36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Command... Accepted!
With so much of Patrick Troughton's iconic performance as the second DOCTOR WHO seemingly lost forever, it would be churlish to suggest that it's rather a shame that THE DOMINATORS, which was the opening story of his final year in the role, survived when classics like THE POWER OF THE DALEKS or THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMEN were wiped, although maybe if it had been a "lost...
Published on 13 July 2010 by Emanon
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The deadly dull dominators
The first story of Patrick Troughton's third and final season as Doctor Who comes to DVD. It runs for five episodes and it sees the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe visit the planet of Dulkis. The humanoid inhabitants of the place are all peaceful pacifists. So their leaders don't want to stand up and fight back when a spaceship from ruthless humanoid race the Dominators lands and...
Published on 7 Aug 2010 by Paul Tapner
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Command... Accepted!,
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Dominators [DVD]  (DVD)With so much of Patrick Troughton's iconic performance as the second DOCTOR WHO seemingly lost forever, it would be churlish to suggest that it's rather a shame that THE DOMINATORS, which was the opening story of his final year in the role, survived when classics like THE POWER OF THE DALEKS or THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMEN were wiped, although maybe if it had been a "lost story" its mythical status would have improved. As it is this really isn't a high point of the Troughton era but it's a solid enough five episodes that lead directly into the next story THE MIND ROBBER which has been available on DVD for years and is regarded rather more fondly by fans of black and white DOCTOR WHO.
Nonetheless even run of the mill episodes of DOCTOR WHO starring Patrick Troughton are well worth seeing and there's quite a lot to enjoy in this troubled (and very 1960s) reflection on the nature of pacifism against brute strength. The Dominators themselves are a surly pair who bicker rather too much and have rather intrusive command hierarchy which tends to prevent them from managing to live up to their name, but despite this, their malevolent contrast with the peace-loving Dulcians is quite effective. Less effective is Cully the thirtysomething eternal teenager, not because of any lack of conviction in his performance it's just he seems to come across as being as much of a teenager as Steve McQueen does in "The Blob". The Dominators use robotic Quarks to do much of their dirty work and they make an impressive enough threat who are particularly sinister in episode one but the quirky eccentricity of their design did not do enough to ensure their iconic status and they would only appear once more in a tiny cameo at the end of Mr. Troughton's swansong THE WAR GAMES. The costume design is very odd. The Dominators themselves are quite nicely realised, but the Dulcians are dressed in outfits which look quite fetching on the young girls and yet manage to look slightly ridiculous on their male compatriots. Thankfully the older "wiser" characters get longer robes otherwise it could have got kind of scary (and not in a good way). Still any story that's got "national treasure" Brian Cant in it can't be all bad, so there's a fair amount of enjoyment to be had along the way.
However, it is the restoration job that has been done on these episodes really lifts them and they have never looked better and so the rather muddy print that made up its previous VHS release can now be well and truly forgotten. Some scenes trimmed for their "violence" have been restored too, so this is a much more complete version than was previously available and the cleaned up prints restore much of the subtle magic and sparkle of Patrick Troughton's characterisation of the Doctor. Patrick Troughton is on electrifying form and the magical alchemy of the three leads is magnificent throughout, with both Zoe (Wendy Padbury) and Jamie (Frazer Hines) making up an excellent TARDIS crew that is very fondly remembered.
When it comes to the extras package there are the now usual text commentaries, PDF materials and so forth alongside a couple of short documentaries. Troubles with the script are the main thrust of the 22 minute "behind the scenes" feature and another feature recording the press reaction to the programme over the course of the Patrick Troughton years is effective enough if a little disappointingly executed. The rather lively commentary is once more moderated by Toby Hadoke who deftly uses his wide knowledge of the programme to keep the many contributors - including Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury - on topic and manages to tease out one or two enlightening insights into the everyday stresses behind the scenes on the show.
24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quark, Strangeness and Charm.,
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Dominators [DVD]  (DVD)Season Six.
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 Cully and his latest batch of paying thrill-seekers arrives, 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.)
Although I liked the Hartnell era very much, it was the Troughton era that grabbed me and made me a life long Whovian.
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 they insisted their names be taken off the credits.
This is one of only three, five episode stories in the shows history.The others being The Mind Robber and The Daemons.
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.
