Thursday 29 September 2011

311 The Curse of Peladon: Episode Four

EPISODE: The Curse of Peladon: Episode Four
TRANSMITTED: 19 February 1972
WRITER: Brian Hayles
DIRECTOR: Lennie Mayne
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Barry Letts
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Peladon Tales: Curse of Peladon & Monster of Peladon
Episode Format: 525 video RSC

Ssorg shoots Arcturus killing him and saving the Doctor's life. Hepesh leads a revolution against King Peladon to keep his planet out of the federation but is slain by the Royal Beast when the Doctor brings Aggedor to the throne room. Jo refuses an offer of marriage from the King. The Doctor & Jo prepare to stay for the King's coronation but are forced to retreat when the real Earth delegate arrives. The Doctor realises he has been used again as an agent of the Time Lords.

Compared to the rest of the serial this episode falls a little flat. The traitor amongst the Federation delegates has been revealed meaning we're now trusting the Ice Warriors. It's been obvious from the word go that Hepesh isn't keen on the Federation so his actions here don't remotely come as a surprise. But it's not this episode the story will be remembered for: it's the large number of non human species and the way our & the Doctor's experience of the Ice Warriors works against us. Of the four Ice Warrior stories this is probably my favourite and I'm pretty certain it the "using a monster in a completely different way to what the viewer and Doctor are expecting" aspect of the story that makes it. Both the Peladon stories are reflective of real life during the 70s: Curse of Peladon is meant to represent British entry into the European Common Market while Monster of Peladon is supposedly inspired by an early 1970s miners strike.

Curse of Peladon was, as we've seen, repeated in July 1982 as the first story in the Doctor Who and The Monsters season. It was novelised by Brian Hayles in 1975, released on video in 1993 and on DVD in 2010, as part of Doctor Who - Peladon Tales, along with it's sequel the Monster of Peladon.

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