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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's all in the mind
This is a clever Doctor Who story ostensibly about crystalline aliens who are dissolved in solvent and who can be restored by brainpower which can also drive their spaceship. The indigenous population are reared like sheep and educated in the learning halls to develop the intellect that the Krotons need whereupon they will leave the p;anet. Of course, the Doctor and his...
Published on July 1, 2002 by Junglies

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Wendy Padbury Salvages A 3-Star Rating
Blech!

I really liked the few Patrick Troughtons that are still available that I have seen, but this is by far the worst. It makes "The Dominators" look like an award winner.

Even at 4 episodes, it appears padded because nothing was really happening.

"Gonds" (the natives of the planet the Tardis lands on) are being...
Published 6 months ago by KnightReader


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's all in the mind, July 1, 2002
By 
Junglies (Morrisville, NC United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This is a clever Doctor Who story ostensibly about crystalline aliens who are dissolved in solvent and who can be restored by brainpower which can also drive their spaceship. The indigenous population are reared like sheep and educated in the learning halls to develop the intellect that the Krotons need whereupon they will leave the p;anet. Of course, the Doctor and his companions arrive and upset the applecart in their usual manner.
Why is this a clever story? Well the thrust of the plot is about the technologically superior aliens, crystalline based and susceptible to acid attack. However, the sub-plot revolves around the servile and passive Gonds who serve up their best and their brightest to be dispersed by the Krotons after they have been tested for brainpower. The interest lies in the revolutionary feelings of some of the younger members of the group, the staid conservatism of the leader and the almost complete disinterest in intellectual advancement. What occurs leads into revolt and betrayal, of the whole group and of the Doctor . There is a further side to this story of the intellectual arrogance of the Doctor and Zoe and the observation of the lack of common sense attached to high academic and intellectual ability.
All in all a very deep and complex story which operates on many levels. There is a comic side too of the many travels like a merry-go-round when the humanoids pass in, through and out of the Krotons ship and the surreal moment when the Kroton, travelling outside of the spaceship gets lost and cannot locate his position.
Lots of meat in this one originally broadcast 28 December 1968 through 18 January 1969.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another man against machine Who story, July 9, 2003
The ying-yang like halves opening in the wall of the Gond people's teaching hall foreshadows a fight between good and bad. Two students, Abu and Vana, have been given the highest honour, to become companions of the Krotons. Yet Thara, the hot-headed son of Council leader Selris, adamantly tries to stop his girlfriend from going. "Why do we take their orders? We don't even know if they exist."
Landing on a rocky planet that "looks dead, smells dead," the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe, encounter a machine and rescue Vana from certain death from it. Companions of the Krotons, huh?
When Selris learns the truth, the enormity of it sinks in. "The Krotons have been our benefactors. ... Our two best students join the Krotons. They can't all have been murdered!" He also fears that if other Gonds learn the truth, they will rise up against the Krotons, only to be slaughtered. That is being planned under Selris's deputy Eelek. Yet the Gonds' main problem is that they are dependent on the Krotons, especially the teaching machines. Consider this exchange:
Doctor: And everyone uses these machines?
Selris: When they are young, yes. That is the law.
Doctor: Whose law, Selris?
Selris: Our laws--the Gonds'.
Doctor: But I thought you said all your law was given to you by the Krotons?
Selris: Yes, all our science, all our culture, everything we have has come from the machines.
Doctor: I see. A sort of self-perpetuating slavery.
Things heat up, when in the course of their investigation, Zoe unwittingly submits herself to a Kroton teaching machine, reaches one of the highest scores ever, and is selected to become a companion for the Krotons. The Doctor also takes the test to be with her. There's humorous mention about Zoe's intelligence: "Yes, well, Zoe is something of a genius, of course. It can be very irritating at times," to which she shows her cute smile and lets out a small laugh. In other words, a Hermione Granger nearly thirty years before Harry Potter. Zoe later says cheekily, "The Doctor is almost as clever as I am." Almost? Well, actually, Zoe... But this is a great story for Zoe, showing off her math skills as well as a cute miniskirt. Jamie has a good hand-to-hand combat moment in Episode 1.
Beta the controller of Science, like Selris, wants to be free, but is rational about it. "We only know what the Krotons tell us. We don't think. We obey.", and "I'm tired of being fed information like a dog like scraps." The key though, as the Doctor and Zoe notice, are certain gaps in the Gonds' education, which may be significant.
There is a bit of a goof, as it's clear that the bottom of the Krotons are cloth and not metal.
Gilbery Wynne, who kind of resembles Dick Gephardt (D-NE), does a good job as Thara, as does James Copeland as Selris. Phil Madoc plays Eelek with a menacing understatedness. He would later appear in three Who stories: The War Games (1969), The Brain Of Morbius (1976), The Power Of Kroll (1979). And Roy Skeleton, who did voices for the Daleks and early Cybermen, provides voices for the Krotons.
Not a bad story, considering how the sixth season of Dr. Who is the most complete Patrick Troughton season.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gond but not forgotten..., July 31, 2012
By 
buckbooks (Hillsboro, Oregon USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Krotons (Story 47) (DVD)
"The Krotons" is a routine story from Patrick Troughton's last season as the Doctor, but it was the first scripted by Robert Holmes, who would go on to pen such classic Doctor Who stories as "Pyramids of Mars," "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" and "The Caves of Androzani." "The Krotons" was a back-up script commissioned by Terrance Dicks, who was being phased in as script editor at the time, and might never have been used if director David Maloney hadn't balked at the story that had been scheduled, an adventure set on a prison planet run by women in scanty leather costumes. Actor Frazer Hines (Jamie) was bitterly disappointed, but he was the only one.

