The first of Brian Hayles' two novelisations for the Target range, The Curse of Peladon was published in January 1975. Whilst it sticks closely to the television original, with only a few new scenes added, Hayles was able to take full advantage of the medium of the printed page and he created a novel rich with detail and atmosphere. The result is that this audiobook is a great listen in its own right, as it's much more than just a straightforward transcription of the tv script.
Landing on the primitive planet of Peladon, the Doctor and Jo quickly get caught up in local politics. Peladon is seeking entry into the Galactic Federation and a group of delegates from various planets have arrived to hear their case. Some, like Alpha Centauri and Arcturus are new to the Doctor. Others, like the Ice Warriors, are old enemies of the maverick Time Lord.
When a high ranking Peladon official is found dead in mysterious circumstances, the Pels claim that the spirit of Aggedor is responsible. The Doctor, however, is certain that the Ice Warriors are the guilty party. But is there another solution?
David Troughton, who played King Peladon in the television original, is the reader. Troughton has already read a number of Second Doctor audiobooks, as well as some new series titles. It's easy to see why, as he is a quality reader, with a warm and compelling voice.
Sound and music design is good, and not as overpowering as some of the previous titles. The menagerie of monsters are realised well, sounding quite similar to their television originals.
Running for 5 hours and 20 minutes, The Curse of Peladon, is a highly entertaining reading of one of the classic books from the early days of the Target range.