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Audio Drama Review


Doctor Who
The Fate of Krelos


Starring: Tom Baker
Publisher: Big Finish Productions
RRP: £10.99 (CD), £8.99 (download)
ISBN: 978 1 78178 351 1
Release Date: 31 July 2015

There are dark skies over Krelos… and something gigantic is descending. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Leela set off for a spot of fishing in the planet’s mountain pools. K9 has interfaced with the TARDIS and has reactivated the architectural configuration from the days of the Doctor’s second incarnation. In passing, the Doctor notes it could do with a good clean – and there’s a familiar piece of material snagged on the console. Far up the mountain, an aged explorer is in trouble. Will the Doctor and Leela be able to save him and his planet? And what is it that K9 has discovered in the TARDIS…?

Listeners may experience a sense of déjà vu as they take in the unfolding fate of Krelos – especially if they’ve heard the recent main range release Last of the Cybermen.

In both stories, the Doctor and his companions encounter a mechanical man experiencing difficulties on a mountainside. It’s a rather peculiar mechanical man – an eccentric war veteran. In this case, the old soldier is Geralk, played by the perfectly cast Michael Cochrane (Black Orchid, Ghost Light), who enjoys the increased mobility afforded to him by the use of a robotic avatar.

In both stories, the Doctor is reminded of his second incarnation – in this instance when K9 (John Leeson) reverts the TARDIS interior to a previous configuration, and the Doctor (Tom Baker) finds a fragment of Jamie’s tartan caught on a control panel. In a decidedly contemplative narrative, written and directed by Nicholas Briggs, the Doctor takes a moment to reminisce about days gone by.

That’s not the most significant common factor between this tale and Last of the Cybermen, however. I won’t mention it directly, though it hardly counts as a spoiler, unless by some miracle it has escaped your notice that the next release is entitled Return to Telos. The parasitical force that takes over K9 and other technology on the planet Krelos assures us that there is nothing to fear, and it is determined to survive…

Yes, this is one of those occasional Fourth Doctor narratives that is spread across two single-disc releases, forming a four-parter. The downside is that The Fate of Krelos doesn’t stand alone as a story in its own right (unlike the recent Requiem for the Rocket Men), but feels more like the preamble before the real excitement begins.

On the upside, there are some delightful character moments between the Doctor and Leela (Louise Jameson), and between Geralk and his housekeeper Relly (Veronica Roberts), who doesn’t trust newfangled technology, as well as some disturbing moments as K9 has a very bad day.

Further highlighting how much Doctor Who has changed over the years, the Doctor says that he can’t assemble an army to take on the invaders of Krelos – a claim that would certainly not be true of his tenth and eleventh incarnations. Someone is assembling an army, though, as the TARDIS crew will soon discover in Return to Telos


Richard McGinlay

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