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This story, the final instalment of the Return Trilogy, was my most anticipated from the trilogy. I can remember scouring the internet, looking for positive reviews and spoilers, just because I wanted to know as much as I could about it. And now, I can finally say I’ve experienced it.
Again, just like with my review of Return to the Web Planet, I must confess, I love the original Kroton story from 1968/69. It was one of my first Doctor Who stories I watched, and I’ll always love it despite the ridiculous costumes and the slow plot. That’s why I chose this story, because I wanted to experience the sequel.
This story is set in the far future, revolving around a human colony on the planet Onyakis. It’s fun seeing yet another thread of future humanity among the stars, although it’s a bit repetitive seeing the whole ‘we’re the only ones left so where did you come from’ theme. The characters are good, but I felt there might have been too many to occupy an hour story. They needed to cut a few for each character to have time to shine. As for the Krotons themselves? They are teased in very slyly, and slowly. I have seen reviews of people saying that if it was now known that the Krotons were in the story, it would have made for a massive reveal. Yet when the Krotons do appear, they literally just pop up in a scene and go “‘Allo!” There’s no real introduction to them. However, I do love them later in the story, with the massive army of Krotons, the crystalline waterfall of Krotons and the half-human half-kroton hybrid. Some say that this story covers no new ground - I disagree. We get to see another faction of Krotons in their might and strength, and see how they invade planets. In the original Kroton story, they were weak and damaged and there were only two of them. Here, we see them how they would be as an army.
The acting is great from all sides. Obviously, the one to shine is the late Philip Madoc, making his last Doctor Who appearance. He is amazing playing Rag Cobden, and it gives vibes of his other Doctor Who roles, while maintaining his versatility as an actor. Colin and India are great too, bouncing off each other. There’s a lot of chemistry between their characters, as well as the secret Charley possesses that she cannot tell the Doctor. It’s such a great character dilemma, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops in other stories.
There is something that is different compared to the other stories in the Return Trilogy, and that is the ending. It is not a cop-out, nor is it an info-dump. It is a solution that works well with the story, corresponds with story development and is enjoyable to listen to. It does come out of nowhere, but it is pretty clever and is sort of teased through the story.
So what did I think of the Return Trilogy? Overall, it’s enjoyable and I loved it. Besides the opener, the stories were strong and had charisma. My favourite is this story, although Return to the Web Planet follows closely. Return of the Daleks is a bit lower, but it’s alright.
Next, I’ll review another Bonus Release, Night of the Stormcrow, by Marc Platt. This story has a great track record, so I’m hoping it lives up to expectations.