The Catacombs Episode Critics
Compiled by Martin Willey

24. The Dorcons

The story is told in a straightforward way with few thrills and embellishments. In fact the whole story seems to be over almost as soon as it begins. Budget restrictions are apparent as there are only a few sets, these being mostly corridors. There is also extensive use of viewing screens which consist entirely of someone standing on the other side of a wall with a gauze covered hole cut into it. Due to massive over-use this effect becomes laughable towards the end of the episode. There is enough running around corridors and characterisation to keep one interested in the story, but in the final analysis The Dorcons, with its low budget and sparse storyline, resembles The Star Maidens more then Space 1999. 5/10 (Anthony McKay, Dreamwatch 7, 1995)

...rattles along at a fair pace, with plenty of explosions, stunts and special effects to keep viewers from hitting their remote controls. The guest cast is also appealing: Patrick Troughton is superb as the ailing Dorcon leader...while Gerry Sundquist is wonderfully Machiavellian as Malik, providing a refreshing turn that's as camp as knickers. Ultimately, though, this is Catherine Schell's episode in which she gives her best performance in the series, as Maya pleads to be killed by her friends rather than be taken by the aliens. Johnny Byrne's script is entertaining enough, although a bit heavy on the hyperbole ("They're the most powerful race in the Galaxy!"), but as a conclusion to a two year space saga one might have hoped for something a little more substantial. (Matthew Cooke, TV Zone 66, 1995)

A fairly standard (and cheap looking) episode is lifted by superb performances from Catherine Schell and the late Patrick Troughton. The late Gerry Sundquist is suitably camp as the Caligula-ish villain. B+ (Chris Bentley, SFX 20, 1996)

The best episode of Year Two. It features a strong, cohesive storyline, an intense pace and incredible production values. The Dorcons is remarkably good because at heart it is a personal story. The Alphans face death together rather than give up their beloved friend Maya. (John Kenneth Muir, Exploring Space: 1999, p152-153)

The Dorcons closed the series with a solid script filled with good drama coupled with adventure. As usual, the special effects are outstanding. The cast is in excellent form. 9/10 (Bob Wood, The Future Is Fantastic, 2001)