Friday, 31 August 2018

213 The Dominators: Episode Four

EPISODE: The Dominators: Episode Four
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 31 August 1968
WRITER: "Norman Ashby" (aka Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln)
DIRECTOR: Morris Barry
SCRIPT EDITOR: Derrick Sherwin
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
RATINGS: 7.5 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The Dominators

"Do not defy or question a Dominator!"

Rago is angry with Toba's use of a Quark to destroy the museum due to his careless expenditure of energy and reprimands his subordinate. Cully & Jamie are hiding in the shelter, protected from the blast but trapped by debris. Rago learns of the travel capsule and arranges for it's repair. The Quarks commence drilling. Jamie & Cully escape and decide to attack the Quarks. Jamie distracts a Quark which Cully crushes with a boulder. Toba leaves the ship to investigate while the Doctor examines their ship. The Doctor discovers the Dominator's unit that has sucked up the radiation from the island. Rago travels to the capital and makes demands of the council, who procrastinate and insist he sticks to procedure. Rago kills Tensa and demands slaves from the council. Balan worries about the drilling as the planet's crust is thin on the planet. Balan is killed by a Quark as Toba demands to know where Jamie & Cully are.

So what we got this episode was more Dominator squabbling....

TOBA: Yes, Navigator Rago?
RAGO: I have not yet dismissed you.
TOBA: But the creatures!
RAGO: Quarks, take these specimens back to the drilling site. Await the arrival of Dominator Toba. You two, over there.
DOCTOR: All right, all right.
TOBA: May I ask what you?
RAGO: You may ask nothing. You are here to listen.
TOBA: I am listening.
RAGO: Probationer Toba, I'm far from satisfied with your conduct on this mission.
TOBA: I protest!
RAGO: Be silent! I am beginning to wonder if you have the qualities of intelligence and detachment necessary in a Dominator.
TOBA: Where have I failed?
RAGO: You have repeatedly destroyed the creatures and installations of this planet to no purpose.
TOBA: My purpose was to protect us both.
RAGO: Protect? These creatures are harmless primitives. You acted out of your desire to gratify a need for pointless destruction.
TOBA: Was it by softness that the Dominators became Masters of the Ten Galaxies?
RAGO: It was by ruthlessness, Probationer Toba. That which threatens us we destroy. That which is too weak to harm us we ignore.
TOBA: Are they so harmless, these primitives? They've disobeyed us, they've attacked us, even here on this small island. The rest of the planet may be preparing to attack us even now.
RAGO: I will investigate the more advanced type of alien for myself. You will concern yourself with obeying my orders and nothing more. I will report your conduct to Fleet Leader.
TOBA: And I shall protest at yours.

4b 4

RAGO: What did you say?
TOBA: You've jeopardised our mission by unnecessary softness. You've humiliated me before members of an inferior race. Perhaps it is you who is not fit to be a Dominator.
RAGO: You have the insolence to threaten me?
TOBA: It is not unknown for a leader who is unfit to be replaced.
RAGO: It is not unknown for a mutinous subordinate to be executed.
TOBA: You would not dare.
RAGO: Quark!
QUARK: Yes, sir.
RAGO: Place Dominator Toba under restraint.
TOBA: Quark, return to the prisoners.
RAGO: Quark! I am the senior Dominator, you will obey me!
RAGO: Well, Toba? Shall I order molecular force, or do you submit?
TOBA: I submit.
RAGO: Quark, return to the prisoners.
ZOE: What was all that about?
DOCTOR: A little internal dispute I fancy. Oh dear.

... and more of the council being absolutely useless!
COUNCILLOR 2: What? Who?
RAGO: You are the Council of this planet?
SENEX: Yes, I am the Director.
RAGO: You control the population?
SENEX: Yes. We presume that
RAGO: I require information.
BOVEM: If you'd care to make an appointment.
COUNCILLOR 2: That is, I'm sure, the correct procedure.
RAGO: Listen and obey me!

4c 4d

TENSA: Such discourtesy to our Director is not to be borne.
RAGO: Silence! You will provide me with certain statistics. Open your files.
TENSA: Really sir, I must protest!
RAGO: Protest? You defy me? You defy a Dominator?
TENSA: Senex is our leader and as such he demands respect.
RAGO: I warn you, a Dominator must be obeyed. Your leader is nothing to me. I respect only one thing. Superior force. You will obey my command.
TENSA: Sir, you would do better to request rather than command.
RAGO: Silence!
COUNCILLOR 1: Yes, perhaps if we were to explain the correct Dulcian procedure to you?
COUNCILLOR 2: After all, your visit
RAGO: I will give you no further warning!
TENSA: I insist that you conduct this meeting in a manner acceptable to the Dulcian
RAGO: Quark, destroy!

