I pretty much gave up on Timelord Victorious before it began, a complete mess of cross media what even is this and why would I want it.
However, they had me at an animated Dalek story, starring the Daleks. As a kid (and a grown up, I reread them often), I was fascinated by the sixties Dalek comics. Alongside Dan Dare and later 2000ad, some of the most formative stuff for me.
On the way back from the shops I’d often lose myself in imagining a cartoon version, Daleks fighting Mechanoids, the kind of “who would win in a fight?” stuff kids are prone to do. You know, one Dalek on a transolar disc versus sixteen Mechanoids on a planet populated by killer plants. The normal stuff.
Daleks! is so very nearly that. It is absurdly low budget and has a faint air of 2000’s fan film but that’s okay. I mean, I would do murders for this sort of thing with a Netflix budget but hey, since when has that ever been Doctor Who? It’s a show all about doing lots with not much money. And this is the closest anything has gotten to making those daydreams of long ago real.
The mismatch of art styles, the Official Indie Game Style Low Poly Explosions, the videogame circa 2004 cut scene vibe and lack of any coherent pacing is all part of the fun. Sitting down and watching the first two parts with the youngest, giggling at them deciding which Dalek is best Dalek, cheering at the battles and so on, that’s what it’s about.
It would be very easy for me to be down on it for the production and initially, I kinda was. I’d missed the point though. None of that matters. All that matters is it works as the closest thing to the Dalek stories that existed only in my head since RTD wrote The Stolen Earth and my kid bloody loves it.
Kinda like me through all the years of loving Doctor Who, it’s as much in the imagination as it is on screen. It sorta had to be, long may it always be.