Doctor Who #215: The Dominators Part 4

"You've jeopardised our mission by unnecessary softness."TECHNICAL SPECS: First aired Aug.31 1968.

IN THIS ONE... Rago visits the Dulcian capital and Jamie bowls over a Quark.

REVIEW: Want the same old arguments from the same old characters? You've got it. Rago and Toba relegate our heroes to simple witnesses to their infighting, and by the time Rago gets to the capital, guess what, the council is still discussing what to do. Only there does Rago finally kill someone in an effort not to be labeled a lame duck. But very poor showing from the Dominators overall, leaving prisoners unattended, putting their best specimen, Zoe, in with the "stupid" ones by mistake, and doing a LOT of threatening for the actual amount of damage they do. The Quarks are as cute as ever, and your heart goes out to them when that poor little guy gets hit by Jamie's Ewok tactics and his little cut-out blinks out. Aww. Sure, they kill a couple people, but it seems to take a couple shots to get the job done. Is it me, or does Balan take FOREVER to die? (Is it a metaphor for the whole story? he asked, unkindly.)

Jamie, separated from the others (along with Cully), survived the previous episode's cliffhanger, and getting the leadership role does wonders for him. He doesn't give up, he's resourceful, and he's clever. He dodges Quark blasts in a relatively exciting sequence, and coordinates a boulder attack, like the Roadrunner fighting a Wile E. Coyote. It's good to be reminded that Jamie does have military experience, low-tech though it may be, and that he can handle his own.

Though leaving Zoe with the Doctor instead of sending her back out to work is a mistake, it does give the two characters a chance to interact, which they haven't done a lot of to date. She's the better companion to work things out logically, and they do answer the question of why the island is no longer radioactive, while leaving a final mystery to be solved - if the Dominator ship drank up all the radiation, what are they drilling for? There's a cute moment when Zoe does her usual know-it-all thing, and the Doctor pokes fun at her. It's a gentle joke, but he basically reminds her that he's a genius too. It's actually a little funny to have the Doctor vulgarize a companion's techno-babble instead of the other way around.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - The plot and guest characters are complete rubbish, which appears to make the regulars work extra hard at keeping you (and me) entertained.



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