Number : Season 6, serial 1 of 6.

Which One : The Quarks.

Cast : The Doctor : Patrick Troughton
Jamie : Frazer Hines
Zoe : Wendy Padbury
Rago : Ronald Allen
Toba : Kenneth Ives
Cully : Arthur Cox
Kando : Felicity Gibson
Teel : Giles Block
Educator Balan : Johnson Bayly
Director Senex : Walter Fitzgerald
Bovem : Alan Gerrard
Chairmam Tensa : Brian Cant
Entin : Malcolm Terris
Tolota : Nicolette Pendrell
Wahed : Philip Voss

Written By : Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln

Produced By : Peter Bryant

First UK Broadcast : 10 August – 7 September 1968.

Length : 5 x 25 minute episodes.

Plot : The Doctor takes Jamie and Zoe for a beach holiday, on the Planet of Dulkis – and lands right in the middle of an invasion by the Dominators and the Quarks; who are intending to mine the planets core – for energy.

Whats good : The Dominators and The Quarks are pretty ruthless. Jamie and Cully’s – guerrilla war, against the Quarks.

Whats bad : The Dulkians come across as lazy, stupid and annoying. Why do the Quarks flap their arms to recharge? Surely that just wastes energy!

Review With Spoilers : The Dominators, is the first serial of season 6 – and the final season of Patrick Troughton’s Doctor.

Landing on planet Dulkis – with Jamie and Zoe, for some much-needed downtime on an island beach; the Doctor runs into the invading Dominators – and their Quark attack forces. They intend to mine the planet’s core, for energy – to sustain their ever thinly spread; 10 Galaxies empire.

The Doctor also runs into the indigineous Dulkians, who used the island for atomic research – and maintain it, as a stark reminder of nuclear horror.

The first thing that strikes you about The Dominators, is how utterly ruthless the titular villians are – ordering the Quarks to gun down a group of fleeing Dulkians – in the first episode; for no reason in particular.

The Dominators are coldly and expertly played, by actors Ronald Allen & Kenneth Ives – and are probably helped in part by their huge American Footballer – shoulder pads. These guys mean business and the Quarks don’t look to bad either, with their neat minimalistic design, fold-away lazer arms and spiked domed heads.

There is an interesting conflict subplot; between the Dominator leader Rago and Toba, as Toba – being a probationer; keeps getting the Dominators mission parameters wrong; by using Quarks who are running out of charge – to attempt to put a stop to Jamie and Cully’s guerilla campaign, rather than drill for more energy; much to the Rago’s consternation.

“QUARKS! DESTROY THEM…..!” Toba

The Quarks were meant to become the natural successors to the Daleks (who had at this point in the series had been been written out); following the previous season’s Evil Of The Daleks. However, due to a copyright dispute – the Quarks never featured again – bar a cameo appearance in the Troughton finale; Wargames. Shame.

The only letdown here is the Dulkians, who (bar Cully) are a pretty feckless lot, who have long since abandoned weapons of war – and technological achievement for a pesceful hippy existence. They don’t even believe in alien races, so do nothing – when warned by Zoe that the Dominators have landed; with killer robots, or when the Dominators actually take-over.

I suppose that is the point to this, the stark contrast – between the peaceful and ineffective Dulkians; versus the ruthless and uber-organised Dominators; equals no contest.

However, Jamie and Cully manage to wage a pretty effective two-man guerilla war – against the Quark army, destroying them with rocks – and homemade bombs.

The Dominators makes a valid topical point, about the futility of Nuclear war – and the literal fallout affecting future generations for centuries after – and also how a previous warlike race – can become too peaceful.

It is helped in part by a really good turn from the Dominators and Quark’s, who provide a really strong villain-esque backbone to proceedings.

The sub-plot, that the Dominators are powerful but have stretched their empire too thin, too quickly – is interesting.

The Dominators, is a nuclear-warning-cum-invasion-yarn and it effectively gets Troughton’s final season in charge – underway.

🔵🔵🔵🔵⚪ (4/5)

Old Doctor Who

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