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Patrick Troughton
The Krotons
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Synopsis


A Kroton
A Kroton
 As the TARDIS door opens onto a barren planet, The Doctor steps straight into a struggle to destroy the merciless Krotons, the unseen rulers of the Gond people. Conditioned to obey by teaching machines, the Gonds put up no resistance until, with The Doctor's help, they discover exactly what has been happening to their best students.

 Battling against the Krotons' vast scientific knowledge The Doctor and Zoe must stop them turning mental power into pure energy. With a brave band of Gonds and Jamie, prepared to fight to the end, it may be defeat for the Krotons, but ultimately it will be a test of knowledge that only The Doctor can match…

Source: BBC VHS Video


General Information

Season: Six
Production Code: WW
Story Number: 47
Episode Numbers:228 - 231
Number of Episodes: 4
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Working Titles:"The Space-Trap" and "The Space Trap"
Production Dates: November - December 1968
Broadcast Started: 28 December 1968
Broadcast Finished: 18 January 1969
Colour Status: B&W
Studio: Ealing Television Film Studios and Lime Grove (Studio D)
Location: West of England Quarry and Tank Quarry (Malvern, Worcestershire).
Writer:Robert Holmes
Director:David Maloney
Producer:Peter Bryant
Script Editor:Terrance Dicks
Editor:Martyn Day
Production Assistant:Edwina Verner
Assistant Floor Manager:David Tilley
Designer:Raymond London
Costume Designer:Bobi Bartlett
Make-Up Designer:Sylvia James
Cameraman:Alan Jonas
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Brian Hodgson
Studio Sounds:John Holmes
Lighting:Howard King
Visual Effects:Bill King and Trading Post
Title Sequence:Bernard Lodge
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Delia Derbyshire
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: Patrick Troughton (The Second Doctor)
Number of Companions: 2The Companions: Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon) and Wendy Padbury (Zoe Heriot) Guest Cast: Philip Madoc (Eelek) Additional Cast: James Copeland (Selris), Terence Brown (Abu), Madeleine Mills (Vana), Gilbert Wynne (Thara), Richard Ireson (Axus), James Cairncross (Beta), Bronson Shaw (Student), Maurice Selwyn (Custodian), Roy Skelton (Kroton Voice), Patrick Tull (Kroton Voice), Robert LaBassiere (Kroton), Miles Northover (Kroton)Setting: Planet Gond Villain: Krotons

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
228Episode 128 December 196823'00"9.016mm and 35mm telerecording
229Episode 204 January 196923'03"8.416mm telerecording
230Episode 311 January 196921'47"7.516mm telerecording
231Episode 418 January 196922'39"7.116mm telerecording

Total Duration 1 Hour 30 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 8.0
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (1998)55.47%  (Position = 141 out of 159)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2009)57.19% Higher (Position = 166 out of 200)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)58.73% Higher (Position = 207 out of 241)


Archives


 All four episodes exist as 16mm telerecordings. A 35mm telerecording of episode one also exists.



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Notes


The story is most distinguished for being Robert Holmes’ first contribution to show. He would become one of Doctor Who’s most prolific and influential writer and script editor in the shows history.

"The Krotons" was a quick replacement for another story (Dick Sharples' "The Prison in Space"). "The Krotons" was actually submitted, by Robert Holmes, three years before to the Doctor Who offices as "The Trap". Despite not being rejected Robert Holmes’ script went no further at the time. It was not until Terrance Dicks (at the time an Assistant Script Editor) found the story, in the production office files, that he decided to develop the story, with Robert Holmes, as a personal project in case other scripts fell through. When it was decided not to continue with Dick Sharples script, "Prison in Space", Terrance Dicks was able to present Robert Holmes’ story to his superiors as a ready production.