In "The Krotons," the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe land on a desolate planet inhabited by the Gonds, a technologically primitive society that has been enslaved by the unseen Krotons for a thousand years. The Krotons test Gond youths for intelligence and skim off the cream of each new generation to join them as "companions" inside their machine, never to be seen again. The Doctor and company discover the Krotons are actually killing the Gonds after siphoning off their brainpower to extend the Krotons' robotic lives. Meanwhile, the Krotons learn that the Doctor and Zoe possess higher IQs capable of powering the Kroton ship, which would allow them to escape the Gond planet for good.

The blocky Krotons (which were called "croutons" by the cast and crew) don't make for very menacing aliens, but director Maloney compensates by shooting them in close-up from the waist up, somewhat disguising the fact that there are only two of them and they can't see or walk very well. Philip Madoc makes his series debut as Eelek, a minor Gond villain who tries to trade the Doctor and Zoe to the Krotons in exchange for their promise to leave the Gonds in peace. Madoc would go on to play much more complex, convincing nemeses of the Doctor in "The War Games" and "The Brain of Morbius" in addition to playing the evil Huron Indian chief Magua in the BBC's 1971 production of "The Last of the Mohicans" (also directed by Maloney).

I would normally rate a humdrum story like "The Krotons" only three stars, but I give this DVD four stars for the unusually crisp quality of the digital transfer and the high caliber of the added Special Features. Most of the original videotape from the William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton years was wiped by the BBC for reuse, meaning that surviving episodes are usually restored from film copies made for foreign TV markets. "The Krotons" exhibits none of the fuzzy, grainy qualities that plague so many of these restored episodes.

The Special Features menu leads with a 52-minute documentary spanning the Patrick Troughton years, which contained so many milestones that would later shape the series: the first regeneration of the Doctor to replace the aging William Hartnell, a one-time gimmick that was not meant to be repeated; the phasing out of purely historical stories in favor of stories with science-fiction elements in historical settings; the scripting troubles that led to such creative stories as "The Mind Robbers" and "The War Games"; the creation of UNIT to take pressure off the lead actor playing the Doctor; the introduction of the Time Lords and the Doctor's back story as a rebel Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey; the Doctor's trial by the Time Lords and exile to Earth, without a working TARDIS, to cut series costs.

The Special Features also include a 17-minute interview with Frazer Hines (funny, as always) and a brief send-up of the Krotons by writers Joseph Lidster and Simon Guerrier (less funny). Not to be missed is the audio commentary, which includes the aforementioned Madoc on three of the four episodes, talking about his later work on Doctor Who and "The Last of the Mohicans." (The veteran Welsh character actor passed away in March 2012.)
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Troughton Who episode, November 19, 2002
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I've been buying loads of Doctor Who videos and DVDs recently, most of which I have never seen. Being a fan of the series, I knew who Patrick Troughton was, but never saw any of his episodes. His appearance in The Five Doctors was just a glimps into what the second Doctor was like and "Who" he was. Needless to say I wanted more. Tomb of the Cybermen was my first Troughton episode...I'm convinced he is one of the best Doctors ever. The Krotons is another excellent episode. An interesting story, cold, creepy and truly alien aliens with bizarre technology and a solid cast. The Kroton's accent made me laugh a few times (don't always sound so bright) but somehow that just added to the charm of this episode. Is it just me, or does black and white seem more believable? I pity the latter generations who may never see anything broadcasted black and white on the TV... Another quality episode recommended for any fan of Dr Who or Sci-fi.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD Extras for Great Twist on the story of Minotaur tribute, April 21, 2012
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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Krotons (Story 47) (DVD)
But tin-can adversaries don't bother me - I am one of those who takes delight in cheesy sets, costumes and effects in classic Dr. Who episodes. Of course, I love the professional effects in the new Dr. Who's, too. I guess I just love Dr. Who!

