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Old 20-03-2006, 07:51 PM   #1
Mark IX Fan
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Default Dragon's Domain...

I watched "Dragon's Domain" again this weekend, and had forgotten just how good this episode was. It took what could have been a standard "monster of the week" plot and turned it into something really special, and quite a departure from most other SPACE episodes.

I'll admit, I'm still kinda scratching my head as to how the moon happened to run across the spaceship graveyard millions of lightyears away from Ultra, but I'm willing to overlook that. SPACE: 1999's logistical science was always a bit wonky, but always entertaining!

And is it just me, or does anyone see where Dan O'Bannon might have gotten some of his ideas for ALIEN from this episode?
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Old 21-03-2006, 11:37 PM   #2
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Dragon's Domain is probably one of the best episodes, if not the best, of the series.

And the "odd coincidence" of running across the spaceship graveyard is actually a bit more forgivable than many of the amazing coincidences that the series suffered from.

I tend to look at the episode as more of a gothic horror story than science fiction, .... and in this case the haunted house seems to have mysteriously followed them. Somehow that seems rather appropriate, and adds to the errie nature of the story. Cellini's monster didn't just happen to show up, it followed him.
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Old 23-03-2006, 05:27 AM   #3
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Yes, and how often do we get to see the eagle's command module and pax pod detach all in one episode!
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Old 23-03-2006, 12:49 PM   #4
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But remember, most of that Eagle went spinning off into space. Had Cellini lived, it'd have been coming out of his salary for years to come! (Assuming, of course, that Alphans still get something resembling payment)...
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:15 AM   #5
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What the heck was Cellini thinking, going off to face the monster alone? True, he vindicated himself, but he also got himself killed! Wouldn't it have been better for him to have stayed with the others. At least he then would have lived to see himself proved right.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:58 PM   #6
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My favorite episode. Excellent in many ways. You get some of the best visuals, flashbacks of Earth, Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor and a truly creepy story. The coincidences necessary never bothered me, because the first season made it pretty clear that there was some kind of divine presence insuring the survival so they could experience further suffering as punishment for the sins of mankind. As John Trek says above, series one was more Gothic horror set in space than sci-fi (at least at its best)--this is both what made it different and what made it memorable. Also, I am a huge fan of the Ultra Probe itself. One of my favorite hours of television ever.
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony_Cellini View Post
My favorite episode. Excellent in many ways. You get some of the best visuals, flashbacks of Earth, Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor and a truly creepy story. The coincidences necessary never bothered me, because the first season made it pretty clear that there was some kind of divine presence insuring the survival so they could experience further suffering as punishment for the sins of mankind. As John Trek says above, series one was more Gothic horror set in space than sci-fi (at least at its best)--this is both what made it different and what made it memorable. Also, I am a huge fan of the Ultra Probe itself. One of my favorite hours of television ever.
Agree, on all your thoughts, it is a brilliant episode.
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:34 PM   #8
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As a small boy only 2 episodes of 2 TV shows airing at that time had such an impact as to give me nightmares enough that some 30 odd years later I can still recall them...
The first being this very episode in the October of "75"..
.... and the second broadcast in the June of "75" being Jon Pertwee as "the Doctor" in the six part "Planet of the Spiders", which also introduced us to the 4th incarnation Tom Baker..

Excellent episodes viewed now as a 40 something bloke... terrifying as a 5 year old....

Andy
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:42 PM   #9
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I wonder where that monster originally came from? Did one of the unfortunate ship crews pick it up on some planet somewhere (unknowningly, of course). Or was the first ship that of a war like race and the monster was a weapon they created, which then proceeded to destroy them (many have speculated that the creatures of the ALIEN movies got their start that way).

Just wondering.
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:05 AM   #10
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Did I ever mention my (admittedly grasping at straws) idea that the creature could be a descendent of the Pirians? Look at the Guardian, all organically lumpy and with tendrils holding those ball-thingys about itself, with a glowing opening at the base and a huge, single brightly glowing eye, plus the hypnotising and teleporting abilities. Maybe the Guardian was a reflection of the Pirians' true appearance; the Servant, after all was created by the Guardian to lure the Alphans to Piri, and thus is not a representation of the Pirians themselves.

So the dragon creature in "DD"? Maybe it's a long lost descendent of the Pirians, say from a probe or something lost in space. The survivors slowly devolved, forgetting their once technological & sentient history during their struggle to simply survive. Perhaps they were cannibalistic, perhaps not, but by the time another starfaring race stumbled across the remaining creature, it (the creature) was little more than a hungry animal, luring its new food supply into its lair and satiating its hunger for a time, hibernating until the next hapless meal wandered along.

In an unrelated note, I know I've mentioned before that it might be cool if one of the derelict ships in the graveyard had markings written in Sanskrit.
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Did I ever mention my (admittedly grasping at straws) idea that the creature could be a descendent of the Pirians? Look at the Guardian, all organically lumpy and with tendrils holding those ball-thingys about itself, with a glowing opening at the base and a huge, single brightly glowing eye, plus the hypnotising and teleporting abilities. Maybe the Guardian was a reflection of the Pirians' true appearance; the Servant, after all was created by the Guardian to lure the Alphans to Piri, and thus is not a representation of the Pirians themselves.

