Saturday 9 July 2011

229 The Krotons: Episode Two

EPISODE: The Krotons: Episode Two
TRANSMITTED: 04 January 1969
WRITER: Robert Holmes
DIRECTOR: David Maloney
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
FORMAT: VHS: Doctor Who: The Krotons

The Doctor realises the eye is working on pattern recognition fixed on his face. When one of the Gonds attacks the machine and is gassed, the Doctor realises that the "stupid machine mistook him for me". The Gongs ordered out of learning hall by the machine. The Doctor & Zoe realise that there are gaps in the Gonds knowledge: they use solar energy but have no knowledge of chemistry. They decide to visit the learning hall, but on the way the Doctor finds that there are chambers under the hall and goes to have a look. Zoe uses the learning machines and passes the tests with the highest scores ever recorded. She says Krotons were pleased with her. Vana wakes and is distraught, talking of a flashing ball burning her mind. The Doctor says the foundations of the machine were like a root structure, and speculates if the machine is organic, a living thing. Zoegond (Zoe) is summoned by Krotons to be a companion. The Doctor takes the test too, and feels that the Krotons were pleased with him. He too passes and Doctorgond too is summoned as a companion. The Doctor and Zoe enter machine just as Jamie arrives to stop them. Inside it becomes apparent that the machine is a spaceship. The Doctor and Zoe sit down, where they are restrained by a forcefield. A glowing ball appears subjecting the travellers to a painful bright light and a level in a machine rises. When the gauge reaches a certain level two tanks start to bubble. The Doctor and Zoe wake drained, theorising that the machine has transferred their mental powers into energy for it's own purposes. The tanks bubble away attracting their attention. The Doctor takes a sample of the liquid, which he thinks is slurry composed of suspended crystals. A form begins to coalesce in each of the tanks. Jamie tries to enter the Kroton's machine to help his friends. Awakening the Krotons search for the missing "Gongs", the Doctor and Zoe) who have left the control chamber and are trying to escape. The Doctor opens the ship's rear door. They jump out to the sides of the door to avoid the gas guns which the Krotons refer to as he dispersion unit. The Krotons track them and decide to order the Gongs to trap them. The Krotons see Jamie on their screen and realise he's not a Gond so admit him to the machine. His mind is tested, but he is ruled to not be a high brain but a primitive at which point the Krotons state the power will kill him.

Oh that's lovely that is. The Doctor scolds Zoe for playing with the teaching machine, but that was on his mind all along as is obvious by the way he leaves Jamie behind giving him a not 100% satisfactory explanation. Our Jamie isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer as evidenced by his assessment by the Krotons later!

Episodes 2 & 3 existed as 16mm prints at the BBC in 1978 when Ian Levine visited the Film & Video library. I'll be honest: this episode looks rubbish on VHS. As to why .... well some recent internet comments on the Krotons DVD might throw some light on the matter!

ClassicDW (Dan Hall) said
Restoration work on The Krotons going better than expected, thanks to help from @BFI providing original negs for selected eps
which Steve Roberts of the Restoration Team translates as
Or to put it another way, "Restoration work on The Krotons ground to a dismal halt when it was discovered that half of the BBC negatives were poor quality dupes, thank **** the BFI hold the originals instead!"
I await the forthcoming crystal clear DVD with interest.

You see the Krotons has always has a special place in my heart: due to it being the only 4 part Troughton story existing at the time it was chosen to represent the Second Doctor in the Five Faces of Doctor Who season broadcast in 1981. It was broadcast from Monday 9th to Thursday 12th November on BBC2 and earned the wrath of many older fans for being broadcast instead of supposedly much better stories such as Tomb of the Cybermen. A few weeks later the Doctor Who Monthly Winter Special was released showing what state the Doctor Who archives were really in (well bar a few tinsy errors!)

OK, so I didn't get round to the German submarines today. Tomorrow then, I promise.

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