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The Monster of Peladon
Series: Doctor Who -
TV Stories
Season Number: Season 11
Story Number: 73
Doctor: Third Doctor
Companions: Sarah Jane Smith
Enemy: The Ice Warriors
Setting: Peladon
Writer: Brian Hayles
Director: Lennie Mayne
Broadcast: 23rd March - 27th April 1974
Format: 6 25-minute episodes
Previous Story: Death to the Daleks
Following Story: Planet of the Spiders
"There is nothing "only" about being a miner, your Majesty, any more than there was about being a girl."
―Sarah Jane Smith

The Monster of Peladon was a story from the 11th season of the 1963 version of Doctor Who. It was notable for being a sequel to The Curse of Peladon, and for firmly establishing the Doctor's fondness for the planet of Peladon. Although it was the last televised story, as of 2010, to take place on Peladon, the location has been reused in stories told in other media.

The story is memorable for its obvious pro-labor, pro-feminist themes.

Contents

Synopsis

The Doctor returns to Peladon fifty years after his last visit, finding Queen Thalira, daughter of the late King Peladon, on the throne. A tense labor dispute between Pel nobility and miners is worsened when apparitions of their deity Aggedor attack and kill several miners. The Galactic Federation desperately needs Trisilicate for its war against Galaxy 5, and sends in brutual Ice Warrior troopers to ensure production. The Doctor discovers a devious plot at the heart of Aggedor's appearances.

Plot

The Doctor brings Sarah to the Citadel of Peladon to introduce her to his friend the King, but accidentally arrives fifty years later to find his daughter Queen Thalira on the throne. They find a very tense situation between the Galactic Federation, Pel miners, and Pel nobility. The Federation is at war with Galaxy 5, and desperately requires Trisilicate for the war effort. The miners feel exploited, their way of life having not improved in the half-century since Peladon joined the Federation. Leadership of the miners is divided between the centrist Gebek and the hotheaded Ettis. Tensions rise further when the image of Aggedor begins to appear at random, attacking and killing miners. Chancellor Ortron takes this as a sign that their deity is displeased with alien intrusion in the affairs of Peladon.

Ettis convinces the miners to strike and seizes a Federation armory, while Gebek appeals for calm and negotiation. The Doctor suspects that someone is creating the appearances of Aggedor in order to further destabilize Trisilicate production, but finds himself at odds with both the miners and Ortron, having only his old friend Alpha Centauri, and Thalira's recollection of her father's stories of the Doctor's earlier assistance for support. Ortron has the Doctor and Sarah thrown into a pit to face the real Aggedor, but the Doctor calms the great beast with his Venusian lullaby as he did fifty years earlier. Sarah urges Thalira to stand up for herself against the male-dominated nobility.

Eckersley, an Earthling overseeing the Trisilicate production, calls in a Federation security force to restore order. The security force are Ice Warriors, led by Azaxyr, who utilize harsh means to force the miners to work on pain of death, and ruthlessly kill several miners. This however unifies the miners and nobility against the Ice Warriors. The isolated Ettis becomes crazed and attempts to blow up the Citadel, at the cost of his own life. Azaxyr uses the attack as an excuse to impose martial law, killing Ortron as he attempts to flee.

Through the Doctor and Sarah's investigation, Eckersley and Azaxyr are revealed as Galaxy 5 operatives, hoping to turn the tide of the war by controlling the Trisilicate supply. The control mechanism of the fake Aggedor apparitions is used against the Ice Warriors. The real Aggedor appears and kills Eckersley as he attempts to attack Thalira, but unfortunately expires in the process. Their gambit on Peladon defeated, Galaxy 5 sues for peace. Thalira and her new chancellor Gebek commit themselves to a new beginning for Peladon, while the Doctor and Sarah slip away.

Cast

Crew

References

Story Notes

  • This story had the working title Return To Peladon.
  • Elisabeth Sladen is credited as Sarah Jane in Radio Times for Parts Two, Four and Five.
  • Radio Times credits Stuart Fell (Body of Alpha Centauri) as Alpha Centauri, Ysanne Churchman (Voice of Alpha Centauri) as Alpha Centauri's Voice, and Roy Evans (Miner) as Rima.
  • This is the last on-screen appearance of the Ice Warriors, though they did reappear in various novels (NA: Legacy, Theatre of War, Happy Endings, GodEngine, The Dying Days) and audio dramas (BFA: Red Dawn, Frozen Time, BFBS: The Dance of the Dead) to name a few.
  • In an attempt to recapture the feel of The Curse of Peladon, the same director and designer were assigned to this story and many of the props that still existed (including the Alpha Centauri, Aggedor and Ice Warrior costumes) were reused.
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Ratings

  • Part One - 9.2 million viewers
  • Part Two - 6.8 million viewers
  • Part Three - 7.4 million viewers
  • Part Four - 7.2 million viewers
  • Part Five - 7.5 million viewers
  • Part Six - 8.1 million viewers

Myths

  • Azaxyr is an 'Ice Lord'. (The term is never used.)

Filming Locations

  • Five days at the Ealing Television Film Studios from January 14th to 18th 1974 filming footage set in the mines.
  • Two day session in BBC Television Centre Studio 8 from January 28th and Tuesday the 29th 1974 filming footage set in the temple and the pit.

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • In The Curse of Peladon, the Doctor says that trisilicate can only be found on the planet Mars. The Doctor believed what he said but was wrong.
  • Lip-reading the Doctor at the end of episode one results in the great line 'What the bloody hell is it?'. Actually, he appears to be saying, 'What the blazes is it?'.
  • In episode four we get a clear look at stunt double Terry Walsh when, as the Doctor, he throws Ettis. This has happened many times throughout Jon Pertwee's tenure as the Doctor.
  • In Part Six, the hole in the door vanishes along with the Aggedor statue.
  • When Aggedor dies, Nick Hobbs's skin shows as the trousers detach from the boots.
  • The mines apparently have central heating. The Galactic Federation had the technology to do so.
  • In Part One the Doctor opens a secret door which nearly knocks him over. If it's a secret door, he probably can't predict how it'll open.
  • Sarah tries not to burst out laughing.
  • In The Seeds of Death, the Ice Warriors skin was immune to bullets, but now a simple sword can kill them. A recurring element in science fiction is shields that stop fast moving objects, such as bullets, but not slow moving objects, like a sword. Other instances of this include Joe Haldeman's "The Forever War" and Frank Herbert's "Dune" as well as the Goa'uld Force shield in "Stargate SG-1".

Continuity

Home video releases

DVD Release

Novelisation

Main article: Doctor Who and the Monster of Peladon

External Links

  • BBC Episode Guide for The Monster of Peladon
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide: Detailed Synopsis - The Monster of Peladon
  • A Brief History of Time (Travel) Guide to The Monster of Peladon
Season 11
The Time Warrior  • Invasion of the Dinosaurs  • Death to the Daleks  • The Monster of Peladon  • Planet of the Spiders
Ice Warrior Television Stories
The Ice Warriors  • The Seeds of Death  • The Curse of Peladon  • The Monster of Peladon

This article uses material from the "The Monster of Peladon" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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