Recap: The Time Lords arrive on the third moon of Delta Magna, looking for the penultimate segment to the Key To Time. Humans and swampies are at odds, and they get wrapped up in the midst of it.

Kroll, the swampies’ god, is a giant squid, who has awoken and is attacking the humans’ refinery!

Episode 3:

Harg is dragged away into the pipeline. Thawn stops the others from abandoning the refinery. He tells them they have to kill Kroll before it destroys the refinery.

The Doctor, Rohm-Dutt and Romana are tied to a pallet by the swampies. The Doctor is babbling about the window in the roof of the temple, but Romana and Rohm-Dutt are more worried about the manner of their execution – the sunlight through the window will cause the creeper vines to dry, stretching them out until their spines break.

As the swampies leave, The Doctor asks what the secret of Kroll’s power is. Ranquin says the holy symbol was an item that allowed others to see the future. The symbol revealed that the dryfoots would destroy Delta Magna, and Ranquin claims that is why his people settled on the moon, though The Doctor argues they were forcibly resettled by the humans.

After Ranquin leaves, Rohm-Dutt reveals that Thawn paid him to bring the guns – it was an excuse to wipe them out. He also reveals that Thawn wants to discredit the Sons of Earth.

At the refinery, Thawn and Dugeen work out the size of Kroll – they say it’s a mile across, with the central mass being at least one quarter of a mile across and 140 feet high! Dugeen decides it has thirty tentacles “on one side alone!”

Thawn and Fenner discuss using the depth charges and how to deliver them. Again, it turns into an argument. Meanwhile, a massive storm rolls in.

The sacrifices are slowly being stretched out when the storm rolls in.

Ranquin, Varlik and another swampie discuss the sacrifices, whether or not they’re with the refinery. Ranquin says they are dryfoots and that is enough, they have Kroll for protection. Varlik brings up that Kroll killed Mensch. Ranquin brings up the old “god punishes those who displease them” bit.

The refinery has taken precuations for the storm – hatches battened, lightning conductors raised, etc.

The Doctor manages to break the window by using his voice, much like a diva might do with a wine glass. Yeah… okay. Anyhow, rain pours in and wets the vines and they are able to pull so they get enough slack to free themselves.

After the storm starts to subside, the refinery men see that Kroll is moving and begin to track it.

When the escape of the sacrifices is discovered, Ranquin accuses Varlik of helping them, but he swears he did not. Swampies are sent to track down the dryfoots.

The refinery has lost track of Kroll, but suspect he’s in the swamp now. Fenner says that based off Kroll’s track, if it continued straight on, it would take it directly to the swampie settlement.

The Doctor stops his companions, telling them to be quiet, not to move, that they’re being hunted. Rohm-Dutt panics when they see motion under the nearby water and runs, drawing Kroll’s attention, and a tentacle bursts out of the swamp and grabs him.

The Time Lords watch as he’s dragged off. After a bit, they hear the swampies following them and they set off, getting in a canoe (the one The Doctor originally took from the refinery?) As they set off, the swampies reach the water, but stop as Kroll rises in the horizon.

The swampies scatter and one of them is grabbed and dragged underwater… and the credits roll.

Again, a cliffhanger that seems weaker than it should have been.

Episode 4:

Thawn tells Dugeen to get a visual on Kroll – if it is as big as they think, they should be able to see it attacking the settlement from the refinery. Thawn tells Fenner he plans to use the orbital shot as a weapon against Kroll.

Kroll hunts the swampies.

Fenner and Dugeen argue with Thawn; the latter worries about the settlement, but Thawn reveals that he’s counting on the swampies being destroyed. Fenner says that with a thin atmosphere, a fireball like that could asphyxiate them all, but Thawn “doesn’t think so”.

The Doctor and Romana enter the refinery and see the busted pipeline from Kroll’s attack. They find the refinery men arguing, but back off before they’re noticed.

Thawn pulls a gun and chops down Dugeen then levels the pistol at Fenner, who takes his seat and starts the countdown.

Ranquin says that Kroll is testing their faith and they must follow the dryfoots to the refinery.

The Doctor enters the rocket silo, hoping to stop the orbital shot from being launched. Romana follows him in after a moment’s confusion (maybe that was more comic relief?)

Dugeen wakes as the countdown goes less than one minute.

Romana argues with The Doctor as he tries to do something.

Dugeen gets up and hits the abort button. Thawn shoots him. Fenner accuses him of murder, but Thawn is too busy celebrating the abort didn’t go off.

The Doctor takes a small hammer to a console on the side of the rocket and the countdown stops at three seconds.

Fenner says there’s a fault in the ignition panel. Before Thawn goes off to fix it, Fenner tells him that Kroll is submerging again. They argue again; Fenner says he’s reporting Thawn for murder. Thawn argues that he’s obviously a plant from the Sons of Earth.

Thawn sets off to check on the ignition. He catches The Doctor and Romana outside the rocket silo and takes them captive.

Swampies pour into the refinery.

In the control room, Thawn threatens to kill The Doctor and Romana, but Fenner tells him that Kroll is approaching. The Doctor taunts Thawn, who threatens him with the gun, but a swampie spear takes him in the gut.

Swampies grab the rifles off the wall as they enter the control room.

Kroll rises outside the refinery; he’s bigger than the structure. He attacks the refinery.

Inside, there’s arguing and whatnot. Romana stupidly goes to a window to take a look at it. Kroll almost grabs her.

The Doctor has Fenner turn on the centrifuge, to create vibrations elsewhere to confuse Kroll. Ranquin gets up from his knees, saying Kroll has heard his prayer and answered it.

Fenner activates more machinery to create more noise and vibrations. The Doctor says he’s going to test a theory about the symbol of Kroll’s power, taking the tracer with him.

Ranquin enters the room with the burst pipeline and sees a tentacle. He begins appealing to Kroll for mercy and for his god to kill the dryfoots. Instead, the tentacle grabs him and pulls him into the pipeline.

The Doctor goes outside the refinery and talks himself up, saying he’s had a good life. A tentacle smacks him and he drops the tracer. Another grabs him and starts to squeeze. He reaches out and grabs the tracer and touches it to Kroll.

Kroll disappears in a flash, leaving the fifth segment in The Doctor’s hand. When he returns to the command room, Fenner interrupts their celebration by saying the orbital shot is automated and set to go off in fifty seconds, but the firing bay is blocked.

Because The Doctor disconnected the override in the gantry, Fenner is unable to do it from there. There are less than thirty seconds and The Doctor opens a panel and starts cutting wires.

Ten… nine… eight… The Doctor pulls out two cables and connects them, shorting out the system at zero seconds.

The Time Lords say their goodbye to Fenner and the swampies. They head out into the swamps to find the TARDIS, discussing that the segment was what made Kroll so big. They enter the TARDIS, The Doctor yelling, “Back, K-9, back,” and the TARDIS dematerialises… and the final credits roll.

I wanted to like this serial a lot more. McCarthy and Madoc were excellent in their roles, and Leeson was, too (though I like K-9 better than Dugeen.) The story was kinda flimsy, and Kroll was just too big, too powerful to be interesting as a foil or a villain or a threat. Honestly, there was no way the refinery shouldn’t have been destroyed long before The Doctor touched the tracer to the big beastie.

Ah, well.