The Creed of the Kromon was the fifty-third story in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by Philip Martin and featured Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor and India Fisher as Charlotte Pollard and introduced Conrad Westmaas as the new companion C'rizz.
The Interzone is a fearsome nether-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 TARDIS.
The spheres are ruled by the insect-like Kromon who covet the TARDIS. When Charley is captured she is forced to metamorphose into a hybrid-insect Queen, and so to save her, the Doctor must barter his knowledge of space-travel technology, all the while knowing that he risks opening up all the realms of space to a rapacious race whose creed is not to create, only to plunder.
Walking out of the glass tube, the Doctor and Charley are fighting against a force that opposes them from proceeding. Charley then hears insects approaching, but the Doctor tells her that it's in her imagination. He embraces her and yells out an Okiya Warrior cry to drive away the hallucination, but it can only be used once. As the Doctor and Charley regain their composure, the atmosphere feels different and find themselves in the middle of a desert. They spot two red hot suns and Charley shields her eyes and she hears a voice that identifies itself as Kro'ka. Kro'ka tells Charley that she can't travel anywhere until she's nice to him. Kro'ka invades her mind and forces her to relive her death onboard the burning R101, much to her disturbance. Charley panics and wakes up from her state to find herself and the Doctor pinned to the ground by psychic coils. Soon enough, Kro'ka speaks to the Doctor and Charley and asks if they want to enter the zone of Eutermes. The Doctor obliges if Kro'ka is kind enough, but there must be a price in order to contribute to the Eutremes society. The Doctor is sure that Charley will be an asset to society and Kro'ka decides to look into her mind. The Doctor then tells Charley to think of one object and one object only to offer to Kro'ka. Charley is confused by the Doctor's advice and Kro'ka moves on to the next question in defeat. Kro'ka then asks the purpose of the Doctor and Charley's coming here, to which the Doctor answers “pleasure”, but Kro'ka sees through the Doctor's words and knows that he really wants to find the TARDIS. Kro'ka begins to dismiss the Doctor and Charley, but Charley objects that the TARDIS will be every contributing factor to the Eutermes. Interested, Kro'ka asks if the TARDIS is capable of space exploration, to which the Doctor responds yes if they can find it first. Agreeing to let them find the TARDIS, Kro'ka releases the Doctor and Charley off from the ground. He then informs the two that there are other people on the other side of the barrier of the Eutermes Zone who are also interested in the TARDIS and requests that the Doctor and Charley help them. The Doctor and Charley are released from the invisible coils and Charley asks if they can really go. Kro'ka kindly responds that they can and she and the Doctor are allowed to enter the Eutermes Zone. As the two wonder away, Kro'ka talks to someone and says that “experiment 2.70 has begun”.
Exploring the dryness of the Eutermes Zone, the Doctor notices evidence of water courses that were once there, suggesting a drought hence why the nearby trees are drying out. Charley wonders why Kro'ka is so interested in the TARDIS, but the Doctor is distracted by how desperately he wants his “old girl” back. Charley then notices giant lumps in the distance and the Doctor sees that the Eutermians live in biospheres. Suddenly, lasers are fired and the Doctor grabs Charley both duck and cover. They both spot a humanoid creature running away and the lasers hit and kill him. The Doctor sees that a ship is hovering over them, but are not firing at them, leading the Doctor to believe that they are observing them on the behalf of Kro'ka. The ship leaves and Charley notices that the creature that was shot starts moving, revealing that it's still alive and they go investigate. Taking advantage of this, the Doctor wants to introduce themselves to the first alien species they have encountered. Its features are bizarre as it is human shaped, but has different coloured skin and has an exoskeleton. The creature trembles again, startling Charley. Deciding that it needs water to live, the Doctor and Charley lift the creature up and carry him to a pool of water.
The creature wakes up and believes that he has died and has gone to the afterlife. The Doctor and Charley introduce themselves to the creature, who begs to drink water rapidly. The creature drinks too much water to a point of nearly drowning himself and Charley struggles to stop him. The creature then asks the whereabouts of “L'da” and swears that if “they” give him the “elixir”, he'll be with her. The Doctor asks about the elixir and the creature responds that it would make him a “king that cares”. The creature identifies himself as C'rizz and says that his village are now all dust and potentially L'da, who was a woman he loved deeply. He then reveals that he escaped from one of the biospheres called the Alpha Sphere and was hunted down, but was believed to be dead from the earlier shooting. The Doctor then tells C'rizz that they are here to find something that belongs to them, but C'rizz proceeds to tell them that this place is now under the tyrannical rule of the Kromon. C'rizz then vows that he will return to the Alpha Sphere to be with L'da, but the Doctor tells him that he needs to rest first.
