Last updated 04 May 2015

Doctor Who: The Power of Kroll

The Power of Kroll

Story Number: 102 (5E)
No of Episodes: 4

Writer: Robert Holmes
Director: Norman Stewart
Producer: Graham Williams

Starring: Tom Baker, Mary Tamm, Philip Madoc, Glyn Owen, John Leeson

BBC One (United Kingdom):
First Broadcast: Saturday 23rd December 1978 - Saturday 13th January 1979
Running Time: 1 hour, 31 minutes, 7 seconds

Average Audience: 9.43 Million   Average AI: 16

The TARDIS arrives on the third moon of Delta Magna and the Doctor and Romana are forced to leave K-9 behind as the ground is marshy. While they are trying to get an accurate reading on the tracer, the Doctor is shot at by Fenner and Thawn, two men from a nearby methane catalysing refinery, while Romana is captured by a group of green-skinned natives, the Swampies, who are buying guns from a gun-running human called Rohm-Dutt. Rohm-Dutt is supplying the guns as part of a plot by Thawn to discredit the pro-Swampie Sons of Earth organisation and open the way for the Swampies to be wiped out. The Swampies intend to attack the refinery on the following day and plan to sacrifice Romana to their god Kroll that evening.

The Doctor is taken back to the refinery where, hearing the sacrificial drums, he learns from Mensch, a Swampie working at the base, that someone is to be sacrificed.

The Doctor leaves and makes his way towards the Temple of Kroll to rescue Romana. This he does and he and Romana also discover a passageway in the ground, and in it a book which tells of Kroll. Meanwhile the humans at the refinery notice that the sea-bed is shifting and moving as if something massive is underground.

The Swampies, led by Ranquin, prepare their attack but the arrangements are cut short when an enormous squid-creature appears on the horizon. This is the creature seen moving under the sea bed; it is the great god Kroll. Kroll heads for the refinery and attacks it while the Doctor, Romana and Rohm-Dutt are sentenced to be sacrified to the god. They are to be stretched to death by being tied hand and foot to some steadily contracting vines.

A storm breaks outside and the Doctor shatters the window with a high-pitched scream, so that rain can come in and slacken the vines, allowing them to escape.

As they make their way across the swamp, Rohm-Dutt is caught and killed by one of Kroll's tentacles but the Doctor and Romana manage to get back to the refinery. 

Thawn plans to kill Kroll by aiming an orbital plasma rocket at it - the rockets are normally used to seed the moon's atmosphere thus producing more methane. The Doctor and Romana go to the rocket silo where the Doctor disables the missile.

Furious, Thawn takes the Doctor and Romana prisoner once more, but then the Swampies attack, killing Thawn. Kroll then attacks the refinery once again and the Doctor goes outside armed only with the tracer.

He points the tracer at the monster, which is transformed into the fifth segment. It was the segment which was responsible for Kroll growing to such mammoth proportions in the first place.

Synopsis from Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Handbook by David J. Howe, Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker, reprinted with permission; further reproduction is not permitted. Available from Telos

Associated Products