4e 4f

The council had it coming, so boring so far that one of them deserved to get it. Unfortunately the one that did, Tensa, played by Brian Cant, was the most dynamic of the lot of them. They really don't have a clue about the trouble they're in here!

RAGO: I have no wish to repeat such action. Let it serve to teach you that a Dominator must be obeyed without question. You, Director. It will be necessary for you to place at my disposal a certain number of the strongest of your species.
SENEX: You wish our assistance?
RAGO: Assistance. You are indeed an ingenuous race. I require slaves. Nothing more, nor less.
SENEX: Slaves? But
RAGO: Do not defy or question a Dominator. Obey, unless you wish to join your fellow countryman.
SENEX: Had you come here in peace we'd have done our utmost to assist you, but
RAGO: Dominators do not seek assistance. What we need we take.
SENEX: Always by force?
RAGO: If necessary. We control an entire galaxy. Our war mission is spreading to colonise others. Our Quarks must be released for this task, therefore we must replace their workforce on our home planets.
SENEX: So you require our people as slaves?
RAGO: Yes.
SENEX: So we shall be transported to your planet?
RAGO: Those who are selected will be fortunate. They will be saved.
SENEX: Saved? From what? What of the rest of our people?
RAGO: Enough questions. You will obey my commands! I shall require only the strongest of your species. You will be informed exactly how many I require. Remember, you can be crushed as simply as that if you do not cooperate!
The Dominators was originally planned as a six parter. As the scripts came in Script Editor Derrick Sherwin wasn't happy with what they were receiving from Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln and, to be honest< I think he's got a point. The story to date has been nowhere near as good as their previous tales The Abominable Snowmen and The Web of Fear. So Sherwin took the decision to recut the scripts for parts 4 to 6 into new episodes 4 & 5. Haisman & Lincoln were very unhappy at this and had their names removed from the episodes, instead using a pseudonym, Norman Ashby, made up of the first names of their Father In Laws.

4 name 1 Name

Relations between them and the production team were patched up to the point that they were at one stage working on a further story line, but then went sour again after the Quarks, which they retained the rights to, were used in a comic strip without their consent or payment. They never wrote for Doctor Who again. Meanwhile Derrick Sherwin had a problem: Doctor Who had a ten week slot to fill at the start of the Sixth season before it went off air for two weeks to accommodate coverage of the 1968 Mexico Olympics. He now had a five part Dominators, a four part Mind Robber and a one week gap. We'll discover his solution when we get to the first episode of the Mind Robber.

As it turns out the production problems on this story are a mere appetiser for the chaos to follow!

Friday, 24 August 2018

212 The Dominators: Episode Three

EPISODE: The Dominators: Episode Three
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 24 August 1968
WRITER: "Norman Ashby" (aka Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln)
DIRECTOR: Morris Barry
SCRIPT EDITOR: Derrick Sherwin
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
RATINGS: 5.4 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The Dominators

"I have seen these Dominators. We were taken aboard their spacecraft. Believe me, they're callous, without pity!"

Zoe & Cully are captured by a Quark. Jamie & the Doctor arrive in the city and are told by the council that Zoe & Cully have left. The Dominators prisoners are put to work on a site drilling for something. The Dulcian council refuse to act on the Dominator threat, but when they contact the Island and are shown a Quark, the Doctor & Jamie leave quickly to return to the island. The Doctor interferes with the travel capsule causing it to land at a different location. The prisoners are being worked to exhaustion. The council call in Tensa, the head of the emergency committee. They wait to sere what the Dominators want. Zoe finds out there's a bomb shelter they can hide in. The Doctor and Jamie arrive and find the prisoners. Cully sneaks into the museum and steels a weapon. Zoe distracts the Quark, but Jamie interrupts Cully before he can shoot. The Quarks return the remaining prisoners to the ship. The Doctor is recaptured by Toba. Toba returns to the museum for Cully and has the Quarks attack it. Jamie destroys a Quark with the gun, but the remaining Quarks attack the museum.

3y 3z

There's a little bit of action in this episode with Quarks attacking the museum and Jamie destroying one but my goodness that council are boring!