"The Krotons", a black & white episode starring Patrick Troughton as the Doctor, first aired in 1968. The Krotons, as a race, have a complicated story. They are evolved from tellurium, a mildy toxic rare earth mineral on Earth, but common in the rest of the galaxy. [Sidebar: True fact - toxic levels of tellurium give humans garlic breath!] Kroton bodies are naturally brittle crystalline, but they can break down and reform to suit the environment. They also have the ability to transfer mental power into pure energy. In addition, they can hibernate in a crystalline slurry, which is their initial form on the unnamed planet where the action takes place.

I'll call it the Planet of the Gonds, for the Gonds are the humanoid natives of the planet on which the Doctor, Zoe and Jaime land. They leave the TARDIS to investigate; the Doctor using an umbrella to shade himself from the two suns beating down on the bleak inhospitable landscape. The travelers are dismayed by the Gond culture. The Krotons are unseen overlords, staying to their home, the Dynatrope. Gonds are kept in line by two methods. First, the Gonds are required to use the Teaching Machines, basically subliminal mind-control. Second, periodically, the two best and brightest of the Gonds must leave their families as tribute, to live in the Dynatrope as companions to the Krotons, never to be seen again.

Before they even know the whole story, the Doctor and Zoe witness the death of one of the latest tribute duo, and help the 2nd escape. Aha! The tribute has two purposes. One, the best of the Gond brains are drained of their mental powers to form energy for the Krotons, who need a massive amount of energy to reform and repair their crash-landed spaceship (the Dynatrope), and leave the planet. Secondly, by harvesting the brightest minds, it is easier to keep the Gonds in their primitive state. Or, as the Doctor says, their "self-perpetuating slavery".

The Doctor befriends a Gond scientist, and realizes that, in particular, the Gonds are not allowed to increase their knowledge of chemistry. Hmmm. So the Krotons are especially worried that the Gonds may put two and two chemically together. Now that gives him something to work on.

I love the back story of how the Krotons work and how they've used the Gonds for centuries. Shades of the Minotaur and Hunger Games and what else.

This is a review of the July 2012 DVD, which will be the first time "The Krotons" has been released on DVD. The release will be on a single disc of 91 minutes.

Extras:
1. Audio commentary. Commentators include Philip Madoc (who played Eelek), Richard Ireson (played Axus), Gilbert Wynn (played Thara), David Tilley (assistant floor manager), Sylvia James (make-up designer), Bobi Bartlett (costume designer) and Brian Hodgson (special sounds designer). As with other recent DVD releases, the commentary is moderated by Toby Hadoke.
(Added after my DVD was received and watched:) Bobi Bartlett says that she used to go straight to the factory and buy big rolls of treated paper, which she used to make costumes. In this episode, Zoe's costume is a skirt and short jacket made of the disposable paper.
Also mentioned is that the Krotons deliberately spoke with South African accents, as a subtle political comment.
2. "Second Time Around: The Patrick Troughton Years". This feature looks back on Troughton's Doctor Who.
(Added after DVD received:) This is a great feature. Commentators are Gerry Davis (story editor 1966-67), Anneke Wills (played Polly, companion), Robert Shearman (writer 2005), Innes Lloyd (producer), Gary Russell (script editor for BBC 2006-11), Christopher Barry (director "The Power of the Daleks, the first Troughton serial), Frazer Hines (played companion Jamie), Deborah Watling (played Victoria, who replaced Polly as companion), Victor Pemberton (writer & script editor 1967-68), Derrick Sherwin (script editor & producer 1968-69), Terence Dicks (writer & scipt editor 1968-83), Wendy Padbury (played Zoe, companion after Victoria).
The feature starts with participants talking about the end of William Hartnell's Doctor. Hartnell was extremely popular, but his health wasn't that good and he needed to leave. Robert Shearman points out that nowdays, people expect the Who actor to change. But back in 1966, it was unheard of.
They didn't use the term regeneration, when they switched from Hartnell to Troughton, they just desperately had to think of something to allow the show to keep going.
Terence Dick says that "The Krotons" serial "is not a bad show, except it had possibly the worst monster in the history of Dr.Who." Though I do have other favorite lame bad guys, I have to admit that watching the Krotons move in the long shots is funny - the lower 1/3 of the costume is a fabric floor-length skirt. When the actors inside the Krotons walk, you can see their legs moving.
3. "Doctor Who Stories - Frazer Hines (Part One)". This is from a 2003 interview with actor Frazer Hines, who plays the Doctor's companion Jamie McCrimmon. Hines talks about his time with Doctor Who.
(Added after DVD received:) Frazer also counts the Krotons as the worst Dr. Who monsters and says, "We called them the Croutons, because they were square."
Part Two of Frazer Hines appears as an extra on the 2013 DVD release of "The Ice Warriors".
Incidentally, the Doctor Who Stories have great shadow puppet show introductions - creative and fun to watch.
4. "The Doctor's Strange Love: The Krotons". Joseph Lidster and Simon Guerrier, writers, look back on the Krotons. (They were not the writers for the episode.)
5. Coming soon trailer
6. Digitally remastered picture and sound
7. PDF materials: Radio Times Listings
8. Production Note Subtitles
9. Photo gallery

