The Dominators (1968)

Ah, the Dominators. A story that is so dull its almost painful. Originally written by Melvyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln (writers of the two Yeti stories), after rows with then producer Derrick Sherwin they decided to remove their names from this and came us with Norman Ashby (the names of their father-in-laws). The Dominators is a story that suffers from lack of action and the result is a story that very few people actually care about. As Mervyn Haisman said in the ‘Making of’ documentary on the DVD seemed to find it funny that much better stories of this era are lost yet this one survived. I think that point can be made about several stories. The story was originally meant to have been six episodes long but due to script difficulties it was reduced to five. I think it should have been reduced even further to maybe one or two.

The main problem why this story just doesn’t work is that when I was watching it, I just didn’t care about any of the Dulcans. They were dressed in stupid costumes which with some of them being a bit risqué. I thought they were all a bit weak and feeble and its all well and good having a war-free society but then you waste a lot of time trying to convince them to change their beliefs and if they cant or wont then deciding how they are going to defeat them. Patrick Troughton, Wendy Padbury and Frazer Hines did the best that they could with the script but unfortunately what they were given was very little and all this story was about was stopping some bullies.

The Quarks are useless. Why anyone would think that they would be a suitable replacement for the Daleks is beyond me. They seem to be very slow moving and all they do is to make a weird noise and move their two block arms in and out of their bodies. Never has the title of a Doctor Who story been so mis-placed. Who’s the Dominator, its certainly not human looking Dominators. All they seem to do is to bicker with each other and try and bully the Dulcans. The Dominators is a story that has to be seen to be believed. If you can survive this without stopping for a day between episodes then you should try and test your metal on Underworld. With so few Patrick Troughton stories surviving intact it’s a shame that this story is one of those that people will actually get to see.


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