During sleep, C'rizz suffers a nightmare and wakes up. The Doctor and Charley ask if L'da is in danger, but C'rizz responds that she's being well cared for by the Kromon. He then tells them that the Kromon have rounded up all of C'rizz's kind and divided them into groups. He and L'da were chosen to be “elects” as potential royals. The Kromon are described to be bipedal insect-like creatures that resemble termites, who dictate all actions against C'rizz and his people as well as constructing the biospheres. C'rizz reveals that he escaped the Alpha Sphere when they were all forced to drink an “elixir”, which will make him have the same mentality as the Kromon. C'rizz couldn't take the bitter taste of the elixir and swallowed a small portion of it. With that small portion, he saw the soul of the Kromon and what they truly were. This prompted him to escape the Alpha Sphere and was eventually shot. The Doctor notes that the Kromon have very advanced technology and asks C'rizz when the Kromon occupied his race. C'rizz answers that his father saw them when he was a child, before the river dried up. He then says that the Kromon also divided some to be researchers into something he's not sure of. Because of the Kromon's advanced technology and will to research, the Doctor wonders if the Kromon have the TARDIS, remembering that Kro'ka told them that some were interested in the TARDIS for space travel. C'rizz insists that he must return and find L'da, but the Doctor tells him not to, but promises that he'll find a way tomorrow morning. For now, they must rest. C'rizz immediately falls asleep.
The next morning, the three continue walking in the desert. The Doctor asks C'rizz when did the rain stop, but he answers that they haven't; it's always been raining, despite that the area's still dry. Eventually, they're caught in a dust storm and the Doctor is separated from C'rizz and Charley. Charley is nearly suffocated from the dust, but C'rizz holds on to Charley tight and suggests that the Doctor might be waiting for them. Charley then jokes that C'rizz is beginning to sound like the Doctor, to which C'rizz asks naively if that is bad. The dust settles and Charley notices that C'rizz's skin has changed colour, which is part of his biology. They then look around them, but still can't find the Doctor. They call out to him, but C'rizz sees something in the distance. It is revealed to be a hovering ship that shot him from earlier and C'rizz and Charley duck down to hide as it passes over them. As it disappears, C'rizz then sees a line under the dust and sees that it's an Oroog, a digger that lives under the sand. The line moves away and C'rizz believes that it's guiding them to something. C'rizz and Charley see that it has led them to the Doctor, who is trapped underneath several branches. C'rizz and Charley free him and thank the Oroog. Charley introduces herself and her companions to the Oroog, who reveals that it's the last of its kind and another hovercraft is approaching. The Doctor, C'rizz and Charley duck until it goes away. Suddenly, Kromon soldiers hold the them all at gunpoint, ordering them to surrender themselves and be taken to the Alpha Sphere for interrogation. They then shoot and stun the Oroog as they take the Doctor, C'rizz and Charley away.
The Kromon take the four and C'rizz decides to fake his name as Z'rric to let them think that C'rizz is “dead”. The Doctor sees that because of the advanced technology the Kromon have, it may be that they know the secret to time travel from the TARDIS. C'rizz ponders what time travel is, as the Kromon patrol ship carrying him, the Doctor and Charley to the Alpha Sphere.
The ship lands to the Alpha Shere and the prisoners are asked to stand aside while the Oroog is ordered to be caged and forced to work with other diggers. One of the Kromon asks where the Doctor is from. He casually answers “Gallifrey”, but that is not a coherent answer and the Kromon asks if he is from a neighbouring zone. The Doctor answers that he is and he was allowed here. The Kromon then asks if the Doctor informed Immigration that he has certain skills that are useful to them, to which the Doctor answers that the Immigration services is a bit eccentric. The Kromon then decides that he can assign the Doctor to labouring duties before asking what he can do. The Doctor hesitates and answers that he has a tenant for space flight. The Kromon answers that space flight requires a long period of research to reach that possibility, so he orders the Doctor to be taken to the research facility. As for Charley, the Kromon ask questions and the Doctor answers that she's far older than she looks. The Kromon then see that Charley is at a “breeding age” and orders her to be taken to the reproductive reserve. They then ask C'rizz, who only assume he's a native, why he's covered in filth. C'rizz answers that the gunship didn't have a washing facility. The Kromon then ask C'rizz's abilities, which are farming and cattle. C'rizz gives his name as Z'ricc, taking Charley's advice. C'rizz is ordered to be taken to the central gardening labour force. Charley tries to object to her position, but it's declined. The Doctor insists that he needs her as an assistant, but is still denied.
