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    The Road to Conflict Reviews

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Last update: 5 March 2011

 Guy Newmountain writes:

Stuart, I have just received from Colin Gunn the final chapter of the Dalek Chronicles, The Road to Conflict... and I have got to thank and congratulate you on such a major milestone of which you should be incredibly proud. To have these classic comic-strips brought to life must have been the dream of many a Dr Who fan and to have completed every instalment to such a consistently excellent standard is doubly praiseworthy. Merely to see through such a massive undertaking alone is impressive, as many are such epic projects begun with the best of intentions, only to flounder when the enormity of the task becomes apparent. I do confess that when the separate adaptations began releasing only some way through the Chronicles, I wondered if it was a sign your interest in the task was waning - all credit to you for proving that suspicion wrong - what a weight off your chest it must be to have finally delivered!

These particular Daleks are the most realistic ever. The blue-toned shots were particularly impressive as were the silver ranks in the lecture theatre, I loved the Dalek-shaped 'wipe' you used (in perfect keeping with the comic-strip genre - you must have had fun with that) and particularly the closing shot of the menacing familiar silhouette curving around the Earth said it all and was a wonderful way both to conclude the story and convey the continuing menace! Awesome is all I can say...

Several other ingenious features on this latest release were worth commenting on as well; you definitely made the right decision to retain the title sequence
throughout to give a coherence to the total work - and good of you to give a 'nod' to the reviewers at the end! :o) The Invasion Earth feature was excellent, but in particular the Return of the Elders segment - I am glad you did cover that before someone else tried - having done all the original strips, no-one else should try and take the credit for getting there first. Your summary was done in such a succinct way that there really is no need now for an adaptation - it was always a post '60s add-on anyway... Finally I loved the tongue-in-cheek Sixteen Things jab at the whole thing in the style of a vintage public information film - what a fantastic light-hearted way to finish.

Congratulations Stuart on a final chapter that absolutely delivers in every respect - I agree, you deserve a three-year holiday, but I shall certainly continue checking into the website every now and then to see what other great stuff you are creating.

 David Backhouse writes:

Well. It's over and I'm lost for words.

Not because my name is on the end credits, but because it's the last one :(

Thanks for a GREAT ride these last five years. I loved the Chronicles when they were printed by Doctor Who Magazine and to see them brought to life has been a joy - You just can't get enough Daleks, and I hope you don't think you're taking a holiday now, I'm sure there's plenty more you can be getting on with... ;-) LOL.

 Trevor Sproston writes:

At last the saga closes. For those of us who have religiously acquired all of AV’s offerings, it would be superfluous to repeat all of the superlatives that have been lavished on the productions so far. This final offering closes a cycle of work which has grown and developed before our eyes. Each episode has become more confident and cinematic than its predecessor, and this last production is a fitting finale.

The story itself is short, and in its original form betrays its Boy’s Own Paper influences, with skin of the teeth hair’s breadth escapes, but Stuart has added in sequences that fill out the narrative very nicely. The forced landing sequence is very effective, with the clouds of condensation on the nose of the Starmaker looking very convincing. The Dalek Control Room is nicely realised, and he has a little touch of humour with the one Dalek who just makes it out of the door. I always liked Ron Turner’s frame showing the hydroponic food houses, and the atmosphere of this picture has been well represented.

Stuart has successfully rendered all of Ron Turner’s frames, and it’s a fitting tribute to his work.

The extra version of the episode with the written and spoken commentaries was very informative, and answered all of the questions I’d formulated on watching the first version.

Stuart continues the disc with might have beens regarding the actual Dalek invasion of Earth, using material from the Dalek Book.  Again, he shows us what could be achieved were he to choose to realise these stories too. The rendering of the organic ships in the Return of the Elders sequence is excellent, and better than the original.

A final touch is a Dalek public information film, on what he’s learned during the making of the sixteen episodes.

I’ve enjoyed this series so much, and I must thank everyone, Stuart in particular, who has shown the devotion and determination to see it through.

I do hope we see some more some time.

Many thanks.

 Garry Carmody writes:

I’m totally blown away with The Dalek Chronicles.

I’ve just received and watched the final one The Road to Conflict - amazing!!!

I can’t thank enough all the people who have put a massive effort into putting all these stories together. It’s a dream come true, having owned the Dalek Chronicles magazine all these years... and finally to see all the stories come to life in animation... fantastic...

Wouldn’t it be fantastic to see The Power of the Daleks animated... Personal favourite of mine...

Thanks, Altered Vistas, for a great job.

 Roger Smith AKA Black Dalek writes:

It was with excitement, along with trepidation and sadness, that I reach under the Christmas tree to get my last present. The sadness was not because it was my last present. No, it was because I knew what it was and what it represented.

It was from Stuart, his twenty-fourth production.

There was the excitement of a new production, but then comes the trepidation and sadness as I know it is also the sixteenth and last Dalek Chronicle. Our journey which started over five years ago has come to an end. Not Stuart's wonderful productions, he has assured me, but our journey with the Daleks in all their glory. Never again do they take centre stage when we do not know if they win or are defeated. Once part of the main Doctor Who comic strip run, they can never be allowed to win.

OK. Deep breath... Here we go.

The Road to Conflict

Action from the start. I love the pan down the side of the ship, very smooth. BOOM! I am going to miss the opening titles. I love the theme tune.

The Emperor looks FANTASTIC, the humans just get better and better and, combined with the lip sync, are just marvellous. There is even a Six O'clock shadow on one of the crew.

Jenny features remind me a little of Zoe, no complaints there.

The Dalek city is just FANTASTIC as are the Daleks. As always each time there are few little differences.

It’s well paced, and Tom is a one boy army. I love the dive by Captain Fleet under the closing door. As for the massacre, really well done.

