Doctor Who (Jon Pertwee) – The Curse of Peladon

 

The Curse of Peladon is a four-part story that aired from 29 January to 19 February, 1972. It was written by Brian Hayles, and sees the Doctor (Pertwee) and Jo (Jo Katy Manning) end up on the planet Peladon, suggesting that the Time Lord has gotten the TARDIS back in somewhat working order.

On this distant planet, in the year 3885, our heroes find themselves enmeshed in political intrigue and murder. Peladon is serving as host to a galactic council and features some rather odd-looking aliens (few of whom I imagine have been seen since, especially the delegate from Alpha Centauri), the Ice Warriors of Mars are about, though they a little more restrained than usual, citing a peaceful existence now instead of a warlike one.

Underlining all of the meetings and intrigue is the rumor of a beast and a curse on the those who rule there.

Posing as royal delegates from Earth Jo becomes the princess of TARDIS, and the pair find themselves investigating the mounting deaths and assassination attempts while eluding attacks on themselves, with the success of the Galactic council hanging in the balance.

In fact, none of the delegates seem to be safe, as attempts are made on almost all of them, and the Doctor is lined up as the prime suspect and its suggested that trial by combat be conducted to prove his guilt or innocence.

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The Doctor, using the time afforded him, explores the tunnels and passageways of the keep, searching for and eventually finding the legendary beast, called the aggedor, and is on the verge of calming it via a Venusian lullaby before Jo, aided by the Ice Warriors, inadvertently interrupts, thinking that she is rescuing him.

The Doctor is remanded to custody, and the trial gets underway, and the Time Lord pulls out all the stops as he squares off against the prosecution’s champion and relies on his Venusian karate as serious fisticuffs ensue.

The fight leads to the climax of the story with the revelation that the strange little head Arcturus (Murphy Grumbar), one of the delegates, has been the one orchestrating everything with the help of one of the King of Peladon’s inner circle, Hapesh (Geoffrey Toone). It seems they are some amongst the ruling class who do not want Peladon to be a part of the galactic council, as they fear it will diminish their and their planet’s importance. It’s better to be big fish in their small corner of the pond, as opposed to one member of a school of fish.

But the future cannot be stopped, and with the aggedor at his side, the Doctor saves the day, and helps usher Peladon into the Galactic Council. Our heroes leave just as the true delegation from Earth arrives to attend the conference.

Next time around, the Doctor encounters The Sea Devils!

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