Doctor Who: Season 6, Episode 1

The Dominators: Episode 1 (10 Aug. 1968)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Horror
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The TARDIS arrives on the planet Dulkis where the Doctor, Zoe and Jamie decide to have a quiet holiday. Only to find the Evil Dominators and their robotic slaves, The Quarks have arrived on... See full summary »

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Title: The Dominators: Episode 1 (10 Aug 1968)

The Dominators: Episode 1 (10 Aug 1968) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
Ronald Allen ...
Kenneth Ives ...
Arthur Cox ...
Philip Voss ...
Malcolm Terris ...
Nicolette Pendrell ...
...
Wendy Padbury ...
Felicity Gibson ...
Giles Block ...
Johnson Bayly ...
John Hicks ...
Gary Smith ...
Sheila Grant ...
Quarks (voice)
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Storyline

The TARDIS arrives on the planet Dulkis where the Doctor, Zoe and Jamie decide to have a quiet holiday. Only to find the Evil Dominators and their robotic slaves, The Quarks have arrived on a radioactive island, where they plan to detonate a bomb in the planet's core, which will turn the entire planet as source of radioactive fuel for their invasion fleet. Written by Daniel Williamson

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10 August 1968 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This episode was watched by 6.1 million viewers on its original transmission. See more »

Goofs

The interior rear wall of the TARDIS prop is visible as the Doctor and his companions exit, revealing it to be no bigger than an ordinary police box. See more »

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Featured in Recharge and Equalise (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Domination By Boredom
10 March 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

(Note: A review of all five episodes) The Dominators: the opening story of Patrick Troughton's final season as the second Doctor. By all accounts the story should have been a good one when you consider it was written by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln (the team behind the two successful yeti stories The Abominable Snowmen and The Web Of Fear), was directed by Morris Barry (who had directed the Cybermen stories The Moonbase and The Tomb Of The Cybermen) and featured the TARDIS crew of the second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe. The result though is perhaps the least successful of the surviving intact Troughton era stories.

Certainly this is not the fault of the TARDIS crew. In fact the combination of Troughton's Doctor, Fraser Hines' Jamie and Wendy Padbury's Zoe are perhaps the biggest redeeming aspect of the story. This was the first story for them as a team (as Zoe had been introduced in the previous story The Wheel In Space) but all ready there is a strong sense of chemistry amongst the team starting from the moment they arrive with the Doctor getting ready for a beach holiday right up until the final scenes of episode five. Indeed they don't enter the story until nearly ten minutes into the first episode and the story works best when they are on screen. Unfortunately they can't make up for the rest of the story's faults on their own.

The supporting cast representing the invaded Dulcians are functional at best and weak at worst. On the functional end are Johnson Bayly as Educator Balan, Arthur Cox as Cully and Walter Fitzgerald as Director Senex whose performances are exactly that: functional. The rest of the cast though give weak performances, including Felicity Gibson as Kando and Giles Block as Teel who occupy so much of the story's run time. That's not to mention the story's weakest aspects.

Those would be its villains: the titular Dominators and their robotic minions the Quarks. Both seemed like a good idea on paper but their execution was far from it. The two Dominators, Ronald Allen as Rago and Kenneth Ives as Toba, do little more then march around, argue with one another and issue orders to their minions though both actors project a fair amount of menace in doing so. Their robotic minions the Quarks are much less successful. The Quarks were created with the intention of replacing the Daleks as the series most popular monster. Watching the story it isn't hard to see why that didn't happen. The Quarks lack menace thanks to their short stature, their obvious difficulty in movement and their ridiculous voices which range from comical to difficult to understand. Put together they form the weakest aspect of a weak story.

Other aspects of the story are fairly weak. The design work, in both sets and costumes, is fairly weak and the costumes in particular date this story to the late 1960s with even male characters running around in dresses for lack of a better word. The special effects are another weak aspect of the story, especially the model shots that open the story and the shots of the travel capsule in flight which look like they were stolen from a 1930s Flash Gordon serial or the like. Morris Barry's direction, which had served the two previous Cybermen stories he directed well, seems far less effective here as the story moves along at a slow pace though there is some effective use of close-ups occasionally. The result is a weak even boring story.

Which brings us to the script. Though written by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln, the story is credited to Norman Ashby due to the duo's difficulty with the Doctor Who production team over changes to the story. The biggest change was the story being turned into a five part story instead of six which seems to have been a smart decision in the long run. 1960s television tended to be stagy and dialogue heavy and The Dominators is a perfect example of how this could harm a production. The story is dominated (no pun intended) by scenes of characters sitting (standing in the case of the Dominators) around talking. The story's theme of pacifism versus militarism is highlighted by that fact and that is not a good thing.The Dulcian council sits around throughout the entire story and does nothing but debate how to deal with the Dominators invasion even after the Dominators arrive in the council's chamber. The dialogue is often clichéd, such as Cully spending much of the story talking about "Dulcian this, Dulcian that." The result is the least successful of the duo's script and one of the weakest scripts of the Troughton era.

On paper, The Dominators must have seemed a good idea yet its execution is lacking in almost every way. Indeed of the six surviving intact Troughton stories (the others being Tomb Of The Cybermen, The Mind Robber, The Krotons, The Seeds Of Death and The War Games) this is perhaps the weakest of them as a result. The story is successful in domination...by boredom only.


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