The Power Of Kroll: Doctor Who: Season 16
The Power Of Kroll SYNOPSIS:
The travellers arrive on the swampy, marshland moon of Delta Magna searching for the fifth segment of the key to time. Romana is captured by the Swampie natives and the Doctor is led away to the refinery by it's controller Thawn. Romana is accused of being a spy for the refinery by gun runner Rohm Dutt at the Swampie village.
Dutt is arming the swampies so they can attack the refinery and kill the staff of four. When an ambush on Thawn in the swamplands fails it turns out Dutt is working for Thawn providing the swampies with guns that don't work to give Thawn the excuse to wipe them out and blame the gun running on political group, Sons Of Earth.
Refinery activities have awoken giant octopus Kroll from it's slumber. The Swampies worship it as a God while Kroll sees humans and Swampies as food. The Doctor believes it's colossal size is due to the creature ingesting the fifth segment and as Kroll goes on it's rampage the Doctor has to figure out how to get the segment and stop Thawn from eliminating Kroll and the Swampies with his rocket.
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The Power Of Kroll SERIAL DETAILS:
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The Power Of Kroll CAST & CREW
Tom Baker (Fourth Doctor)
Mary Tamm (Romana I)
Neil McCarthy — Thawn
Philip Madoc — Fenner
John Leeson — Dugeen
Grahame Mallard — Harg
Glyn Owen — Rohm-Dutt
John Abineri — Ranquin
Carl Rigg — Varlik
Frank Jarvis — Skart
Terry Walsh — Mensch
Production Staff for Serial 5E:
Writer - Robert Holmes
Director - Norman Stewart
Script editor - Anthony Read
Producer - Graham Williams
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The Power Of Kroll REVIEWS
The Power Of Kroll was the first ever Dr Who story I saw as a kid and was instantly transfixed by the show. To a 6 year old none of the cliche's were present, and here you had all these people being hunted by the world's biggest monster with no way of hiding from it in a refinery and definitely not in swamp lands and all it wanted was to eat people. It was eerie how it could suck down bits of swamp to get at people and the bit when it's towering over the Doctor and Romana as they drift along in a boat was a scary, nightmare inducing, cliff hanger when I was younger.
Seeing the Power Of Kroll grown up, yeah there's a few cliche's in Robert Holmes script it's definitely not his best but far from his worst either. Guess he was a bit burnt out by being a regular writer and script editor on the show for 10 years who can blame him? After this he needed a rest. The plot's a nice play on British colonization, the filming in swamp and marsh land is well done and bravo to the green painted extra's for going for that gig and where are the green painted, loin clothed women? Are the swampies a gay collective? Not that there's anything wrong with that but it might have shot the score up a few points. The Kroll monster model doesn't look too bad but the effect of it badly super imposed over the swamp film footage.
Yeah the refinery and swampy characters were pretty much cliche standards but they were all convincingly played, except maybe the fourth guy in the refinery but John Lesson did a rather good job portraying a sympathetic character and not the tin dog this time round. The Power Of Kroll is not a bad time passer & better than a lot of season 17. 6.9/10
I can't believe its Robert Holmes. There's bugger all here to recommend and its chock full of the standard cliches; God worshiping primitives, a mining refinery, sacrifices, the by-the-book psycho captain, number two who stands up for what is right but then cops it up the arse, clock countdowns, base-under-siege stuff... wow, its like the most cliched stuff that the series has dredged up before has been served up again. And its STILL by Robert Homes. The Power Of Kroll has all the appeal of Colonoscopy in Space and all the thrills of The Sensorites, plus the originality of Attack of the Cybermen and the tedium of Fear Her. Wow - a Dr Who story that is thirty odd years ahead of its time!
You gotta feel for the poor bastards playing the Swampies don't you? Imagine getting THAT casting call at 4 in the morning; please come down to the local swamps to be painted green and dressed only in a loin cloth. Must have long hair and believe in a fictional God. Well, the swampies DO look like a lot of Jesus' running about. Green Jesus' at that, too. Then we get to their silly chanting and dancing.
Meanwhile, back on the refinery its cliche a go-go for reasons mentioned above. But we do get to see what K9's voice looks like; inhabiting as it does the body of John Leeson. Stick to dog voices John, you're a bloody bore here.
By now, Tom is starting to get a little bit more out of control and poor old Mary Tamm just does what she can in a story that makes bugger all of her character - a bit strange since it was a Robert Holmes story that introduced her.
On the plus side, thats a pretty good location and there is bugger all of K9. Other than that, there is little else to recommend the Power Of Kroll. So now its over to Tim who said he was going to watch it for Easter and amaze us with his new-found Kroll knowledge.....
It's pretty catchy
Unfortunately it's about the best thing the Power Of Kroll has going for it.
Kroll's not that bad. The split screen effect didn't really work, but the model work on Kroll is impressive - and I think the tentacles the crash through the base work well.
Other than that, the Power Of Kroll is a rare chance to give a failing score from me!
Starting at the base - they're crap! They were able to save a bit on wardrobe by recycling some of the suits from Planet of Evil and Blakes 7... but these four blokes who sit around watching asteroids on their Atari, are useless. They have the typical leader who could probably get away with being so pig headed and boorish if he could act, we've got the technically sound second in command who knows what they should be doing, but just does as he's told, you've got the younger sanctimonious guy with morals who you know from part 1 is going to get knocked about in a badly acted struggle to sabotage the mean captain and then get shot (pity that poor John Leeson was given this awful role as his chance to break free of the tin dog), and finally you get the other guy who checks on things... the one that isn't going to last very long as someone has to get killed by the big monster early.
The best thing that happens here is that they're mining methane (WTF), and sometimes when they flick the useless buttons on the panel, they make farty noises.
And then we have the swampies.
Possibly the only interesting part of The Power Of Kroll is the script's look at religion, and the blind faith that they have in Kroll - something that they haven't seen in their lifetimes. Which makes you wonder about their lifetimes... when did they start. I mean, there's no swampettes anywhere around? These swamp people have survived for generations and generations waiting for Kroll... but how? Their story was the most interesting thing in the plot though.
The gun runner guy is shocking - I wasn't sure if it was Jack Thompson or maybe Ray Martin early on, the way he kept posing with his hand resting on his leg all "bloke" style... I guess Delta Magna has a Belfast?
The Doctor doesn't seem overly interested in this one either - although his struggle with Kroll at the end is interesting.
And as for Romana, yep, she's totally devolved into an idiot... "sorry Doctor, I dropped the converter".
2 points for Kroll, 1 point for the final struggle, and 1/2 a point for both the blind faith / religious undertones and the farting noises.