This story features a guest appearance by popular Welsh actor Philip Madoc as Eelek. In 1966 he appeared in the Amicus Doctor Who film Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD, staring Peter Cushing as Doctor Who. As well as "The Krotons" he appeared in another Second Doctor story "The War Games" and then again in two Fourth Doctor stories: the 1976 "The Brain of Morbius" and the 1979 "The Power of Kroll".

Frazer Hines (who plays the part of companion Jamie McCrimmon) was originally planning to leave the show at this point, and would have departed in "The Prison in Space" being replaced by a new companion. However, upon learning that Patrick Troughton was intending to leave at the end of the year Frazer Hines opted to stay on; this was one of the reasons why "The Prison in Space" was dropped.

Unusually episode one was captured directly on 35mm film rather than videotape.

One of Robert Holmes's final contributions to the show, "The Mysterious Planet", bears a strong resemblance to the plot of this story. In both stories, an alien machine subjugates a humanoid civilisation and forces its brightest young people into its service.

It is revealed that the Krotons have been on the planet for 'thousands of years'. Gond history talks of 'silver men' coming from the sky and bringing 'poisonous rain'. They are crystalline, as is their ship, the Dynatrope. They cannot die, but 'exhaust' if their structure is destroyed.

The TARDIS' Hostile Action Displacement System (HADS) is seen in action, for the first time, when a Kroton attempts to destroy it. It is a version of the relocation device mentioned in "The Mind Robber". The TARDIS moves back to its original location by the end of this story. The assumption seems to be that the TARDIS is not indestructible.

A Kroton warship and its crew later feature prominently in the BBC The Eighth Doctor Stories novel "Alien Bodies" which expands upon the hive mind of the crystalline creatures.

This story was repeated on BBC2 in November 1981 as part of "The Five Faces of Doctor Who" - a series of repeats to bridge the long gap between Season Eighteen and Season Nineteen. At the time it was the only 4 part Patrick Troughton story still held in the BBC archives.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first Doctor Who story to be written by Robert Holmes.

 The first time the TARDIS' Hostile Action Displacement System (HADS) is seen in action


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
The Krotons
The Krotons

The TARDIS materialises on a rocky mountainside in a desolate part of an unknown planet. On leaving the TARDIS The Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon and Zoe Heriot spot a city below and decide to go and visit it. As they approach the outskirts of the city they come across a metal door in a rock face. Suddenly the door opens and a man appears. He looks dazed and drained of energy. Before they can go to his assistance nozzles on either side of the doorway spray a smoke at the man and he is vaporised.

The Doctor and his companions rush to the city and enter a hall. They arrive in what appears to be in the middle of a ceremony. After a woman called Vana goes through a doorway a council leader comes over to see the newcomers. Selris explains that they have arrived in the city of the Gonds. When they tell him that they have just seen a man vaporised Selris disbelieves them – especially when he realises that this happened in what the Gonds call the Wasteland. The Doctor has correctly deduced that the man they had seen being killed earlier had been a Gond who had gone through the doorway before Vana and that Vana must therefore be about to suffer the same fate. Another Gond, Thara who is is Selris' son, overhears their story and agrees to enter the wasteland with them so as to save Vana. They arrive back at the door just in time. The Doctor jams the nozzles with rock just as Vara emerges. The Doctor grabs her and they take the catatonic girl to Selris' home to recover.

It is then that The Doctor and his companions learn that the brightest of the Gonds are selected and, like generations before them, they enter the machine of the Krotons so as to serve the Gond’s masters. However, once they enter the machine they are never seen again. It is revealed that this has been happening for thousand of years – after the Krotons descended on the planet in their spaceship that they call a Dynatrope. Since that day the Gonds have lived by the Krotons' laws with each child taught by the Kroton's learning machines. The Krotons are in fact currently in suspended animation, awaiting a time when they can be reconstituted by absorption of mental energy. Hence why they have been educating the Gonds and then summoning the two most brilliant students and then draining them of their mental energy before disposing of them in the Wasteland – that the Krotons created by releasing a poison when, in the past, the Gonds had tried to fight back.

