50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Two visits to Peladon,
This review is from: Doctor Who: Peladon Tales (The Curse of Peladon / The Monster of Peladon) [DVD] (DVD)After a fairly long absence, there's a sudden burst of Jon Pertwee stories getting released on DVD. After last year's rather excellent DALEK WAR set comes this collection of two stories set on the world of Peladon, separated by two years in production terms and fifty years in plot terms. THE CURSE OF PELADON is the second story of the 1972 series and finds the Doctor, (whilst still exiled to Earth) managing to get his TARDIS working just long enough to drag Jo Grant (Katy Manning) away from the prospect of a night out with Mike Yates and land her halfway up a mountain in a thunderstorm on an alien planet. Four episodes of political intrigue ensue on the rather feudal planet Peladon which still worships the furry terror that is Aggedor whilst being in negotiation for entry into the Galactic Federation, a situation that doesn't make certain members of the population very happy and is in absolutely no way reflecting a certain small nation's issues about entry into the "common market" that were happening at the same time. Ahem!
A range of alien ambassadors of various types (and successfulness) from the frankly disturbing face in a box called Arcturus to the rather endearing Alpha Centauri (who has to be seen to be believed) also have their own agendas, and a familiar set of foes from the Patrick Troughton era, the Ice Warriors are also along for the ride and this time around add a great deal of depth to a race of creatures raising their status to the realm of rather "classic" monsters. They are all given strong support by a fine set of character actors including Geoffrey Toone as the zealous High Priest Hepesh and a very young David Troughton as the naïve young King Peladon of Peladon who takes a bit of a shine to Jo (and why not?). Along the way, Jon Pertwee gets to sing and have a big fight and play up to his role as an intergalactic gentleman, all part of the charm that he adds to his very special and fondly remembered portrayal of the Doctor.
We are returned to Peladon some fifty years later in Jon Pertwee's penultimate story, made in 1974 and called THE MONSTER OF PELADON which, happily, is also in this set. Six episodes this time around revolving around the battle over a source of valuable minerals and unrest amongst the workers in the mines. This does of course in absolutely no way reflect a certain small nation's issues about miner's strikes that were happening around the same time. Ahem!! The expanded episode count does make the story a bit slower this time around, but Alpha Centauri and the Ice Warriors both return, as does Aggedor and this time we get to see more of the "ordinary people" of Peladon, although there's nothing ordinary about their hair. Nina Thomas plays the Queen - the daughter of King Peladon - who is still having trouble with her latest High Priest (the excellent Frank Gatliff). Some chats about "women's lib" from Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen - here in her first series playing the part) soon put her right about a few things. Another fine set of character actors including Rex Robinson and Donald Gee give convincing performances again and Jon Pertwee's Doctor gets a right old kicking before heading off to his fateful visit to THE PLANET OF THE SPIDERS.
The commentary on the first story is interesting enough, with the production team of Barry Letts, Terrance Dicks and Chris D'Oyly-John alongside actress Katy Manning (and her numerous alternative voices...Hmmm...) being moderated by Toby Hadoke. Sadly two of these contributors have died since they made the recordings which makes their comments seem just a little bit more poignant. Half the world - including a group of enthusiastic professional fans in part four - seems to turn up for commentary duties on the second story, but that's a good thing as it keeps the chat rattling along without going over old ground too much.
The usual range of extras like photo galleries, pdf material and loosely related clips from other shows are included alongside a solid set of documentaries including a two part "making of", a brief look at the history of the Ice Warriors, a short piece called "Jon and Katy" - which rather decribes itself - and a rather excellent piece on the writings of Terrance Dicks which will hopefully go some way in raising his profile as one of the best writers of children's fiction that there has ever been.
Tracked by 1 customer
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Oct 2010 17:43:26 BDT
Mr. D. Bertram says:
Great review - and thanks for pointing out the political parallels!
In reply to an earlier post on 5 Oct 2010 10:29:23 BDT
Thank you for the kind comments.
Posted on 27 Apr 2011 17:58:51 BDT
Fantastic review - convinced me to buy! I've always loved Pertwee's Doctor.
Posted on 12 Jul 2012 23:13:49 BDT
Ellen P says:
Thank you for the great review. Just one small correction: "Geoffrey Orme as the zealous High Priest Hepesh" shouldn't that be Geoffrey Toone?
In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jul 2012 06:45:28 BDT
You're absolutely right. I must have been thinking about something else at the time. Either that or senility's crept in far earlier than I thought. Still, it took two and a half years before anyone else noticed, either. Perhaps there should be some kind of prize for that kind of thing...? Anyway, let's just hope that the edit works...
In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jul 2012 15:41:41 BDT
Ellen P says:
Great! Well I was looking over different entries and I am a Toone fan for a long time (Freewheelers started that) and am also a Dr Who fan. So I stumbled upon it.. years after you posted this..
‹ Previous 1 Next ›
(32 customer reviews)
Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,684