What a difference a year (or a week) makes. This weeks backward stop in classic cap-itology is more of small step, moving from 1970 and The Ambassadors of Death to 1969 and The Krotons. This story is more loved and remembered than it probably deserves to be for two good reasons…
- It’s a survivor. The Krotons survived the decimation that was the purge of the BBC Archives.
- It was included as part of the “Five Faces of Doctor Who” ‘season’ of stories back in 1981. Certainly related to reason 1 (and at the time The Krotons was the only surviving 4-part Troughton story, which was needed for that rare rerun of classic stories on the BBC)
Still the legacy of The Krotons is a little on the shaky side, despite the pedigree of the principals involved. This was Robert Holmes’ first story, although it was adapted for another series and rushed into production when Dick Sharples script Prison in Space fell through. This was David Maloney’s second directorial effort, and he would go on to direct many more stories with greater aplomb. And finally Philip Madoc made his first Doctor Who TV appearance (he appeared in Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.) and would be back a few weeks later in The War Games.
The Krotons was then by necessity a small, almost entirely studio-bound story, and of limited ambition. The Krotons themselves are bulky, stentorian oppressors and ultimately uninteresting.
There’s a significant Tour event coming soon. Probably an anniversary if we were to guess. Keep coming back to see what’s round the corner.