Still trapped in the divergent universe without the TARDIS, the Doctor and Charley encounter what seems to be an impenetrable barrier, guarded by a being known as the Kro’Ka. After assessing what both of the travelers fear, the Kro’Ka lets them pass through to a neighboring zone, where the native humanoid population has been enslaved by the insectoid Kromon. The Doctor and Charley meet C’rizz, a refugee from the Kromon biodomes in a suicidal mood since he lost his mate. The Doctor offers to help, and the three make their way into the nearest Kromon dome, which is also where the Doctor hopes to find the TARDIS. Once inside, however, they become prisoners of the Kromon. The insectoid creatures, following the creed set down by a long-vanished Company, intend to mine the Doctor’s knowledge of space travel and enslave C’rizz once more. And they have something else in mind for Charley – a fate worse than death in the Kromon breeding chambers.
Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), India Fisher (Charley), Conrad Westmaas (C’rizz), Brian Cobby (The Oroog), Stephen Perring (The Kro’Ka / Kromon voices), Jane Hills (L’da), Daniel Hogarth (Kromon voices)
Timeline: after Scherzo and before The Natural History Of Fear
LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green
Review: After all the mold-breaking that went on in Big Finish’s 2003 audio productions, it’s a bit of a shock to the system to encounter a story which more or less conforms to the prerequisite beats of a typical Doctor Who romp. Chasing, escaping, rebelling, rescuing, there’s a lot of that going on here, and there are also some overt thematic throwbacks to Vengeance On Varos, not surprising since Kromon is also written by Philip Martin. Plenty of noble giants, noncorporeal threats, and mind control as well – in other words, there seems to be little here that couldn’t have appeared during Tom Baker’s years on television. And perhaps this relative simplicity – when held up against some of the prior eighth Doctor audio plays and even the recent convoluted epic that was Zagreus and the high-concept Scherzo – is no mistake. Creed Of The Kromon is designed primarily to bring C’rizz on board as a new companion, focusing on him quite a bit and giving the listener a lot of time to analyze who he is. Conrad Westmaas makes an interesting first impression, dashing and heroic and troubled and tragic in turns. It’s hard to gauge how he’ll interact with his new friends until we get to the next story.
I’m not sure what else needs to be said. It’s a fairly lightweight romp, and one that gives McGann a chance to get back into character as the Doctor proper (again, after Zagreus and Scherzo, where he wasn’t quite himself). One thing that stuck out at me was the music – part one has some interesting guitar-driven material, which quickly gives away to a sound much more typical of synth-heavy 80s Doctor Who, maybe from the Colin Baker era. Oh, and by the way, for those who were worried about all those proclamations of love in Scherzo…not a word is said about that here. Everything’s back to normal.