Name: The Dominators

Format: Television show and comic

Time of Origin: Unspecified time and date in the future; attacked Earth in the 1950s.

Appearances: “The Dominators” and “Prisoners of Time”

Doctors: Second Doctor and Tenth Doctor

Companions: Jamie McCrimmon, Zoe Heriot and Martha Jones


click on images to enlarge

The DominatorsThe DominatorsThe DominatorsThe DominatorsThe DominatorsThe DominatorsThe DominatorsThe DominatorsThe DominatorsThe Dominators


The Doctor confronted the Dominators when they sought control of the peaceful planet of Dulkis (“The Dominators“), which had outlawed war almost two centuries ago after research into atomic energy resulted in the creation of an explosive device that decimated an entire island, the island being left as the ‘Island of Death’ to serve as a memorial and a warning to the horrors of war. Seeking to gain slaves and power sources to sustain their energy demands, the Dominators attempted to destroy Dulkis by firing rockets through various holes drilled into its crust to strike the magma. This attack would create a series of volcanoes that would erupt after a seed device was planted in the magma, converting the entire planet into a molten radioactive mass that the Dominators would use as fuel for their fleet’s future expansionist policies.

During the breakout from their home solar system, they experimented with physical augmentation. They made themselves taller, toughened their skin, and encased their bodies in armour plating

Having faked their way through the Dominators’ intelligence tests to trick the Dominators into underestimating what his companions and the Dulcians were capable of, The Doctor was able to intercept the seed device and confine the explosion to the Island of Death while using the seed to destroy the Dominator ship, taking advantage of the conflict between the two Dominators as one preferred the quickest course of action by killing the prisoners while the other objected to the elimination of potential slaves. The most serious long-term consequence of this encounter was when damage sustained to the TARDIS in the eruption initially prevented the TARDIS crew from simply dematerialising before the lava flow would reach them, forcing The Doctor to activate an emergency switch that would take them out of time itself, leading into his first encounter with the Land of Fiction (“The Mind Robber”).

Although The Doctor did not encounter the Dominators again for some time, he quickly recognised their presence when he discovered a Dominator plot to invade Earth in his tenth incarnation (“Prisoners of Time“). While visiting a Hollywood observatory in the 1950s, the Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones witnessed a film set that was experiencing scheduling difficulties due to the cast and crew mysteriously disappearing, to the point that the director impulsively hired Martha as a replacement for the main actress. Investigating the props for the film, The Doctor soon recognised a Quark among the mock robots being used, tracking its footprints back to a nearby cave just as the Dominators abducted the rest of the film crew due to them stumbling on the Quarks ahead of schedule.

Concluding that humans were too stupid and rebellious to serve as a willing labour force, the Dominators intended to use the movie to transmit a subliminal message that would prompt viewers to convince others to watch it, simultaneously dulling the human will to resist and turning them into the perfect slave race. Naturally refusing to allow this to happen, The Doctor tricked the Quarks into destroying the Dominators’ brainwashing machine before manoeuvring himself in such a manner that the Quarks blew themselves up, forcing the Dominators to depart as they lacked the resources to be an effective threat without the Quarks as enforcers.

The Dominators used saucer-shaped craft which were powered by negative mass flux absorption. This negative mass flux absorption allowed the ships to absorb radiation and convert it to propulsion.

Their command structure expanded, with a clear chain of command from the lowest ranks (Probationers) up to the middle ranks (Navigators, Tacticians, Engineers) to the top ranks (Directors) and the Dominant Echelon of the War Fleet.

A new attempt was made in 1969, this time using a cover identity of Dominex Industries. Director Vaar was the head of a special task force sent to the Milky Way galaxy for that very purpose. They bribed the UK government with the promise of cheap energy in order to get the nuclear waste they needed to wipe out the planet and use it for fuel. This plan was thwarted by the efforts of Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart and Harold Chorley. (Mutually Assured Domination)

In 1984, the Dominators and the Quarks attempted to acquire Earth‘s core as a fuel source, but this was foiled by UNIT. (The Fires Down Below)

The Seventh Doctor stated that they had a tendency to boast about their achievements. (The Blood Furnace)

Rassilon Era

The Dominators launched an ultimately failed invasion of Gallifrey by flooding the Capitol with Quarks, 39 of which were destroyed by Leela and K9 Mark I. Though the Fifth Doctor would claim that there was never “any serious risk of us being conquered”, one of the Quarks was fitted with a bomb which heavily damaged the Capitol, necessitating the construction of a replacement building. (Time in Office)

Back to Alien Cultures page

The Dominators DVD

The Dominators Episode guide