The Monster Of Peladon: Doctor Who: Season 11
The Monster Of Peladon SYNOPSIS:
The Federation is in a war with Galaxy Five. Trisilicate, a mineral vital to the war effort is being mined from the planet Peladon. However the miners of Peladon have been scared away from their work efforts by a deadly apparition of Aggedor that kills. The refusla to work is broadening the power struggle between the ruling class and the miners of Peladon.
The Doctor and Sarah land on Peladon some fifty years since his last visit. He renews his acquaintance with Federation Ambassador Alpha Centauri and the King's daughter who is now the Queen. Leader of the Pels, Gebek wants rights for his miners however his off sider, Ettis wants to overthrow the ruling class. the Doctor is charged with finding the cause of the Aggedor manifestations.
Ettis' attempt at uprising is squashed by the arrival of ice warriors, acting as Federation troops. Martial law is imposed to get triscilicate supplies flowing again. However the Doctor discovers that engineer Eckersely's refinery is responsible for the Aggedor "ghost" and the ice warriors are working for Galaxy Five not the Federation. Now he and Sarah must convince the ruling class and the miners to unite against their common enemy.
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The Monster Of Peladon DETAILS:
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The Monster Of Peladon CAST & CREW
Jon Pertwee (Third Doctor)
Elizabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith)
Nina Thomas — Queen Thalira
Frank Gatliff — Chancellor Ortron
Rex Robinson — Gebek
Ralph Watson — Ettis
Graeme Eton — Preba
Michael Crane — Blor
Terry Walsh — Guard Captain
Max Faulkner, Roy Evans — Miners
Nick Hobbs — Aggedor
Donald Gee — Eckersley
Stuart Fell — Body of Alpha Centauri
Ysanne Churchman — Voice of Alpha Centauri
Alan Bennion — Azaxyr
Sonny Caldinez — Sskel
Gerald Taylor — Vega Nexos
Production Staff for Serial YYY:
Writer - Brian Hayles
Director - Lennie Mayne
Script editor - Terrance Dicks
Producer - Barry Letts
Return to top of page The Monster Of Peladon REVIEWS
Yes the Monster Of Peladon is in so many ways a mere carbon copy of Curse with many similarities to the original and two episodes of padding. Oh and much brighter lighting in some places detracting from the gloomy gothic corridors. But there are SOME differences. Firstly we find out there's a class structure on Peladon, before we just saw nobles, now we're shown the common folk as represented by the Gary Glitter wigged miners. Alpha Centauri was also supposed to be the liaison stationed on Peladon for the Federation which was established at the end of Curse. If you think about it why would the Federation want a whiney, panicky, clumsy walking dick with tentacles hanging around their galactic centre? Better to make sure he stays out of the way on his post on Peladon.
Another difference with the Monster of Peladon is instead of romance, they decided to stick in womens lib with Sarah and Queen Thalira gettin' into the sisterhood...plus the whole thing is being how Peladon is being exploited by the Federation for it's minerals, which seems to be why the whole issue of 'See this is why we shouldn't have joined in the first place they're doing what they said they wouldn't" Ok there's some hokey Federation types, like Eckersely (Donald Gee does an ok job really) and here when you thought the Ice warriors were going to be good guys they turn out to be bad guys again.
Think one difference they could of made was not having Otron in there as high priest AND chancellor but split amongst two roles as before, although a pale imitation of Hepesh at least he does see reason. The rebels don't have a lot of character being the stock standard wise leader and hot headed side kick. So really think it's just the execution, the director is the same and probably because he didn't see enough similarities to the original decided to not make enough effort, hence the brightness of the lights everywhere.
Still the Monster of Peladon is the last Ice Warrior story to date thanks to the beeb cancelling the original season 23. It's not bad, like the scene where the Doctor is nearly killed by the mining station alarm systems but the execution and to much dashing about corridor padding let's it down. But really enjoyed it when I was about 10 and thought the ice warriors creepy.
Though the fight scene where the accidental camera shot of the face of a stuntman dressed up as Pertwee, complete with wig doesn't help suspend the disbelief. Pertwee is looking tired by now but still seems on form perhaps knowing the end is round the corner...5.7/10
Seriously, with a few exceptions, sequels are never as good as the originals. Curse of Peladon was in the 8/10 score cos of its great characters and bad guys and some very good plotting. the Monster of Peladon is just plain lazy. Okay, everyone from cuddly Aggedor to cock-in-a-frock (on a rock!) Alpha Centauri is still faffing about on Paledon but so bloody what? Come to think about it, Alpha Centauri is an Ambassador so no doubt with six tentacles and a head like a novelty dildo it would be pretty busy at Galactic Centre trying to fix the economy. What the hell is it doing on Peladon for fifty years???? And what about Aggedor? How could he be alive after fifty years living in a damn pit??? This is just a Terry Nation rehash by another name. There is nothing fresh or original going on here.
In the Curse of Peladon we had Hepesh yapping on to the King about what a cock-up its gonna be to join the Federation. Now we have Ortron flaming at the pie-hole to Queen Thalira for the same thing. Obviously things have moved on in the last fifty years. The King had a champion - Grun, so the Queen has a champion - Blor. The King spoke with a lisp - the Queen speaks with a lisp. And hey - the Ice Warriors are back! And so is Donald Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (although he was in the Seeds of Death). Can you imagine Donald Gee as a rap artist? He'd be Donald G. And then we have the miners who run around with badgers on their heads and complaining about the air conditioning.
There was some plot that was linked to the topic of the day (the miners strike or something) so it'd be interesting to see what they could weave into Peladon if we went back again for a final visit. High home loan interest rates? Wharfie strikes? Maybe Corey could be the new King. The Monster Of Peladon - like so many six parter Pertwees before it - really strains under the weight of its own monotonous boredom. How many times did we have those running up and down the cave corridor scenes? Up and back. Up and back. On it goes. I kind of get the feeling the production team are just waiting for the exciting bit where they get to write Pertwee out and Tom Baker in. Although it was pretty sad to see Aggedor killed. Even sadder since the Doctor bloody caused it. Good one. Arse. Zero. Out of ten.
It's pretty easy to say that as a sequel it's a copy of the original... I don't think that's true at all. It's a continuation of the story - now they're in the federation, things aren't all rosy for the workers (mirroring what was happening in the UK at the time). Surely if there were a massive move away from that, we'd probably be here saying "how could all of this have happened on Peladon since the last one... and seeing as it has, then why even set the Monster Of Peladon there?"
So this is the continuing story of Peladon - the execution of the plot is a little similar in places, but to me it makes sense. It's just not overly interesting. And throw in some of the worst fight scenes ever seen, plus another "oh my god the Doctor's dead" moment from Sarah, and it is a little ho hum. And hey, Pertwee's behind bars again... has that happened to his Doctor before???
The second half of it does pick up when the Ice Warriors come into it. I like Eckersley and his partnership with them. This is the only real memory of Ice Warriors I have from being a kid - sure they're clunky (especially in colour), but I don't know, they're kind of Who folklore, and I still kind of enjoy them... I also enjoy Alpha Centauri... no Mr Grob, not like that...
So points go off for boredom, come on for green aliens, come off for terrible fighting, and then maybe come on again cos the Queen's hot!