Monday, July 27, 2009
I mentioned earlier how this story is the debut of esteemed writer Robert Holmes, but I've neglected to mention that this story is also the premiere Doctor Who television performance* of Sir Philip Madoc. Although this is easily his least notable role in the programme's history, it still stands up as a typically Madocian performance, that of a fiendishly well-played jerk.
Madoc's character, Eelek, has aspirations to take over the leadership of the Gonds from the kind, yet ineffectual (my new favourite word over the past few days) Selris. Eelek also has the backing or pretty much every other Gond we meet, too. But really, if Philip Madoc wanted to take over Canada, I'd vote for him, too.
We finally get a good look at the eponymous Krotons in this episode. As Terrance Dicks has intimated in pretty much every single interview he has ever given, he had to rewrite scenes in Holmes' scripts to make up for the fact that the Krotons couldn't actually move. They do wobble wonderfully well, though, but whenever they do move, their actions are narrated by characters onscreen, and then, in the next shot, we see that the Kroton has reached its destination. Yes, they're crap monsters, but I still crack up every time I see them, and their voices are equally memorable. How many times have I repeated the phrase "That is not a Gond!" (pronounced "Thowt is nowt a Gownd!") since I've seen this story? Honestly - at least three times.
The blooper of this episode appears at the very end when Beta, whose stature in the proceedings is growing along with the length of his sideburns, appears in his laboratory in one scene, and is then seen in the very next (prefilmed) in the Learning Hall when the roof collapses. He's quick, that one.
*assuming that Madoc's equally stellar performance in the 1966 Doctor Who film Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. was never shown on British television before 1969.
Posted by Steven at 11:01 AM