Tuesday, December 8, 2009

5E2 - The Power of Kroll 2

I remember reading something about The Power of Kroll a few years ago that astounded me. I've spent some time since reading that information validating wherever I could, double checking it when I could, just to prove it's veracity. When I saw that all the varying sources that carried this information jived, I was only then able to believe what I saw in front of me.

And that is this. On December 23, 1979, 6.5 million people in the UK sat down on the last Saturday night before Christmas and watched Episode One of The Power of Kroll. The next week, on December 30, Episode Two was watched by a staggering 12.4 million viewers. Twelve. Point. Four. Million. Almost double the number of how many people saw Episode One. Things settled down somewhat for Episodes Three and Four (8.9 million and 9.9 million, respectively), but it's that jump from One to Two that still floors me.

What did people see in Episode One that made them tell all their friends to watch the next episode? Was there a snowstorm in the UK on December 30, thus forcing everyone to stay inside and watch TV that night? Conversely, and more unlikely, did half of the 12.4 million for Episode Two want to watch Episode One a week previously, but were just unable to?

Having seen half of this story now, I honestly can't see the reasoning for such an alarming jump in the ratings. Granted, it does feature both Philip Madoc and John Abineri, both in their final Who roles (and both appearing to regret their decisions to not make their previous appearances in Doctor Who their last ones), Glyn Owen in about as laid back a performance of a gun runner that you're ever likely to see, and two (unintentionally) hilarious cliffhangers that need to be seen to be believed. But is it "12.4 million" good? I just don't think so...


Luke said...

I can't think of any cliffhanger in the entire run of Doctor Who that has horrified me more than the cliffhanger to this episode.

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