Saturday, 23 February 2013

Doctor Who 'The Power of Kroll' Review

Kroll rises above the surface of the swamp.

The Doctor and Romana land on thee swamp moon of Delta Magna searching for the fifth segment of The Key to Time and find themselves caught in the middle of a conflict between the crew of a Methane Refinery and the native swamp people, the Swampies. 

The Swampies have claimed that the crew of the refinery have disturbed the waters of the moon and will incur the wrath of their deity Kroll.  The Doctor discovers that Kroll was once a regular giant squid that had been transported to the moon centuries ago and had eaten the fifth segment of The Key to Time, which transforms him into a monstrous creature.

Once Kroll has awakened it becomes a race against time for everyone to try and survive the destruction and death that Kroll is visiting upon the refinery crew and the Swampies alike.
Kroll attacks the Methane Refinery.
‘The Power of Kroll’ is a fine monster episode that does not reply on the villain having some grand scheme or plot that the Doctor has to stop, in this story Kroll is simply a monstrous animal, something that cannot be reasoned with or negotiated with.  Kroll acts purely on animal instinct, even attacking the Swampies that worshiped him.

Kroll itself is a magnificent creation; it looks beautiful and is used very effectively.  You almost get a sense that the production team knew they would not be able to create a monster that would be able to perform on screen the way they might want and as such Kroll spends a great deal of time beneath the surface.  Instead of being a bad thing this helps to build up tension, with the crew of the refinery using their sonar to watch the mysterious creature moving beneath the surface, never quite knowing exactly what they might be up against.

The story also gives us some excellent human drama as we see the crew of the refinery begin to turn on each other, with Neil McCarthy’s Thawn giving in to his fear of Kroll and prejudice to the Swampies, placing his own warped agenda over the safety of others.  This story also marks the appearance of John Leeson, the voice of K-9, on screen as refinery crewman Dugeen.

An excellent monster episode that works well within its limitations and has an excellent guest cast.  9/10


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