Friday, April 4, 2014

"The Dominators"

Aired Aug 7 - Sept 10, 1968

5 Episodes

Story 44

Written by Norman Ashby

Directed by Morris Barry


The TARDIS materializes on the planet Dulkis, currently under threat from two alien Dominators, Rago and his subordinate Toba, who have landed their spaceship on a remote island.

Aided by their robotic servants the Quarks, as well as slave workers drawn from the native Dulcian population, the Dominators set about drilling holes into the crust through which they plan to fire rockets into the planet's molten core. Their intention is then to drop an atomic seed capsule into the resulting eruption, turning Dulkis into a radioactive mass; fuel for the Dominators' space fleet.

The Dulcian Councilors, being pacifists, refuse to retaliate. Cully, the rebellious son of their leader Senex, has already joined forces with the TARDIS crew. The Doctor eventually defeats the Dominators by intercepting the seed capsule as it is dropped and surreptitiously placing it on board their ship, which is then destroyed shortly after take off.

Dulkis suffers only a minor volcanic eruption, as a result of the rockets fired into its magma. The Doctor and his friends narrowly make it into the TARDIS as advancing lava flows towards them.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Season 5 Overview

From L to R: Deborah Watling, Patrick Troughton,
Fraser Hines in Fury from the Deep
Midway through the production of Season 4, producer Innes Lloyd was keen to move on from the series. He felt he had contributed all he could to Doctor Who, and wanted to take on other challenges. Although he was responsible for simplifying the series down to a more straightforward action-adventure format, he and script editor Gerry Davis were also responsible for a number of successes. He had successfully overseen the introduction of a new lead actor, had enlivened the series with a focus on pacier, action oriented stories, had established a budget conscious format with the base-under-siege formula,  and had correctly seen that the monsters, always one of Doctor Who's strongest assets, could be emphasized even more heavily. All of this resulted in season 4's ratings improving dramatically over its run from an average of around five million viewers at its beginning to around seven at its end.

With Lloyd's departure, Davis was asked to take over as producer, and though he initially flirted with the idea, he too decided to move on in 1967. Davis' successor as story editor was Peter Bryant, and Bryant was also considered as a possible producer of the series, getting some experience throughout the fourth season. Bryant also brought Victor Pemberton on board to assist him in his editing duties. As the fifth season began, Bryant was given the opening story The Tomb of the Cybermen, as a trial run to see how he would perform as producer, with Pemberton temporarily elevated to script editor. With this story seen as a huge success, Lloyd began actively grooming Bryant as his successor.