I liked the Art of Rogue Planet, but any chance of a before and after shot sequence in future releases - from comic to screen as it were?

John Anderson writes:

My son received a copy of the above CD yesterday (via Steve).

Once again you have excelled yourself in the production values and quality of the work. The rendition of the strip artwork (particularly the Dalek cruisers - superb!) was as always faithful to the comic that I spent my pocket money on those many years ago.

The graphics were smooth and precise and the concept of the Dalek briefing room was jaw dropping in its execution.

The following item on the artwork only reinforced how high the production standards were.

As for the interview with the Dalek - can he have his own series?

Congratulations of another superb production. And many thanks for the enjoyment that you have given my son with all your work.

Robert Barclay writes:

The wait for Rogue Planet was well worth it. I've really grown to look forward to each new release, and this was another great instalment of the Dalek Chronicles.

Everything was up to the high standards you've set, but I think the music in this episode is worth a special mention. Very effective, and "Skardal's Theme" is right up there with the best efforts of Dudley Simpson, Murray Gold and Richard Wagner in terms of instantly recognisable motifs. (OK, Wagner didn't do much incidental music for Doctor Who, but I'm sure the Daleks would have appealed to him.)

Since I've started dabbling in CGI myself (Daleks, of course), I can appreciate even more the skill and patience that goes into these productions. But aside from the technical skills, it's the thought that goes into good story telling that makes these productions so good. I certainly prefer them to certain Doctor Who spinoffs that are done on rather larger budgets...

Can't wait for the next instalment.

Alan MacKenzie writes:

I have just enjoyed my first viewing of Rogue Planet, kindly copied for me by Steve Swales.

I have to say, your productions get better every time! The special effects in this latest really were excellent, very exciting indeed and good to see so many Daleks in operation. The extra scenes (e.g. the discussion between the Emperor and Black Dalek and more coverage of the observatory) provided more depth to the story than the original comic strip and fitted in beautifully. The Dalek fleet was magnificent - the new style ships very effective. All in all, a visually spectacular and most enjoyable episode. I am much looking forward to Impasse when it is produced.

Regarding the other items, the extracts of original artwork were interesting - I had my copy of the collected Dalek Chronicles open at the time to help place them all in context. Dare I say it but I never particularly cared for Ron Turner's interpretation of the Dalek form. It became more extreme as the Chronicles progressed and ended up looking like a surrealist painter's idea of how a Dalek should appear. I feel you have been very wise in avoiding the temptation to go down this path and the AARU-pattern casings are magnificent. (I always preferred the  movie-style Daleks to the TV versions as a child and of course, used a variant of this in my own Dalek tales, Redemption and Quest, where the "New Daleks" are a cross between the AARU design and the Imperial class as seen in Remembrance).

The Dalek Interview sketch was brilliant and had me rolling about with laughter - maybe you should submit it for a "Red Nose" Day item. It reminded me of occasions in the 1960s when Daleks sometimes were used as extras in non-Who related programmes and usually were very funny.

Anyway, thanks again for another excellent effort.

Tom Tyrrell writes:

Rogue Planet is not the greatest of stories in the Dalek Chronicles. Whereas Eve of the War and The Archives Of Phryne were genuine stand alone adventures, Rogue Planet feels incomplete, like it’s waiting for Impasse to finish it off. The story is also a bit dull, with nothing much by the way of subplot or mystery – the planet Skardel is headed for Skaro, and the Daleks must divert it before it hits.

Still, it’s one of those stories “Written, Directed and Everythinged by Stuart Palmer” (I loved that bit) and what the story lacks in plot, Stuart more than makes up for in spectacle. The shots of Skardel hurtling through space surrounded by a ball of flame are spectacular, particularly in the opening sequence where it hurtles towards the camera, blotting out the stars as it approaches. Keep an eye out, and you might just spot a cheeky nod back to The Amaryll Challenge.

Other great sequences include the Dalek spacecraft swooping through space, the slow yet spectacular sequence of Daleks entering the council chambers and the truly awe inspiring sequence where Skardel rips through the heart of the sun and out the other side!

Oh, and the music is as great now as it was the first time I listened to it on the Mutant album and wondered what this future production might be like!

There’s only one thing I dislike about this production, and that’s the tacked on “Five Months Later…” subtitles, which really go a long way towards removing the immediacy of the story. It really undermines the threat of Skardel if it takes the Emperor Dalek an entire day to remember to tell the Black Dalek that Skaro is in peril.

Rogue’s Gallery is an entertaining trawl through Ron Turners artwork with some nice music tacked on. An Interview with a Dalek is perhaps a little obvious in parts, but I did like the Dalek being cast as the lead Sensorite! Not quite up to Oh Mummy! standards, but there’s a laugh here and there.

The Impasse trailer is in much the same style as the Eve of the War trailer that came with Menace of the Monstrons – lots of tantalising glimpses of Robot 2K, and absolutely no real footage whatsoever! Still, it’s wonderful to think that even when the third (and best) series of Doctor Who finally winds to a close, there’ll be a little something to brighten up my day…

Richard Dadd writes:

What a fantastic disc. It's been a while since I've watched a Dalek Chronicle, and I must say seeing this has reminded me why these releases are so brill. The opening scene looks amazing (you'd think that stuff floating through space would be dull, but in fact it looks great).

The music and sound design is top notch as usual, and I do love these Dalek-only adventures. I have a curious fascination with watching life on Skaro as it unfolds without visitors or expeditions elsewhere. I gather the scene with hundreds of Daleks going for a meeting took ages to render - well it was entirely worth it in the end. It is yet another example of sheer scale that the Dalek Chronicles has excelled at time and again. The same can be said of the Dalek fleet, which is impressive, and a faithful animation of Ron Turner's original art.

Talking of Ron Turner, just as his artwork is so atmospheric and gorgeous (his use of light and colour in the comics is effective beyond   comparison), so Stuart's animation is also visually impressive. And we get to see a slide show of Turner's brilliant artwork as a special feature. I loved this. Every element: the music, the choice of artwork, the speed. Excellent. I also loved Interview With A Dalek, which was of an extremely high standard. I mean, it was genuinely funny. Many of the lines made me laugh out loud ("those Mechonoids were bloody massive!") and the comic timing was spot on. Just as well really as Stuart plays both roles!

All in all I can't praise this enough. Rogue Planet, despite having a slight storyline, is yet another extremely impressive release from Altered Vistas.

Jonathan Dabinett writes:

A whole planet is adrift in space. It enters the Daleks’ rangerscopes and they discover it is heading straight towards Skaro.

This episode has an intriguing look into the way the Daleks think and rule; their paranoia of other races is very apparent and therefore they continually want to appear to be strong to discourage any thoughts of rebellion from conquered worlds or invasion from other races. This strongly influences the Daleks’ decision to make evacuation of Skaro impossible, as that would be perceived as a sign of weakness. Once the obvious solution is ruled out the Daleks must use their intelligence to think around the problem.

Stuart has yet again done a fantastic job on this episode, the Dalek movement and voices are spot on, the spaceships are very cool, but best of all is the rogue planet itself, with the organ music playing in the background indicating the impending doom as the planet smashes through everything in its path whilst on its deadly way to Skaro.

Very cool episode, thank you, great fun to watch.

RetroRobot writes:

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.]