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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Doctor Who Rewind - The Monster Of Peladon

Doctor Who Rewind
The Monster Of Peladon

Klokleda partha mennin klatch, Haroon, haroon, haroon, Klokleda shunna teerenatch, Haroon, haroon, haroon

Yes it's that catchy Venusian lullaby again. Ah so, it's a return visit to Peladon and not a moment to soon, as things seem to be taking a turn for the worst.

Fifty years have passed since all that ghastly business with Hepesh and Grun. Now the kings daughter, Thalira, despite being female (Peladons don't hold any worth or power to their female counterparts) is is struggling to keep the trisilicate miners from revolting against the ruling class.

Leading the miners is Gebek, he's kind of akin to a union rep and has a head for making important decisions, unlike his friend Ettis, who just wants to duff everyone up. The miners beef is the age old-wanting better working conditions.

The trisilicate is needed for the war effort (the Galactic Federation of which Peladon is a member is at war with Galaxy 5).

Miners start being killed when visions of the royal beast, Aggador start appearing and vpourising everyone. Councillor Ortron tries to convince the Queen that this is a sign of displeasure at the alien presence on the planet.

The Doctor arrives with Sarah Jane and is happy to see that Alpha Centauri (the giant eyed six armed alien with the high pitched squeal) is still flapping around quoting federation policy and procedure. The Doctor pledges his support to the Queen to help get to the bottom of things.

With an attack on the armoury by the headstrong Ettis, which threatens trisilicate mining even further, engineer Eckersley (who is in charge of the refinery) persuades Centauri to send for federation reinforcements.

Things turn even worse when Ice Warriors (led by Azaxyr) turn up forcing the minors to continue with trisilicate production. They kill several minors in the process. As a result of this Ortron and Gebek join forces against the Warriors. With Ettis enraged by this he tries to blow up the Citadel. The Ice Warriors impose Martian law on the capital and imprison the Queen and kill Ortron as he tries to protect her.

On a hunch of Sarah Jane, who remembers seeing something inside the refinery, the Doctor investigates the control room and finds the means by which the Aggador trickery is being imposed. Cleverly he himself controls the device and at last the miners have Aggador on their side. It is revealed that Eckersley is working with the Ice Warriors and are both Galaxy Five agents who have devised the whole Aggador threat in order to control trisilicate supply.

Eckersley takes Sarah Jayne hostage and makes off into the mines but is eventually caught when the Doctor greets him with the real fury Aggador, whom the Doctor controls by means of the Venusian lullaby. Eckersley tries to kill the queen but the Aggador kills him first, and is sadly killed himself in the process.

Galaxy five surrenders it's conditions and the Queen seeks to repair the damage to Peladon by appointing Gebek as the new chancellor.

I enjoyed this much more than the Curse Of Peladon. It seemed to have a lot more tension, action and surprises.

Sarah Jane's strong female presence in this story really helps to give the queen confidence in herself. Sarah Jane shines in this throughout from her braveness and inventiveness in advising the queen when the Ice Warriors threaten everything, to her tenderness and sadness when she thinks the Doctor is dead, actually twice in this story. The second time is particularly touching, the Doctor puts himself into a sleep like state to avoid Eckersley's attempts to kill him with massive amounts of interference in his brain. Sarah Jane's tears wake the Doctor from his apparent death.

Elsewhere their are strong performances from the rest of the cast, and it's nice to see the Ice Warriors being as deadly as ever.

As a penultimate story for Pertwee it's gratifying to see him helping his old friends before he embarks in his final adventure.

So, next time on Doctor Who Rewind, it's time to say goodbye to the third Doctor with a creepy crawly classic.


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