Fate of Krelos reviewed

Fate of Krelos coverAt last we get a story that doesn’t revolve around the Doctor saving the world / galaxy / universe / reality of space and time. In this Fourth Doctor tale, The Fate of Krelos, Nick Briggs creates a strong character study with several strong hints as to what is coming next (as if we didn’t know from looking ahead on the website!)

So, who’s up for a spot of fishing…

The story

Some big clues as to where things might go wrong on the product page:

There are dark skies on Krelos… and something gigantic is descending.

Meanwhile, the Doctor and Leela set off for some fishing in the mountain pools of Krelos. 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?

This is one of those dramas where the foreground is completely decoupled from the background (eg like the start of the Cary Grant film Arsenic and Old Lace). While the Doctor and Leela bicker as they try to go fishing, K9 is acting in increasingly mysterious ways as he reconfigures the TARDIS interior. In doing so the Doctor spots a piece of material giving fans a warm glow of anticipation for the final episode in this series.

On the planet Krelos things are not as they should be, but does that really need to spoil a day’s fishing? Geralk (Michael Cochrane) is an aged explorer climbing mountains via and avatar (that reminds the listener of cyb*r technology) and this adds colour to the otherwise almost two-handed performance we are being treated to.

As the Doctor and Leela progress, it is ever more obvious to everyone else that K9 is under the influence of a malign force and all the pieces are put in place for the epic conclusion. All very entertaining.

The storytelling

While there is a lot to like about the story, my one criticism is it almost does too little. I suspect very few people will buy this story in isolation, but it is so much only part 1 of a two-part season finale it does feel diminished in its own right.

Tom and Louise are excellent, and while Michael Cochrane and Veronica Roberts have little to do in this, they both re-appear in the next story, Return to Telos. I’m really looking forward to how it all pieces together.

Thoughts? Did this work for you as a stand-alone? Let me know!

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