Season 6 opens with a five-part story written by Norman Ashby that ran from 10 August to 7 September, 1968.
The TARDIS arrives on the peaceful planet of Dulkis, They arrive almost in conjunction with another spacecraft, one used by a power-hungry race that refers to itself as the Dominators. They and their robot soldiers, called Quarks, have arrived with a more sinister plan of action than the Doctor’s (Troughton). It seems they plan to see if the inhabitants will serve as suitable slave labour, while they also rig a series of explosives to transform the entire planet into radioactive molten slag, which will serve to power their entire fleet.
Happily, the Doctor, Jamie (Frazer Hines) and Zoe (Wendy Padbury) stand in their way, though each of them are caught by the Dominators at various times through the story.
The Doctor and Jamie, who share a number of fun, and downright comedic moments together in this tale, are captured together, and the Doctor plays dumb, seemingly inept to lull the Dominators into thinking he’s less clever than he truly is. This serves him very well throughout the story, and makes for a few funny encounters.
As the peaceful inhabitants try to figure out how to deal with the invaders, the Doctor and Jamie seem to bounce about between friends and enemies and the sonic screwdriver gets put to use again, this time not unscrewing something, but hinting for the fist time that it is a multi-funcional tool.
Zoe finds herself caught up with a number of the residents of the planet, and used for slave duty. The Dominators are testing them to see how resilient they are and if they should take the inhabitants with them as workers when they convert the planet to slag.
Unfortunately, messing with the Doctors and his allies never seems to turn out well, and the Dominators, despite seeming to have everything planned down to the last detail, end up, well, the explosives they had planned to use to convert the planet, end up converting them to atoms.
Not a terrible way to start the new season, and I will say this, it’s absolutely delightful to have a full story to watch without reconstructions, as you would have missed all the little character beats that the moments are infused with, reading them just isn’t the same.
And so, begins the final season of Patrick Troughton, and then we’re onto the Jon Pertwee years, which, among many things, means a jump to colour!
But first, the Doctor will have more enemies to face, and next week the Doctor enters the land of fiction in his adventures with The Mind Robber. Can’t wait to see what happens there!