So the dragon creature in "DD"? Maybe it's a long lost descendent of the Pirians, say from a probe or something lost in space. The survivors slowly devolved, forgetting their once technological & sentient history during their struggle to simply survive. Perhaps they were cannibalistic, perhaps not, but by the time another starfaring race stumbled across the remaining creature, it (the creature) was little more than a hungry animal, luring its new food supply into its lair and satiating its hunger for a time, hibernating until the next hapless meal wandered along.
Yeah, I've seen your idea on the Nitcentral Board. There is a resemblance between the DD monster and the Guardian, now that you mention it. It's possible the Pirians had spaceflight technology. If they were advanced enough to build the Guardian, then spaceships would have been easy.
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:03 AM   #12
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The closing scene between Helena and John imply that the story is a re-working of St George and the Dragon.

However, St George for Merrie England is a 1908 story by Margaret H Bulley, which is uncannily similar.

Basically, "Merrie England" has become an overgrown wilderness with the Dragon at its centre. What is required is someone to vanquish the monster and "release" the entangled myths and legends of the English (Arthurian) tradition. (Also very similar to Beowulf, but updated to a modern Christian perspective.)

Full link: http://www.archive.org/stream/stgeor...0bull_djvu.txt

But it begins...

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St. George for Merrie England



THE GOLDEN LEGEND

Among all the stories of St. George there is no greater favourite than
that of the fight with the dragon. Artists have painted and carved it
for our delight, musicians and poets have celebrated it in song and verse,
and it has duly taken its place in the literature of the world.

In olden times, however, this charming fairy story was implicitly
believed by the people. The history of St. George was so shrouded in
mystery that, perhaps not unnaturally, Romance stepped in, and during
the course of centuries legends grew up around the Saint's name which
were more symbolic than accurate. The earliest form of the full-
grown legend is found in the celebrated " Legenda Aurea," which was
written by Jaques de Voragine, Archbishop of Geneva, who lived from
1236 to 1298 a.d. It was translated into English by Caxton, and it is
this version that shall first be quoted from and described, as it has
always been the most popular. This is how the story runs.

Long ago there was a city in Libya called Selene. Now the
people of that city were in great trouble because a terrible dragon,
which was ravaging the country round, had made its lair in a marshy
swamp near the city walls. Its poisonous breath reached the people,
who had all fled for safety into the city, and pestilence began to spread
rapidly among them.

To make it keep farther away, they gave it a daily offering of
two sheep, and for some time all went well ; but the day came when the
last sheep had been devoured. Long and anxiously the people dis-
cussed what was to be done. The dragon's breath was fast spreading
sickness among them, and steps had to be taken at once to appease its
wrath. At last they reluctantly decided that lots must be drawn
among the children under fifteen, and that each day one must be
sacrificed to the cruel monster.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:05 PM   #13
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Do all International Lunar Commissioners have to be such pricks? I refer to Commissioner Dixon, who appears in this episode. Clearly he and Simmonds are cut from the same mold.

When Koenig was telling him about the mysteries of space that man has yet to solve, I found myself saying: "Save your breath, John, this guy is not hearing you." Dixon didn't care that lives were lost, he was only interesting in salvaging his reputation.

If anyone deserved to be fed to that monster, it's him.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:20 PM   #14
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Tim, as Simmons says, they are politicians, so yes the answer is they do have to be such pricks!
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CR View Post
In an unrelated note, I know I've mentioned before that it might be cool if one of the derelict ships in the graveyard had markings written in Sanskrit.
Agree, that would have been a good idea.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:50 PM   #16
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It's been a while since I saw this episode, but didn't Victor speculate that the Spaceship Graveyard was an unnatural occurence and that the only way it could be explained was that the monster had created it as an intelligent way of luring food to it. Although the Beast didn't seem to show much advanced behaviour in the show it is possible that as it had only recently "woken up" that the monster had only one thing on it's mind, to eat anything that came it's way, once it had munched it's way through a few Alphans it might have been open to an intelligent dialogue on it's appalling behaviour.
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:04 PM   #17
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"Dragon's Domain" spaceships graveyard was eerie like a spiderweb with all of it's victims trapped. We saw a lesser spaceships graveyard or car park in the season 2 first episode "The Metamorph", but on the planet's surface even re-using some of the same spaceships from "DD".



Last edited by Steve Gerard; 06-03-2013 at 06:12 PM. Reason: another good pic
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:50 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Scorpio46 View Post
It's been a while since I saw this episode, but didn't Victor speculate that the Spaceship Graveyard was an unnatural occurence and that the only way it could be explained was that the monster had created it as an intelligent way of luring food to it.
It's been some time since the last time I saw Dragon's Domain as well, but this is along the lines of how I remember things. Fantastic episode, definitely one of the best.

Did anyone read the Powys stories dealing with this type of creature -- Survival & the Spider's Web story from Shepherd Moon?
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:12 PM   #19
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I'm not fond of season 2, too many changes for my liking, but those pictures from the Metamorph episode give me an idea. What if the monster was one of Mentor's creations sent to gather life essences of it's victims for his experiments? Plausible or not.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:36 PM   #20
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Quote:
"Dragon's Domain" spaceships graveyard was eerie like a spiderweb with all of it's victims trapped.
The Alphans commented on that themselves towards the end of the episode.


Quote:
Although the Beast didn't seem to show much advanced behaviour in the show it is possible that as it had only recently "woken up" that the monster had only one thing on it's mind, to eat anything that came it's way, once it had munched it's way through a few Alphans it might have been open to an intelligent dialogue on it's appalling behaviour.
Had this been an episode of TNG, that is what would have happened. After some boring technobabble, the creature would apologize and promise to be a good little monster and not eat any more innocent space travellers who happened along (don't get me wrong, TNG was a good show, but it could get very preachy at times).

The Alphans did not have the time or resources to take a chance like that. It was kill or be killed.
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