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Doctor Who - The Curse of Peladon [VHS] [1963]
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The quasi-medieval setting of Peladon, contrasting with the different alien species of more advanced cultures and technologies that come to the planet, provide a dynamic of old and new that drives the story forward. The old is represented by Hepesh, Guardian of his civilizations' traditional values, who feels these values threatened by the diplomatic conference taking place on his world. This conference is to determine as to Peladons' suitability to join the Galactic federation. The delegates are the aliens mentioned above. Hepesh is driven to murder those who he sees driving this change forward, using one of Peladons' captured beasts, Aggador, which has assumed mythic status on Peladon.
The Doctor and Jo arrive, seemingly at random, at this crucial point in Peladons' fortunes. The Doctor and Jo finds themselves in the position of assuming the identities of the Earth delegates, and become embroiled in the mystery of a recent murder of the chancellor, as well as playing the diplomat with a diverse range of alien creatures.
This story works well on a number of different levels. The model work is impressive, shown to full advantadge in the cliff top city of Peladon, and in shots of the Tardis falling off the edge of a cliff.
The 'monsters' are well realised, with Aggador kept mostly to the shadows at first, and later shown as a rampaging bear like beast. The delegates identites are strikingly realised, with the Acturi delegate being a squid like being in a life-suport machine, the Alpha -Centauri delegate being a shuffling, many limbed, squeaky voiced hemaphrodite, and the Ice-Warriors (the Mars delegates) here retaining there hissing menace whilst, in a clever and misleading plot reversal, turning out to be the Doctors' allies. Costumes and acting are all well done, giving a sense of the difficulties inherent in a conference attended by diverse cultures, or in this case species! They give the story imaginative weight.
Pertwee is on fine form, balancing gravitas with humour, and heroism with fallibility (the machinations of Hepesh throw him off the scent a number of times, and he is revealed to be still pretty much in the control of the Time lords, who, it is revealed, may have engineered his arrival at Peladon in the first place).
Katy Mannings' Jo Grant has here more to do tha scream, fall over and get in the way. She is here integral and involved in what is going on, persuading and berating the vacillating King of Peladon.
A must for your collection, and deserving of DVD release.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2001
Doctor Who (Jon Pertwee) and Jo Grant arrive on the planet Peladon where, unbeknown to them, a conference of the Galactic Federation is about to take place. The Doctor and Jo masquerade as Earth delegates and are welcomed by King Peladon (played by David Troughton, son of Patrick). Unfortunately, King Peladon has just had a tragedy to deal with: the apparent murder of one of his closest advisers. The Doctor suspects the Ice Warriors may be responsible, old enemies of his who are attending the conference as delegates from Mars.
This is a well plotted and reasonably well acted story from 1972 (and an interesting satire on the UK joining the Common Market in the same year). The acting honours really go to the magnificent Geoffrey Toone as the doom merchant Hepesh. This adventure is very different from the action orientated, Earth-based UNIT era from which it hales, and its slow pace and lack of real action may deter some fans of the Pertwee era. It is, however, worth sticking with. Shame about Arturus, though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 April 2009
The first reviewer has said it all really; I can only add my agreement that this is a thoughtful and intriguing story that gives Jon Pertwee one of his few opportunities to leave Earth and show his range a bit more. I think it'll be a while before they release this on DVD, although it'd make a decent box set with the later 'Monster of Peladon'. I also thought that Russell T Davies' 'End of the World' nicked the whole ambassadors from various planets idea and showed how good this could have looked if it had been made 30 years later!
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2013
Cannot review this video because have still to watch but am sure it will live up to expectations because it is a classic
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2 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 11 May 2000
This is a very good, solid programme of Doctor Who. It really descibes what goes through soneone's head when they think their nation is under threat. However it could have followed the book alittle more closer in plot. Two of the(what I think) crucial scenes missing in the film are;
1. Peladon alone in the temple of Aggedor before the Trial of Combat.
2. The Doctor's comments to King Peladon after he spares the life of the Guard Captain after the Death of Hepesh in the throne room.
It was one of the better episodes of Doctor Who. Similar to Season Two of Monkey, where some of the shows had a meaning behind them. Especially in where one is left to think,"Could there have been a better way?"(Review of Doctor Who and Silurians/Day of the Daleks)
It's an example of the twisted thinking that so often convinces us we ARE doing the right thing even by commission muder, cruelty, treason and deception.(Think about this, Does it make you a murderer to kill in self defence?)
One final point; How does Doctor Who Quiz book II get the real Earth delegates name as being Amazonia? It's not mentioned in the book or the film...
Vincent Maker
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