I've seen "The Dominators" exactly twice. Once was this week after I got my copy. The other time was way back when, in the late 1980's. I didn't remember much about the story, but I did remember those shoulders (oh, god, those shoulders!), and the Quarks. I also remember it being not very good. Turns out memory can play tricks on you. Yes, the shoulders are still horrible, and the Quarks are still... well, quarky. But the story is much better than I'd remembered!
The TARDIS drops our travelers on a merry little island that was once used to test a nuclear bomb. So horrified was the race that built it that they immediately stopped making any weapons and became total pacifists. Now into their little paradise arrive the Dominators, a group that controls the better part of ten galaxies, has several robot servants and really needs a fashion designer. Of course Jamie, Zoe and the Doctor are there to put a stop to the Dominators plans to... er... dominate.
Watching it now, I was impressed by the layers to this story. The Dominators could have easily been very two-dimensional, but they are surprisingly interesting, especially the power-play that goes on between the commander and his boom-happy subordinate. I also liked that the pacifist people basically shrug and say, "Well, they're not much we can do about this. We're totally $%!#ed." Plus of course Jamie and the Doctor are always great to see up on scree. Yes, even in the otherwise dismal "The Two Doctors".
What doesn't really work in this story are the Quarks. Oh, they aren't bad or anything. Their design is interesting, and they obviously have some real firepower. But... those voices... and they're just so darn CUTE! Apparently they were designed as a new enemy whose popularity would rival that of the Daleks! Well, I think we all know how that turned out.
I liked this story enough that I'd really like to see a new series follow-up. Imagine what Moffat could do with the Dominators and the Quarks. He specializes in taking the cute, the ordinary and the harmless and making it deadly and scary. I'm sure he could really work wonders with this!
In addition to the story, you get the usual raft of extras. There's audio commentary, text commentary, behind-the-scenes stuff and a new feature called "Tomorrow's Times". The concept of that (showing contemporary media coverage of the series), is a very good one. The execution, with Caroline "Liz Shaw" John sitting there and acting like a news-reader... well, it needs some work.
Other than that, this is a really great buy!
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