Curse Of Peladon: Doctor Who: Season 9
Curse Of Peladon SYNOPSIS:
King Peladon's Chancellor is killed on the eve of a conference to allow the planet Peladon into the Galactic Federation. High priest Hepesh believes the curse of Peladon is a sign against the Federation but King Peladon is not so sure. The Tardis crash lands on Peladon and the Doctor and Jo manage to leave the ship just before it plunges down a cliff.
They are discovered in the citadel, the Doctor mistaken for federation chairman delegate from Earth and Jo as his royal consort Princess Josephine. The delegates consist of Arcturus, Alpha Centauri and two of the Doctor's old enemies, the ice warriors now a reformed race. Hepesh is hostile toward the conference going ahead, a number of accidents beset the delegates and they are suspicious of a traitor in their midst.
The Doctor is lured in Aggeddor's temple and accused of sacrilege by Hepesh. King Peladon wants Jo as his bride and in response to her pleas reduces the Doctor's death sentence to a trial by combat against his champion. The traitor in the delegates ranks is working with Hepesh to sabotage the conference and wants the Doctor dead. If he survives the trials the Doctor must and also dispel the Aggeddor curse by bringing the Aggeddor beast before the King to convince him of the myth.
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Curse Of Peladon DETAILS:
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Curse Of Peladon CAST & CREW
Jon Pertwee (Third Doctor)
Katy Manning (Jo Grant)
David Troughton — King Peladon
Henry Gilbert — Chancellor Torbis
Geoffrey Toone — Hepesh
Gordon St. Clair — Grun
George Giles — Guard Captain
Nick Hobbs — Aggedor
Stuart Fell — Body of Alpha Centauri
Ysanne Churchman — Voice of Alpha Centauri
Alan Bennion — Izlyr
Sonny Caldinez — Ssorg
Murphy Grumbar — Arcturus
Terry Bale — Voice of Arcturus
Wendy Danvers — Amazonia
Production Staff for Serial MMM:
Writer - Brian Hayles
Director - Lennie Mayne
Script editor - Terrance Dicks
Producer - Barry Letts
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Curse Of Peladon REVIEWS
Apparently the Doctor has fixed the Tardis! He and Jo land on the windswept, storm lashed planet of Peladon. There's no explanation how he's circumvented his exile, until we learn the Time Lords have dispatched him on another mission as they often will decide to do. This who-dunnit gothic horror piece, provides a sort of blueprint to the early Tom Bakers. Apart from the wind, thunder and lightning, it's got gloomy, torch lit rooms and shadowy corridors. A feudal, medieval feel and some solid Gothic castle design.
Curse of Peladon's well designed and well lit for a studio bound story, the costumes are great and Doctor and Jo really shine here away from the UNIT crowd. The third Doctor's traits further abound in this story as a diplomat and political adviser, who wouldn't assume he's the chairman delegate from Earth with the way Pertwee swans around giving orders? Jo is actually showing character traits in this season, building from the screaming companion into a caring confidant who can be of real assistance to the Doctor and even as an adviser herself to the King.
King Peladon is played well by David, son of Patrick, Troughton so what if he's got a lisp? Some famous kings in the past have had notable speech defects. Hepesh is also a stand out performance, and the delegates are well realised. Ok well the ice warriors were making they're first appearance in colour and seeming good guys this time round. Arcturus the weird tentacled head in a box was well designed and thought out but what the hell happened when they got to Alpha Centauri? It's the one thing dragging this story down. Fair enough have a non humanoid alien but why does it look like a costume dragged out of a panto? It's a big green cock in a cloak! The cast should get BAFTA awards for keeping a straight face acting with it and then it puts on the shrill, panicked voice as well. The character was good but not the realisation. Aggedor itself was bad but at least it was kept to a minimal appearance and kept in the shadows most of the time.
Curse of Peladon has a good pace and really shows that 4 parts is the ideal length for a Who, from the who-is-the-traitor plot to the big arena duel the doc is forced to have against the King's champion. Thanks to Centauri though it gets an 8/10.
There you have it; your very own hand-held Alpha Centauri doll.
We see another side to Pertwee in Curse Of Peladon (and one that will come out even more over time when it comes to Jo Grant) and that is JEALOUS PERTWEE. Silly old Jo had a date with Cardboard King Mike Yates and rather than being happy for a girl who is at least one quarter his age, Pertwee Doctor cracks the shits and bundles Jo in the Tardis for a test ride to Allah-knows-where. Good one Doc; that's put her evil dating plans to ruin. Pity you didn't bank on the fact that the planet is ruled by one David Troughton as King Peladon and Jo instantly goes for him instead. Nice thinking there, Pertwee - bet you're kicking yourself now. In fact it would be really funny to see Pertwee smacking his forehead and muttering "Dickhead! Dickhead! Dickhead!"
However, Curse Of Peladon IS a very good story and it realy typifies the 70's era of Dr Who. The sets in the castle look great and the characters are even better. The Ice Warriors have a nice twist (spoiler ahead: they're Goodies!) and Hepesh is a great villain who actually has a strong and clear motive. Aggedor is very cuddly having just stepped off the Here's Humphrey set and into this (this time even without his trademark boater hat and vest!) The Cock In The Sock is just plain hilarious and the vaccuum cleaner with the angry spider in it is a bloody cack. I love it and its the perfect length. Imagine if they dragged this story out to six parts. Actually you don't have to cos in two years time they will; The MONSTER of Peladon!! 8/10
Titbit: At the time of making this, David Troughton was sharing a house with Colin Baker. Colin as we all know went on to be the worst Dr Who of all and nearly completely fucked the series up.
But it's not just the perfect story length, it's the combination of a good serious plot, and just plain whacky character design that really gets this one going. And it's done in a way that RTD could really have learnt a lot from when he made End of the World… you can make bizarre looking creatures, but you don't have to go overboard with the just plain stupid names… if they look whack but are named and behave just like everything else in the story, then they work well… but if you give them a name that's as long as your arm and then get them to do nothing, then it looks like you've just made a story to throw in weird shit.
Probably one of the most interesting things in Curse Of Peladon is that the Ice Warriors aren't the bad guys. I don't know if the author wanted to bring them back (lets face it, they don't work as well in colour unfortunately!), but after being asked to bring them back, it's great that he didn't go with the obvious and make them the big bad of the episode. Instead, we see them as just another player - and if there is going to be a delegate from Mars (is this another peace conference!!) then in the whoniverse it makes perfect sense that they're Ice Warriors.
And then the finale has a nice little Pertwee touch to it, which a) shows us how nice and settled the he and the writers for him are now, and b) is also a blue print for some later 70s classic.
And in hindsight, I guess we should have known that it was the Time Lords that took him there… otherwise he would have gone straight to Metebelis 3!