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The deadly dull dominators,
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Dominators [DVD]  (DVD)The first story of Patrick Troughton's third and final season as Doctor Who comes to DVD. It runs for five episodes and it sees the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe visit the planet of Dulkis. The humanoid inhabitants of the place are all peaceful pacifists. So their leaders don't want to stand up and fight back when a spaceship from ruthless humanoid race the Dominators lands and takes over the place, with the intent of blowing up the planet in order to use it for fuel supply.
The two Dominators have robotic servants called the Quarks. Can the Doctor and his friends, plus a handful of Dulcians who go against the wishes of their elders, save the day?
But more importantly, do you care?
For this story is simply dull. The planet is dull. All sand and quarries. The people of the planet are dull. People who sit round talking and do nothing. They all wear dresses. Even the men. And the young male rebel is played by a middle aged actor.
The script is dull. Characters run around acheiving nothing for five episodes. The Dominators spend most of that time arguing with each other. Then everything is sorted out rather quickly in part five. Not least because the story was going to be six parts but the producer decided to cut it down.
The fault does lie with the length of the script. The realisation of the Quarks - tipped like several monsters to be the next big thing post the Daleks but never to be successful enough to return - and the direction and design. These are dull. Drab and silly costumes. Boring landscapes
Patrick Troughton and the two regulars do their best to inject some life into the whole thing, but it's an uphill struggle.
A quote I come back to on occasion is from the show's script editor in the early seventies who said their aim in making it was to prevent the bbc having twenty five minutes of blank screen every night. As with so many old doctor who stories, you end up marvelling at the fact that they managed to get this made and on screen. But for actual entertainment value, there are much better stories out there.
The dvd has the following audio options:
English audio captions.
English Language track.
It has a commentary from some of the cast and crew.
The radio times billings for the story as a PDF file.
Production information subtitles.
A photo gallery of stills from the story and it's production.
A trailer for the next release in this dvd range.
A twenty three minute long making of documentary. Full of contributions from cast and crew, none of whom are shy of expressing their opinion about the story, this is a very good watch.
A thirteen minute long documentary called tomorrow's times. First in a series for these dvds that will look at press reaction to the show during various eras, this one deals with newspaper coverage of Patrick Troughton's time. Presenter Caroline John, who went on to play Liz Shaw opposite Jon Pertwee's Doctor in 1970, does get past an initial stiffness in seemingly reading from an autocue to do quite a good job here, and some of the quotes are quite interesting. And surprisingly highbrow compared to more modern press coverage. So this is quite an interesting watch.
For an easter egg watch the disc on computer, go to the special features screen and move the pointer around it till you light up a hidden Doctor Who logo. Click on that to see a short piece of Doctor who related sock puppet theatre. A similar item was on an earlier dvd this year but this one is longer and funnier, so it's worth a look.
I can't quite say the same for the story. But this is another in this range that does the best it can with one of the weaker efforts from the show's history.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy now!,
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Dominators [DVD]  (DVD)I'm a long time Who fan and always enjoy Pat Troughton's Doctor. This isn't one of his best stories by a long way (The Quarks aren't good replacements for the Daleks) but there are so few of his episodes left that's it always worth getting the new DVDs for the extras they now contain. Well worth getting at this price as well.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does not dominate my attention...,
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Dominators [DVD]  (DVD)I *want* to be kind about this DVD. I mean, there's plenty to celebrate about it - it's one of a very limited number of Patrick Troughton Doctor Who stories available that wasn't wiped in the 1960s. But when you think about what *was* wiped instead, it's hard to forgive it. The plot is tedious and its contemporary shortcomings loud ("Why is that old man in a dress being chased around a quarry by kids in fridge-box monster costumes for two hours?"). The bonus features are good, but brief in both duration and seeming experience in watching five very slow episodes that don't really take anyone anywhere. For collectors only, who know why it's important this exists and is restored and respected (which, begrudgingly, it is).
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beyond dull.......,
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Dominators [DVD]  (DVD)I'll be honest - any complete Patrick Troughton story has got to be worth it's weight in jelly babies but why oh why this exercise in tedium was preserved over other stories from this sadly mostly-incomplete era of the show is way beyond me.
NOTHING really happens. I waited and watched and waited some more but it wasn't until the final 7 minutes or so, where you see how this story leads directly into The Mind Robber, that it all became (sort-of) worthwhile. I was bored in episode 1 (and I love the slowness of some of the 1960s stories in comparison to today's Who....) I even took to watching it one episode per week as per original transmission in the hope that this may improve the interest level. No.
