Doctor Who - Documentary s06e10 Episode Script

The Doctors Strange Love - The Krotons

-Uh, so I am Simon Gond.
-And I am Joe Gond.
And we are going to be talking about the Krotons.
Uh, which is the first Doctor Who story written by Robert Holmes.
How great a debut is it? I don't think it's as bad as people make it out to be.
I think it actually He creates an interesting society.
And actually it's quite a bleak place.
It's quite a scary place because it's quite bleak.
Um, and the actual Krotons plan and them not actually existing at the time and having to be made out of crystals and stuff, all that stuff I think is great.
-Structurally it works very well.
I think all the cliff-hangers are quite strong.
I think the setup is very strong.
I really like things like, when we arrive on the planet with the Tardis, that it smells, that there's two suns.
Very quickly, you establish an alien world, how it works, who these groups of people are.
It's all there, it's just not especially exciting.
No, and it's a bit B movie.
You do have the beautiful lady with the hair.
Lots of people are saying, ''But you are my father and I am your son ''and I am rebelling and I am a rebel.
'' But I think, you know, the actual message behind the story, which is to question things, make your own minds up, learn, is, you know, the standard good message in Doctor Who.
It's a completely competent, professional script.
You know, it's It's just that it's by Robert Holmes.
-You kind of think, ''Oh, it's'' -Yeah.
''He would later do a lot better.
'' And also it's full of things that I really like.
Like I think Philip Madoc's character is amazingly uh, well-realised and beautifully played.
And is full of menace and he's just this ordinary guy, who's out for what he gets.
And at the end he's not defeated, he just goes off and they say, ''We've still got him to face.
'' And you go, that's a whole other story.
But, I mean, that's thing in The Krotons, I mean, it's all about this world that has been living in this state for quite a long time, you know, for all these years.
They have been sending students to their deaths.
It seems quite explicit to me in The Krotons -that the rebels are students.
They are the young, angry people who are rebelling against what they've been told is the state of play, this is the way we live.
There's also something quite strange about sending their best and brightest off to their deaths, basically, as a society and you kind of go, ''Are you trying to make a point about war or something?'' The one thing it has got is something just slightly scarier about other worlds in black-and-white.
It does feel like the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe have landed on another planet.
I could watch those three, you know, prat about in a quarry for an hour, -'cause they're just great.
-And all of the kind of loyalties between them when Jamie's left behind and is wondering what's happening, and you're kind of going, ''No, they've got out, ''and you're running into trouble because you want'' So it generates the story, as well as being very warm and Yes! Which again, sign of a good writer.
He's using their actual characteristics, not creating new things specifically for the purpose of the story.
Zoe already is a high brain, you know.
And I loveI absolutely love the Doctor doing the computer test and getting it wrong and wanting to do again and Actually my favourite bit in the story is the Doctor and Zoe at the end when they're trying to stall things.
And they sort of prat about and they start doing this ''I'll stand here.
'' ''Oh, no, no, I'll stand here.
'' ''You stand here if you want.
'' A lesser writer They would have, um, had the Doctor take Zoe to one side and say (MUMBLING INSTRUCTIONS) But actually, he has enough respect in his audience to go, ''Zoe's bright.
Zoe knows what the Doctor is doing.
'' And they both instantly just stand there and go, ''Well, I'll stand here, I'll stand here.
'' And it's great and it's just really funny.
And it's that brilliant thing of the Doctor, Zoe and Jamie are like school kids, you know, they are such good fun.
SIMON: I love the cliff-hanger with, um, the snaky thing coming out the door because what's great about that is that it's all about Patrick Troughton selling it and its him being scared and him being chased around.
And so the whole cliff-hanger is just based on his facial expressions.
-And actually, brilliantly, you get given the solution to how he's going to get past that.
Because in the cliff-hanger, he puts his hands over his face, and that's actually how he solves it.
It's basically a monster playing peek-a-boo.
Actually what it reminds me of, though, is the thing from War of the Worlds, you know, when it comes out, I love the way he sort of snakes around.
I think it's a great effect as well, you know, it stood the test of time.
So what about the Krotons themselves? They look good from the waist up.
(LAUGHING) I love the spinning heads.
Yeah, now I think I like how alien they are.
You know, I like that they are proper aliens and aliens made of crystal.
I think the fact that they get made in the story and their plan all makes sense and everything, you know, I I think they're great.
I think the idea that they can power everything by intelligence is a great idea.
I also like the idea that people go in and then are killed.
And it's very simple but there's this odd thing where if you go into the machine you're given a necklace and the necklace is the only thing that survives.
Out there, they only find one necklace.
Why don't they find a whole pile of them? -That That -The snake eye has a magnet on it and it goes out and picks it up and brings it back in.
And drops it in the bin.
It's also a very cool Doctor Who idea where people have been told they can't go outside.
And they believe it and actually just the Doctor coming in and going, ''Oh, no, it's fine,'' completely shifts the whole thing.
And what I really like in The Krotons is that you don't get it all happening at once.
It's one or two people going, ''Well, it must be okay then,'' and everybody else is going, ''Is it? Isn't it?'' And that kind of stuff I really like.
And so Philip Madoc begins by wanting to kill the Doctor and things because he's challenging things.
And then later on in the story when he comes back, he's already accepted it and he sees his chance to be the leader and you go, ''Their whole world has changed, ''and all their potentials, just by having the Doctor walk in, ''without that ever having to be really stated.
'' And then again it's a sign of a very good writer in that there's a bit of depth of character there.
It might not be as strong what we see later in Robert Holmes stories but there's definite layers to the people involved.
SIMON: When it was shown in 1 981 , it was kind of the only four-parter of Patrick Troughton that you could show.
It's now one of two that exists.
But it's not exactly representative of what Patrick Troughton was as the Doctor and what his stories were like.
And II remember actually being a bit disappointed watching it.
Now, watching it, having thought it's not very good, is spotting all the good things -Hmm -that are in it and how good he is And how good, uh, Jamie and Zoe are.
Just how they lift everything all the time and you've got the actors really going for it.
And odd bits of design and odd bits of spinning heads and stuff And you go, this is a show that's still, even though it's not brilliant, there's plenty to like in it.
Yeah Yeah, no, definitely and it has a point, there was a purpose to it.
I also think, it's just a bit sad the title's The title's just not very exciting.
And, you know, School of Death.
-Doorway of Death! -Doorway of Death! -Door of Doom! -Kill the Students! -(LAUGHING) -(LAUGHING) Smash the Machine! -Smash the Machine!That's the title.
-Smash the Machine! -Yeah! -Yeah, man.