Thursday 23 June 2011

213 The Dominators: Episode Four

EPISODE: The Dominators: Episode Four
TRANSMITTED: 31 August 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 is angry with Toba's use of a Quark to destroy the museum due to his careless expenditure of energy and reprimands his subordinate. Cully & Jamie are hiding in the shelter, protected from the blast but trapped by debris. Rago learns of the travel capsule and arranges for it's repair. The Quarks commence drilling. Jamie & Cully escape and decide to attack the Quarks. Jamie distracts a Quark which Cully crushes with a boulder. Toba leaves the ship to investigate while the Doctor examines their ship. The Doctor discovers the Dominator's unit that has sucked up the radiation from the island. Rago travels to the capital and makes demands of the council, who procrastinate and insist he sticks to procedure. Rago kills Tensa and demands slaves from the council. Balan worries about the drilling as the planet's crust is thin on the planet. Balan is killed by a Quark as Toba demands to know where Jamie & Cully are.

The council had it coming, so boring so far that one of them deserved to get it. Unfortunately the one that did, Tensa, was played by Brian Cant. They really don't have a clue about the trouble they're in here!

The Dominators was originally planned as a six parter. As the scripts came in Derrick Sherewin wasn't happy with what they were receiving and took the decision to recut the scripts for parts 4 to 6 into new episodes 4 & 5. Authors Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln, who'd previously written Abominable Snowmen and the Web of Fear, were very unhappy at this and had their names removed from the episodes, instead using a pseudonym, Nomran Ashby, made up of the first names of their Father In Laws. Relations between them and the production team were patched up to the point that they were at one stage working on a further story line, but then went sour again after the Quarks, which they retained the rights to, were used in a comic strip without their consent or payment. They never wrote for Doctor Who again. Meanwhile Derrick Sherwin had a problem: Doctor Who had a ten week slot to fill at the start of the Sixth season before it went off air for two weeks to accommodate coverage of the 1968 Mexico Olympics. He now had a five part Dominators, a four part Mind Robber and a one week gap. We'll discover his solution when we get to the first episode of the Mind Robber.

As it turns out the production problems on this story are a mere appetiser for the chaos to follow!

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