Doctor Who Diary – Day 19

Day 19 – The Dominators/The Mind Robber

What a strong start for the beginning of Season 6 starting with two adventures, “The Dominators” and “The Mind Robber.” And as a side note we see another use for the sonic screwdriver (apparently it can cut through walls!).

Characters of Interest

  • The Dominators

Appears to be a race of bullies that like to wear bulky vests that cut off the motion of their heads. Maybe they just have super weak necks.

  • Quarks

The Quarks are robotic servants to the Dominators and is the main reason for their dominance. Their look reminds me of a punk version of Boxy from Futurama (go ahead and look it up I’ll wait). I do enjoy a poorly designed robot. Those arms that come out of the front shoot, but their firing radius would be quite limited. The person would have to be standing directly in front of them and on top of all of that the robots don’t move that fast.

  • The Master of the Land of Fiction

Referred to only as “The Master” and being out of sight for most of his adventure I thought he was the Time Lord of the same name but was cast outside of reality as a punishment. I was sorely disappointed when I found this guy who just has an imagination that is turned into reality in “The Mind Robber.”

Adventures

  • The Dominators

The TARDIS materializes this time on the planet Dulkis which the Doctor has visited at a time that take place before the series started. I have been waiting for this to happen since in the current run it seems like he knows where he is most of the time (and I’m starting to learn that sometimes they are in these classic episodes) and it makes him seem like a seasoned traveler. This adventure has an interesting set up in that there are two civilizations that clash, one being overly aggressive (the Dominators) and one being overly passive (the Dulcians). The Dominators use extreme force to get what they want (once again using Quarks), whereas the the Dulcians use discussion and democracy to try solving the problem (obviously to a fault). The one thing I do find odd is that at the end of the adventure the Doctor puts an explosive inside the Dominators’ ship which explodes and takes them out. In my history of  watching Doctor Who I want to believe that his philosophy towards justice would be akin to Batman. He uses gadgets, will not use a gun, and doesn’t take a life. But I’m starting to think that he’s a little bit Batman and a little bit Punisher because his actions have purposefully led to other characters’ deaths (albeit evil characters).

“The Dominators” Continuity Facts

  • In Episode 4, Jamie references his debut story The Highlanders saying that he fought the Red Coats during the Battle of Culloden.
  • In Episode 1, when the TARDIS first arrives, Jamie asks if the Doctor if he’s still feeling tired, and the Doctor replies that “it’s a very exhausting business, projecting all those mental images, you know?” This is a reference to the ending of the previous new serial, The Wheel in Space. In the last episode of that serial Zoe had stowed away aboard the TARDIS, and the Doctor decided to give her an idea of what travelling with him was like by using a machine to project his thought patterns into a story of one of his previous adventures, The Evil of the Daleks, which was then broadcast as a repeat between The Wheel in Space and The Dominators.[1]
  • Episode 5 marks the second appearance of the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver, and the first time it is revealed to have multiple functions, when the Doctor uses it to tunnel through the wall of the bomb shelter.[citation nee
  • The Mind Robber

While leaving the past adventure there is a problem with the TARDIS and the emergency backup kicks in. The Doctor and his companions are thrown out of time/space/reality. When they actually make their way into their surrounding environment they run into life-size robotic toy soldiers. This is only the first of many fictional characters that they run into. For example, Gulliver, Medusa, and Rapunzel to only name a few. There is an episode or two in this adventure that become quite trippy. Instead of explaining it let’s watch a clip, shall we?

You get the point after the first 2 minutes.

After Jamie comes back as a different actor I had the feeling they were going to replace the actor that plays Jamie and this would have been the perfect opportunity to do so. Instead, the exact same thing happens again, but the Doctor gets his face right this time. This adventure shows the first use of stop-motion animation in the form of Medusa’s snake hair. I’m not sure if this type of animation is used that often in the show, but this marks the first instance.

“The Mind Robber” Continuity

  • The Master is not the same character as the renegade Time Lord known as the Master.
  • One of the fictional characters encountered is the minotaur of Greek mythology. Variations on this myth were used again in the Third Doctor serial The Time Monster and the Fourth Doctor serial The Horns of Nimon. A minotaur-like creature (from a species close to the Nimon) appears in the Eleventh Doctor story The God Complex.
  • On both occasions before Jamie gets turned into a cut-out, he shouts, “creag an tuirc” Frazer Hines joked on the DVD commentary that this is Scottish Gaelic for “vodkaand tonic“. However, it is actually the motto of the MacLaren Clan of Scotland, meaning “the boar’s rock”. These are also Jamie’s last words in his last regular serial, The War Games, as he charges an English redcoat on the fields of Scotland.
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