We look back at the Patrick Troughton Story The Dominators which came out 48 years ago this week.
By Norman Ashby
“An unintelligent enemy is far less dangerous than an intelligent one, Jamie. Just act stupid. Do you think you can manage that?”
The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe fresh from their little break after taking on the Cybermen in the Wheel decided to take an even longer break. They land on an island on the planet Dulkis. Dulkis is a peaceful planet that has sworn off violence and has no use for weapons anymore. Also on the island another ship also landed and inside that ship is The Dominators. The Dominators need a slave force to help get radioactive material to fuel their spaceship. Also on this ship are the robots that serve the Dominators which are the murderous Quarks. So it’s up to The Doctor to save the pacifist Dulkians to rise up and resist The Dominators and save the planet.
The first story of season 6 doesn’t get things going all that well. In fact the story is probably one episode too long. The funny thing is The Dominators was supposed to be a 6 episode story. Luckily for us they decided against it and made it 5 but even then that was too much. I though the story was stretched thin and that The Dominators was filled with a lot of filler which hurt the overall story. The Dominators was one of those classic get captured and escape get captured which Doctor Who is so famous for in the classic series. If all else fails if you need to stretch some episodes of a story just have the companions get captured for a while.
The story is pretty basic. It is more or less based on that try and true formula of the oppressed society being taken over by a bigger power and in comes The Doctor and he saves the day. Even though the story isn’t all that good I do enjoy watching The Dominators. It has some good moments and Patrick Troughton has some good scenes in it. His performance is really good and I always feel cheated watching The Dominators as a lot of Patrick Troughton’s stories are missing and we are deprived of his take on The Doctor. He is really good in The Dominators and you get a good spectrum of his Doctor in this story and it is the highlight of the story.
The Dominator’s is also famous for another creature the production crew thought would be the next big thing and that is the robotic Quarks. They were featured in the comic strip in the various TV magazines. But they never took off. They did not become the big success everyone hoped and well The Dominators is the only appearance they made besides a little 30 second clip in The War Games. They weren’t that bad of a robot actually pretty in depth design for the 60’s but they didn’t take off. Plus their voice was silly and more comical than frightening.
The Dominators is one of the few stories that survive from the 2nd Doctor’s era and it isn’t the worse story but it isn’t the best story. To sum it up plainly is that The Dominators is worth watching just to see how great a performance Patrick Troughton delivered as the 2nd Doctor.