Doctor Who: The Power of Kroll (Story #102)

doctor who the power of kroll story #102 dvd cover
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 6/10

Swampies and Kroll

Rather bland episode

doctor who the power of kroll story 102 romana tom baker mary tamm

The Key of Time will be mine…oh yes, it will be mine!

The search for the Key of Time leads the Doctor (Tom Baker) and Romana (Mary Tamm) to the third moon of Delta Magna.  On the moon, a battle is brewing between the Swampies who worship Kroll and the Earthling miners stripping the land of its resources.  The Doctor and Romana quickly find that Kroll has been disturbed and that Kroll wants a sacrifice…and that sacrifice could be the Doctor and Romana!

Doctor Who:  The Power of Kroll aired as part of the sixteenth season of Doctor Who.  Following Doctor Who:  The Androids of Tara, the serial aired from December 23, 1978 to January 13, 1979.  Doctor Who:  The Power of Kroll was released as part of The Tom Baker Years as Story #102.  The serial is part of the larger sixteenth season long serial called The Key to Time and usually packaged with stories #99-104.

doctor who the power of kroll swampies

Leave Pandora and our unobtanium!

The Key of Time storyline is where I started to fall off of Doctor Who in my watching of the pre-relaunch episodes.  Though my viewing was scattershot, I had fond memories of Tom Baker and seeing Doctor Who on occasion as a kid (though I thought it was weird and kind of scary).  Doctor Who:  The Key of Time feels like it dips its toe in the future of Doctor Who with a longer storyline and smaller stories within it…unfortunately not all the stories are interesting.

This story feels like a lot of nature vs. tech and natives vs. invaders.  You have a creeping horror in Kroll that threatens everyone (natives and invaders), but the natives and the invaders are too busy squabbling to notice the giant squid bearing down on them until it is too late.  It is a rather odd approach to throw the “Swampies” under the bus like the Earthling when they are the one whose land has been taken and stripped.

The primary story is the natives vs. invaders story which feels like Dances with Wolves, Ferngully, and Pocahontas (and therefor Avatar which stole all their plots).  It isn’t as native-friendly since the natives are rather faulted as well, but both the Doctor and Romana bounce between both groups (though Neil McCarthy is clearly the villain of the story).  It isn’t the strongest and wasn’t well received.

doctor who the power of kroll story 102 monster

Hey, Kroll! How’s it hanging?

The monster itself is kind of fun as it looms over the miniatures made for the episode.  The Swampies also suffered off screen because the green paint they used to color them didn’t turn out to be easy to remove since it was water resistant because of the location and no remover was ordered.

Doctor Who:  The Power of Kroll is just another step in the Doctor Who:  The Key of Time saga and fortunately it is the penultimate entry in that story which has been slow to develop.  I’m glad that the story is wrapping up at this point because it is obvious that there is a bit of lack of direction by the writers on what part of the story should be the dominate…the Key is the Doctor’s one-armed man and the fugitive of time keeps chasing it.  Doctor Who:  The Power of Kroll is followed by Doctor Who:  The Armageddon Factor.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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