In my review of the audio release of 'Doctor Who-The Gunfighters' I stated that I could not see the point of releasing a fully existing story onto audio when a DVD would be better, I went on to explain that the only beneficial reason for such a release would be for the pleasure of the visually impaired or blind, and I was wrong. 'The Dominators' is the exception to the rule. As a Doctor Who fan I purchase virtually every piece of merchandise that is issued for my collection's sake, even if I think that perhaps it's a waste of money the 'fan-boy' element in me comes through. You can perhaps imagine my surprise when I discovered that I enjoyed this audio presentation of 'The Dominators' rather more than the video version.
This audio tends to 'size-up' the more interesting elements of the story such as the two Dominators' power struggle and their Quark servants being more menacing and less ridiculous whilst at the same time down-grading as it were the less interesting aspects of the story such as the Dulcians council chamber debates and boring endless speeches about pacifism etc, this has the effect of tightening up the story and allowing the plot to flow better on audio more than it ever did on screen even though the material is exactly the same, the narrator is Wendy Padbury who played companion Zoe in the original story and her skill at being an exceptional narrator adds to and enables the effect of what I've just described above, it's almost a case of audio forced perspective and is the cleverest presentation of audio material married to an impressive narration that has yet been achieved for a Doctor Who talking book.
This release has made me realise that an audio of a story that could be released visually may be a good idea after all, providing that the story is enhanced enough by the narration to allow the listener to get something different from it that would be missing on a viewing, to look at and enjoy the story from a new angle whilst technically using the same source material, this is very clever indeed. Because of the negative feedback that the BBC has received about previous CD releases this could have prompted a fresh approach on making these discs worthwhile enough for fans to take an interest in them rather than just to plug a collection gap. I hope that future releases carry on in this manner, we will see. Very enjoyable indeed (surprisingly).
I really enjoyed listening to this story. In some ways it is better than the TV version because you imagination takes over. The acting and the script is very good. The linking narration by Wendy Padbury (Zoe in the story) is impressive and helps to move the story along. Highly recommended.