The Curse of Peladon
|(Doctor Who Story No. 61, starring Jon Pertwee)
- written by Brian Hayles
- directed by Lennie Mayne
- produced by Barry Letts
- music by Dudley Simpson
- 4 episodes @ 25 minutes each
Mistaken for official delegates from Earth,
the Doctor and Jo join a committee of various aliens
sent to consider the near-medieval society on
the planet Peladon for acceptance into the Galactic Federation.
Is an ancient curse
summoning the spirit of the great beast Aggedor
to silence Federation supporters and prevent the king from
losing his sovereignty? Or is it the Ice Warriors
up to their old tricks again, sabotaging the meetings,
as the Doctor suspects?
DVD Extras include:
- Audio commentary by actress Katy Manning (Jo Grant),
producer Barry Letts,
script editor Terrance Dicks,
production assistant Chris D'Oyly-John,
and moderator Toby Hadoke.
- "The Peladon Saga - Part 1" featurette (23 min.), which is effectively
the first half of a "making of" for "The Curse of Peladon",
sound effects designer Brian Hodgson and
make-up supervisor Sylvia James,
the first half of a "making of" for the story's sequel
"The Monster of Peladon", adding
Nina Thomas (Thalira),
Ralph Watson (Ettis),
Donald Gee (Eckersley),
visual effects designer Peter Day, and
make-up supervisor Elizabeth Moss.
The second half of both "making-of's" features on the DVD for
"The Monster of Peladon".
- "Warriors of Mars" featurette on the history of the Ice Warriors (15 min.),
with Dicks, Letts, James, Hodgson, Day,
Alan Bennion (Izlyr),
Sonny Caldinez (Ssorg),
"The Seeds of Death" director Michael Ferguson,
plus an audio interview of Bernard Bresslaw (Varga).
- "Jon and Katy" featurette (7 min.), with Manning, Dicks, and Letts.
- Storyboard comparison (2 min.)
- Pop-up Production Note Subtitles
- Photo Gallery sound effects montage (7 min.) - Arcturus lives!
Buyers' Guide Review
by Martin Izsak
(A more in-depth analysis, containing "SPOILERS" and intended
for those who have already seen the program, can be accessed
For a story meant to be the "cheapie" of the season, "The Curse of Peladon"
turned out really well. Although limited in many respects, what we get is
quite well done.
The TARDIS gets its due in introduction: a visual materialization
with the right sound, a scene in the interior expertly leading into a
scene around the exterior. A little more practice will soon improve
the timing of the materialization sound effect cue, and not make the
looping necessary, but this is quite good this time around. Thus, the
Doctor and Jo are well established as strangers to this setting, and
an enjoyable pair of protagonists to boot.
SHAKESPEARE IN SPACE
It is interesting to note how the modern-day monarchy of planet Peladon
resembles a court out of a Shakespearean play.
The gathering of aliens interacting with the "Shakespeare" characters
is largely what makes the Peladon stories so enjoyable and memorable. In
all the conflict and mystery and suspicion, peaceful solutions are sought
out as well. In this one, the Doctor has new territory to explore in his
dealings with the Ice Warriors, which is a nice touch. I particularly enjoy
Arcturus as well - the background sound effect his presence always brings
to the mix is quite effective in creating a tense and creepy atmosphere.
Some have said he is a poor Dalek wannabe, but I find his voice and laser
effects are miles ahead of what we got from the Daleks in
the previous story
(before its special edition made vast improvements).
King Peladon's character and
episode three's plot mechanics are worth scrutinizing in more detail,
but to avoid spoilers, I'll only get into that in the
in-depth analysis version of this review.
Come back to read it after you've seen the TV story.
The final conclusion of the story seems a bit too simplistic on paper,
but the director and his actors do such a fine job of pulling all the
right dramatic moods out of every moment of the finish, that "The Curse
of Peladon" shines really bright, a fine gem of a story, well worth
the sequel it eventually got.
"The Curse of Peladon" is a really fun story, highly enjoyable.
The production was largely much better than the original version of
"Day of the Daleks" (the previous story),
but the events themselves are not quite as powerfully crafted.
This story has become available on DVD and VHS video.
Click on the Amazon symbol for the location nearest you
for pricing and availability:
|DVD NTSC Region 1
for the North American market:
in the U.S.
|DVD PAL Region 2
"Peladon Tales" Box Set
for the U.K.
in the U.S.
in the U.S.
for the U.K.
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