Friday, 31 July 2015
REVIEW - THE FATE OF KRELOS
The penultimate episode of the fourth season of the FDAs is here.
And boy is it a big one. Well not in the universe ending fashion that the TV Series has been known to do every season, but The Fate of Krelos manages to be both a fluffy filler and a dark two-part grand finale. How does it manage this you ask? Well, it all starts with the Fourth Doctor and Leela going on a fishing trip.
For the most of this story, the Doctor and Leela are unaware of the danger because uncommonly for a Doctor Who story – there isn’t any yet. This story shows us those Doctor/Companion ‘holiday’ trips the former always promises where nothing goes wrong. The episodes we don’t see because we watch Doctor Who for the trouble our favorite Time Lord gets into.
However, to make sure he doesn’t lose the interest of his audience, Nick Briggs sets up a subplot that draws in the listener. It is done with K9 which I will not spoil, but the clues are in plain view. The only ones who can’t see them are the Doctor and Leela because…plot! I like the route Briggs took with K9. It almost feels perverse what the robotic companion goes through in this story, but it works. It really does. It’s a new spin on an old idea and one that can only work with a few companions.
I have no complaints about Tom Baker or Louise Jameson. The Fate of Krelos is just one big love letter to the fans who love their back and forth. The Fourth Doctor seems at the height of his bohemian-ness in this piece. For fans who dislike this trait of the Doctor, you might be put off as Briggs does take the Fourth-Doctor-speaking-nonsense up to eleven.
There isn’t much of a side cast in this story. It really is a piece centering on the Doctor, Leela and K9, but that doesn’t mean the side roster is empty. I loved Michael Cochrane's portrayal of Geralk, the old-fashioned Englishman/robotic guy. Like K9, I thought it kind of perverse how he was treated throughout this story. Yet it works. You want to see a setup like this. It’s nice. There are a lot of similarities to Death in Heaven, except here it feels properly horrific and there is a body count. I had a big problem with the lack of the latter during the television episode. The Fate of Krelos in a lot of ways learns to avoid the issues fans have raised against Death in Heaven.
I have one criticism of this story, but it’s actually very minor and it’s the companion confronts Doctor about going back in time and preventing disasters from happening. I know it comes up every now and again, but it really is a stupid issue to raise at this stage in their travels together. I will praise Nick Briggs for not turning Leela into a condescending whiny little b**** like Clara in Kill the Moon and Dark Water. When Leela confronts the Doctor, she is disappointed that he could give up on doing the right thing and is understandably confused. And angry, but it's more of a righteous anger as if she is trying to inspire him to change his mind. When Clara raises the issue, she talks down to the Doctor. The former works. The latter doesn’t.
Rating this story: 8/10. Can't wait to hear the next one!