Welcome to Altered Vistas
    Shadow of Humanity (AV19)

What happens when a Dalek rediscovers the beauty of the natural world? The Emperor, Red Dalek and Black Dalek are about to find out as a new and terrible sickness sweeps through the Dalek city on Skaro...

Altered Vistas production of this story was released in 2009.

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

    Shadow of Humanity: Gallery
The Emperor tries to get to sleep by counting Daleks. 1 Dalek 2 Dalek 3 Dalek... zzzz...The Emperor's rally
Dalek Clearing MachineThe Emperor's address
Skaro's one and only disco was not the hit that Dalek Mup had hoped it would beOne of these Daleks is not like the others...
Daleks and flowers. Not your usual combination...One wrecked clearing machine. Could be costly to salvage that one.
Interrogation of the DaleksGuess the rogue Dalek.
One of the Daleks is... a horticulturalist!!!The Three Who Rule
'Do not touch my lovely begonias or you will be exterminated!'Horticulture of the Daleks!
Black Dalek. No green fingers.Red Dalek admires the Emperor's sexy new purple decor
    Shadow of Humanity: Reviews

Trevor Sproston writes:

When I read other reviews of Altered Vistas productions, I feel that mine are always very short. I wouldn’t want the production team to feel that this in any way reflects a concomitant paucity of opinion. So here goes.

Shadow of Humanity has to be one of the best, if not the best, production so far. The epic scale of the opening sequence sets the standard very successfully, which the rest of the production maintains. The setting for the story is very well presented, with external shots being the most sophisticated in their rendering that I have seen so far. Stuart has taken the original story, and expanded it with some excellent dialogue and episodes, permitting us to perceive the Daleks as complex creatures, potentially at war with their humanoid inheritance. The additions to the original story are sensitively done, and reveal more of what I believe David Whitaker was aiming at in The Evil of the Daleks. The Emperor is also allowed to dream, a highly effective dramatic device, which is handled with considerable accomplishment. There may be some who consider this to be out of place in Dalek tales, but this is very well done, and further enlightens us regarding Dalek psychology. I was genuinely entranced by this sequence.

Stuart and the team seem to achieve the impossible, by making each new release better than the last, and they started from a high point anyway.

Extras are the second part of the Give-a Show feature, nicely presented as a film strip with little jumps to add to the period feel; the Cardiff 2008 exhibition with RTD in attendance, and a trailer for the next feature, The Emissaries of Jevo.

There. I wish my powers as a reviewer were greater, but I don’t want to encourage complacency.

Guy Newmountain writes:

Stuart, have just watched Shadow of Humanity, and I have to hand it to you and your team, this has to be your most accomplished production to date; getting you right back to what you do best - DALEKS! I simply could not fault this episode: it had it all, from the stunning background sunsets to the superb 'red lab' shots and purple interior of the Emperor's chamber; the Yarvelling self-referencing (reminiscent of the TV show itself); and a magnificent dream sequence - at least I think that's what it was! - above all it had terrific drama with the Dalek race being threatened from within...

Can't believe you are just two steps away from completing your masterpiece - celebrations must be in sight!

John Chapman writes:

Well, I’ve just spent an excellent hour watching Shadow of Humanity. What can I say? These productions just get better and better. Well done, Stuart. I watched this on the same weekend as the new series special Planet of the Dead and found myself enjoying the Daleks more.

I really enjoyed this bizarre little story. The opening slow crane shot really set the scene and looked wonderful. The surreal picture of “beautiful Daleks” will stay with me for some time! And as for the Emperor’s dream sequence – very, very strange – but very well done. (bright green Daleks, my new favourite!)

Great extras too. A welcome update on the Cardiff exhibition (with special guest) and the Give-A-Show slides which I’ve never seen before – good stuff. I can’t wait for Episode Fifteen.

The only down side is that the Dalek Chronicles is nearing the end with only two more to go. I’ll miss these periodic productions of Science Fiction’s greatest creations.

Now, If you’ve never seen any of these, do yourself a favour and send off some disks...

Bryan Simcott writes:

Bloody hell! I've noticed over the last couple of releases the quality of the rendering go up to very professional levels. I am constantly amazed at the work you do and the results you achieve, both technically and artistically.

Shadow of Humanity is simply stunning. The whole picture and sound design is amazing and your ‘interpretation’ of what amounts to a few pages of comic into a brilliant cohesive feature length drama, is nothing short of excellent.

And we also get bonus extras too. We are so spoiled with these releases, and I for one will be sorry when they are completed, but look forward to the other ‘projects’ you may undertake.

Roger Smith AKA Black Dalek writes:

What can you say? Stuart has done it again, turning what to me was an uninteresting few pages into a most unusual and by far the most way out story there is.

