The Monster of Peladon

Doctor WhoThe Doctor brings Sarah to the planet Peladon, a world he last visited with Jo Grant in tow. But it’s a place still plagued by trouble. Queen Thalira, the daughter of the young King that the Doctor met on his previous visit, is facing an uprising among Peladon’s mineworkers. Little does she know, there are also worse threats ahead if the miners shut off Peladon’s export of a vital mineral. Alpha Centauri is still serving as an ambassador, trying to smooth things over, but someone is working against the Queen and the miners – and the mighty best Aggedor may be unable to stop them. This time, are the Doctor’s instincts about the Ice Warriors correct?

written by Brian Hayles
directed by Lennie Mayne
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: Ralph Watson (Ettis), Donald Gee (Eckersley), Gerald Taylor (Vega Nexos), Nina Thomas (Queen Thalira), Frank Gatcliffe (Ortron), Michael Crane (Blor), Stuart Fell (Alpha Centauri), Ysanne Churchman (voice of Alpha Centauri), Terry Walsh (Captain), Rex Robinson (Gebek), Graeme Eton (Preba), Nick Hobbs (Aggedor), Roy Evans (Rima), Sonny Caldinez (Sskel), Alan Bennion (Azaxyr), Max Faulkner (Miner)

Broadcast from March 23 through April 27, 1974

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green

Review: It’s hard to follow up on a bona fide classic like The Curse Of Peladon, even if you’re the same person who wrote it. The Monster Of Peladon is a bit more of a straightforward political allegory, and somehow just doesn’t have the atmosphere of the original. The lack of more concrete links to Curse hurts things here – perhaps it would’ve been nice to see an aged King Peladon, even if only as a background character while his daughter was at the forefront of the story. Having lost Jo as the Doctor’s companion in the interim may be a point against Monster as well, as she would’ve served as the ideal point-of-identification for the audience, pointing out for us what’s changed and what connection the new has to the old. Instead, we wind up with what may be Sarah Jane Smith’s weakest story of her first season. She’s already gotten far too accustomed to traveling with the Doctor (considering that this is only her fourth story of the season and the series), and for someone in an alien environment that has less connection to modern-day Earth than any of her previous adventures, she’s a little too cocksure about interjecting herself into the proceedings.

A nice try at repeating a previous success, but too many of the key ingredients have changed.