Friday, February 13, 2015

Creed of the Kromon, and some thoughts on Audio

My worries for UNIT style trappings were quickly put to rest as we get into the second adventure of Charley and the Doctor being stuck on this new world. To be honest they weren't that strong. The planet not being Earth made me think it was always going to be something a bit different. The only aspect they have in common in we're on one planet.

Instead we get something resembling another era of science fiction. The like of Flash Gordon and John Carter of Mars. Strangers traversing a completely alien landscape, coming across new and strange lands with each step. It's basically the same as landing on a new planet in the TARDIS every week, only here we're accepting that walking along and leaving France and heading into Germany means a different adventure.

It's also another new companion time. Seems to be the season. This one brings us the now rare man muscle role to be filled by C'rizz. For the most part he seems pretty unremarkable. Yes, he's an alien with a slightly odd bone structure that wouldn't look out of place in Star Trek, and the ability to shift his skin to match the environment like a chameleon. Other than the rather significant part where he has to kill his betrothed he just doesn't do a great deal. Right now, he only feels like a companion because someone wrote him to be, than any great moment in the serial.

For the most part, Kromon is practically an 80s episode, it almost reminds me of Mindwarp when everyone's fretting about Charley being captured, I got the distinct feeling I had when Peri was about to have her brain fried. It's a shame then that Charley comes out of the genetic manipulation and mind control unscathed, it's almost a reset button ala Star Trek, but the hints of C'rizz almost makes up for it. Yet after all the big talk in Scherzo that Charley and the Doctor are in love, you'd expect this to be a big deal, but it's not. It's done to add suspense. Which is a bit too much for a major character. Especially something that should be so traumatic. There was no real reason to do this to Charley, or there needed to be some major consequences.

Still, Kromon does manage to drop some hints at the season ahead, oh and the possibility that C'rizz is far more than how he's appeared throughout. Rather than the gun-ho character we got used to, the writers hint that the blink-and-you'll-miss-it characterisation at the start, of him being far more mellow and wise is actually his default state. It seems him running into the Doctor and getting involved has caused a very distinct shift in him, something the Doctor – and us – don't realise because he changed rather quickly.

As bog standard and forgettable as the majority of Creed of the Kromon has been, it seems to be planting the seeds for some rather intriguing progression for the rest of this season.

There comes a point where you reflect on the undertaking you've embarked on and wonder if it's worthwhile. I've hit that. I'm writing this in the closing weeks of 2014 - again I'm massively ahead – and I'm starting to think that maybe reviewing the entirety of Doctor Who is just a bit too much. Even just the TV is over 900 episodes. That's a lot. Even with my cut down numbers.

That's not including the Audio, which if I do it the way I imagine, Big Finish are at nearly 200 serials just in their monthly range. I've covered twenty. Again, that's not including all their spin-offs such as Dalek Empire, Gallifrey and UNIT.

I'm starting to think that maybe I've bitten off more than I can chew. That I need to throw in some restraint. The TV show already has some. I skimmed my viewing down significantly from all of it to the essentials and some recommended.

It's this thinking I need to apply that to Big Finish. Especially after having to write about something like The Creed of the Kromon. I might return to something like A Jaunt through Time and Space or A Tour of Who Audio. Where I just sum up a few instances until we hit something big like the end of the Divergent Universe timeline with The Next Life or The Girl Who Never Was, which is Charley leaving.

But looking back, if this is to be a “the big moments” than I could technically skip writing in detail about stuff like Ambassadors of Death (as good as it was) and Inferno (as bad as it was). So I'll do what I feel like. Basically if I'm not particularly taken with some, don't be surprised to see a bunch lumped together.

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