The Emperor having what I call a nightmare was brilliant and, at one point as I have not read this for years, I thought that maybe the answer in the end would be all in that one nightmare.

You can see where Evil germinates from and, as in The Evil the Daleks the Daleks emerge stronger, knowing what their strengths and weakness are. The Doctor can bring down a government with six words, but a Dalek can bring down the Emperor with four: ‘Why must we obey?’ says it all for me.

Great addition considering what he had to work with - 9/10.

I also enjoyed the extras.

Give-A-Show taken as a whole was fascinating. Now I need to find the Dalek ones I am missing.

Cardiff... well I’ll leave that to others to judge. I just hope you like it.

The preview of Emissaries of Jevo was great. I cannot wait to see it come out. Poor Stuart, he always leaves us wanting more!

Dave Barnes writes:

I thought that after enjoying the fruits of your labours for the last three years, I'd better submit a review to show my appreciation of the dedication and hard work that you put in and give to people like myself.

These Dalek Chronicle productions are fantastic. Some of the first ones, such as Genesis of Evil, did not have the best sound rendition, and lack of character movement tended to mar them slightly. That said, these are only minor criticisms, and can do no damage to the constantly improved quality of all later stories. The Dalek voices are excellent, the animations and sets superb. I commend everyone at Altered Vistas for their hard work and efforts to bringing these old comic stories to life. Beats reading comics any day!

The Curse of the Daleks play, AV16, also made for enjoyable viewing, and again the quality is highly impressive. This brings me to my next point, well, request really. Would you consider doing a full animation of The Daleks’ Master Plan? Just asking!

Steve Herbert writes:

You are cordially invited to Stuart Palmer’s latest psychedelic Dalek Chronicles adventure. In a blaze of colour full of plenty of weirdness, please prepare to lose your mind as you trip the light fantastic.

Day glow green Daleks and Human cutaways are the order of the day.

Please prepare yourselves for beauty, sheer beauty, a phantasmagorical production.

Robert Barclay writes:

I'm getting into a habit now of going back to read each comic strip after seeing your animated version, just to see how much you've added! The amazing thing is that everything you add is in keeping with the original, and enhances it.

The main thing I remembered from the strip was the idea of a Dalek questioning an order and so threatening the existence of the whole race - one of the core themes in the later Evil of the Daleks. I also remembered the surprisingly unsettling sight of Daleks wearing flowers. Strangely, there's nothing comical about this idea - not when you see the extreme lengths a Dalek will go to in order to preserve a flower.

But what you've gone into in more depth is the idea of a Dalek hating its own kind - hardly there in the strip, and something the TV series has only touched on over the last few years. And the Emperor's dream sequence was a pretty nightmarish way of bringing this out. Especially if, as a child, you saw the Disney cartoons showing Dumbo's and Winnie the Pooh's dreams. They were quite disturbing and, whether intentional or not, I think your animated nightmare sequence shows certain similarities!

It's touches like that, as well as your ever increasing technical prowess, that make these adaptations so good to watch. Looking forward to the next one!

Carl writes:

I have recently seen Shadow of Humanity and wanted to congratulate you.

I have seen and enjoyed all the AV films, but this is my favourite so far. Design, music and performance were excellent. I love the original Dalek strips, but the most impressive thing about Shadow is your creativity.

Well done and thank you for all the AV films, they are such wonderful gifts. I hope you get the recognition you deserve. However, perhaps you already have. Not many filmmakers get praise from Alan Moore!

Keith writes:

Having just watched Shadow of Humanity - part fourteen of the Dalek Chronicles - I have to say these just get better and better with each release.

Well done, Stuart - and everyone else involved - for another great rendition of an episode from these classic comic strips. The quality (both visual and sound), again, is of the highest order.

From the very start to the end it had me fixed to the screen. As before, the Daleks look great and so is the plot, where the Emperor Dalek has to find a solution to the potential destruction of the Dalek race that is being threatened from within - a plot line, I feel, that would work well in the TV series.

As before the bonus extras are just as good - especially the one covering the Cardiff exhibition (I won't say why so as not to spoil the surprise).

Hopefully anyone reading this, who has not done so before, will arrange for a copy to be sent to them (all for the price of a CD and return postage). This is truly value for very little outlay.

Credit must also go to the dub sites - without them, all of your hard work would never be appreciated.

Keep up the good work - I can't wait for the next instalment.

Lindsay Blackwood writes:

Just got a copy of AV19 Shadow of Humanity. The quality of these animations just gets better and better, a most enjoyable experience. What a shame this series is nearly finished. However there is always the Dalek annuals from the sixties - HINT HINT!

Retrorobot writes:

Ep.14: Shadow Of Humanity  [24:40]
Give-A-Show – part 2  [6:55]
Cardiff Exhibition 2008  [9:13]
Episode 15 Trailer  [0:35]

4. EpicOde 15 preview:

Seems to be an ad for ‘Triffid-Exterminators’ at first.

