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Doctor Who: The Dominators

Patrick Troughton , Frazer Hines    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 30.98
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Doctor Who: The Dominators + Doctor Who: The Mind Robber + Doctor Who: The Krotons
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Doctor Who: The Dominators

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dominating the Doctor March 29 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Great little story with Troughton displaying his inimmitable style.
Troughton is the best Dr and this is an entertaining 5 parter that shows Troughton off as a mixed bag of fun and fear.
The story sees dastardly dominators who aim to destroy a planet with a nuclear bomb in order to fuel their star fleet.
The Doctor, with Jamie and new recruit Zoe manage to thwart their plans but not without a great deal of team work and action. With Jamie out and about exploding Quarks the Dominators is an entertaining tale to the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just a simple tale of peace vs. war? June 29 2002
Format:VHS Tape
First transmitted August 10 through September 7 1968 in England, this is a traditional Doctor Who quarry story. Actually they spend more time in this particular quarry than in practically every other Doctor Who story.
The tale is a relatively simple one, a spacecraft lands accidentally on a planet thought to be uninhabited. The lifeforms, Dominators, are in need of an unknown fuel source with the aid of the robot QUARKS and that would be that except for the fact that the planet is not uninhabited, there are humanoids who are a peace loving race in the aftermath of an atomic debacle and then there is the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe.
To all intents and purposes it is a standard story of peace versus war with the Doctor forced tom act to free the Dulcians from evil and oppression. Nothing is quite so simple. The Dominators are cast as evil but in fact there is a trainee, a cold blooded, rash killer of everything he sees. His mentor, although a believer of the mental and physical superiority of the Dominators, is a different creature with a more 'noble' purpose. His consideration for life is more of a calculation than an emotional atttachment and the quest for domination of the universe is to bring order to all things. The destruction of the Dominators is more of a tragedy to be mourned rather than a triumph of good over evil.
The Dulcians are foppish and cowardly unlike the Thals of the Dead Planet and do not have the stomach to fight even for themselves. Science has resulted in an indifference to real new knowledge and has been replaced with a Disneyesque view of the world.
Patrick Troughton is admirable throughout and Zoe, despite the high intellect for which she is renowned as a Doctor companion, is again more of a visual aspect rather than a contributor. The story could have done with some tougher editing too.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Have insomnia? Then watch The Dull-minators Nov. 22 2010
Format:DVD
This story is without much of a doubt one of the dullest Doctor Who stories ever. I love Doctor Who. I love the original series of 26 years, 7 Doctors and a couple of dozen companions. Some I like more, some a little more, some I like less and some I like a little less but I can always find good things to say about them and even when I think a story is quite poor I can find good things and I am almost always entertained.

