‘The Power of Kroll’ (TV)

power of kroll dvd The_Key_to_Time_DVD_cvr


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Kroll Rises from the Depths

the power of kroll part 1

‘The Power of Kroll’ by Robert Holmes is the fifth story of ‘The Key to Time’ series. It is a four-part adventure on 1 disc. This is my least favourite story of ‘The Key To Time’ season, as it’s rather uninspired and unimaginative as the previous stories.

I’m not criticising Robert Holmes, as he’s a brilliant ‘Doctor Who’ writer. But this is an average tale and it didn’t excite me as much. It fulfilled its purpose in searching for the fifth segment of the Key.

The Doctor and Romana visit the third moon of Delta Magna. It’s full of muggy swamps where the primitive Swampies live. There’s a gas refinery and a gigantic squid monster squid called Kroll rises.

the power of kroll part 2

This story has swamps everywhere and there are many themes of deity-worshiping and skullduggery.

Tom Baker delivers a pretty good performance as the Doctor here. I liked how the Doctor is curious about a legend regarding Kroll and that he saves Romana from a man with a giant clam on his head.

Mary Tamm also gives a good performance as Romana, although she’s rather undeveloped in this one. It was unfair that Romana had to be sacrificed for two rituals (the second one with the Doctor).

K-9 sadly doesn’t appear in this tale, as it was impossible to film the robot dog in the swamps.

The guest cast features some actors I know from other TV shows and previous ‘Doctor Who’ stories.

There’s Neil McCarthy as Thawn, controller of the gas refinery. Neil played Mr Bedford in an episode of ‘Some Mothers Do ‘Ave’ Them’. Here he plays a nasty man who wants to wipe out the Swampies.

There’s also Phillip Madoc as Fenner, a refinery crewmember. Phillip played the U-Boat Captain in the ‘Dad’s Army’ episode ‘The Deadly Attachment’. He isn’t the villain of this story, but he delivers a good performance.

There’s also John Leeson as Dugeen, another refinery crewmember. John usually voices K-9 for ‘Doctor Who’. It was nice to see him in the flesh as a human character in this and to use his own voice.

There’s also John Aibineri as Ranquin, leader of the Swampies. John guest starred in ‘The Moon Stallion’ with Sarah Sutton and in the ‘Doctor Who’ story ‘The Ambassadors of Death’ before this. Ranquin believes in Kroll and he worships his power.

The guest cast also includes Glyn Owen as Rohm-Dutt and Grahame Mallard as Harg.

The actual Kroll monster is gigantic and looks very impressive when we see it in full view. The actual tentacles grabbing people are a bit dodgy and laughable, especially when Ranquin gets captured.

It turns out the fifth segment of the Key to Time is a holy relic swallowed by Kroll that makes him into the BIG monster.

the power of kroll part 3

The DVD special features are as follows. There’s ‘In Studio’ footage and a ‘Variations’ news item. There are two interviews including ‘There’s Something About Mary’ with Mary Tamm and ‘Phillip Madoc – A Villain For All Seasons’ with Phillip Madoc. There are also some ‘continuities’ for this story.

There’s also a commentary with Tom Baker and John Leeson for this story as well as an info-text commentary option to enjoy. There’s a photo gallery of the story and a ‘Radio Times Listings’ PDF of the story.

There’s a coming soon trailer for ‘Planet of Evil’ with Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen.

the power of kroll part 4

‘The Power of Kroll’ is a fairly average tale in ‘The Key to Time’ season. It’s not my absolute favourite from the season, but it’s not terrible. It provides the entertainment, but certainly not for Christmas.

‘The Power of Kroll’ rating – 6/10

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2 thoughts on “‘The Power of Kroll’ (TV)

  1. Timelord 007

    I like this story as it features a typical Doctor Who rubber monster in the Kroll (no cgi back then) & Tom Baker is just mesmerising to watch & delivers some hilarious moments.

    Mary Tamm isn’t given much to do here & K-9 absence is sad as I’d have liked a scenw between K-9 & John Leesons character Dugeen.

    Philip Madoc is always watchable & has such a rich voice & the story moves along at a reasonable pace but i get what you mean, i think the story lacks a sense of urgency

    Another cracking review Tim.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Bradley Post author

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on why you like this story, Simon. I liked the Kroll monster as it looks very impressive in full view, towering above everyone. It’s amazing what they did without CGI to help them create that monster in full view.

    Yes I liked Tom Baker’s moments in this story, especially when he discovered the Swampie, dressed as a monster with a clam on his head, about to kill Romana. Also when he shatters glass with his high-pitched whine was very good.

    I did find Mary Tamm underdeveloped as Romana in this one. But it’s still a good performance and I like Romana’s interaction with the Doctor in this one.

    Yes it is sad K-9 didn’t make an appearance in this TV adventure. It’s good John Leeson got to play a real-life human character in this one and to see him in the flesh. It would be interesting to have a scene between Dugeen and K-9 in the same room. How would that have worked I wonder.

    I did like Phillip Madoc as Fenner in this story. Shame he wasn’t a villain as he’s great as a villain in both ‘Dad’s Army’ and ‘Doctor Who’. I also liked Neil McCarthy as Thawn, who I remember very well from an episode in ‘Some Mothers Do ‘Ave Them’ as Mr. Bedford (the same one with Cyril Shaps who played the Archimandrite in ‘The Androids of Tara’ apparently).

    Yes, I think that’s why this story didn’t appeal to me so much as it should have done. It lacked urgency and probably why it was slow-paced, especially in the scenes between Thawn, Fenner, Harg and Dugeen aboard the refinery. Great actors, but pretty long dragging scenes sometimes.

    Many thanks, Simon. Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘The Power of Kroll’.

    Tim. 🙂



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