- Audio CD
- Publisher: Big Finish Productions Ltd (30 Sept. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1844354261
- ISBN-13: 978-1844354269
- Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 1 x 12.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,007,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Prisoner of Peladon (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) Audio CD – Audiobook, 30 Sep 2009
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Whilst we have not had a full television adventure without a companion to judge how the third Doctor would behave, here the author has a stab, an opportunity therefore to give us insight. Instead it rather detracts as the characterisation doesn't convince.
To a non-Who viewer, The Curse of Peladon is a well written story by more-than-compentent TV writer Brian Hayles, but less well executed because of the realisation of two creatures. One not so good creature (or its head) in a survival machine and one simply dreadful creature that is both awful in design and easily the worst voice in Doctor Who history. If this creature was a villain it would be deemed the worst, but it was not a villian. Unfortunately it appears in this story and the impersonation of the voice is very poor; but a very poor impersonation of a dreadful voice is two negatives and here the character is ironically more bearable than in the 1970s. The character is key to the plot so I can see why it is used, but frankly, some of the creatures in old Doctor Who annuals are better.
David Troughton deserves 5 stars, although a better use of him is in playing his father (Patrick Troughton) than as a one-off character. The format and plot themes are very similar to The Curse of Peladon, which whilst good from a familiarity point of view, something fresh would be just as welcome, as King Peladon, by his own rantings of never being told anything, is more two than three dimensional. The best thing about the Peladon stories were the glorious Ice Lord/Warriors, and I feel they were a little under-utilised here because the predominance of the narration is Troughtons tale telling, so 3 stars. Finally, a non-convincing interpretation of the third Doctor's persona - 2 stars. Therefore neither an awful nor brilliant product (which many Companion Chronicles are).
Overall, an interesting story but not a particularly welcome addition to the Doctor Who canon irrespective of ones' opinion of the Peladon stories. The Prisoner of Peladon is not a story that I can fully believe in, because of the Doctor's characterisation. Whilst it is not depressing or grey, it is one for completists of the Companion Chronicles or worshippers of the Peladon tales, otherwise there are more appealing or appropriate Big Finish audios for the occasional listener.
Ice Warriors have landed on Peladon seeking political refuge which has roused discontent among the local population, which leads to a murder and soon events begin to escalate. The story itself is solid but not spectacular, an affable and unchallenging murder mystery stuffed with all the trappings of a Peladon story, sans Aggedor. The identity of the killer isn't all that surprising in such a small cast that includes the Doctor, but what makes this interesting is the detailing of the motivations of the killer after they are caught, coupled with the King's reaction to being excluded from the Doctor's plans. It starts off slow but gathers momentum in the second half, and it's nice they can still do something a little different with the familiar.
But this slightly breaks the format as they did with earlier release Mahogany Murderers (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) in that it uses a supporting character from the tv show to tell the story rather than a companion.
This features david troughton reprising the role of King Peladon, who he played on tv opposite Jon Pertwee in 1972. Whilst this follows on somewhat from that story Doctor Who - The Curse of Peladon [VHS]  you don't need to have seen that to be able to understand this.
The story involves the king telling someone a tale. A tale of when Peladon was taking in refugee Ice warriors from mars following a revolution there. following all the resulting political tension things only get worse when an ice warrior is murdered. but why at the same time is the king hearing noise from a long forgotten room in the citadel? is the myth about the prisoner of peladon real?
Lucky for him the doctor is back.
The first episode runs for twenty eight minutes and sets a lot of the plot up. It doesnt feel like it breaks any new ground story telling wise, but the quality of the sound design which really makes you feel as if you're in a cold old stone citadel and the quality of david troughtons reading, which sounds very regal, means it's a very absorbing listen.
The second part is quite long compared to it, almost twelve minutes long, and it's during this that the plot really kicks in. all of which is seen from the king's perspective, and that's presented very well, as his mounting frustration with certain things build to a very believable character moment.
Added to which there's a nice surprise in that one supporting character - who will be familiar from the tv story - gets to do far more than you might have imagined possible.
Ultimately this doesnt break any new ground story telling wise, but it's a very pleasant and absorbing listen and worth getting for that.
The disc begins with a trailer for the next release in the range, and ends with ten minutes of interviews with cast and crew. well worth a listen, not least for some interesting anecdotes as to what the people in the monster costumes on the tv show go through.
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