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Doctor Who: Meglos and Doctor Who: The Dominators DVD Reviews

 

“Meglos” and “The Dominators” may not be great episodes, but they have their moments.

Meglos:

The plot: The story begins with the Doctor (and Romana II) being summoned to the planet Tigella to help out a tension filled situation. You see, the planet consists of two factions (the science minded Savants and the religious Deons) who squabble over the planet’s mysterious energy source known as the Dodecahedron (try saying that 10 times fast). Before the Doctor can intervene, however, the villainous shapeshifting cactus creature Meglos hatches a plan to steal the Dodecahedron for himself. Can the Doctor work everything out?

Storywise, “Meglos” is a fairly routine “Doctor Who” tale. It’s got a conflict, it’s got a ridiculous villain (in this case a cactus) causing trouble, and it’s got the Doctor saving the day. Thankfully, there are a couple surprises here that will no doubt please longtime fans. First and foremost, Jacqueline Hill (who played the companion Barbara during the first Doctor era) shows up as a new character named Lexa (the leader of the Deons). This character is a complete 360 from Barbara and it was a treat to see a former cast member return to the show. Secondly, there’s a great scene with two Tom Bakers/Fourth Doctors. It’s a relatively short sequence, but it was visually interesting to see the Doctor face off against a Doppelganger. It also provided a chance for Tom Baker to show off his acting chops as he essentially got to play two characters in this episode.

Video/Audio Quality:

I’m not sure what was done differently with the “Meglos” transfer, but the picture quality is stunning. The colors are noticeably sharper than past classic releases and you can notice many more details on the sets (such as the obvious wigs or peeling paint). This is hands down the best looking classic era ‘Who’ ep.

The Dolby Digital Mono audio track is typical. It’s not going to wow anyone, but it does what it needs to do.

Extras:
* Photo gallery, isolated music score, Radio Times Listings, and “Doctor Who” series 5 and “The Mutants” trailers.
* “Jacqueline Hill- A Life In Pictures”- A touching tribute to the late actress. Interviews with those who knew her are included.
* “The Scene Sync Story”- A featurette on a groundbreaking camera technique used in “Doctor Who.”
* “Entropy Explained”- The title says it all.
* “Meglos Men”- A reunion between the writers and script editor talking about the episode. More interesting than the usual

* Commentary by Lalla Ward, John Flanagan, Paddy Kingsland, Peter Howell, and Christopher Owen. This track could have used some Tom Baker for sure. Not very exciting to say the least.

The Dominators:

The plot: The Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe arrive on the peaceful planet Dulkis hoping to get a much needed vacation but instead find the planet being invaded by two evil Dominators and their robotic minions (the Quarks).

Had “The Dominators” been a 3 or 4 parter, I might have thought more highly of this episode. At 5 parts, however, it’s needlessly overlong. There’s simply not enough story here for 5 parts. It doesn’t help that the Dulkian characters are wooden and the glam rock band looking Dominators are fairly dull villains. It’s a shame too because there was potential for some real intense drama here seeing as how the Dominators are violent people and the Dulkians are peaceful people who do not use weapons.

On the plus side, the robotic Quarks are a visually interesting robotic nemesis. Granted, they aren’t as cool as the Daleks and their voice is rather annoying, but still were the most appealing part of the story. Additionally, I have to give credit to Frazer Hines and Patrick Troughton for giving solid performances here. Hines in particular steals the show here (as Jamie) since he has all of the best lines in the episode.

Summary: “The Dominators” is a flawed but watchable episode. Flaws aside, however, it’s just a treat just to get any Troughton era episodes on DVD since so few exist.

Video/Audio Quality:

The 4:3 fullscreen picture quality is uneven. Some scenes look crisp and clear while others are fuzzy.

The Dolby Digital Mono audio track has some issues. The audio itself is flat and even a bit scratchy in parts.

Extras:
* Radio Times Listings, info text, photo gallery, “Doctor Who” series 5, “Silver Nemesis” and “Revenge Of The Cybermen” trailers.
* “Tomorrow’s Times- The Second Doctor”- An interesting featurette of sorts about the newspaper publicity for the 2nd Doctor era of “Doctor Who.”
* “Recharge And Equalise”- A making of featurette that includes set photos, interviews with the cast and crew, discussions about the episode’s story and politics, etc.
* Commentary by Frazer Hines, Wendy Padbury, Giles Block,, Arthur Cox, Sylvia James, and the knowledgable Toby Hadoke (who moderates the commentary). A lively commentary filled with entertaining stories and facts.

January 5, 2011 - Posted by | DVD review | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. You couldn’t be more factual!

    Comment by Cinetube.es | December 16, 2011 | Reply


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