Not sure, from the title, if I’ve seen any of this or not. Let’s find out.

Episode 1:

At a technologically advanced facility, a higher ranked man, Thawn (played by Neil McCarthy, last seen as Barnham in the Jon Pertwee serial THE MIND OF EVIL, and most notable to many as Calibos from CLASH OF THE TITANS) has arrived, but apparently someone shadowed his descent, hoping to use his radar track as a cover.

When it is apparent that the second track ended up in the swamps, Thawn informs his subordinates that there’s a rumour on Delta Magna that the “Sons of Earth” are planning to arm the indigenous people, refered to as “swampies”.

One of the men, Fenner (played by Philip Madoc, who I recognised by voice before I did his face, he played Solon in THE BRAIN OF MORBIUS) mentioned that a known gun runner escaped the law and there is an alert out for him. The men are concerned that if the swampies are armed, they might attack the refinery.

Thawn and Fenner leave the refinery, grabbing rifles on the way, apparently intent on stopping whomever it was from reaching the swampie settlement.

In a fen, the TARDIS materialises. The Time Lords find themselves in head-high weeds. K-9 is not able to leave the TARDIS and they set out without him. The tracer doesn’t get a clear reading and Romana sets for higher ground.

Thawn and Fenner exit the refinery, discussing the gun-runner, Rohm-Dutt. Thawn says he dresses the part – wide-brimmed hat, bandolier. “We can’t miss him.” Okay, you can see where this is going…

As the men slide out in a hovercraft, The Doctor sits and cuts reeds. Green skinned and haired swampies move in a canoe (accompanied by a human, who points at Romana, who is standing about, trying to get a signal.) Flute music plays, though I’m not sure if it’s instrumental score or part of the scene. (If the latter, nobody seems to notice it.)

Romana is grabbed by two swampies and she drops the tracer.

Ah, the music is part of the scene – The Doctor is playing the reed. Uh huh…

The hovercraft with Thawn, Fenner and another man arrives nearby. The Doctor gets up, calling out for Romana. Fenner shoots and hits The Doctor.

Romana is held in the canoe behind the human, who from his hat and bandolier, must be Rohm-Dutt. There are two canoes, one with Rohm-Dutt, Romana (whose wrists are bound), and Varlik, a swampie. The other canoe has two swampies. They heard the shot but decide to move off.

Fenner and Thawn realise that The Doctor is not Rohm-Dutt; The Doctor is okay – his hat took the bullet and has a big hole in it now. He learns from the refinery men that it’s likely the swampies got her.

Thawn insists that The Doctor accompany them, at gunpoint if necessary.

Romana’s wrist-bindings are attached to a rock, once the swampies and Rohm-Dutt depart the water. He interrogates her, trying to find out who sent her.

The Doctor is brought back to the refinery, which he recognises as a “methane catalysing refinery”. His claim that he’s seen hundreds is scoffed at, as they claim this is the first ever built.

They question him why he was there; again he insists he’s looking for his friend. They tell him if the swampies have “him”, he’ll never find his friend.

A voice announces an orbit shot, and they tell The Doctor he’s going to accompany them to watch it.

Rohm-Dutt shows the guns to the swampies; it seems the natives are planning to attack the refinery to drive the humans out. The swampies plan to sacrifice Romana to their god, Kroll, to ensure victory over her fellow “dryfeet”.

On the refinery, the men explain that they fire their production into orbit, instead of sending it by ship. The system is automated, but they like to double-check and supervise it.

There’s a swampie serving the humans and The Doctor quickly learns that the humans consider the swampies less than people. A debate amongst the men breaks out over the treatment of the swampies.

As the countdown to the orbit shot begins, the men sit down and down headsets and The Doctor slinks off.

Night has fallen and the swampies dance and chant Kroll’s name. Romana is brought forth to the temple. Suddenly, there’s a loud noise as the orbital shot is fired. The dancers and musicians stop and turn to watch.

The swampie chieftain, Ranquin, calls for the pit to be opened. He calls out to Kroll, summoning Kroll, offering Romana to him. The rest of the natives start dancing again.

On the refinery, The Doctor pokes about, looking at some equipment. He tries to access the exit, but it is locked. The Doctor hears someone approaching and he hides. When Thawn and the swampie servant, Mensch, enter, he steps out and greets them.

The chanting of the swampies can be heard, and Mensch says it is a blood sacrifice to Kroll. Thawn informs The Doctor that Kroll is their god, a giant squid. The swampies were the original natives of Delta Magna, but were relocated to this moon. When they were relocated, the humans brought along some giant squid, to keep them happy.

The Doctor is more worried about the blood sacrifice – he’s concerned that Romana might be the blood sacrifice. Thawn says it’s one hour until light and they’ll go out then – now that they know the swampies are armed, they can claim self-defense.

Rohm-Dutt watches the dancing, chanting swampies, with a pensive expression.

Mensch takes a signal device and goes on the exterior of the refinery, signaling someone (presumably his brethren.) The Doctor returns and slips out the door he previous unlocked before Thawn approached.

A swampie sees the flashing from Mensch and flashes back with his own device.

The Doctor has stolen a canoe (from where? The refinery has hovercraft.)

Romana sighs, muttering, “It’s all nonsense, primitive spirit worship.”

The swampie signaling with Mensch turns and sets off. Shortly there after, The Doctor arrives and disembarks. He cautiously moves through the reeds towards the chanting.