The three prisoners are being guided and C'rizz explains that where he last saw L'da was in the central transport system. The Doctor asks about the lab they are being taken to and C'rizz says that it's where they will be forced to drink the elixir which will make them think like the Kromon. The Doctor then notices that there are water fountains everywhere because the Kromon, being insect-like creatures, need water to survive.
In the lab, the Kromon explain the process of the elixir that they are about to take. C'rizz volunteers to be first to spare the Doctor and Charley. C'rizz is laid on a slab and the Kromon pour the liquid down C'rizz's throat. C'rizz's body can't take the liquid and starts to gag. Taking the opportunity, Charley lunges and makes a run for it along with the Doctor. The Kromon open fire, but they escape. Back at the lab, the Kromon see that C'rizz volunteered himself to create a diversion, allowing the Doctor and Charley to escape. Angered, one of the Kromon orders C'rizz to be taken to the fertilisation facility where he will be disposed of
In a room, the Doctor is searching for a way out while Charley is keeping an eye out. Someone is coming, but the Doctor decides to take a chance. The Doctor then discovers an exit, but whoever's coming is near. The Doctor and Charley hide and witness C'rizz being taken somewhere.
C'rizz is being led to the fertilisation facility where he will be cremated alive. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Charley sneak into another room and see several fungi, so they are in a processing plant, which means this is the fertilisation facility. From a distance, Charley sees C'rizz, who is about to be executed. The Doctor then thinks of an idea to use the fungi as a catapult to hurl mud at the Kromon, distracting them long enough to rescue C'rizz. Charley lands a successful hit at one of the Kromon and they open fire in retaliation and chase after them. As the Kromon leave C'rizz, the Doctor and Charley emerge and free him. One of the Kromon guards return to where they are, but Charley manages to knock it out cold and grabs its weapon. The three then decide to look around the facility and come across the lab manager's room. They then notice that their names are on the computer monitor and the Doctor decides to hack in to their system and put false information in their data records that he, C'rizz and Charley have been given the elixir and are obeying Kromon commands. The Doctor then uses the computer to find L'da's location and they learn that she's been taken to level 5 of the Alpha Sphere. They also learn that L'da is part of an experiment to transform her into a hybrid capable of breeding by consuming a specialised elixir. As of now, they are on level 1 and must go up four.
As they make their way up the levels, the three notice boxes being carried by freight and decide to climb on one and see where it'll take them. It takes them into a tunnel, but Charley spots the Kromon at the end of the tunnel. Charley arms her laser gun, but the Doctor tells her that there are too many of them so they'll try to use their wits to escape. Charley, the Doctor and C'rizz introduce themselves and lie that they got lost in their jobs. The Kromon check their records and they tell C'rizz that he is now at the correct place while the Doctor and Charley are to be at their work places.
The Doctor is interviewed in the research facility and a Kromon tells him that interstellar travel is something that would benefit the Kromon such as visiting luscious planets and enslaving them. The Doctor then describes the appearance of the TARDIS, but the Kromon doesn't know what he's talking about. The Doctor then mentions time travel, but the Kromon doesn't know what time travel is. Nevertheless, Kromon is impressed with the Doctor's knowledge and decides to make him a speculative consultant for the Kromon space program.
Meanwhile, C'rizz tries to adjust to the odour of labouring, but the Kromon sees that his stomach can't adjust to the smell. They suggest that he should try another position. The Kromon are then on lunch break and C'rizz and the Doctor are assigned to serve them food. As the Kromon are busy eating on maggots, the Doctor whispers to C'rizz that Charley's been taken to genetic research, which is where L'da was taken as well. C'rizz then reveals that he smuggled a laser gun under a food trey. The Doctor then makes up a lie that he is part of an organisation that deals with space travel and reiterates that he cannot do this without his assistant, Charley. The Kromon insists that she is part of genetic research now, but the Doctor holds his ground and says that it may be possible for future space colonies. They then hear a scream and the Kromon explains that someone is being experimented on. One of the Kromon orders the Doctor to follow him to the genetics division and hope that Charley hasn't already been experimented on.