Then there is the The Dominators. Where it is different is that of all the TV stories only it along with The Monster of Peladon are two stories that I can say after multiple viewings are ones that are just so dull as to hardly be believable. In terms of characters, flow of the story and just overall effect I find them interminably dull. The Sensorites is dull as well but even that one I find weirdly engaging. The Web Planet might be one of the absolute dullest turgid things ever committed to TV but again I find that weirdly engaging and fascinating because it is so out there but alas not so with The Dominators.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sci-fi. June 16 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
Dr Who deals with the then-topical subject of the atom bomb, a group of people on an alien planet visiting an atomic testing island but finding that the radiation has somehow disappeared. It transpires that a spacecraft inhabited by two war-like beings and their robots is powered by radiation and his absorbed it all. Before long the Doctor, Zoe and Jamie have arrived on the scene and uncoverda plot to turn the whole planet into a radio-active mass to fuel an invasion fleet.
One of the best Troughton stories I've seen. The Doctor himself is at his best. The two Dominators (an experienced navigator and his over-enthusiastic probationer) are memorable characters, the cold-eyed navigator especially effective. The fact that they have individual and differing characters leads to some excellent confrontational scenes between them. The robotic Quarks are eerily effective with their bizarre crystaline heads and creepy voices and the sound-effects and special-effects are mostly good. A story which is truly worthy of that over-used term 'classic'.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quark, Strangeness and Charm. Sept. 25 2010
By Armchair Pundit - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Season Six. Original Airdate:~ 10/8/68-7/9/68.
On the planet of Dulkis lies the "Island of Death", the Island had until recently been a nuclear test site, before the Dulcians had embraced the doctrine of pacifism, and gave up all weapons.
Only a Dulcian survey team resides their now, checking the remaining levels of radioactivity.
It's upon this island a ship from the Dominator spacefleet lands to refuel, and very soon after this arrives Cully and his latest batch of paying thrill-seekers. Unfortunately for them, it turns out to be a very bad trip, man.
The Tardis crew, Cully and the survey team, have a fight on their hands to stop the Dominator's and their robot servants the Quarks, from turning Dulkis into an intergalactic fuel station!
~~~~
If ever a Who story were a product of it's time it was this one. Troughton has a Beatle haircut, and the, "Summer of Love" was but a fading memory in the minds of Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln when they wrote this.
But the Hippy Ideal of Love, peace and pacifism had struck a chord, they summized, how would a society that had accepted those ideals as a way of life react if confronted by a militarilistic loving one.
Would they give up their lives to save their beliefs or give up their beliefs to save their lives?
Luckily for the Dulcians the Doctor and his party decide to resolve the problem for them.
It's also not surprising the young of Dulkis go in for adventure holidays that Cully provides, as never have I seen a more stilted, stifled and claustrophobic society ever portrayed on Who.
When confronted by a problem all the elders do is form a council meeting and have a mass debate! At times I was rooting for the Dominators.
~~~~
Troughton as usual, is excellent. The way he redirect's the "Flash Gordon" travel rocket that he and Jamie are travelling in whilst eating Jelly Babies, then falling head first into the circuitry always emits a chuckle from me.
Jamie is less of a comic character and a bit of a hero for once.
The gorgeous Wendy Padbury playing pixie featured Zoe, in some ways the Doctors intellectual equal, continues with her air of aloof intellectual detachment.
(I think she looked her best in The Krotons. But thats another story.)
I like this story very much as It is, but some fans mentioned four episodes would have been a more adequate lenght.
~~~~
Trivia:~ The Quark costume was so small the production team hired schoolboys to operate them.
Although the name of the writer was Norman Ashby it was really Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln (the Yeti creators.), they had become very disgruntled with the script editor making so many changes to their story so they insisted their names be taken off the credits.
Although I liked the Hartnell era very much, it was the Troughton era that grabbed me and made me a life long Whovian, especially this Tardis crew, their concern about each other comes across as genuine.
One of only three, five episode stories in the shows history. The others being The Mind Robber and The Daemons.
~~~~
DVD extras:-
Commentary
Recharge and Equalise - Featurette - 22'55"
Easter Egg - 2'34"
The Dominators - Photo Gallery - 5'46"
Tomorrow's Times - How the media reported on the Second Doctor - 13'12"
Don't let the fact it's in B&W put you off.
If you can't wait it's on sale now at amazon.co.uk
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL Jan. 17 2011
By Thomas E. O'Sullivan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Looking back on THE DOMINATORS it's not hard to see them as the precusor for the Sontarans. They have a similar war like nature, a similar sense of dress, a similar attitude and their interaction with people are often violent, dismissive and comic at the same time - where the Sontarans rose though and the Dominators fell is easy enough to understand in this story; the Sontarans were the enemy of the Doctor straight off, whereas the Dominators were the enemy of only themselves - how they bicker back and forth between each other, always arguing over orders, always arguing over the Quarks, always arguing, arguing, arguing - it's less DOCTOR WHO and more a Cambridge debate over which goes best with pork at dinner - Port or red wine?; who cares is really the answer here.

The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe are reduced to merely running back and forth in ths story, falling into the hands of both the Dominators and the Quarks, only to be rescued or escape on their own only to end up back where they started doing nothing more than marking time until the Dominators end up, almost, destroying themselves. The fact that the Doctor is responsible for the death's of the Dominators isn't seen so much as murder here as more an emotional release - finally, at long last, the Dominators can agree on one thing - they're dead...or perhaps destroyed?...no, dead...surely, truly dead. What the Quarks felt is a matter perhaps best left unexplored.

The concept of a passive, totally peaceful society is interesting and the play between the Dominators and Dulcians does bear watching and discussing since each side makes up an aspect of the Doctor, who himself comes from (at the time of this story) a very peaceful, isolated world - the Doctor is more Dominator here, having stolen the TARDIS and getting into the middle of things at once saving the day while leaving death, destruction and disaster in his wake - compare the two and ask yourself, who really is more troublesome to the Dulcians?

