Yes, I know it’s The Krotons but in its defence I would point out that this is actually one of those stories that isn`t as bad as its poor fan reputation suggests and this Fan Edit goes some way towards rehabiltating the poor old thing. This Fan Edit also marks the end of the road for Patrick Troughton as I`ve now done all his existing complete stories. All that remains now, on video anyway, is to redo The Ice Warriors when it comes out on DVD, hopefully with the missing two episodes animated.
Like many fans, the first time I saw this story was via The Five Faces of Doctor Who repeat season and it`s a shame that Tomb of the Cybermen wasn`t about then so it could be shown instead. Yes, the titular monsters are dreadful, Selris sounds as though he`s on loan from Dr Findlay`s Casebook and the Gonds dress as though they shop at the same clothes store as the Sensorites but it does have Philip Madoc in it a bit and Zoe in that outfit. As well as one of the most delightful scenes in all of Who with Pat and the Teaching Machine.
We start with a pre-credits sequence which ends with the death of AbuGond. After the opening credits the rest of Part One gets tightened up quite a bit, especially the initial scene in the Learning Hall when the Dr & co arrive, meaning we have just under 14 minutes of the episode left in the final edit.
Part Two comes out at about the same, losing the initial scenes of the Learning Machines being attacked and a shortened version of Vana waking up. Part Three does slightly less well with only 8 minutes of footage included so no Jamie in the Dynotrope and no HADS either! We hit Part Four at 35 minutes in and it`s more or less intact with 16 minutes making the final cut.
As a design for an alien crystalline-type lifeform they`re not bad but they`re not in the least intimidating. If they`d had Drathro-style legs, or even L1 Robot type tracks, we might be able to take them a bit more seriously but for this Fan Edit we have to settle for never seeing how they get about. This meant replacing the shot where the Krotons turn round as the Doctor and Zoe enter the Dynatrope for the second time. Also, there`s a curious black line at the bottom of the picture on the shot of the Krotons telling them to put on the headsets so I stretched the picture to get rid of it.
I did toy with the idea of having this as the first Edit with no incidental music but in the end I decided to re-use the Avengers music of Laurie Johnson, albeit with different cues to those used in The War Machines. This is one of those edits where the addition of music really makes a difference and creates an atmosphere the original lacked.
Overall the story is much more enjoyable to watch now, and even though it remains a bit of a clunker, it`s one of those ones you can really enjoy if you don’t try and take it too seriously! As with other Edits, this one benefits hugely from keeping the focus on the Doctor and leaving things that don`t involve him to happen offscreen. I think you`ll like it!