THIS STORY TAKES
PLACE BETWEEN THE BIG
FINISH AUDIO DRAMAS
"SCHERZO" AND "THE
NATURAL HISTORY OF
BIG FINISH CD#53
RELEASED IN JANUARY
THE INTERZONE IS A
world protecting a
zone ruled by the
Kromon. Theirs is an
arid land of dust and
dying trees. Across
the landscape are
spheres that look
like giant anthills.
The Doctor believes
that within one of
these structures lie
the clues that will
lead him to his lost
The spheres are ruled
by the insect Kromon
who covet the TARDIS.
Charley is captured
AND TRANSFORMED INTO
a hybrid Queen, AND
SO to save her, the
Doctor must barter
his knowledge of HIS
SPACE TRAVEL, RISKING
opening up THIS NEW
UNIVERSE to a race
whose creed is not
to create; Only to
of the Kromon
Whilst The Creed of the Kromon might not have been torn straight out of the
textbook, it certainly treads much more familiar ground than recent stories, particularly the likes of Zagreus and Scherzo. Of course, there’s still no TARDIS, nor is there any “positive time” in the Gallifreyan sense (though events do progress in a linear fashion), but save for these two rudiments, Philip Martin’s fourth Doctor Who story is a resplendently traditional romp.
And I must admit, after a flood of temporal paradoxes, domestic tiffs, and trans-dimensional gateways, it was refreshing to just sit back, relax and listen to the Doctor and Charley fight to survive in a different zone on the Divergent Crucible World. Both are portrayed much more in line with how their characters were presented pre-Neverland, although Martin does gently touch upon the Doctor’s growing sense of isolation stemming from the traumatic removal of his temporal senses and the loss of his TARDIS.
The termite-like Kromon make
for thoroughly convincing audio
villains. The lack of budgetary
constraints here allow Martin to
push the envelope with some
staggeringly bold, and invariably
quite horrific, imagery. Having
Charley transformed into a giant
“breeding Queen” for the Kromon,
waking up from the experiments
with stick insect legs, stands out
in particular. Indeed, I found this
thread far more disturbing than Peri’s metamorphosis on Varos
or even her (apparent) fate as
Kiv’s host in The Trial of a Time Lord. Martin also uses some already established ideas
to devastating effect, for instance as the Kro’ka (a sort of customs official in the Crucible World’s Interzone) forces Charley to experience being burned to death aboard the flaming wreck of the R101 airship, as fate would have had her do.
Martin’s story also introduces us to the Doctor’s newest companion - C’rizz, a Eutermesan native to this zone. And from the events of this story, it looks like he is going to prove very interesting indeed. Not only is his distinctive appearance far more exotic than any of the Doctor’s prior travelling companions (his skin is “chameleonic”), but he’s also emotionally unstable. This story sees him gun down his betrothed (whom the Kromon had turned into a breeding Queen), an event that is sure to leave its mark. Even the Kro’ka, at the end of the story, warns the Doctor that C’rizz is a dangerous man and to be wary of him.
Altogether then, The Creed of the Kromon is an effective and gruesome tale. It doesn’t do as good as job as Scherzo did at conveying the sheer alienness of this new universe, but such abnormality wouldn’t be sustainable over a lengthy period in any event. The concept of
the Crucible World looks like it’s going to have a lot more mileage in it, allowing Big Finish
to tell traditional Doctor Who stories within an exciting and progressive framework.
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2006
E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
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