Taking A Stroll
Taking A Stroll

The Gonds had seen the Krotons as friends up to now, but they now realise that they are in fact slaves to the Krotons. After a futile attack on the Kroton's learning machines by a group of Gonds, which results in a snake-like tentacle emerging from the Krotons’ machine, Zoe decides to try out one of the learning machines. She finds it extremely simple and so passes a test with flying colours. To her horror she is then selected to join the Krotons. On learning what Zoe has done, and that she must now enter the Krotons’ machine, The Doctor also takes the test. He too is selected to enter the Kroton’s machine.

Inside they are initially drained of energy – but the soon recover. They then come across a tank of liquid in which crystals are beginning to form into bulky looking shapes. The Doctor takes a sample of the liquid before they both head for the exit. The Doctor then takes the liquid sample back to the TARDIS where he finds that it is based on tellurium – a crystalline substance. They then return to the Gonds city so as to locate their chief scientist. On realising that the Krotons are a crystalline race The Doctor has an idea on how to defeat the Krotons.

Investigating The Kroton's Machine
Investigating The Kroton's Machine

Back inside the Dynatrope the reanimated Krotons have realised that The Doctor and Zoe are too clever to be Gonds and that they must therefore be recaptured to help them power their ship. Meanwhile Jamie has been attempting to break into their ship so as to rescue his friends. The Krotons allow Jamie in and then force him to tell them about the TARDIS and make plans to destroy it. They then declare him to be a primitive and therefore he is of no further use to them – but Jamie has other ideas. The Krotons then try to destroy the TARDIS but, to the frustration of the Krotons, The Doctor’s time machine simply re-appears further up the mountain due to the fact that The Doctor remembered to set the HADS (Hostile Action Displacement System).

With some of the Gonds preparing to attack the Krotons another Gond, called Eelek, plots to seize control of the council from Selris by leading the uprising. Selris persuades the Gonds to forgo a frontal assault on the Krotons and instead they try to remove one of the giant pillars which support the Dynatrope. This though results in the roof of the under hall to collapse killing several Gonds.

The Doctor, with the help of Selris requests that the Gonds' scientist make some sulphuric acid. It is then, along with Zoe, that they learn that Jamie is inside the Dynatrope and they head back to the Wasteland exit to find him – there they discover Jamie trapped halfway under the door and so help him out.

The Doctor and the Metal Snake
The Doctor and the Metal Snake

On returning to the Gonds’ city The Doctor and Zoe discover that the Krotons have ordered that they must re-enter their ship. To persuade the Gonds to comply they have promised to leave the planet if they are given the two travellers. In the absence of Selris – who is assisting Beta, the Gonds scientist, to produce the sulphuric acid - Eelek has agreed and so The Doctor and Zoe are forced to re-enter the Dynatrope. Luckily Selris, who knows how important it is to get the acid to The Doctor, arrives in the hall just in time to throw himself through the closing door. Before the Krotons kill him Selris is able to give The Doctor the container containing the acid.

The Krotons then reveal that they need The Doctor and Zoe's mental abilities to replace two of their crew members who 'ceased to exist' during a space battle that caused them to land on the Gond's planet. While The Doctor keeps the Krotons talking Zoe is able to pour the acid into the Krotons' liquid tank causing the Kroton to suddenly collapse and begin to dissolve. The Doctor notices that the Dynatrope is dissolving too and once outside they find that Jamie, Beta, Thara and Vana have been pouring acid onto the outside of the ship.

With the Krotons destroyed, The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe slip away, leaving the Gonds to find a new leader and to decide their own destiny.

 
A Kroton
A Kroton
A Kroton with a Gun
A Kroton with a Gun
The TARDIS is Attacked
The TARDIS is Attacked
A Kroton Threatens The Doctor and Zoe
A Kroton Threatens The Doctor and Zoe
 
A Scared Zoe and Jamie
A Scared Zoe and Jamie
Jamie is Attacked
Jamie is Attacked
Jamie Strikes Back
Jamie Strikes Back
A Kroton Disintegrates
A Kroton Disintegrates




Quote of the Story


 'Yes. Well Zoe is something of a genius of course. It can be very irritating at times.'

