Image Credit: BBC (Fair Use)
Image Description: The Daleks! promo image
By John Salway
Name: Daleks! Episode 1: The Archive of Islos
Current TLV investment: £122.89
Right then, cards on the table. This is the part of Time Lord Victorious that I’ve been looking forward to the most. An animated series based on the Daleks without that pesky Doctor around to interfere just sounds like a heap of fun to me; a chance to revel in scheming and destruction and to embrace a bit of cathartic chaos. Also, being a free YouTube series, it’s absolutely guaranteed to be value for money!
As soon as the first trailers for this were deployed, the airwaves have been filled with complaints about the animation – that it looks too simplistic and like an aging computer game. Well, not forgetting that this particular series is entirely free, I would further advise anyone who wishes to criticise the artistic content too harshly to take a good long look at previous original Doctor Who animation projects such as Neverland and The Infinite Quest before judging where this stacks up. Personally, I think it comes off quite well, with the simple textures and models made up for with smooth movement and fabulously shiny Daleks.
This first episode sees the Daleks lay siege to the priceless Archive of Islos, where robotic guardians do their best to defend the information. The face-off between the two forces leads to some great comedy dialogue, that bring to mind the great Dalek/Cyberman confrontation of 2006:
“You are defenceless!”
“We have a very large door!”
The Daleks themselves each have their own personality, with Nicholas Briggs doing an exceptional job voicing all of the unholy trinity of the Emperor, Strategist and Executioner while conveying their differences. The Emperor is booming and at times, even seductive; the Strategist is a wizened old vizier; while the Executioner is chomping at the bit to get to the killing. I look forward to hearing more of his vocal work in upcoming audio dramas. In contrast, The Archivists of Islos are bland, but they get the job done, and it’s clear that the Daleks are the stars here.
The cliffhanger ending finally places the Daleks on the back foot and opens the story far beyond what was suggested in the series trailers. I’ve got my fingers crossed that they’ll face some real challenges ahead, and am really looking forward to seeing what awaits for our favourite fascists!