Happy Reader
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting To The Very End, May 3, 2000
By A Customer
This is one of the more exciting Troughten era episodes (unlike that ever-so long "The Invasion")! It has many comedic moments as well. My favorite scene is when the Doctor and Zoe try to pass the Gond machine test. There are also more gibes at Jamie for being a little "below average."
I highly recommend this video for any Doctor Who fan!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good Patrick Troughton story, August 28, 2012
Arriving on a desolate planet, the (Second) Doctor, Jamie and Zoe are surprised to find it inhabited by a human-like race, called the Gonds. However, something very strange is going on on this world. A mysterious people, called the Krotons, are apparently selecting the most intelligent of the Gonds, and after some experimentation, killing them. It is up to the Doctor to figure out what is happening and why, and save the Gonds. But first, he's going to have to keep himself and his companions alive!

This is a very good Patrick Troughton story that first aired December 28, 1968 to January 18, 1969, and is composed of four episodes. I enjoyed seeing the Second Doctor again, and thought that this was a good sci-fi story. It's definitely worth seeing!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mighty oaks from little acorns grow ..., July 14, 2012
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Krotons (Story 47) (DVD)
Pat Troughton is wonderful. Robert Holmes is wonderful. "The Krotons," as a serial, is not. Season Six of Classic "Who" was notoriously uneven, even by Classic Who standards, and with dodgy monsters in mini-skirts, this 4-parter wasn't among the highlights. That said, if you give a monkey's uncle about Classic Who, or British television of the era, it's a fantastic find; The picture and sound quality are superb, given the source material, and the extras on the DVD are arguably THE best of any Troughton-era disc save for "The War Games." Specifically, the 52-minute documentary summarizing Troughton's era (1966-69) and some of the executive decisions that steered it, "Second Time Around," is MANDATORY viewing for any Who fan -- classic or current, young or old. And the feature on the affable Frazer Hines is, as expected, a riot -- especially the story about what he heard while hiding inside a Dalek casing during filming of "The Evil of the Daleks." Sadly, the fanboy discussion of the Krotons themselves -- here titled "The Doctor's Strange Love" -- was a total waste of disc space; pity that segment wasn't used instead to focus on the story's author, Bob Holmes, as this was his first submission to "Who," and he would, in short order, become one of the central figures that would loom over the next two decades of the program. Still, it's a minor quibble; by and large, the extras are pristine, highly re-watchable, and more than worth the purchase price.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Wendy Padbury Salvages A 3-Star Rating, July 13, 2014
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Krotons (Story 47) (DVD)
Blech!

I really liked the few Patrick Troughtons that are still available that I have seen, but this is by far the worst. It makes "The Dominators" look like an award winner.

Even at 4 episodes, it appears padded because nothing was really happening.

"Gonds" (the natives of the planet the Tardis lands on) are being vaporized, two by two after falling to have enough mental energy to power the Krotons (the invaders) ship.

There is an internal power struggle between the leader of the Gonds (oh! The Krotons are too powerful, we can't defeat them) and a usurper (let's shoot fire at them with slingshots).

When the Krotons discover that The Doctor's and Zoe's brains are much more powerful, they want to capture our heroes (Jamie IS captured, but he's not smart enough) so a lot of time is spent running around cheesy sets.

The "all-powerful" Krotons (who resemble dreidels balanced precariously on cheese graters----and are almost as scary) spend the entire for episodes slowly running OUT of power until they finally fizzle (literally, melting like a sugar glaze in heat)

The ONLY redeeming feature of this story that makes it worth watching over and over is that the adorable Wendy Padbury as Zoe is in about half the total scenes, wearing a plastic micro-miniskirt.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good but not essential bit of Doctor Who, June 14, 2014
By 
dwall (Dubuque, Iowa) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Krotons (Story 47) (DVD)
I'm a huge fan of this show, both classic era and new, and this is your average stuck-in-one-place, mostly-unseen-villain Who story. Although any adventure with Patrick Troughton is worth the time, especially with Wendy Padbury and Frazier Hines alongside, it isn't anything special or essential to the deep Who canon. For Troughton or completist fans only, I would venture to say.
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Doctor Who: The Krotons (Story 47)
Doctor Who: The Krotons (Story 47) by David Maloney (DVD - 2012)
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