Saturday, August 05, 2017

Doctor Who - The Krotons (1968-69)

Not that it's a topic that comes up very often but whenever the subject does raise its head I point out that my favorite Doctor Who actor is the second man to take the job - Patrick Troughton. I've never been exactly sure why it was so easy for me to fall in love with him as the character. It could be the fact that he was the last Doctor whose adventures were shot in black and white (something that I love) or it could be that I just love the slightly rumpled cosmic hobo idea for Doctor Who. It might also have something to do with the fact that Patrick Troughton was simply an excellent actor and capable of pulling off anything that the scripts asked.

Of course as any fan of 1960s Doctor Who will tell you, one of the big problems with trying to watch Who from that period is that a lot of it got wiped. Yes, a number of classic Hartnell and Troughton episodes have long since vanished because the BBC decided to wipe the tapes on which they were stored. They clearly did not know what they were doing.

The Troughton story that I viewed most recently is The Krotons and it was not one that got lost in the mad desire to clear shelf space in the vaults at the BBC. It was released on video tape in the UK and the USA in 1991 so the fact that I'm only now seeing it is really my fault. I missed out on the US DVD release that has now gone out of print and fetches a ridiculous price here in the states so, being the owner of a region free player, I purchased the relatively cheap DVD from Britain. And boy I'm glad I did! While not being an especially great Doctor Who story The Krotons is an excellent example of exactly what I tune into 1960s Doctor Who to see. The story is engaging, the dialog good,  the Doctor and his companions fit into events very well and the conflicts between the Doctor and the villains and the Doctor and the oppressed people he's there to help are very well drawn.

The only real complaint I have with the story is there's a certain lack of energy at times and the Krotons themselves are pretty pathetic looking at any point in which they move around. They're an interesting design but it's clear that they can't actually do anything. Also, it was fascinating that the usurping bad guy who stupidly gets a number of his oppressed compatriots killed is not dealt with by the end of the story. I suspect there may have been an idea to return to this planet later to deal with what his machinations may have continued to create. Sadly, there was no sequel to The Krotons, though.

So, another fun Troughton Doctor Who story with the excellent combination of Zoe and Jamie as the perfect companions for the adventures I love so much. And of course it helps quite a bit to my eyes that Wendy Padbury as Zoe is running around the entire time in a mini skirt. Damn that was one cute lady!

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