Wednesday, September 21, 2005

'The Dominators'

5 episodes

Looked forward to this story as I had no idea whatsoever of its content before I put the video in, so had the pleasurable sense of taking a step into the unknown! This is a bit different from the norm - the series' first five-parter, if I'm not mistaken, featuring an alien invasion of another planet by precisely two (2) aliens... To be fair, the aliens in question, the self-proclaimed Dominators (of "the Ten Galaxies", no less) take advantage of theie lack of numbers by being individually quite interesting, with the frequent dissent and tension within the ranks being one of the main recurring plot features. I kind of regret the fact the programme never revisited this people, as their overlords are made out to be extremely powerful, yet their lasting impact on the Whoniverse seems to have been relegated to a mere footnote.

Alas, the people they are invading, the Dulcians, are a pretty dull bunch whose pacifism in the face of even overwhelming aggression is laudable but frankly a bit stupid, with only the get-up-and-go attitude of Cully really standing out from the blandness. The opening is in some ways the best bit, with the shocking move of introducing us to a group of four characters, of whom three are promptly massacred just as we're getting to know them. It's a full five minutes before the TARDIS lands, with a neat tie-in line to link back to the between-seasons repeat of 'The Evil of the Daleks'. We have the pleasure of meeting a new race of robots, the Quarks, who although a bit too cute and, well, square to be truly terrifying nevertheless have a neat design with foldaway arms, and pack an impressive amount of firepower as evidenced by the hugely spectacular destruction of Cully's ship. Otherwise, the best bit is seeing Jamie and Cully running around blowing up Quarks with homemade explosives. The end is great too, with the Doctor gazing rapt at an oncoming lava flow until Jamie points out the mildly hazardous nature of this to him, at which point Patrick Troughton's facial expression does an instant about turn and with an "Oh, my word!" the credits roll!


Episodes watched: 113
Episodes still to watch: 609

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