Monday, July 27, 2009

TT5 - The Dominators 5

It's a damn shame that the Quarks are so adorable, because any menace they are trying to impress upon the characters and the view is lost by their cute-as-a-button voices, the way they spin around when they're agitated, and the fact that they blow up really, really well. They're also easily imitable by children (which is fitting as they were actually played by children), as any child with a large cardboard box, two empty shoe boxes, and his mom's favourite, circa-1968 lampshade, could make a Quark costume in about five minutes.

Both Dominators seem to kiss and make up after their initial frostiness, with Rago taking a horde of Quarks out with him to destroy and humans he comes across to help Toba complete his drilling task. His true nature shows through, though, in his final moments, when he screams the command, "OBEY!" to Toba seconds before their ship explodes. You almost think that, despite all the progress their relationship achieved during their vacation to Dulkis, Rago's last thought was blaming Toba for their failure.

By this time in Patrick Troughton's tenure in Doctor Who, he was starting to be able to call his shots a lot more than in the past. Not only did he get a week off during both The Web of Fear and The Wheel in Space, but he also managed to get of location filming for The Dominators. In his place, the producers hired an unconvincing double (whose name escapes me right now. I bet you Toby Hadoke would know). You'd think that director Morris Barry would use shots of Troughton's double in moderation, but there's some big, unintentional closeups of him in this story, particularly in this episode.

All in all, The Dominators is a bit of fun, punctuated with stretches of boredom and muted commentary about hippies and hawks. Given the lack of available Patrick Troughton stories on DVD, I'm surprised that this one hasn't hit the shelves before now, but I'll be looking forward to it when it does.


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