Be under no illusion, this story is boring. BUT, the restored quality is a treat, the extras, as ever, are interesting in explaining some of the raison d'etre of this 'story' AND it's a complete PT story so for that reason alone, is worth a look. Recommended for chronic insomniacs, die-hard fans and completists only!
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Often under-rated.,
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Dominators [DVD]  (DVD)The 2nd Doctor and his companions Jamie and Zoe arrive on a peace-loving planet to find the tranquility is about to be shattered by a couple of aliens and their robot servants. Meanwhile the radiation on an island once used for atomic testing has mysteriously vanished and strange markings have been made in the ground.
This is a story about standing up for yourself. The planet's ruling body are quite amusingly apathetic (when their meeting room is invaded by a hostile alien and a killer robot one of them asks the alien if he'd mind making an appointment in the correct fashion) and their refusal to fight back means they risk losing everything. The Dominators themselves literally dominate every scene they appear in, and they are individual characters rather than the kind of alien clones who seem to pop up all too often. In a way they're almost like a space-age Mitchell brothers. There's the younger headstrong one, who is basically a grown-up bully-boy, and the older more professional villain. The Quarks are an interesting and unusual design (I remember making a Lego one when I was little) and their curious voices are very effectively creepy.
Extras include a 'making of' documentary, and also a 'Points of View'-type short in which Caroline John (who played Liz Shaw in the 1970s) hosts a reading of various opinions from the 1960s regarding Patrick Troughton's tenure as the Doctor. Altogether a must-have for fans of the series.
15 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Look Back...,
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Dominators [DVD]  (DVD)The Dominators has always had a lot of bad things said against it. And the main reason for this is the fact that there's an awful lot of bitterness amongst fans for having a standard story like this in the Vault, but not a Dalek Story of Pat's Era.
The Other reason this is frowned upon is that the Special Effects & Costumes aren't the best of this time! So if you are the kind of person that finds more enjoyment in uninspired rushed plots, CGI & Over Dramatic acting then this isn't for you!
IF - However, you enjoy a priceless look back on a Classic Black & White Dr Who, with all the great 60's atmosphere, Solid Acting, Spontaneous directing, Truly magnificent BBC Radiophonic Workshop Sounds, & a huge dollop of Fun; then this has your name on it!
From the Very first model shot, the charm & brilliance of this Classic glows from your TV! It's the old story of Drilling to the planets core! And the Doctor, Jamie, Zoe & the more intrepid members of a quite pathetic Race of Stoics do what ever they can to hault their progress!
I think the comedy of this story was entirely by accident! But it's so amusing to see the Alien Dominators get more & more wound up as the story progresses, to the point where by they even start getting annoyed with each other!!!
There are 2 of them: Rago (The Leader) & Toba who has a child like mentality! They have a certain amount of Energy which the Radiation from the planet gave them. And they can't afford to waste it on Weapon discharges when they need every drop of energy to complete the Drilling. And every time the Dr & his team attack, Toba gets Irate & shouts "Quarks! Search & Destroy!" The Quarks are their Robot Tools that end up using a lot of power to keep up & running.
By the 5th Episode, you are just literally in anticipation; waiting for Toba to Crack again.. "Quarks! Search & Destroy!!"
There's also some hilarious scenes with Pat & Frazer which demonstrates that even with a non-menacing story such as this that those 2 work so well together & gives insight as to why Jamie was the Longest Running companion! And not forgetting Wendy of course.. The Costumes are brilliant in the sense that only a totally different race would wear something like that! But (& contrary to the previous review!) Wendy looks adorable in it & keeps a certain kind of audience's attention (cough!); She looked good in anything!
See, Films & TV Dramas etc didn't always used to be as fake & computerised as they are now. And in that respect this story is perfect in terms of creativity :)
The Rocks are so blatantly made of Polystyrene, the wall obviously had an explosive charge in it, the Costumes are obviously made with Curtain Net, etc! But that's the point. People have gone to the EFFORT of "realisation" & "Imagination". That's the Beauty of it. And it's fascinating to work out how they did everything back then. I'd much rather look at Models, Animatronics, Puppets, Masks, Bubble rap etc than shinny & blatantly obvious False imagery generated by something that could be produced by a PlayStaion 3. Remember what happened to Star Wars! OH God save us from Jar Jar Binks. The Ewoks were obviously costumes, but they looked 'real'. THIS Story is just like that concept but on a much larger scale, as they had very little resources.
