The Doctor (Patrick Troughton), Jamie (Frazer Hines), and Zoe (Wendy Padbury) arrive on a planet where an unusual experiment is occurring. A race called the Gonds are forced to test themselves and give themselves to another race called the Krotons. Those who are selected by the Krotons never return. When Zoe and the Doctor pass the Kroton’s tests, their trip to confront the Krotons could bring about revolution for the Gonds.
Doctor Who: The Krotons aired during the sixth season of the long running BBC series. The story aired in four parts from December 1968 to January 1969. Following Doctor Who: The Invasion, Doctor Who: The Kroton was collected as part of The Patrick Troughton Years as Story #47.
Stories like Doctor Who: The Krotons are very typical Doctor Who. The story was originally conceived as a potentially stand-alone series called The Trap but the BBC sculpted it into a Doctor Who story. While typical, Doctor Who: The Kroton isn’t bad…nor is it very memorable.
The first problem is two generic alien species. The Gonds are just people who are enslaved by the Krotons. It would have been more interesting if they had been slightly less human (but the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe also had to blend in with them). The Krotons are poorly designed robots. With fun enemies like the Cybermen, I wish the Krotons were more interesting in their design…though I do like that they are kind of bossy and bitchy.
The second problem of the story is that the first half of the story just involves entering/exiting a door. One door was in the base the other door was outside the base and the outside door is protected by the worst security system which people can evade by simply going off the side of the ramp. A character will enter the door and another character follows when the door opens again…that how a lot of the series work. It isn’t particularly compelling and it begins to become ridiculous.
Doctor Who: The Krotons is an average Doctor Who series. With so few Patrick Troughton serials existing however, you have to enjoy his appearances when you can find it. The Krotons have appeared in other Doctor Who material, but haven’t returned for a serial since their first entry…and that probably isn’t a bad thing. Doctor Who: The Krotons was followed by Doctor Who: The Seeds of Death.