Whatever could be worse than Mobile“VegetationPests”?

Ohhh…it’s not the Daleks being threatened here, rather they are the Threat – what a novel twist!

Those humanoids better look out; the Daleks would only >>PREVENT-THE-PLANTS-ACHIEVING-WHAT-WE-ARE-DEDICATED-TO-ACHIEVE<< out of a need to prevent stimulation of Emotions, such as Jealousy – besides they’d do it just to be First (that’s not an emotion, it’s a Need!).

3. ‘Could-If’ DrWho Exhibitionist 08:

An odd thing I’ve realised about these ‘reports’ is that whilst one can imagine how interesting it would be to get a close view of favourite Items-of-Who, the viewer is still watching pictures on a screen (which look much better off “av@home”) and only tantalising glimpses where dwelling would have been nice… is that a function of camera-time or surrepticity?!

At least this one’s a straightforward video-summary of an event shared in the spirit of Fannish desires...

Also cute is an ‘extra’-within-an-Extra (unfortunately of RTD’s egoizing & crap jokes).

[The part of ‘Edi Ting’ was played by Stuart Palmer]

2. Chad Valley GAS Projector:


‘The Feat Of The Daleks’ in which DK3 is distraught and the rest of the Louis Marx scamps scram and scarper off to Skaro (we presume).

And ‘Skewed Reform Of Daleks’ in which the Daleks fail, for the first time, to learn from the vulnerability of their Eyestalks (and not to have fitted a coat-dehooker or hat-doffing attachment).

Shades Of Individuality:

Opens with the Daleks massed for mailcall, chanting: >>MAIL!-MAIL!-MAIL!...<<

The Golden Emperor announces the construction of a new mailroute to the Lake of Amortizations to increase Dalek Economic Expansion and speedier processing of Security Cheques.

Three Dalek Groups (TheDalekBook1964, DalekEmpire & DalekWorld) are selected to fulfil separate tasks according to the Dalek Master Planning Office statutes re compartmentalization of DalekProjectGroups to prevent excessive Abuses-of-Power by inevitably ambitious Groups exceeding their remit and Conquering&Destroying more than, or ahead of, the Golden Emperor who sets the standard Abuses-of-Power levels for all other Daleks.

(There is a sequence of quite lovely multiple-Daleks movements animation during this…)

Group1 is to establish the best route after surveying the hazards to be avoided (indians, highwaymen, robber-barons, corrupt sheriffs, obstreperous Thals, etc). Group2 must provide material support (scalpers, roadlayers, roomclearers, mindproblers, pest-exterminators and rolls of aluminuminium-foil). Group3 are the tidy-uppers & detailers whose job it is to remove all unsightly distractions along the mailroutine such as:  scenery, views, vistas, landscapes and other matters of aesthetic-interest – like: flowers (eg, the ‘SoleVine’ – which, if inhaled with DalekNutrient-Gas, causes vivid delusions of isolation & self-importance;  ‘Deafodills’ – which render Daleks incapable of forming successful plots whilst refusing to listen to the slightest criticism, a standard component of NutrientGas obviously;  & ‘Roses’ – which they previously ignored, quite liking their thorniness, until Season 1 of TNS after which Daleks refuse to touch them and avoid like a cure for the plague) cute animals (eg, ‘Treehuggers’, ‘Dropbears’ & ‘Roadhogs’), Thal tourists, alien environmentalists and anyone working for the Pants Press.

The process hits a snag when a lone Dalek in response to the massed affirmation of Dalek Supremacy plaintively pipes up with “I’m not”.  The Golden Emperor whirls around in his self-propelled Lectern and demands to know “who said that!?”  The Dalek responsible, suffering a crisis of non-individuality, cannot answer without standing out from the crowd, but is hemmed in and unable to move.

A ClassMonitorDalek rushes to the front and, positively Red with pride & eagerness-to-toady, admonishes the class not to defy the HeadMaster.  When the culprit fails to own up, the GoldenHeadMaster sends the entire Form3 to the detentionroom for exams and gives the rest of school a halfday-holiday for being obedient swots.

In Detention the suspect Daleks are made to stand in front of a pair of ‘embarrassment-red’ mickeymouse-ears [Dalek equivalent of a DunceCap (a good comic-visual opportunity deftly avoided by Stuart onscreen but not, alas, in my head!)] and recite the Mouse-kit-ears Club motto:  “Walt Disney is a Faker, Terry Nation is a Champ, if Davros is our Maker – I’m a spotty little Scamp!”

While the candidates are being Invigilated, GoldenHeadMaster & RedClassMonitor glide aside to engage in scholarly discourse (in which we get an excellent explanatory speech by the Emperor – extending on Whitaker’s original text, Stuart turns this story into one of the most in-depth scriptings of the Dalek p.o.v.).

