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Doctor Who: Peladon Tales

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2010-03 SFX p114.jpg

  • Publication: SFX
  • Date: Mar. 2010
  • Author:
  • Page: 114
  • Language: English

The Aggedors of perception

PG • 244 mins • £29.99 • 18 January Director: Lennie Mayne Cast: Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning, David Troughton

★★★ Extras: ★★★

Jon Pertwee's Doctor sets the TARDIS satnav for Peladon in this double-disc offering of vintage Who goodness. It's a rum old planet, Peladon - clearly culturally advanced enough to be welcomed into the bureaucratic embrace of the Galactic Federation and yet lit by blazing torches, patrolled by butch types in Spartan sandals and spooked wholesale by a semi-mythical hog-beast named Aggedor. You wouldn't want a time-share there.

1972's "The Curse Of Peladon" is the superior story, playing up the clash between the feudal and the fantastic as its freakish alien ambassadors are mired in a royal plot among the secret passages of a storm-lashed citadel. The delegate from Alpha Centauri totters on Doctor Who's eternal faultline between the daft and the charming - a squealing, cyclopean softy that resembles nothing so much as an inflatable unmentionable from a hen night wrapped in a shower curtain. Elsewhere David "son of Patrick" Troughton gives it the gravity of Shakespeare. It all wants to be an Agatha Christie mystery but the whodunnit part isn't quite as compelling as it needs to be.

"The Monster Of Peladon" is a slog at six episodes but manages a more intriguing, mazy mystery, with a genuinely unexpected revelation. The Ice Warriors are restored to bad guy status after their peaceful turn in "Curse" - their costumes look glorious, all glittering, iridescent reptile-green - but Sarah's in her strident sitcom feminist phase ("It's called Women's Lib!") and too many setpieces feel like reheats of the earlier adventure.

Not necessarily Pertwee's finest, then, but a pair of snugly enjoyable yarns, perfect for a winter's evening.

Extras: Cast and crew commentaries; "The Peladon Saga", an efficient two-part Making Of boasting original 70s current affairs footage that will leave you achingly nostalgic for the grimly-suited days of the three-day week (it's good to see the late producer Barry Letts in there, but crushing to learn that he thought the world was ultimately in a worse state); a documentary on the history of the Ice Warriors; a brief, inconsequential featurette on the working relationship between Pertwee and Katy Manning; an audio-only deleted scene from "Monster"; storyboard comparisons for "Curse"; a clip of Ysanne Churchman (Alpha Centauri) on a chat show; info text, photo galleries, Radio Times PDF material and, best of all, a heartfelt tribute to the mighty Terrance Dicks, whose classic Target novelisations must have contributed significantly to the child literacy rate of '70s Britain. What kid these days knows the meaning of the word "capacious"? Paul Cornell tells us that Dicks will one day be as revered as Enid Blyton... but we know he's better than that.

(Ysanne Churchman, the voice of Alpha Centauri, played the legendary Grace Archer in the BBC's seemingly infinite rural radiosoap.

Caption: The Doctor took a moment to fix Jo's brain.

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  • APA 6th ed.: (Mar. 2010). Doctor Who: Peladon Tales. SFX p. 114.
  • MLA 7th ed.: "Doctor Who: Peladon Tales." SFX [add city] Mar. 2010, 114. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: "Doctor Who: Peladon Tales." SFX, edition, sec., Mar. 2010
  • Turabian: "Doctor Who: Peladon Tales." SFX, Mar. 2010, section, 114 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Doctor Who: Peladon Tales | url= | work=SFX | pages=114 | date=Mar. 2010 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 February 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Doctor Who: Peladon Tales | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 February 2024}}</ref>