So the people who don't like this story are merely looking at this in the wrong way. Because apart from 1 episode too long & a few scenes that needed a re-take; This Story is Pure Magic!
"Quarks! Search & Destroy!"
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Awkward and flat, and not enough of Patrick Troughton,
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Dominators [DVD]  (DVD)"The Dominators" is one of the last surviving Patrick Troughton Doctor Who stories to get a DVD release, and there's a good reason it hasn't been rushed to release much quicker- it's a bit of a low point in the series. The waddling robot Quarks in particular now look rather embarrassing.
In the accompanying documentaries many of the cast and crew openly admit that it was "a big disappointment" and "not quite the worst story we did". Script problems meant the story was cut from six episodes down to five, and the result is that episodes one to four are relatively slow, and episode five all conducted in a panic.
Patrick Troughton, one of my favourite Doctors, takes a back seat for far too much of the story, as the Doctor spends most of his time captured and playing dumb to avoid detection. It ends up being the Jamie McCrimmon show, as it's left mostly up to Jamie to sabotage the Dominators. In some of the location filming it's clear that Troughton is not even there and that a double is being used. The tension between the two Dominators is an interesting dynamic but played with a bit too much 'ham'.
However on the plus side, the picture quality is great for the time. Five episodes on one disc mean you don't get much room for documentaries and extra features, but what you do get is thorough and worth watching. You even get an all-too-short acting role from childrens TV legend Brian Cant, though I wouldn't say it was worth it for that alone.
It's good to see The Dominators with a high quality restoration, but if you're only buying selected Who DVDs rather than the complete set, put this near the bottom of your Troughton wishlist.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's Got To Be The Worst Story Of The 1960's By FAR!!!,
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Dominators [DVD]  (DVD)Patrick Troughton's The Dominators is appauling, the story for me is the low point of the 60's in Who, and for a series that reached a low point so few times throughout its run of over 48 years, that's saying something. When I first watched this story, I fell asleep, but don't think you can get away from it that easy, because I woke up and it was still running. This story would have even been a bad 1-parter, so to have all 5 episodes existing when such classics as Power of the Daleks, Moonbase, Tenth Planet and Master Plan are missing is heartbreaking. I never thought I would wish blatant BBC destruction on a serial, but the Dominators is that bad, it derserves to die, I think it would be a good idea for the BBC to junk this serial now, in 2012. As you might have deduced by now, I am no fan of this serial. On many rewatches, some of which I have been awake, my opinion of it remains constant. Pure contentment. Patrick, Frazer and new star Wendy, save the day, but not enough to redeem it, I'm afraid. I am not surprised it has taken the BBC 20 years to re-release the Dominators back in to the UK market, as I feel certain its not the biggest hit with fans. The story is so simple and uninspiring that it beggars belief. The very next story "The Mind Robber" puts us back on track thank heavens, but this story astounds me for the simple fact that it exists, what a stroke of bad luck the BBC were having the day this story was returned to them.
The awful plot: On the planet Dulkis live a people of peace and harmony, however, when two alien Dominators turn up on an island looking to turn the planet in to a fuel slagheap, and enslave the population, things become less peaceful. The Dulcians are total cowards, they have no reasoning for defence and protection. So as ever, its up to our favouite trio to persuade them to fight! After a long and drawn out affair, the Dominators are defeated by the Doctor and the planet restored to harmony.
I don't think that my opinion of this thing will ever change, I only ever watch it when I am doing a run down in order from the first episode to the most recent. And I always have to mentally prepare to watch it. Even the writers and production staff hate this story, I feel sorry for the writers, but most of all Pat, Frazer and Wendy.
The DVD has gone some way to repairing the story's tarnished image, it is a budget release as this story has very little appeal to the market, apart from us completists of course. The special features are light and the release only really boasts one main documentary, Recharge and Equalise. This doc goes some way in to the production of the Dominators and also catches up with some of the original crew.
The Story - 2/10
The DVD - 5/10
Overall - 4/10
Many thanks for your time and attention.
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Doctor Who - The Dominators [DVD]  by Patrick Troughton (DVD - 2010)