TENSA: My greetings, Director Senex. Gentlemen.
SENEX: Tensa, you have been informed of the emergency that has arisen?
SENEX: What would you advise?
TENSA: The facts of this emergency are non-conclusive. But, as I see it, we have three alternatives.
SENEX: Which are?
TENSA: If these aliens and their robots are aggressive, and as yet this is not a fact. But if they are, then we can either fight
BOVEM: Fight?
SENEX: Silence! Tensa.
TENSA: Fight, submit or flee.
BOVEM: Flee to where?
SENEX: We cannot make war. We are not able. Flight is impossible, we have nowhere to hide. And submission? To what?
TENSA: Who knows?
SENEX: So we can do nothing?
TENSA: Nothing, except wait.
I despair of them as I'm starting to despair of the story!

An oddity at the start of the episode: Episode 3 had no on-screen episode number caption

This episode exists as a 35mm film print from which the episode was transmitted. In 1977 it was missing from the BBC archives but somehow seemed to return a little while afterwards. Nobody is 100% sure where it came from, the suspicion being it was always in the film & video library but without the accompanying paperwork. If so, then the Dominators was the only complete Troughton story held in the BBC film & video library at the time.

The leader of the council Senex is played by Walter Fitzgerald. On his CV I can see Simon Peter in Paul of Tarsus, which starred Patrick Troughton as Paul. Other who actors involved include Philip Latham, Borusa in the Five Doctors, as Luke, David Spenser, Thomni in The Abominable Snowmen, as Mark, Anthony Jacobs, Doc. Holliday in the Gunfighters, as Gamaliel, Richard Leech, Gatherer Hade in The Sunmakers, as James of Nazareth, Earl Cameron, Williams in The Tenth Planet, as Simeon, David Dodimead, Barclay in The Tenth Planet, as Commander of the Temple Guard, Steve Plytas, Wigner in The Tenth Planet, as the Master, Margot Van Der Burgh, Cameca in the Aztecs and Katura in Keeper of Traken, as Mary, the mother of Mark and Roger Delgado, The Master, as a Jerusalem Jew.

3 Senex 3 Bovem

Alan Gerrard plays council member Bovem. Director Morris Barry had previously used him as Cook in both parts of the Z-Cars story A Right to Live

Similarly Barry had also used Johnson Bayly, who plays academic Balan, in the second part of the Z Cars story The Nose on Your Face as the Chairman.

3 Balan 3 Tensa

But probably the most famous face in the cast is the actor playing Tensa, the Chairman of Emergencies Committee, Brian Cant. He'd already appeared in Doctor Who as Kert Gantry, the space security agent who dies in The Nightmare Begins, the opening episode of The Dalek Masterplan. By this point he was a well known face on children's television, having appeared on Play School since 1964, and had already voiced both Camberwick Green & Trumpton with Chigley following in 1969.

In amongst the Council Members we have John Cross who narated several episodes on the 1975/6 series of How We Used To Live.

3 Council 1 3 Council 2

One of the other Council Members is Malcolm Watson, who, I think uniquely, is in all three of the BBC Quatermass serials! In The Quatermass Experiment he was a Photographer, Quatermass II a Member of Commission in The Mark & The Food and in Quatermass and the Pit he was a Museum Official in The Halfmen.

Another Council Member, Aubrey Danvers-Walker was also in The Quatermass Experiment as a Photographer in Contact Has Been Established. He can be seen later in Moonbase 3 as Mr. Edward Hopkirk in View of a Dead Planet.

Friday, 17 August 2018

211 The Dominators: Episode Two

EPISODE: The Dominators: Episode Two
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 17 August 1968
WRITER: "Norman Ashby" (aka Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln)
DIRECTOR: Morris Barry
SCRIPT EDITOR: Derrick Sherwin
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
RATINGS: 5.9 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The Dominators

"Alien races are occasionally of use to us. I intend to probe your physiological make up!"

The Dominators test Jamie for physical labour, Toba wants to use Quarks but is over ruled by Rago to conserve energy. Cully and Zoe sent to capital, he argues with council, they don't believe his story. The Doctor is made to submit to an intelligence test. They are taken to the museum and shown the weapons where the Dominators conclude they are primitives and no danger, so they escape returning to the research centre and travel to the capital as Cully & Zoe return to the island. The research team investigate the Dominators, entering their ship where they are captured. The Dominators deduce they might be useful as labour and seek out more prisoners. Toba has the Quarks attack the research station trapping Zoe & Cully.

