Monday 2 April 2012

497 The Power of Kroll Part Two

EPISODE: The Power of Kroll Part Two
TRANSMITTED: 30 December 1978
WRITER: Robert Holmes
DIRECTOR: Norman Stewart
PRODUCER: Graham Williams
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Key to Time Box Set (Ribos Operation/Pirate Planet/Stones of Blood/Androids of Tara/Power of Kroll/The Armageddon Factor)

Romana is saved from the creature by the Doctor who exposes it as a disguised Swampie. Dugeen detects movement at the bottom of the swamp. The Swampies receive word from within the refinery that they will be attacked at dawn. Romana admits she's lost the Tracer but the Doctor reveals he's picked it up. The Doctor finds an underground passage from the Swampie temple. His disappearance is noticed at the refinery with Thawn believing he's in league with the Swampies. The Doctor finds a history of the Swampies and, after reading it, believes Kroll is due to return. The Swampies prepare ton attack Thawn but Rohm-Dutt's weapons misfire. Thawn's Swampie helper is grabbed by a tentacle as Kroll rises from swamp. Returning to the base Thawn plans to wipe out the Swampies and destroy Kroll with depth charges. Romana deduces that Kroll is producing the methane that Thawn's men are harvesting. They and Rohm-Dutt are captured by the Swampies. The Doctor, Romana & Rohm-Dutt are sentenced to death by the Swampies, who speak to hem of Kroll's appearance. In the refinery, Harg is dragged into the pipes by one of Kroll's tentacles.

Hmmm, that's not the best episode of Doctor Who I've seen, Just a lot of sitting round and talking either in the refinery or in the swamp. We get a brief bit of action with the hovercraft and Kroll emerging, and then Harg getting attacked at the end but apart from that there's not a lot to this episode.

Lots of prior form in this episode: Neil McCarthy, as Thawn, was Barnham in The Mind of Evil while John Abineri, Ranquin, was previously in Fury from the Deep as van Lutyens, The Ambassadors of Death as General Carrington and Death to the Daleks as Richard Railton. Abineri has probably been seen by most people as the Ambassador's Butler in the Ferrero Rocher advert but many people will know him as Herne the Hunter in Robin of Sherwood. Fenner & Dugeen were originally to be played by different actors: Alan Browning & Martin Jarvis (previously of the Web Planet & Invasion of the Dinosaurs) but both dropped out at a late stage. Jarvis was replaced as Dugeen by regular K-9 voice actor John Leeson, who was not required in his usual role in the series, while the ill Browning, scheduled to play Fenner, had regular Doctor Who guest Philip Madoc take his place. Madoc had previously been in writer Robert Holmes' first Doctor Who story, The Krotons, as Eelek also appearing in The War Games as the War Lord and The Brain of Morbius as Mehendri Solon, as well as appearing in the second 1960s Dalek Movie: Dalek Invasion of Earth 2164ad as Brockley, before gaining immortality as the German U-Boat captain in the Dad's Army episode The Deadly Attachment. Both Madoc & Abineri are making their last Doctor Who appearances here. John Abineri died on 29th June 2000 while Philip Madoc passed away quite recently on 5th March 2012.

As Rohm-Dutt is actor Glyn Owen, another Doctor Who alumni later incriminated in Howard's Way (Attack of the Cybermen for when I name the names of every Who actor with this stain on their CV). Frank Jarvis plays the swampie Skart, who was previously a Corporal in The War Machines and Ankh in Underworld while the swampie on the refinery, Mensch, is played by regular stuntman Terry Walsh. One of the Swampie extras is Mark Hardy who we'll see more of shortly as the Cyber Lieutenant in Earthshock, The Five Doctors & Silver Nemesis.

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