Thursday 12 November 2020

The Archive of Islos / DALEKS!

The first episode of the new Daleks animated series has debuted on the official Doctor Who YouTube channel. It runs to just over 13 minutes and will comprise five episodes. It is all part of the "Time Lord Victorious" multi-platform series, and as it is free to watch it will be the only thing from TLV that I'll be bothering to look at here.
I haven't read or listened to any of the TLV content, apart from the DWM comic strip, but didn't feel I was missing anything watching this. All you need to know is that this is some point in history when the Daleks are powerful, and some of them have personalities based on their jobs. The main three we see here are the Emperor (as seen above), the Strategist (who looks like one of the original 1963 versions), and the Executioner (a bit of a pointless title for a Dalek). The Emperor sounds like Christopher Lee as Saruman, and the Strategist sounds like Wormtongue. The Executioner just sounds like he enjoys his work. They are all voiced by Nick Briggs, naturally enough as he has the ring modulator and won't let anyone else play with it.
The basic plot is that the Daleks have attacked a planet in order to seize a vast archive, presided over by some robotic creatures. Rather than just invade, they have to make things complicated for themselves by analysing everything - thanks to the Strategist. When they finally do land to take over, they find they have trundled into a trap.
The whole thing basically feels like one of those TV Century 21 comics of the mid 1960's. The Emperor is clearly based on the one from those strips, but doesn't look anywhere near as good.
The animation is... variable. The Daleks themselves look great, as it's helluva difficult not to animate a mechanical object effectively. The robotic Archivists are also okay, for the same reason. Daleks and their spaceships in space also okay. The problems lie with the humanoid figures, seen briefly at the start, and with some of the effects. The fire / explosion effects in particular are pathetic.
To be honest, even though it only runs to less than a quarter of an hour, I grew somewhat bored with this. Giving Daleks a bit of personality just isn't enough to make them, wall to wall, interesting. It needs a human element (which, I believe, it isn't going to get).
All in all, a bit of a vanity project for Briggs. I will continue watching - but mainly because it is free and doesn't last very long.
PS - those Dalek comic strips have just been re-released in a glossy mag from DWM today (£9.99). I love to revisit them (having the older compilation) - something I don't think you could say about this animated series.

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