Sunday 1 April 2012

496 The Power of Kroll Part One

EPISODE: The Power of Kroll Part One
TRANSMITTED: 23 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)

The Tardis lands on the moon Delta 3, where the indigenous inhabitants "the swampies" are being armed for insurrection by gun-runner Rohm-Dutt who is being hunted by refinery workers Thawn and Fenner. The Tracer gives Romana very odd readings and while attempting to take some on higher ground she is captured by Swampies, dropping the tracer. The Doctor meanwhile is shot at & captured by Thawn & Fenner and taken to the methane refinery where they work with Dugeen & Harg. Romana is taken to the temple of Kroll for sacrifice and tied to a stake. One of the Swampies working on the refinery signals his brothers on the shore. The Doctor escapes and makes for the Swampie settlement as the monstrous thing approaches Romana....

Ummm..... not sure what to say. Enslaved local population rebelling is a pretty common theme in Doctor Who. In fact the most obvious thing you can say about the episode is that it's very green, the actors playing natives all having been painted. Unfortunately the particular sort of make up used proved very difficult to remove.

This episode is the only one from this story I can remember seeing as a child, on a small Black & White set at my Uncle Brian's house in Woking. The scenes of Romana being tied to what I thought was a bonfire stand out for me!

This episode, bar the refinery scenes, was nearly all filmed on location in Suffolk over a period of 18th-28th September 1978. Director Norman Stewart, who previously directed Underworld, sacrificed one of his studio recording sessions to get extra time on location and from this episode that looks like a decent decision.

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