Ranquin calls out, “Kroll rises from the depths,” and falls to his knees. The doors to where Romana is are closed. There’s a very KING KONG feel to this scene. The natives dance and chant faster.

Romana screams as un-squid-like things/claws/something try to grab her.

The camera zooms in on Ranquin, who seems very serious… and the credits roll.

Still unsure, but I think I may have seen part of this before. So far, pretty interesting; I’m really enjoying seeing (and hearing) Philip Madoc in this. I rather enjoyed him as Solon in THE BRAIN OF MORBIUS. Also, Neil McCarthy as Thawn is full of win.

Episode 2:

The Doctor hears Romana’s screams and tears at the wall of dried reeds to peer in. He breaks through as what appears to be some sort of mushroom/humanoid cross-breed is groping at Romana. He pulls off the head, to reveal a swampie inside the costume. A punch to the stomach fells the swampie and he frees Romana.

On the refinery, Dugeen (played by John Leeson, who normally voices K-9… so now we know why K-9 was stuck in the TARDIS) reports to Thawn that the bottom of the baygule has moved, the topography of it has changed. Thawn tells him to keep an eye on it.

Ranquin meets with Rohm-Dutt, saying Mensch has signaled them, saying the dryfoots are planning to attack at dawn. Rohm-Dutt tries to tell the swampies to leave, that they’re not ready to fight, weapons or not. (It’s almost as if Rohm-Dutt is up to something else – he almost slipped up and said more than he intended. It’s as if he was about to say, “but that’s not what we agreed,” when the swampies told him that the dryfoots are planning to attack the settlement.)

Romana confesses that she lost the tracer, but The Doctor shows her that he found it. He brings her up to speed on what’s been going on. She questions where the refinery is getting all that protein from, but The Doctor says he doesn’t know yet.

The Doctor questions who’s paying Rohm-Dutt.

The Time Lords slip out via an underground shaft, despite both admitting they hate underground shafts.

Dugeen shows Thawn the scans, showing the continue movement of the baygule. Thawn says it is as if something lifted up the whole bay and settled back down again. He decides to send a probe.

Fenner arrives to say that The Doctor has slipped off. The men speculate whether The Doctor had anything to do with the changes to the baygule. Thawn is convinced that The Doctor is one of the Sons of Earth.

Exiting the underground passage, The Doctor and Romana have found a book, an illustrated history of the swampie people. They flip through the book and read about Kroll’s third manifestation.

The Doctor speculates that Kroll is real, some massive creature who goes into hibernation for centuries at a time, and is due for his fourth manifestation. They throw the book back in the hole they came out of and head off.

Later, as the sun has risen, a group of swampies and Rohm-Dutt move across the swamps. The swampies are less than experienced with the gun.

Ranquin speaks with Skart, the swampie who was to kill Romana in the “sacrifice”. He tells Skart that the others must not hear of this, fearing they would think it a bad omen.

A hovercraft appears with Thawn and another man and Mensch. The hovercraft slows down and Mensch disembarks, to examine the canoe The Doctor had stolen. (I’m guessing that at least.) A swampie tries to fire his gun but it explodes, but just then a giant tentacle grabs Mensch.

Rohm-Dutt runs forward to call out to Thawn, calling him by name. (see, I told you there was something going on) as Kroll, a ginormous monster, rises over the horizon.

The swampies prostrate themselves to cry out for him to spare them. Kroll sinks into the horizon, and Ranquin says they must give thanks, but Varlik (who seems to be his second in the tribe) says they have a score to settle with Rohm-Dutt first.

On the refinery, Thawn takes a deep drink. He tells Fenner and Harg about Kroll (so I’m guessing Dugeen was the other man in the hovercraft?) They discuss that the swampies were ready for them and armed. He says Rohm-Dutt was with them, and they speculate that The Doctor’s friend was Rohm-Dutt.

Thawn refuses to summon the authorities, saying they’re too soft and once they come in, there’s no getting rid of them. He says they’ll handle it his way, which Fenner questions. Thawn says it’s time to get rid of the swampies, once and for all. But first, they have to deal with Kroll.

Fenner tries to use the underwater scanner, but it seems defective. Thawn says to get Dugeen down there, despite it being his rest period. (Okay, so there must be another crewman who was Thawn’s pilot.)

Fenner checks another scanner, but it’s not working either. Dugeen arrives and says that they’re working, but something is blotting them out. He tries an “inverse” and an outline of Kroll shows up on the scanner.

The Doctor and Romana determine that Kroll must be the source of the protein the refinery is collecting.

Swampies approach the Time Lords and seize them. Rohm-Dutt is dragged by and Varlik tells Romana she will wish she died on the stone of blood.

Fenner argues Thawn’s plan of depth charges, saying they’d have to hit vital spots on the first blow.

Rohm-Dutt appeals to Varlik for help. Varlik says he’s a traitor, that the guns he brought them were corroded and bent. (That’s why he tried to talk them out of fighting, he didn’t want them to know the guns weren’t any good.)

On the refinery, Kroll’s tentacle bursts through a pipe, attacking Harg.

Romana demands to know why they’re being executed. When she argues that they’ve never seen Kroll, the swampies inform the Time Lords that he rose that morning.

Harg is dragged into the tube… and the credits roll.

Interesting way to end the episode.

We’ll cover the last half of the serial on Monday! Have a great weekend.

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