The Dalek Restoration Empire is born in model form to conquer your desktop, while The Last Message sets the scene for the DALEKS! YouTube series
Time Lord Victorious is a huge Doctor Who event. Really huge. And there are few greater proofs of that than the fact that it even comes with its own merchandise. And so we come to Hero Collector’s four issue Time Lord Victorious figurine series. Each issue is based around two new miniature models based on designs from the multimedia event. Over the coming months we’ll get six Daleks, Brian and the Time Lord Victorious himself. But, as it turns out, there’s much more to them beyond the figurines. The scope and concept of James Goss’ master plan has inspired new short stories telling small but pivotal moments from the narrative, while also fueling a magazines full of untold backstory that enhances the main arc.
But first the foundation of all this – dinky Daleky goodness. This first issue contains two of the new Time Lord Victorious Daleks. Though ‘new’ is a relative concept in the case of the Dalek Golden Emperor. Delightfully retro, it’s an update of the classic 1960s comic strip star. It combines that version’s distinctive globe like head and multiple ‘ear’ lights with the Dalek aesthetic introduced in 2005. Pleasing this makes it a hybrid of TV Century 21 and 21st century TV. (I’d get my coat but we’re not allowed out on unnecessary journeys at the moment…)
The Dalek Golden Emperor is a perfectly balanced regeneration of an old classic for a modern Dalek aesthetic
It’s a fantastic bit of work by designer Dave Ladkin and recreated in figurine form in an astonishing level of detail. With the estate of late Dalek creator Terry Nation having gone through periods where they’d fallen out of love with the Golden Emperor and discouraged its use, actually being able to hold it in your hand is amazing. It’s the figurine that half of Doctor Who fandom have waited half their lives to see. And the team have done a superb job to ensure it doesn’t disappoint.
At the complete opposite end of the Dalek pecking order comes the lowly Dalek Drone. In line with the thought process behind the Golden Emperor, it’s a mix of old and new. This time it keeps much closer to the modern TV Daleks, though, with its classic influence evident chiefly in its silver and blue livery, matching those of the original Hartnell era Daleks. Like its bubble headed boss, the level of detail achieved is remarkable. You could make yourself cross eyed pouring over every tiny bolt and grill. Based on photos fans have shared online, the paintjob on the black ‘id tag’ section under the eyestalk can sometimes go slightly awry – leading to an impression of a somewhat dreamy smile. But Blogtor Who’s own edition came with all deep Dalek seriousness intact.
The tie-in magazine reveals the impressive amount of thought that’s gone into creating this new Dalek Empire
As beautiful as the figurines themselves are, the accompanying magazine does its level best to steal their thunder. The sort of material you’d expect to find within its twenty page is all present and correct. There’s a quick profile of those old TV Century 21 comics to put the Golden Emperor in context, for instance. Plus there’s a cutaway illustration of the Emperor from the incomparable Gavin Rymill. It comes complete with awesomely, and deliberately, daft commentary from Neil Corry in the style of The Dalek Book. (Dalek lights are actually “luminosity dischargers,” for instance.) And there’s a quick reminder of other Dalek Emperor designs we’ve seen over the years, from 1967’s The Evil of the Daleks to 2005’s The Parting of the Ways.
But the two features Dalek Drones of the Restoration Empire and Emperor of the Restoration Empire give an unexpectedly piercing window into the background of Time Lord Victorious. They’re both provided by the crossover’s producer James Goss himself. So they give a fascinatingly well though out insight into where this particular Dalek Empire fits in to Dalek history. It’s successfully drawn as distinct from others we’ve seen in Doctor Who too. Dubbed the Restoration Empire, its the story of one Dalek, single minded even by their standards, and its rise to reunite the fractured remnants of previous Empires and finally bring the entire universe under their control.
The two pieces also explain the new command structure the Emperor has put in place (the new Dalek Commanders are the old Black Daleks, the Executioners are the replacements for the Special Weapons Daleks etc). These and other tidbits are the sort of information which makes this feel like a real, lived it universe. While also being the type of thing impossible to fit into an actual story with any elegance. So it’s a proper delight that the Figurine Collection series has provided a space for them.
The Last Message gives insight into the Golden Emperor’s mindset, and just what makes it such a unique and dangerous Dalek
However, we also get insight into the Golden Emperor’s unique mindset in story form. At just four pages, The Last Message by James Goss makes up a fifth of the magazine, but is a strong character piece. All the more so when you consider its entire cast is one Dalek. The Emperor reviews an intercepted message from a Dalek drone, alone and damaged and transmitting its signal in the dim hope of it reaching Skaro thousands of years later.
The message itself, of course, is the same one seen in the Time Lord Victorious trailer, so The Last Message is really all about the Emperor’s reaction. And it’s a wonderful example of the Dalek capacity for combining vindictive ruthlessness and primness. It’s a genuinely laugh out loud moment when the Dalek Emperor allows itself a moment of embarrassment over what other species might think of the Drone’s tone of self pity.
You don’t have to pick up the figurine collection to understand or follow Time Lord Victorious. But those gorgeous Daleks are their own reward
While not remotely essential to understand Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious, the material included here leads directly into the DALEKS! animated series coming to YouTube this Thursday. And it also adds a little extra depth to the Defender of the Daleks comic and the Enemy of My Enemy audio. It’s also just in time for the Doctor Who Magazine special reprinting the entire run of the Golden Dalek Emperor’s adventures in TV Century 21, out this Wednesday the 11th of November!
And most important of all – those gorgeous Daleks!
Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious – Figurine Collection #1
You can order Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious – Figurine Collection #1 from the Hero Collector website. RRP £19.99. Issue #2 should also be arriving with readers very soon.
You can keep track of everything tying into Time Lord Victorious, what’s out next, and all of Blogtor Who’s reviews of the adventure so far on our Time Lord Victorious Master List page.