Oooh, the inside of the Dominators' space ship looks rather good compared to similar surroundings we've seen before.

2 ship 1 2 ship 2

However the general quality of the episode falls down with lots of the Dominator arguing with Rago wanting to conserve power and Toba desiring to destroy anything that moves or doesn't! The Dulcian council are a useless lot, but I suspect that's the point.

RAGO: Alien races are occasionally of use to us. I intend to probe your physiological make up!
DOCTOR: Do what?
OK I laughed when that line came up. Unfortunately testing the Doctor and Jamie takes a large chunk of the episode. Jamie's the one who ends up on the text bench and I came very worried about the Quark who's trying to look up his kilt!

2 Test 1 2 Test 2
The observation is pretty much as expected but the end of it is interesting:
RAGO: Brittle skeletal structure. Reasonable flexibility. A certain amount of muscular force. Could be marginally useful. Vulnerable, only one heart.
TOBA: Intelligence?
RAGO: A simple brain. Signs of recent rapid learning. Still, somewhat crude.
TOBA: Shall I prepare the other specimen for scrutiny?
RAGO: No, they will be identical. Conserve power.
So the Doctor isn't tested. We don't find out if he is physiologically similar to Jamie. A year later in the series he definitely isn't as we get the revelation that The Doctor, like the Dulcians here, has two hearts.

The Dominator Rago is played by Ronald Allen who'll be back shortly as Ralph Cornish in The Ambassadors of Death. He's best known for playing Crossroads but was also used regularly in The Comic Strip Presents playing Uncle Quentin in Five Go Mad in Dorset & Five Go Mad on Mescalin, The Prime Minister in The Strike, Captain Phillips in South Atlantic Raiders part 2 argie bargie! and Professor Roland Breeze in Oxford.

1 Raga 1 Toba

Kenneth Ives plays Probationer Toba. He went on to become a television director working on both All Creatures Great and Small & Gangsters, both programs with strong Doctor Who connections.

The Quarks were all played by children. One of them, John Hicks, born 1955 and thus 13 at the time of recording making him the youngest credited artist in Doctor Who so far, later returns as the Axon Boy in The Claws of Axos. He has an Out of the Unknown role to his name playing Bik in the missing third season episode The Naked Sun which exists as an audio reconstruction on the Out of the Unknown DVD Set

2 Quarks 1 2 Quarks 2

Another Quark, Gary Smith, also has a missing Out of the Unknown to his name playing John, as a Boy in Target Generation while the third, Freddie Wilson, is the Quark operator fortunate enough to get a return appearance as the Quark in The Games episode 10. He also appears in the Doomwatch episode The Logicians as an Elsdene Schoolboy and you can see that on The Doomwatch DVD set.

The Quarks are voiced by Sheila Grant who'll be back as Jane Leeson in Colony in Space. She too appears in Doomwatch as Gillian Blake in No Room for Error which is also on the DVD set. But down her CV, and ignored by virtually all bar me I suspect is a voice in Captain Zep - Space Detective: The Lodestone of Space!

Friday, 10 August 2018

210 The Dominators: Episode One

EPISODE: The Dominators: Episode One
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 10 August 1968
WRITER: "Norman Ashby" (aka Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln)
DIRECTOR: Morris Barry
SCRIPT EDITOR: Derrick Sherwin
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
RATINGS: 6.1 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The Dominators

"The Island of Death! Uninhabited for one hundred and seventy years. Nothing can live on this poisonous plot of soil!"

The Dominator ship controlled by Navigator Rago and Probationer Toba lands on an island on the planet Dulkis, in search of radiation to absorb as fuel. Dulkis native Cully is taking some friends to island when their transport crashes and his friends killed by the Dominator's robots, the Quarks. The Tardis lands with the Doctor tired from his retelling to Zoe of their last adventure with the Daleks. They hear the destruction of Cully's craft and explore, finding a museum with a research centre underneath run by Educator Balan. His pupil Kendo explains that the island was used as atomic test site. Cully meets his friend Teel, also part of Balan's team and is taken to the research station. The Doctor & Jamie, worried about the Dominators, leave to check on the Tardis. They find tracks, then the Dominator spacecraft where they are found by Toba and the Quarks.

1y 1z

Welcome to season 6 of Doctor Who!

