The Dominators isn`t one of the most highly regarded of Pat stories and doing this fan edit has reminded me why. Not a lot happens, it`s painfully slow and I find it hard to believe that this came from the same men – Haisman & Lincoln – that gave us The Web of Fear. And it would have been even worse at the original six episodes instead of five!
But Fan Edits exist to make the best of the material that’s available and the show isn`t really that bad when you cut it down to the core, which is that a “dull” race of old pacifists in funny togas have forgotten how to stand up for themselves against a couple of intergalactic thugs.
Rago and Toba are like something out of “La Cage Aux Folles” and it says something about the script that their bickering like an old married couple is the most entertaining thing in the show. The Dominators` Empire won`t last very long if these two are anything to go by.
The deadly robot servants of these cruel Dominators [see what I did there?] are the Quarks. Short and boxy with spiky footballs for heads and voices like a pre-pubescent Arcturus from Curse of Peladon, they`re not the most successful monsters ever but they aren`t as bad as the Krotons. And that`s the key to enjoying the story, it’s a simplistic “TV Comic” type tale that’s a bit of light relief from the usual drama of Daleks and Cybermen and weird dimensions where fiction is real. Just relax and enjoy it, something that’s a lot easier to so with this version!
The Fan Edit starts with the real writers getting the credit they deserve for this[!] so goodbye Norman Ashby. Like other FEs I`ve added some additional music cues as the show feels a little flat and lacking in atmosphere and it needs all the help it can get! This time round the cues are by Laurie Johnson of The Avengers fame and mostly from his score for the movie First Men In The Moon.
Watching this again, I was struck by the thought that maybe there`s more to the story than meets the eye. Rago is the logical, rational, dispassionate one whilst Toba is passionate, emotional and impulsive. Two aspects of the same personality, or am I reading too much into it and seeing things in it that aren`t there?
On the whole I prefer that reading than the usual dry storytelling stuff of “drama is two characters in conflict”. Both Dominators want the same thing, to do over the Dulcians, but they disagree over how to do them over. Of course if Rago had let Toba have his way then they wouldn’t have got blown up by their own bomb…
This story led straight into The Mind Robber and I`ve included some of the opening scene of Episode One of that story here. Mostly because I think it’s more dramatic if you stop when the Emergency Unit gets activated and leave folk wondering What Happens Next. The other reason was that when I finally come to do Mind Robber there won’t be much of that first episode in the FE…