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Doctor Who: The Krotons (Story 47)

4.5 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Doctor Who: Ep. 47 - Krotons, The

The Doctor, Zoe and Jamie are drawn into rebellions of the Gonds against their unseen rulers, the Krotons.


The Krotons is one of the final episodes, from the late 1960s, with the underrated Patrick Troughton playing the good Doctor. The Krotons is a clever story, including the best elements of a good Star Trek story as well as The Twilight Zone, with a lot of humor, and even a little politics, thrown in. The Doctor, Jamie (Frazer Hines), and Zoe (Wendy Padbury) arrive on the planet of the Gonds in the TARDIS and discover that the Krotons are controlling the best and brightest of the Gonds. At first it's not clear if the Krotons' intent is toward a greater good or not, but the slow realization of what is truly going on gives our heroes a lot to think about--and to try to rectify. In many ways, the political undercurrent in The Krotons is surprising yet very much of its time. There are nods to the Cold War and the control that Communism held on people behind the Iron Curtain, and there's a bit of late-'60s countercultural rebellion against The Man, and becoming a resident of a house made out of ticky-tacky. There's a good bit of unsettling fear in this episode too, and the fates of the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe hang in the balance for a good portion of the episode. This disc is packed with cool extras, including astute audio commentary by some of the supporting cast, the makeup director, the costume designer, and production managers. There's also a great hour-long documentary about Troughton's era as the Doctor, shedding light on his particular comedic bent on the character. There's a BBC documentary, and a fan featurette, and several other great goodies that all Doctor Who fans will not want to be without. --A.T. Hurley

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines, Wendy Padbury, Philip Madoc
  • Directors: David Maloney
  • Writers: Robert Holmes
  • Producers: Peter Bryant
  • Format: Multiple Formats, NTSC, Black & White
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 10, 2012
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007VFF7KA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,935 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Doctor Who: The Krotons (Story 47)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Junglies VINE VOICE on July 1, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"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.
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Format: VHS Tape
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.
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