Friday, September 28, 2012

Doctor Who-The Krotons
                          Season 6 of Doctor Who came during a very interesting time in terms of society. As seen with 'The Dominators" earlier in the season the show was ripe for serials that made very pointed commentary on society as the many events of the late 60's unfolded it around it. There was also a need within the program itself to develop a new group of villains,since there were some at this particular time who felt the Daleks and the Cybermen would need to be replaced as the decade drew to a close. Of course these would remain staples of Doctor Who that continue to this very day. On the other hand that didn't stop the producers of the show from making the attempt to create new adversaries to keep the doctor and his companions in check and contending with their own mission in different ways. This one such attempt created another excellent atmosphere for commentary on contemporary society as well.

                  After landing on what appears to be a dead planet the Doctor,Jamie and Zoe encounter a structure where a disoriented man is vaporized right before their eyes. Continuing to investigate further,they meet up with a group of people living underground called the Gonds. They are required,in exchange for intellectual knowledge to send their best and brightest students to the Krotons,after which they are never seen again. The doctor,putting two and two together,is able to save one such student Vana from the poison gas. Her insights upon regaining consciousness enable Zoe and the doctor to take the test required to enter the Krotons spaceship called the Dynatrope. After surviving,along with Jamie later,the effects of the Krotons mind control techniques they learn that they are part of a battle fleet crash landed their who have been using the the mental energy of the Gonds for generations to build up their energy supply,to the point of destruction of their world.  The doctor turns the tables on the Krotons amid the divided Gonds and,after destroying the Krotons and the Dynatrope,free the Gonds from their enslavement.

              Very much parallelling the issues of totalitarian regimes on Earth and human beings dependence on different religions,this is very much a story about thinking for oneself. The Gonds are portrayed as a divided society,the leaders open to the awareness the Krotons have enslaved their race through fear but many others seeing force as the only means of resistance. The promise of knowledge has kept them from having any curiosity as to the true motives of the Krotons. For their part,the Krotons are living machines that are dependant on human knowledge,but do not have any emotional attachments whatsoever and therefore view humanoid biology as completely meaningless. Hence have no difficulty in killing their humanoid "specimens". Again of course,we see this all the time in groups of people blindly following religions and economic systems,even killing for them without realizing they themselves may have become victims of a bullying despotism. This is an example of science fiction being an excellent filter for issues often too difficult to deal with in our reality.
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