The Doctor



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Video
VHS
The KrotonsFebruary 1991BBCV 4452Alister Pearson
Audio
CD
30 Years at the Radiophonic Workshop1993BBC CD 871Photo-montageSound effects
Audio
CD
Doctor Who at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop Volume One - The Early Years 1963-1969June 2000WMSF 6023-2Music and sound effects
Audio
CD
The KrotonsNovember 2008Photo-montageNarrated by Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon) Double CD Release Includes a bonus interview with Frazer Hines
Video
DVD
The KrotonsJuly 2012BBCDVD 3480Photo-montage
Audio
CD
The KrotonsMay 2013Photo-montageMusic score
Audio
CD
The 50th Anniversary CollectionDecember 2013Photo-montageOriginal Television Soundtracks
Audio
LP
The KrotonsOctober 2016Photo-montageMusic score
Audio
CD
Classic TV Adventures - Collection TwoOctober 2017Photo-montagePart of the "Classic TV Adventures Collection Two" Box Set Narrated by Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon)


In Print

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)PublisherAuthorCover ArtRemarks
Novel
Novel
The KrotonsNovember 1985Target No. 99Terrance DicksAndrew SkilleterISBN: 0-426-20189-2
Novel
Novel
Doctor Who Classics: The Dominators & The KrotonsSeptember 1988Star BooksTerrance DicksAndrew SkilleterDouble story release.
ISBN: 0-352-32265-9
Novel
Novel
The KrotonsJuly 1991Target No. 99Terrance DicksAlister PearsonVirgin new cover reprint.
ISBN: 0-426-20189-2
CD
CD
The KrotonsApril 2020Target No. 99Terrance DicksAndrew SkilleterAudio version of the Target Novel read by Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon).
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time)Issue 47
Doctor Who Monthly - ArchiveIssue 58 (Released: November 1981)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArchiveIssue 85 (Released: February 1984)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 312 (Released: January 2002)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArchiveIssue 318 (Released: June 2002)
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of FictionIssue 554 (Released: September 2020)

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Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Companions

 
Patrick Troughton
The Second Doctor

   

Frazer Hines
Jamie McCrimmon
 
Wendy Padbury
Zoe Heriot
   




On Release

VHS Video Cover
VHS Video Cover

BBC
VIDEO
Sound Effects CD Cover
Sound Effects CD Cover

BBC
AUDIO
Audio - Volume 1: The Early Years
Audio - Volume 1: The Early Years

BBC
AUDIO
   
Soundtrack CD Cover
Soundtrack CD Cover

BBC
AUDIO
DVD Cover
DVD Cover

BBC
VIDEO
The Krotons Music CD Cover
The Krotons Music CD Cover

Silva Screen
AUDIO
   
The 50th Anniversary Collection Cover
The 50th Anniversary Collection Cover

BBC
AUDIO
Music LP Cover
Music LP Cover

Silva Screen
AUDIO
Classic TV Adventures Collection Two CD Cover
Classic TV Adventures Collection Two CD Cover

BBC
AUDIO
   


In Print

Original Target Book Cover
Original Target Book Cover

Target
NOVEL
Doctor Who Classics Cover
Doctor Who Classics Cover

Star Books
NOVEL
Reprinted Virgin Book Cover
Reprinted Virgin Book Cover

Virgin
NOVEL
Target Audio CD Cover
Target Audio CD Cover

BBC
CD
   



Magazines

Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time): Issue 47
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time): Issue 47

CMS
Doctor Who Monthly - Archive: Issue 58
Doctor Who Monthly - Archive: Issue 58

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 85
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 85

Marvel Comics
   
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 312
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 312

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 318
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 318

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 554
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 554

Marvel Comics
   

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