Doctor Who: The Curse of Peladon (1972) starring Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning
In The Curse of Peladon, The Doctor and Jo accidentally crash on the planet Peladon in the future. Young King Peladon wants his planet to join the Galactic Federation. But something, or someone, wants to prevent that at all costs …
The Curse of Peladon is an enjoyable Doctor Who story arc, featuring the second Doctor. It’s fast-paced and enjoyable. There’s quite a few good character moments, such as the Doctor being forced to recognize his bigotry against the Ice Warriors. It also gives Jo multiple moments, where she’s “quietly” coming to the rescue.
It’s also nice to see the various aliens as characters, not just the “monster of the week”. And of course, given the BBC’s small budget, some of them are unintentionally hilarious.
I enjoyed The Curse of Peladon, and hope that you do too.
Izlyr: [Izlyr has sworn to save the Doctor’s life after the Doctor has saved his own, only to discover the Doctor’s prison cell empty] It seems that the Doctor has escaped without our help.
Ssorg: Or he has been eliminated…
Izlyr: If that is so, Hepesh and this planet will have much to answer for!
The planet Peladon is hoping to join the Galactic Federation. But someone murders King Peladon’s Chancellor. And it seems that the legendary royal beast, Aggedor, is to blame. The Doctor and Jo crash land, and impersonate the delegates from Earth. They join the other delegates, including the Ice Warriors. Whom the Doctor distrusts …
First, someone tries to kill the delegates with a falling statue. However, the Doctor pushes them aside in time. Next, the work of the committee is hampered by sabotage, fear, and suspicion. Then, someone has sabotaged the life support system of one of the delegates. But the Doctor is able to jury-rig it, and save his life. But no good deed goes unpunished, and some suspect him of doing the sabotage! In turn, the Doctor knows the Ice Warriors from long ago …. And he fears that they may be responsible. But Grun tricks the Doctor into a maze, ending in the sacred chamber. And to desecrate it means death!
So, the King condemns The Doctor to death. But, after Jo’s intervention, the King offers an alternative. A fight to a death in the pit, against the King’s champion, Grun. But the saboteur and murderer is still at large. And, the Doctor has escaped from his cell. And he’s all but tamed the mythic Aggedor! Despite that, it’s off to the arena for the battle against Grun …
Hepesh, supported by the delegate from Arcturus, is revealed to be behind the attacks. Then, Arcturus is killed. But Hepesh escapes, to form a rebellion against the King. And even threatens to kill the King himself. Is it Aggedor to the rescue?
- Jon Pertwee (Planet of the Daleks) … Doctor Who. The Doctor, who accidentally lands the TARDIS on Peladon. And quickly gets himself embroiled in the court intrigue.
- Katy Manning (Terror of the Autons) … Jo Grant. “Princess Josephine”, as she’s known on Peladon. And King Peladon seems to like her. After all, his mother was also human!
- David Troughton … Peladon. The handsome young king of Peladon. He wants to bring his medieval planet to modern, better times. But his closest advisor is murdered. Also, his high priest works against it at every turn.
- Geoffrey Toone … Hepesh. Peladon’s high priest. He embraces the ancient religion of Aggedor. Also, he fears joining the Galactic Federation. Moreover, he thinks they will strip the planet of their minerals, and enslave them.
- Henry Gilbert … Torbis
- Alan Bennion … Izlyr. The lead delegate from Mars — an Ice Warrior. The Doctor distrusts him, because of his prior experience with the Martians. But, his people have renounced war. And, he feels a debt to the Doctor for saving their lives.
- Sonny Caldinez … Ssorg. The secondary Ice Warrior delegate from Mars.
- Stuart Fell … Alpha Centauri. The Galactic Federation delegate. She’s fearful, but still trying to do her job.
- Ysanne Churchman … Alpha Centauri (voice).
- Murphy Grumbar … Arcturus. One of the Galactic Federation delegates.
- Terry Bale … Voice of Arcturus.
- Gordon Stothard … Grun. The King’s mute bodyguard. And Hepesh’s minion.
- Nick Hobbs … Aggedor. The “mythical” beast, and center of Peladon’s religion.
- David Troughton (Peladon) is the son of Patrick Troughton, the Second Doctor. He previously appeared Doctor Who: The War Games, and in Doctor Who: Midnight.
- The story was inspired by Star Trek: The Original Series: Journey to Babel.
Editorial review of Doctor Who: The Curse of Peladon, courtesy of Amazon.com
Taking a test flight in the TARDIS, the Doctor and Jo make an inelegant landing on the planet Peladon. When they are mistaken for representatives from Earth, the Doctor soon finds himself chairing the committee of alien delegates assessing Peladon’s petition to join the Galactic Federation. When one of the King’s advisors is killed, the High Priest fears the ancient Curse of Aggedor is at work, but the Doctor suspects his old enemies the Ice Warriors are to blame. Can the Doctor and Jo uncover the identity of the saboteurs before a major diplomatic incident plunges them into war?