This is the hundred and fourth release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Peter Davison as Five, Nicola Bryant as Peri and Caroline Morris as Erimem. There are 4 episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes.
Five, Peri and Erimem respond to a distress signal from a Martian Ambassador and find themselves about to crash land on Peladon. As usual when the Doc visits the planet they are soon mixed up in courtly intrigue and lots of mysterious goings on. But what lies behind it all will come as a real surprise.
This is another strong story for this TARDIS crew. It has a strong and exciting opening on the space ship about to crash, it is well plotted and structured with some great cliff hanger moments, there is plenty for all three principles to do and the McGuffin at the heart of the story is a real corker. I rather like the way that the Ice Warriors are used, continuing Peri's experience of them as an honourable race. In Son of the Dragon, In the Mind's Eye and Mission of the Viyrans the Big Finish team have been hinting heavily at Erimem's departure, and I don't think I am spoiling anything by saying that it comes to pass here. But, as with The Girl Who Never Was, the writers play around with your expectations and keep you guessing as to the nature of her departure right up to the end. When it does come it is totally fitting. It's a shame to see the end of the TARDIS crew, as Erimem was a character who had not yet outlived her welcome. But perhaps it was better to go out on a high. And Peri's final line in the adventure is a treat for long term fans!
It's a well made story, and a fitting end for a great character. 5 stars.
It is a shame that there are no cd extras with cast/production team interviews as are common on contemporary releases, as I think there would have been some interesting insights to be had with this landmark release.
on 13 June 2015
It is hardly an inspired idea to revisit Peladon as such a thing is a little obvious and would eventually happen (after all, Peladon is one of only a select few planets the Doctor visits more than once onscreen). However, it is a great idea. Few Doctor Who stories have such a wealth of memorable and varied alien species and the world of Peladon somehow encapsulates both science fiction and the feel of a historical setting. All the typical elements exhibited by the two onscreen Peladon stories are here. There’s an Ice Warrior whose intentions could be good or evil, a scheming Arcturan, a division in the court of Peladon and even someone from Vega Nexus. And, of course, there’s Alpha Centauri. It’s a perfect setting for the Doctor to wander into.
Because of the above elements the play does tread over familiar ground and it does eem for the first half that it might become a sort of repeat of what is seen onscreen,. Part of this is, of course, playing to what listeners might want or expect. Mainly though it lures the listener into a false sense of security before in a surprising direction that will delight fans of a particular classic Doctor Who story.
I’m not sure how apt a setting it is for the Fifth Doctor and for large portions of the play he doesn’t have a great deal to do. However, it is a great story for companions Peri and Erimem. There probably isn’t a story better suited for Erimem and she feels as if she belongs in the quasi-historical environment that is Peladon. There is a lot to do for Peri and she gets some good dialogue. There are some strong scenes between her and the Ice Warrior, Zixlyr. It is surprising that the portrayal of her character is so much more intelligent and pro-active than it ever was during the course of the television programme (but I’ve only listened to a few audios featuring Peri). There is even some use of her botany knowledge that was usually forgotten onscreen.
As with the televised Peladon stories there is a host of quite distinctive, strong characters. Alpha Centauri is as unique and fantastic as ever and Zixlyr has a more in depth character than Ice Warriors are usually permitted. Pelleas isn’t written for or played differently to King Peladon, but Beldonia is unlike any member of Peladon’s court seen before. Even Aggedor receives some development.
The conclusion and denouement are a little drawn out, but otherwise this is a superbly structured story. With strong characters and performances and some enjoyable, intriguing surprises, this is a memorable audio release.
another audio adventure for the fifth doctor who. with his companions peri and erimem. This is a four part story, each episode running twenty five minutes. and there are two to a disc.
The usual trailer for the next main big finish release is absent from the start. we get a trailer for the eighth doctor story dead london instead. this is probably because the condemned has a big surprise in it. But more on that when it comes out.
This story is a sequel to the two third doctor tv stories that were set on the planet peladon. It doesn't make any real concession for those who haven't seen them but you shouldn't have any problem getting into it if so.
The tardis crew arrive on the planet a good few years after the doctor was last there. a royal wedding is about to take place. miners are dying. An alien criminal is up to no good. can the planet survive and prosper? and whose voice is calling out to people?
There's a lot going on here, and as a result the doctor doesn't actually get that much to do in the first three parts. But it's all involving and well acted enough such that you're not really bothered by this.
Episode three ends with a terrific cliffhanger that will please long term fans.
The last scene of episode four starts out well but goes on a little too long, the very final moment being a slightly obvious moment. but that's the only problem with an otherwise very good story. It's good traditional doctor who and it's very involving and a pleasure to listen to.
Both discs end with the usual interviews with cast and crew. These are a little shorter than usual, and that helps because it makes them short and to the point.
The last track on disc two contains trailers for other stories featuring this particular tardis crew.
A very good audio all in all.
on 2 February 2008
This story is what i would like to hear of more often from bigfinish
please. A great return to the besieged planet of Peladon. But this time its even better than ever. I love all the peladon stories, so cool and atmospheric. And this one has all the much needed ingredients to make a Peladon story work: Alpha Centauri, Arcturus and an ice warrior. This story is fresh though as well, not just the same court intrigue or miners going awol. This is a great story with Sutekh's mummy on it! ha ha. But no, this story is very well paced and enjoyable. its sad to see Caroline Morris going, hopefully she may come back for a few more in the future! Please! Peter Davison leads a great cast in a story dripping with atmosphere and lovely baby aggedors. This is truly a story of a type id like to see more!! I think the suspense of wondering who the voice belongs to is very well handled....mysterious for a change. I didnt guess who the culprit was this time at all. I would love to see this story adapted for tv. Yes, it is that good...
on 15 April 2008
It was a great idea of Big Finish to revisit the planet of Peladon; seen twice during Jon Pertwee's reign as The Doctor on TV. This time it's the Fifth Doctor, Peri and Erimem arriving on the feudal planet and it turns out to be the swansong of one of the Doctor's companions...To be honest there's little new here for Doctor Who fans - all the elements of the two television serials are regurgitated and the main pleasure is that of nostalgia, and seeing a different incarnation of The Doctor surprise his old acquaintances.