I love the closing sequence - all them Daleks. As this is the last one, the more Daleks the better is what I say, and as for the Dalek shadow going across the Earth, wonderful stuff.

But most unexpected was the end credits Roll of Honour, I was not expecting to see my name there so Thank You.

The Road to Conflict with commentary

I do not often play commentaries but I must admit I quite enjoyed this.

Invasion Earth

What can you say... FANTASTIC! LOVE THE IDEA.

Sixteen Things the Dalek Chronicles Taught Me About Life

Very good, very funny, why they (2|Entertain) do not use you for the Easter eggs I never know.

And that’s all folks.

I’d like to offer my heartiest congratulation to Stuart and all who have contributed to these wonderful productions.

Whenever I am asked at work, for something for their children/grandchildren who are now in to Doctor Who, I always recommend Altered Vistas Dalek Chronicles, never had a complaint yet.

So once again THANK YOU ONE AND ALL.

 David Barnes writes:

I received my copy of AV24, The Road to Conflict, recently and watched it straight away.

This is a fantastic piece of work, and a nice rounding up of the series. The animations are constantly refined, with the Daleks looking as good as ever. The new voices reminded me of the ones used in Destiny of the Daleks. In this story the Daleks discover the existence of Earth, and in characteristic fashion plan on conquest.

The additional features include an explanation of the work and animations, the Dalek invasion of Earth, the film and in comic strips, and lessons in life from all the Chronicles series. A very nice package.

My one and only complaint is, this is the last of the Chronicles, and there’s no more to come. But all good things must come to an end, and accordingly I thank Stuart Palmer and the Altered Vistas team once again for their hard work and dedication.

 Keith Johnson writes:

It had to happen - you had to issue the final Dalek Chronicles...

A very sad event but one that had to happen eventually.

As before, Colin Gunn provided a really great service in sending back my CD. Which I was really grateful for (even though I had mixed feelings) as the main menu loaded and The Road to Conflict started to play.

I have to say that the storyline itself was not much different to some of the other releases (but this is not AV's fault). What though is noticeable is that the synchronisation of the voices and the movements of the ‘humans’ has really improved – as has the level of detail. It is obvious that you have put a lot of effort, time and care into making this story.

The ending was brilliant - what a cliff-hanger. But what a shame there was no following story(s). But again AV has provided some great extras and Invasion Earth provide a really good continuation as to what happened next for the Daleks.

As to the overall release, I really enjoyed the 'Commentary' version mimicking the Doctor Who DVD releases. I did though have to watch this story three times - the first with just the story so that I could enjoy it as intended with nothing to distract from another great story. Then with just listening to the audio commentary (which gave a great insight into how they are made) and then again with the sound down so I could read the on-screen text without any distractions.

The best extra though is Sixteen Things The Dalek Chronicles Taught Me About Life - very amusing and very cleverly put together.

The biggest surprise with this release (and a very nice gesture) was to see that you had included the names of all those who had contributed to the Dalek Chronicles over the years - me included. So I thank you for that very unexpected surprise - especially as my contribution (I provided the Doctor Who Is Gonna Fix It extra to AV18 - Legacy of Yesteryear) is tiny compared to others.

I hope the end of the Dalek Chronicles does not mean the complete end to the AV releases. Yes you have earned a well deserved rest. But I hope that you continue to create these great releases that have brought the Doctor Who comic strips to life.

All the best and thanks again for all your hard work.

 Robert Barclay writes:

As always, thanks first to Colin Gunn for fast and trouble-free turnaround!


What an achievement! Can't say how pleased I am that you saw it through to the end, and we can now enjoy the complete Dalek Chronicles in animated form.

I can only echo what the other reviewers have said - ever-improving technical standards (especially human movement, but also lovely shiny textures on the Daleks), plus the same attention to turning sometimes variable original material into involving stories, but without losing the original charm.

The extras are quite something too. I don't normally bother with commentary tracks, but I'm glad I tried this one - really interesting insights into the process of bringing these strips to life. And the Dalek Invasion feature was great! I loved the shots near the end, especially the infamous ‘Nazi salutes’ in front of the Albert Memorial. What would the makers of the original 1964 serial have thought, if they realised that scene would be brought back to life forty-five years later?

Finally, though I can well imagine you've seen enough Daleks to last you a lifetime, I'll be first in line if you ever decide to rework some of the earlier Chronicles. And of course any further contributions to animating Dalek stories missing from the Doctor Who archives would just be a wee slice of heaven...

 Jonathon Leigh writes:

I have just finished watching Emissaries of Jevo and The Road to Conflict, and you certainly have saved the best till last!

The animation of the humanoids is perfected here in these two stories and the lip synch is superb! It is just sad to know that the Dalek Chronicles are now completed!! All the bonus add-ons at the end are interesting and amusing, and I have enjoyed the entire series, you all must work very hard and be quite dedicated.

Here's hoping you can carry on into the future with new projects, and especially hoping you can animate the lost episodes of Power of the Daleks: you are all good enough and the BBC aren't getting on with it!

All the best for the future.

 Jonathan Dabinett writes:

Thanks Stuart - this final Dalek Chronicle and all of the extras are well cool. Your animation just keeps getting better which is a reason in itself to look forward to the next project you take on, just to see what new challenge you put to yourself.

The Daleks look fantastic from start to finish, the humans look, move and are lip synced so well and that bit where Captain Fleet slides under the closing door is inspired. I always love all the spaceships, they are just so cool. I know from the commentary episode that the fog, spaceship vapour trails and explosions took a lot longer to render but it looks so much better for it.

The voice actors have done fabulously. Bryan McCormack did a wonderful job with Captain Fleet's voice and Roger M. Dilley's Daleks were brilliant. I thank you all at Altered Vistas for this production. A superb accomplishment.