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The Dominators Return in the Next Lethbridge-Stewart Novel, Legacy of the Dominator

The second book in Candy Jar’s “Brendon Years” trilogy of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, set during the time the Brigadier is a schoolteacher, will feature the return of the Dominators.

Legacy of the Dominator is written by Nick Walters, whose previous tomes for the series are The Man From Yesterday, The Danger Men, and Mutually Assured Domination — the latter being the Dominators’ first foray into the Lethbridge-Stewart range.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen says:

“This is another of those books we’ve had planned for a while. I’ve enjoyed revealing Vaar’s tale out of sequence, starting with the middle section, then the first part and now, at last, the conclusion. Originally, Son of the Dominator, to use its original title, was going to be written by me, but as if often the case I got too busy to be able to do so, and so the book was delayed. Even, for a time, removed entirely from the schedule. But with a couple of glitches in last year’s schedule, it seemed a good time to bring the book back. Only, I still didn’t have the time to write it, so I decided the only man for the job was Nick Walters, who created Vaar back in 2015 with Mutually Assured Domination.”

Legacy of the Dominator forms the third part of ‘Vaar Trilogy’ and is the fourth Lethbridge-Stewart novel to feature the Dominators, following on from the aforementioned Mutually Assured Domination, Rise of the Dominator (2019), and Domination Game (2021).

Nick Walters says:

“When I was asked to complete the story of Director Vaar, last of the Dominators (on Earth, at least), I was thrilled and honoured. Though I obviously can’t take all the credit, as the Dominators were of course created by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln, but I can take credit of the senior echelon of Dominators, that of Director, who sits above Navigator and Probationer. The Dominators in their single TV appearance are brilliant and underrated, in my view; though played straight, there is a very slight aura of camp about them, a delicious touch of the absurd. The way they squabble like an old married couple is hilarious! They are the epitome of the type of Doctor Who adversaries that take themselves far too seriously, and cannot see how silly they look in those massive shoulder pads, or how daft (if deadly) their robot servants are.

“I developed this aspect of them in Mutually Assured Domination – for example the Robin Day interview – and Vaar as the Big Man in Rise of the Dominator also possesses this quality of the bizarre, though remaining 100% dangerous and threatening. More importantly, I always saw Vaar as not merely a villain, but a more complex character, even a relatable one – despite his plans to destroy the Earth! In Domination Game and Rise of the Dominator, he’s an alien trapped on Earth, doing what he can, what he must, to survive. A sort of dark mirror of Thomas Jerome Newton from The Man Who Fell to Earth.”

Andy says:

“Of course, I tend to give most of my authors a shopping list of various lengths, things they need to include. Legacy of the Dominator was no different in that regard; the difference lies in giving Nick the basic premise of a book I’ve had in my mind for some time. And there’s a lot of joy in that too, since you’re left with ‘what surprising ways can an author take your idea?’. And Nick certainly did that. There was a little toing and froing as Nick got to grips with the story, and he came up with some clever ideas that I may not have considered originally. The end result is a solid and personal drama for the Brigadier and Bill Bishop.”

Nick continues:

“Here we find the Brigadier in the late summer of 1983, still teaching maths at Brendon School, and with a strange, rather disturbed schoolboy under his wing. Not Turlough – he’s long gone by then – but instead the mysterious Damon, who is excellent at games, has a short temper, and dislikes peas. Damon’s secrets propel the story and present the Brigadier with a challenge to his loyalties and friendships. As well as a rollicking good adventure, Legacy of the Dominator is an emotional story for all characters concerned. A story of fatherhood, friendships and loyalty – and how these can be put to the ultimate test.”

The cover is the latest work by ever-popular artist Adrian Salmon, hot off his work on recent Doctor Who animated specials.

Adrian says:

“I was emailed a list of ingredients to choose from, and my first attempt though was too cluttered. It lacked any sense of motion too, which I think my style depends on. Back to the drawing board. When discussing other options, I was reminded that the story at heart is about a tug of war over Damon, so why not show this visually? I think my work is strongest when working with these type of symbolic images (which always make for an eye-catching cover) and I enthusiastically embraced this strong idea. Also of interest in the story was the Quarkoid – a flying Quark-type drone about the size of a bee. This unique twist on the Quark design made for the perfect background image, however working out the gossamer wings was the biggest headache of the cover! Where do they attach? In the end I figured at the back and left the explanations to the writer!”

Here’s the blurb:

1983 was turning out to be quite the year for strange, troubled boys at Brendon.

The Brigadier is mentoring Damon, a new boy at school. A boy with problems, and a mysterious past. A boy in danger who needs his protection. The last Dominator on Earth, Director Vaar, plans to make his final play for power – or does he? The Brigadier finds out that all is not quite what it seems.

And meanwhile, the Order of the Seven Suns is rising, with plans that could change the destiny of the whole planet.

Can the Brigadier protect Damon from the forces ranged against him? Can Damon escape the long shadow of his father? What will be the final legacy of the Dominator race?

The next title in The Brendon Years trilogy will be Embrace of the Hiraeth by James Middleditch, a sequel to his 2021 novel, The Overseers. This will be followed later in the year by the final three pre-UNIT novels by Natasha Gerson, John Peel, and Jonathan Blum.

Legacy of the Dominator is available to pre-order now.

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

The Dominators Return in the Next Lethbridge-Stewart Novel, Legacy of the Dominator

by Philip Bates time to read: 4 min
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