C073 The Monster of Peladon


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50 years of Federation membership have done little to stifle the Peladonians’ bloodlust and aversion to socio-political progress.



In this sequel to The Curse of Peladon, The Doctor’s all nostalgic and wants to see how the Peladonians have been getting on since his last visit, so he takes his trusty companion Sarah Jane Smith for a trip to the citadel.

In the fifty years that have passed since The Curse of Peladon, the planet has joined the federation and is now being mined for resources beyond the Peladonians’ comprehension. Somewhere within the tunnels beneath the citadel, however, revolution is brewing.

8 Responses to “C073 The Monster of Peladon”

  1. Alpha Centauri looks like a penis, right? And you could describe its outfit as a dress? And it would be right to say that it spends the story in a castle atop a mountain?

    So I guess you could say Alpha Centauri is a cock in a frock on a rock.

    The story is a frankly lackluster sequel to The Curse of Peladon, which is odd as the plot seems to be largely the same – ineffectual camp monarch, scheming xenephobic courtiers, alien monsters looking to exploit the yokel population. Only this time around they’re joined by a gang of miners who look like Poundland Thundercats.

    Not Pertwee’s finest hour, the only person who really comes out with their dignity intact is Lis Sladen. Sarah-Jane continues to impress and has awesome chemistry with the Doctor.

    2/5, and that’s only because I like Alpha Centauri’s dress.

    Regards,

    Grant

    Reply
  2. Jim The Fish

    Ahoy, podcastland! I don’t know why I say “ahoy” cause I’m a fish, Jim the Fish…ANYWAY!

    “I have heard so much bad things about this story….and I do not get it at all. Watching it, I was absolutely enthralled. Some complaints are that it returns the Ice Warriors to their villainous ways, destroying their development in Curse of Peladon, but I think it adds to it, by showing the Ice warriors are not a single “good” or “bad” group, but a diversity of political castes. Another complaint is that it’s a repeat of the Curse of Peladon, but it’s a very different story.

    It’s an occupation story really, a story about invading aliens completely ruling the planet (The Ice Warriors assume control pretty quickly) and a group of under resourced resistance fighters over throwing them. We rarely see that in Doctor Who. Even better, the acting of the Ice Warriors is brilliant-stop to think that all Ice Lords are played by the same person, yet have completely different personalities. It’s also more Ice Warriors than we have seen before, looking better than ever.

    Jon Pertwee’s stunt doubles face is clearly seen, more than once which was hilarious-ly bad.

    Feminism gets an exposure in the arguments between Sarah and Queen Thalira about the rightful role of women in society, though this scene seemed a bit forced.

    Overall, it’s not that bad of an episode, It just seems like everyone going through the motions.
    2.2/5

    Reply
  3. Paul Fauber | @wordsmithpaul

    In Brian Hayles’ sequel to “The Curse of Peladon”, the Doctor returned to the Citadel of Peladon to involve himself in multiple intensifying conflicts. The Spirit of Aggedor was attacking alien technology, to which Peladon’s miners objected, though it could dramatically improve their productivity. These attacks heated up the conflict between the miners, who felt the planet was abandoning its traditions, and nobles, who dismissed such ideas as superstition, while complicating both palace intrigue and the interplanetary geopolitics it impacted. Victory in the Federation’s war with Galaxy Five required Peladon’s critical mineral resources.

    Engineer Eckersley was uninterested in these conflicts. He simply wanted run his technology on Peladon. To this end, he persuaded the easily frightened Ambassador Alpha Centauri to call in the Federation’s Ice Warrior enforcers. The alien ambassador from the first Peladon story could vouch for the Doctor and help him win Queen Thalira’s trust. Contrary to the Doctor’s counsel, she ordered militant miner Ettis and his followers to be hunted instead of negotiating with their moderate leader, Gebec. Also, despite her wishes, High Priest and Chancellor Ortron hampered the Doctor’s efforts to prove Aggador’s appearances and attacks against alien technology were a trick.

    While the Doctor suspected the attacks were a trick and figured out exactly who had perpetrated them, Sarah Jane Smith determined they had been orchestrated from Eckersley’s ore refinery. The Ice Warriors’ arrival in the second half of the story enabled her to persuade the squabbling nobles and miners of Peladon to cooperate in trying to convince the Martians mining was running smoothly. She was a contrast to the planet’s young Queen, who was viewed as a mere girl and made a lovely hostage at the story’s climax. Once the Doctor and Sarah Jane exposed all the conspirators and foiled their plan to exploit Peladon, the interplanetary, geopolitical conflict was conveniently resolved.

    Reply
  4. Trenton Bless | @trentonbless

    The Monster of Peladon, a direct sequel to The Curse of Peladon, is somewhat of a dud. Many people consider it so. I can see why that is.

    The Ice Warriors in their final appearance in the Classic Series were done very well. They were actually threatening again after Curse of Peladon just made them suspects in someone else’s plot. Commander Azaxyr is great and menacing and the whole plot of using Aggedor against the people of Peladon to get them to comply was okay if not a little complicated in execution. Even if this plot point was reused from the previous Peladon story, I think this new flavor of this is acceptable at best.