The extras this time around are fairly tight and interesting. Commentary is lighter than usual, but there are moments that stand out (Wendy Padbury's history with Matt Smith being the biggest, most unexpected surprise) and as always Frazer Hines cracks wise and still has a good grasp of the making of series. Text commentary is tight and worth the time reading. I found the TOMMORROW'S TIMES to be oddly empty and in need of more content and the inclusion of Caroline John as narrator an odd choice as she had nothing to do with the 2nd Doctor's era.

In the end the question isn't will you or won't you buy THE DOMINATORS, with so few 2nd Doctor stories left to us, not owning this story to go along with the rest would be a crime - yes, the story is dull, yes the Dominators seemed to be reading from a different script, yes, the Doctor and his companions really simply do rush back and forth destroying Quarks and being yelled at by the Dominators or forced to wear curtains as clothes and yes, the Quarks come across as a chest of drawers crossed with a Twonky; but in the end it's the interaction between the 2nd Doctor and his companions that will win you over and draw you back again and again.

So, a truce - THE DOMINATORS is best served with Port.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dominating the Doctor March 29 2004
By Paul Green - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
Great little story with Troughton displaying his inimmitable style.
Troughton is the best Dr and this is an entertaining 5 parter that shows Troughton off as a mixed bag of fun and fear.
The story sees dastardly dominators who aim to destroy a planet with a nuclear bomb in order to fuel their star fleet.
The Doctor, with Jamie and new recruit Zoe manage to thwart their plans but not without a great deal of team work and action. With Jamie out and about exploding Quarks the Dominators is an entertaining tale to the end.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Now I know what all the fashionable people will be wearing--in hell! April 27 2011
By buckbooks - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
"The Dominators" is perhaps the weakest of the Doctor's adventures from the Patrick Troughton years to escape erasure from the BBC archives. The story, co-written by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln, was suggested by the burgeoning peace movement of the late '60s: What if a totally pacifist society were threatened by its ideological opposite, belligerent invaders dedicated to waging war?

The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe land on the pacifist planet Dulkis at about the same time the war-loving Dominators and their crew of robotic servants, the Quarks, touch down to size up the planet as a possible power source for their space fleet. The production was in trouble from the start because script editor Derrick Sherwin was waging a war of his own with his writers over rewrites they ultimately refused to make, forcing Sherwin to shorten the story by an episode, thus creating production problems for the following sequence, "The Mind Robber" (see my review).

Meanwhile, the writers, Haisman and Lincoln, were negotiating with toymakers to make the Quarks the next big marketing phenomenon after the Daleks, which creator Terry Nation had spirited away from the BBC to start his own movie franchise. Two problems: (A) the Quarks were NOT the next Daleks; and (B) the BBC disputed the writers' intellectual property rights to their creation. The legal wrangling forever poisoned any future the writers might have had with the series.

Perhaps the biggest reason the Quarks were a flop was that they were designed by the costume designer, Martin Baugh, not series designer Barry Newbery. They were essentially iceboxes with stubby legs with much the same mobility problems on set as the Daleks. The Dulcians' costumes, meanwhile, resembled living-room curtains bunched up under the arms and gathered at the waist for men and cut into revealing, baby-doll nightie-style dresses for the women--it was perhaps the worst fashion catastrophe in series history.

Finally, the plot is simply silly even if you make the usual allowances for the fact that this is Doctor Who: an entire planet is threatened by two tall men made up to look like the butler Lurch if he had used Grecian Formula, and a horde of pint-sized robots, of which we see only three at a time (because there were only three!). The Dominators spend the first four episodes or so experimenting to see whether the Dulcians might make good slaves but then don't really use them. Instead, it's the Quarks who drill boreholes in the planet to turn it into a radioactive molten mass the Dominators can use for fuel. Whatever.

The Special Features include the usual, workmanlike "making of" documentary, plus a ho-hum retrospective on press coverage of the show during the Second Doctor's tenure. For some reason, this is narrated by Caroline John, who had nothing to do with the Second Doctor but played Liz Shaw, the first companion to the Third Doctor.
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