GoldenHM tasks the Science Unit to discover the Rogue Element in the hope that it will help disclose a Stable Element (sound familiar?).  He orders that the suspect Group be “watched carefully” – a radical departure from the Daleks’ usual standard of ‘watching clumsily’.

We get a rare glimpse of a Dalek upon hoist ready for a lube-job (a spot of “splat&trickle”) as GHM & RCM rummage through the student lockers in search of incriminating evidence and illicit mushroom-juice.  Apon entering the commonroom (which has a tastefully minimalist enlarged DalekIDsigil as wall-décor) they discover to their shock, horror & consternation that what should have been a small Class Project on the extermination of Mobile-VegetatianPests has been turned into a fullscale Flower-Power Research Centre (a job for the Dalek Master Planning Office, I think).

GHM visits the DalekHistory-Professor for a spot of backstory (very nicely done this bit, one of Stuart’s many clever ‘fillers’ that brilliantly Extend the Story rather than being mere ‘padding’) which turns into a lovely exposition of Dalek Philosophical Enquiry (another brilliant Stuart Padder moment).  GHM then swings by the PhilosophyDepartment to see if they have any Historical Views, but, being Disciplinarians, they refuse to speak outside of their Expertise.  Being predictable, this part was cut out of the original story and is inserted here as a DalekVerbalDescriptive ‘extra’.

Meanwhile, the contaminated covert ResearchStudent-Dalek has been transformed by Flower-Power into a Plant-Liberationist and has taken to lurking in beauty-spots (such as bogs & swamps) to protect them from Stable Elements amongst the Daleks – ie, the other 99.9%. Unfortunately its tendency to myopically follow Dalek-tracks in search of ‘The Despoilers’ causes him to erase the entire local environment following his own trail.

His dome spinning from History, Philosophy, Science & Authoritarianizm lessons, GHM ducks into the unoccupied Gym for a quick nap (Power, of course) during which he experiences disturbing dreams (brilliantly composited by Stuart) of a SkarossianDoll nature.

RedClassMonitor catches GHM with his guard up and who, hurriedly tucking in his shirt, insists that he wasn’t doing anything sweaty & perverse in the corner – or at least nothing of the kind that wouldn’t normally happen in GymClass under proper supervision by the appropriate sadistic pervert in charge.

Meanwhile, the Plant-lib Dalek has formed a GardeningClub in direct contravention of the Dalek-DressCode and is provoking an internecine conflict with the CrushedFlowerCollectors (CFCs) who are accused of damaging the Nozone Layer.  Chanting: >>GUILTY!-GUILTY!-GUILTY!...<< the Dalek plant-lovers press forward against the CFCs to oppress their pressings.

GHM & RCM confer with the blackly-colourful DalekHeadBoy on a means to resolve the conflict – preferably to the disadvantage of both parties.  (Daleks hate parties.)

However, the plant-crazed FlowerPower-Dalek has taken over the campus and issues new slogans for his Arboreal Troops.  His insanity, however, is made clear by his incomprehensibly claiming that Daleks are UGLY(!) whilst singing: >>I-FEEL-PRETTY – OH-SO-PRETTY – AND-WITTY – AND-BRIIIGHT!<< , then goes further into unconscionable madness by stating impossibly that Daleks are MONSTERS!(?).


GHM, RCM & DHB lock themselves in the HM’s study to wait out the revolting Daleks (tho’ they wouldn’t’ve put it that way themselves of course).  Immediately ignoring his own instructions (Emperor’s Privilege I spose) GoldenHeadMaster goes out and confronts FlowerPowerDalek who is getting carried away with unaccustomed individuality and now claims to be the most beautiful Dalek of all – which flies in the face of the HeadMaster’s pointing-out how beautiful his own Golden PartyBossesUniform is.

Unfortunately for FPD his stamen is short, his FlowerPower wilting and before he can point his pistil in other-offense he is cut down by a swathe of neutralizer-fire from GHM’s cadre of Prefects. He has been granted his cry for Freedom (Destruction – the only freedom a Dalek can know) at last (sniff).

GHM gives a rousing speech to the school assembly: >>INDIVIDUALITY-IS-FOR-HUMAN-BEINGS – DESTROY-HUMAN-BEINGS!<<.  The entire school repeats this inhumantra (in rote regurgitative recitation) adding: >>THAT-IS-A-DALEK-ORDER<< - but somewhere within this Dalekacophony can be heard: >>THAT-IS-A-DARK-CORRIDOR<<…

Despite apparently not much actually happening in this very short (only 4 pages) story originally, Stuart’s many masterful additions have made it a visually-impressive extended introspective-meditation* on Whitaker’s script - and to make something that lives a collective-whilst-individually-imprisoned existence “introspective” is quite an achievement!