    But other than that, it’s pretty much The Curse of Peladon again, even down to the Doctor hypnotizing Aggedor with the same song. They even got the original story’s designer and director to return to have the same feel of the original Peladon. Pertwee and Sladen still don’t mesh well and the supporting cast is pretty much the same characters from the previous Peladon tale, even if one of them is gender swapped!

    So, I’d say this story is worth it for the Ice Warriors and the Ice Warriors alone. In fact they save it for me. But, this is just a six part version of The Curse of Peladon. Curse of Peladon was perfect the way it was. I gave it a 4.0/5! This story, however, will always live in it’s shadow.

    In short, this is just a longer version of The Curse of Peladon and it is somehow half the serial Curse of Peladon was. So, it only earns half the score Curse of Peladon did. 2.0/5. Naroon, Naroon, Naroon.

    Reply
  5. Michael Ridgway | @bad_movie_club

    Things I liked:

    • Badger people, lady eyeball head and Mr Tumnus with the crazy eyes (he was killed off way too soon).
    • The ‘spirit’ of Aggedor – surprisingly scary.
    • The Ice Warriors as baddies again. Harrah!
    • Funniest bit: the Ice warrior being bashed with a big piece of wood in the miner rebellion, then repeated pummelled by half a dozen miners.

    Mighty Beefs

    • The real Aggedor. This mangy teddy bear did not live up to the hype and it’s death was super unsatisfactory, met with a shrug. Isn’t it supposed to be worshipped as a god?
    • “What did the Romans, I mean, Galactic Federation, ever do for us?” Jack diddly squat! Fifty years on and Peladon is still a shit-tip! Politically, socially, economically, and technologically (with the exception of the exclusive Federation ‘Communications Room’ and apparently omnipotent CCTV). Even as a staunch Remainer, I would be hard pressed not to support the miner’s campaign for Pelexit.
    • How is there CCTV everywhere? In every mine shaft, outside the citadel, and even in the secret Ice Warrior base! Eckersley’s treachery was revealed by people in the Communications Room watching him plotting…on CCTV! Why didn’t he remove the camera?
    • Security in the citadel is a joke. Armed people charge the throne room every other scene. And why didn’t security block off the not-remotely-secret passage behind the tapestry that seemed to lead everywhere?

    Summary: this serial was so stupid that I watched it in weird comatose state of perpetual confusion. It was no ‘Death to the Daleks’.

    1.2/5 badger people getting oppressed, stabbed, zapped and clobbered.

    Reply
  6. Kristaps Paddock

    My first memory not only of Who, but if television itself is of this story. Given that, it’s really unfortunate that this wasn’t a better story. I was three or four, I was watching with my dad, and then for years, I thought Who wasn’t much more than people in weird costumes wandering around tunnels. Even so, this stuck in my mind, and has been part of my lifelong love of this show, which, 30+ years later, finds me listening to you guys talk over the internet. I give this story a 1.5 for a dreadfully boring story, and some of the most gratuitous padding I can recall in all of Who (although the sets were kind of cool), but 5.0 for inspiring me to love this show forever.

    Reply
  7. Peter Zunitch

    We return to one of my favorite worlds and find answers to questions we didn’t even know we had, exploring the consequences of the doctor’s prior visit.

    This story’s success is in the writing. Many original elements are used differently enough that nothing feels old hat. Thalia and Hepesch are amazing. He’s so similar to the previous chancellor that we immediately think he is evil, which imposes great empathy when he selflessly snuffs it for his ideals. Likewise using Aggedor’s statue makes the mythos a central point without overusing the creature …utterly brilliant. Finally, the heroes of the last encounter become the villians, which adds to the complexity of the overarching story.

    Only minor gripes diminish this from it’s predecessor. The personal investment from some characters is less effective. Sarah’s pivotal moments, (learning about alien species, and emancipating a queen), should have been developed further. Also locations are used less effectively. There’s too much of the same hallway and tapestry, when I was hopinga to see a village or the top of the castle.

    I believe Pertwee’s entire personnae of the Dr. is perfectly reflected in these two epic Peladon stories. I’d love to see what New Who could do here. Unfortunately I fear all we’ll ever get of Peladon again is an incorrect reference by Peter Capaldi whilst fighting Cybermen. So let’s sing a Venusian Lullaby and put our favorite vicious teddy bear to sleep. We leave Peladon with a tear in our eye and a quite respectable 3.9

    Reply
  8. Paul Waring

    Hands down, this is one of Pertwee’s best stories. Sarah continues to play a pro-active role, and this story in particular shows how well she works with the Third Doctor. It’s a shame they’re only together for one season as there seems to be real chemistry between Sladen and Pertwee – it wouldn’t surprise me if the final lines when they enter the TARDIS were something they ad-libbed.

    The political intrigue is fun, especially the way the Doctor falls in and out of favour in the royal court. Eckersley colluding with the Ice Warriors wasn’t something I saw coming on my first viewing, and he plays the ‘man just trying to get on with his job’ role well. Azaxyr is more rounded than a lot of Who villains, and I particularly like his line about being the Doctor’s judge, jury ‘and executioner too… perhaps’.

    Unlike some Pertwee stories, this doesn’t feel too long as it’s really a two-parter – first the mystery of who is killing the miners, then fighting off the Ice Warriors when they are revealed to be behind it all.

    Overall, a cracking story which I re-watch it on a regular basis. 4.5/5

    Reply

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