Since the show was last on air, with Wheel in Space episode 6, viewers have been treated to a repeat of Evil of the Daleks. This repeat was introduced at the end of Wheel in Space, and had a voice over the start of the first episode. It's referenced again here as the Doctor emerges from the Tardis:

JAMIE: Are you still feeling tired, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Yes, just a little bit weary, Jamie. It's a very exhausting business projecting all those mental images, you know.
ZOE: You need a good rest, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Yes, we all do. A nice holiday.
This first episode didn't start off too bad, defying the reputation The Dominators has (and it's got one that's for sure) for being a bit of a stinker. The effect where Tolata is killed is top notch, and the shots of the ships at the start aren't bad, but the Dulcians in general are a pretty useless bunch.

1 T Death 1 1 T Death 2

But the main thrust of this episode for me is what the Quarks look like. We get little teasers all the way through as Cully describes the aliens as having robots with them, the view through their eye, mimicking a similar often used effect with the Daleks, and their footprints:

1a Q 1b Q

Unfortunately the final reveal isn't that great, showing them to be not one of the series more inspiring monsters, and once you know what they look like the episode looses any real dramatic tension on subsequent re-watches.

1 Quark 1 1 Quark 2

Season 6 has more episodes existing than any other Troughton season. Episodes 1, 2, 4 & 5 were in the Film & Video library when Ian Levine arrived. Episode 3 however has some question marks on quite where it was when as we'll see.

Season 6 also has a bit of a torturous story behind the scenes which leads to script chaos and a game of musical chairs in the production office. We start the season with the same team in charge as were for the end of season 5, Producer Peter Bryant, Script Editor Derrick Sherwin and his assistant Terrance Dicks. In fact these first two stories, The Dominators & The Mind Robber, were formed as part of the fifth recording block which started with Abominable Snowmen. The season has started in August this year, rather than September as had become the custom, because they were facing a break to accommodate the 1968 Summer Olympics.

Director Morris Barry had previously helmed The Moonbase and it's sequel, The Tomb of The Cybermen, which had in turn launched the fifth season of Doctor Who. Writers Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln had contributed two six part stories, The Abominable Snowmen & The Web of Fear, to the fifth season with great success and were now writing their third six part story in eight broadcast stories. However things would not go to plan for this tale as we shall see.....

We mention that Morris Barry helmed Tomb of the Cybermen. That story used Gerrards Cross Quarry as the surface of Telos and Barry uses it again here as one of the locations for the surface of Dulkis. It will later be Jaconda in The Twin Dilemma and Telos again in Attack of the Cybermen. The other location used is Wrotham Quarry in Kent for several scenes, including the Tardis landing site.

Of the Dulcians in this episode Cully is played by Arthur Cox (not Laura Howard!) His other credits over a long career include Fahrenheit 451 as a Male Nurse, UFO as Louis Graham in Exposed, the second, and better, Sweeney film as a Detective followed by an appearance in The Sweeney television series as DCI Roan in Bait. He had a recurring role in Yes Minister as Jim Hacker's Driver George appearing in Big Brother, Jobs for the Boys, The Compassionate Society, Doing the Honours & The Devil You Know. He appears in the Inspector Morse story The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn as the syndicate caretaker Noakes and makes two appearances in Agatha Christie's Poirot as Dr. Hawker in Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan and The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman. In 2010 he who set a record for the longest time between two Doctor Who appearances when he plays Mr. Henderson in The Eleventh Hour.

1 Cully 1 Wahed Etnin

Already having left the story are Cully's group of friends. Wahed, played by Philip Voss who was Acomat in Marco Polo. Voss had been in Out of the Unknown as a Police Officer in Time in Advance. That's a first season episode that still exists and you can see that in Out of the Unknown DVD Set. He too has been in Inspector Morse as The Coroner in the first two stories The Dead of Jericho, which guest starred Patrick Troughton in one of his final roles, and The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn, which features Arthur Cox who plays Cully here. On the big screen he can be seen in the James Bond film Octopussy as the Auctioneer and in Four Weddings and a Funeral as the father of the bride at the first wedding. You can hear him interviewed by Toby Hadoke in Who's Round 46.

Etnin is played by Malcolm Terris who'll be back as the Co-Pilot in The Horns of Nimon. He's got a Poirot to his name too playing Roger Ackroyd in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.

Nicolette Pendrell, who played Tolata, doesn't have a terribly long CV but I spot an episode of Z-Cars on it, I Don't Want Evidence: Part 1, where she was directed by Douglas Camfield.

2 Tolata 1 Test Dummys

The test dummys are actually played by actors! Colin West doesn't seem to bother the scorer any further but we saw Blair Stewart in The Enemy of the World as a Guard.