As the Doctor and a Kromon head to the genetics lab, the Doctor spots several eggs which are the result of experimentation. The Kromon escorting the Doctor is informed that Charley is now being examined if her biological function is compatible for the elixir but Charley is then ordered to be turned over to the Doctor. Meanwhile, C'rizz sneaks into the genetics facility and comes across L'da, who has been transformed into a hybrid Kromon queen. L'da sees C'rizz and is horrified at what she has become and begs him to kill her and end her misery. C'rizz obliges in distress and aims his laser gun at her. The Doctor tries to stop C'rizz, but it's too late. C'rizz shoots and kills his once beloved.
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- The Doctor - Paul McGann
- Charley Pollard - India Fisher
- C'rizz - Conrad Westmaas
- The Kro'ka / The Kromon - Stephen Perring
- The Oroog - Brian Cobby
- L'da - Jane Hills
- The Kromon - Daniel Hogarth
- Cover Art - Steve Johnson
- Director - Gary Russell
- Executive Producer - Jacqueline Rayner
- Music & Sound Design - David Darlington
- Producers - Gary Russell and Jason Haigh-Ellery
- Writer - Philip Martin
- Neither the Eutermesans nor the Kromon are aware of the existence of time travel, given that the Divergent Universe has no concept of time.
- On Charley's advice, C'rizz uses the pseudonym "Z'ricc".
- The Kromon do not have the technology to leave their world.
- The Doctor tells the Kromon that an interactive gyro conductor scope is fundamental to constructing a TARDIS.
- The Creed of the Kromon was written by Philip Martin, who wrote TV: Vengeance on Varos. The two stories share many themes.
- This story is unusual in that it does not feature the TARDIS.
- C'rizz's status as the Eighth Doctor's latest companion was foreshadowed in AUDIO: He Jest at Scars..., which was released in September 2003. In this story, the Valeyard tells Melanie Bush the names of various companions with whom the Doctor might have travelled. Aside from Charley and C'rizz, they included Peri Brown, Evelyn Smythe, Ace and Hex.
- This audio drama was recorded on 13 and 14 May 2003 at The Moat Studios.
- The Doctor previously referred to the Kromon shortly after he and Charley entered the Divergent Universe, though paradoxically he did not know who they were at the time. (AUDIO: Scherzo)
- The Doctor and Charley have lost the TARDIS in what appeared to be a deliberately engineered environment. (AUDIO: Scherzo)
- The Kro'ka makes Charley relive her death aboard the British airship R101 in France on 5 October 1930. (AUDIO: Storm Warning)
- The Doctor tells Charley that he once met Charles Darwin and the experience "put him off reptiles for life. Well, almost." (AUDIO: Bloodtide)
- The Doctor recalls visiting Mars before the destruction of its atmosphere millions of years earlier. (AUDIO: The Judgement of Isskar)
- The Doctor mentions that the TARDIS requires zeiton-7 in order to allow the ship to move and that there is a source on Varos. (TV: Vengeance on Varos)
- Charley undergoes a transformation similar to that experienced by the Sixth Doctor's companion Peri Brown on Varos in the late 23rd century. (TV: Vengeance on Varos)
- During their visit to Light City in the Divergent Universe, the Doctor and Charley's memories were contributed to the pool of information used to programme the Proles. An edited version of their first meeting with C'rizz in Zone Eutermes was included in an infotainment broadcast which the Proles were obligated to watch. (AUDIO: The Natural History of Fear)
- The Kro'ka tells the Doctor that C'rizz is a monk. He is a member of the Church of the Foundation. (AUDIO: Faith Stealer, Absolution)
- The Doctor would later come to believe that C'rizz did the right thing in killing L'da. (AUDIO: Faith Stealer)
- Charley refers to clockwork soldiers. The Second Doctor encountered versions of them in the Land of Fiction in TV: The Mind Robber.
- The Creed of the Kromon Transcript
- DisContinuity for The Creed of the Kromon at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide