Friday 24 June 2011

214 The Dominators: Episode Five

EPISODE: The Dominators: Episode Five
TRANSMITTED: 07 September 1968
WRITER: Norman Ashby (aka Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln)
DIRECTOR: Morris Barry
SCRIPT EDITOR: Derrick Sherwin
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The Dominators

Rago returns, is angry at Toba's progress and waste of Quark energy. He decides to leave the Dulcians behind on the planet when it is destroyed as they are useless slaves, but in the process the Doctor overhears the Dominators plans to turn the planet into radioactive magma to fuel their ships. Jamie & cully immobilise a Quark and rescue the Doctor & Zoƫ. Toba interrupts drilling again to aid the Quark. Rago reprimands him again, but Toba is pleased to learn the drilling will lead to the Dulcians death. Jamie comes up with a plan to catch the explosive device when it's dropped down the bore hole. They dig a tunnel from the shelter to the bore hole using the Doctor's sonic screwdriver to cut through the wall. Using the shelter's medical kit the Doctor makes bombs for Jamie & Cully to attack the Quarks, but for once Toba concentrates on his task. Jamie & Cully attack the drilling site. Rago pursues them and they hide in the shelter. The seed device is dropped into the shaft and the Doctor catches it. He is unable to open it. Realising they will be killed and there's a risk of the planet being destroyed, the Doctor hide the bomb on the Dominator's ship. The Dulcians leave in the travel capsule while the Doctor and co retreat to the safety of the Tardis as the rockets fire into the crust creating an eruption on the island as the bomb destroys the Dominators ship.

Well.... most of the cast spends the episode stuck in the shelter but the brief action scenes are OK. This had gone a lot, lot better than I was expecting it to. The Dominators was one of the last (actually was *the* last) complete Doctor Who story that I hadn't seen. I polished it off, along with Keys of Marinus, Reign of Terror and the Romans, when I gave up work in late 2005. I didn't enjoy it then, and I didn't enjoy it again on DVD release. Yet watching it now it was OK. Nothing special, but OK.

Ha! I've got all the way to episode 5 and not mentioned the Dominators catch phrase: Command Accepted. Trotted out by Toba every time he's given an order it starts to grate after a while. They'll be more catch phrases to come later especially when Bob Baker and Dave Martin show up.

Some of the volcano lava footage at the end looks rather familiar: I'm pretty sure it's the same stuff that's used in Enemy of the World and Inferno.

The Dominators was one of the first Troughton stories to be novelised, adapted by Ian Marter, when Target started looking at doing more older Doctor Who stories in 1984. The Dominators was the very first Doctor Who novel I owned in hardback: bought in a sale from the Bentalls book department in the old store in Kingston. I obtained several other new ones, mostly from a sale in Kingston's Volume 1 bookstore. A few years ago OCD struck and I realised I needed my Doctor Who book collection to all be in the same format. So I replaced the hardbacks with paperbacks and put the Hardbacks on eBay.... and walked away about £500 richer from 10 hardbacks!

A video release of the Dominators was made in 1990 and a DVD release in 2010.

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