THE POWER OF KROLL
December 1978 – January 1979
“You heard him. He keeps saying I’m crazy. What gives him such insight into my mental processes, eh?”
The Doctor to Thawn, episode 1
K-9 is left in the TARDIS as Romana and the Doctor wade through the marshes of Delta-Magna's third moon in search of segment five. An experimental methane refinery is operating on this world, though the green-skinned natives, nicknamed Swampies, oppose its existence. The Swamp People were promised this moon as a kind of reservation and they want the refinery technicians from Delta-Magna gone.
Tom and Mary Tamm as Romana in the marshes of Delta Magna.
Picture © BBC
Romana is captured by the Swampies, and the Doctor by the technicians. Each of their captors is suspicious of the newcomers, and before long Romana is being offered in sacrifice to Kroll, god of the Swamp People – a giant squid creature that supposedly dwells beneath the marshes.
Similarly, Thawn (Neil McCarthy), the refinery’s director, wants a pretext to wipe out the Swampies, something he might get if they attack his plant using weapons smuggled in by opportunist gunrunners such as he believes the Doctor to be.
Conflict seems inevitable until Kroll turns out not to be a myth after all. Roused by the drilling operation, a savage monster, nearly two miles across and hundreds of feet high emerges from the swamp, and attacks the plant. Casualties mount on both sides until the Doctor realises Kroll’s size is so vast that it cannot be an entirely natural creature. Deploying the locator device just as the refinery is in danger of being crushed, the monster vanishes, replaced by the fifth segment of the Key.
Thawn is dead, and his more conscientious deputy, Fenner (Philip Madoc) believes a fairer way to co-exist with the Swamp People can be found.