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Doctor Who: The Curse of Peladon (Episode 61)

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: May 4 2010
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B0035JHYMA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,837 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Doctor Who: Curse of Peladon, The (DVD)

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Format: VHS Tape
In this story, the Doctor and Jo mistakenly land on the ledge of a windy mountainside, and enter the citadel of Peladon. There, they are mistaken (and quickly assume the role of) the Earth delegate. Peladon is a planet under a feudal monarchy applying for admission to the Galactic Federation, and the delegates from Alpha Centauri, Arcturus, and Mars are assessing whether or not to accept Peladon's entry. The Doctor is the chairman delegate while Jo becomes Princess Josephine of TARDIS, a royal observer.
Even though Peladon's Grand Council decided for Federation membership, there's a clash of ideals. Chancellor Torbis is for progress, to bring Peladon out of primitive superstition, while the high priest Hepesh is worried that the ancient traditional ways will be swept away, with Peladon being a slave to the Federation. Torn between the two is the young and weak-minded king, also named Peladon, who was raised by both men. He is all for joining the Federation, but Torbis's mysterious murder is the first of many crises to arise. Hepesh believes it's a sign that the spirit of Aggedor, the royal beast of Peladon, is angry. With Torbis dead, Hepesh solely has the king's ear. The Doctor puts the problem before the king neatly: "Your majesty is an enlightened ruler, but who will your people believe, King Peladon or Aggedor?"
Many crises occur in this episode, including two attempted murders. And Hepesh is dead set on keeping Peladon the way it is, and to that end, he sees the Doctor, who is the chairman delegate, as his foremost enemy, and conspires to have him killed, or fearing reprisal from the Federation, expelled.
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Format: VHS Tape
I admit it. I am not a fan of the Peladon stories.
This makes this review a little harder to write but not impossible.
To me the two Peladon stories of third Doctor Jon Pertwee mark the nadir of Doctor Who other than the Colin Baker stories.
In this one the Doctor arrives on Peladon and is mistaken as the delegate from Earth in the forthcoming peace conference between the Galactic Federation and the planet Peladon.
A series of murders, attempted murders and other incidents is attributed to the symbol of the planet, Aggedor.
The Doctor, as usual, gets involved, is blamed, cleared and saves the day but even so cannot save this adventure.
The concept is OK, the alien Alpha Centauri, male with tentacles and a female voice who is continually panic stricken, is silly, the Ice Warriors are wasted and the Doctor singing to the horned monster shows that he should not give up his day job.
Still it is OK for younger viewers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa4d5a828) out of 5 stars 42 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa48e61e0) out of 5 stars "I wanted to save our world...." May 23 2000
By Brian May - Published on
Format: VHS Tape
This Jon Pertwee story is very enjoyable. It is well designed and directed, has terrific costumes and a real medieval atmosphere. It's also very well written. Allegedly (or as most analyses of the story purport) "The Curse of Peladon" is a commentary on the UK's proposed entry into the Common Market. The writer's politics must clearly have been in favour of joining with Europe for him to liken England to a backward planet deciding to embrace the "progress" of joining the galactic Federation, which is portrayed as a Star Trek type conglomeration of planets. However, this is a story that can be enjoyed independent of such a context. What you have is partly a tale of court intrigue combined with a political thriller, which becomes more complex as the story progresses. The involvement of the Doctor and companion Jo Grant opens a can of worms - he is forced to impersonate a delegate overseeing whether Peladon is fit to join the Federation, while Jo must masquerade as a Princess. Small factors such as these escalate the situation; by the start of the final episode, political machinations have never been more gripping. The diplomatic nuances are a credit to Brian Hayles's skill as a writer. The return of his monsters, the Ice Warriors, is also good to see. Alan Bennion and Sonny Caldinez perform their second of three double acts as Ice Lord and Warrior; the decision to portray them as allies rather than as conquering alien "baddies" as they have been before is also a clever move. The Doctor is forced to question his prejudices about them. Bennion's performance as the Ice Lord is wonderful - he makes the character likable, honourable (especially when he announces the debt he owes to the Doctor) and quite suave. The alien designs of Alpha Centauri and Arcturus are interesting, even if a little simplistic by today's standard of what aliens should be. The two main Peladonian characters are also well presented. King Peladon, played by David Troughton (son of Patrick), could be criticised because of his effeminacy and indecision (a "wet fish" as Jo calls him), but he is a young ruler, lonely at the top and has to make some difficult decisions. His romantic inclinations towards Jo, while hardly touching, don't fall into the mushy zone. Hepesh is perhaps the most intriguing character. He is the story's antagonist, but his opposition to joining the Federation is not presented as evil. He DOES represent the conservative view, opposed to progress, but he is simply a man of his convictions. (I'm not sure whether the opponents of change in the story's wider context are meant to be as sympathetically presented as Hepesh - I don't think so.) "The Curse of Peladon" can be enjoyed both in and out of context. It is a gripping drama, visually pleasing and very classy production.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa48eb978) out of 5 stars A classic. Aug. 19 2000
By G.Spider - Published on
Format: VHS Tape
With its grown-up storyline, believable characters and interesting, well-thought-out alien society, this is Dr Who as it should be. The sets are great and the plot, which involves a primative society's fear or technology, is filled with 'whodunnit' suspense. The Ice Warriors are at their best. Ice Lord Izlyr especially comes across as one of the strongest and most interesting alien characters the programme has seen. A true classic.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa49f3294) out of 5 stars A much-beloved story from the Jon Pertwee years that hasn't held up with time April 23 2011
By buckbooks - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Peladon stories (first "The Curse of Peladon," followed by "The Monster of Peladon" two seasons later) are fondly remembered by many Who fans for their menagerie of imaginative alien creatures and lively, action-driven plotting, but it's an enthusiasm I have difficulty sharing. I've always found the stories' setting dark and claustrophobic, and the action feels cramped. The Peladon stories could almost have been performed on radio without losing much in the translation.

"Curse" is notable for reintroducing the Ice Warriors as a reformed, peace-loving race that now eschews war for a leading role in a growing Galactic Federation (they return to characteristic, evil form in "Monster"), but the other aliens in these stories are hard to take. First, the hermaphroditic hexapod from Alpha Centauri (who appears in both "Curse" and "Monster") is screechy and annoying, a one-eyed green monstrosity that must wear living-room curtains around its neck to cover up the unnatural juncture of its head with its stalklike body. The design of Arcturus in "Curse" is equally preposterous, a primitive puppet head inside a transparent dome attached to a machine body--he's basically a Dalek with the organic bits visible on the outside. The "monster" of Peladon, fear of which drives so much of the action in both stories, is essentially a man in an ape suit with the head of Alf whom the Doctor easily tames with hypnosis and Venusian lullabies.

Both stories revolve around the struggles of Peladon's weak monarchs to maintain rule in the face of, first, a double-dealing High Priest in "Curse" and then sex discrimination and a miners' rebellion in "Monster." In "Curse," you either warm to the supposed chemistry between King Peladon (played by David Troughton, son of Patrick) and Jo Grant (Katy Manning) or you don't (I didn't). I found Peladon's daughter and heir, Queen Thalira (Nina Thomas), in "Monster" an empty cipher, and Sarah Jane's feminist exhortations for her to step up to power sound hopelessly dated now.

The Special Features accompanying "The Curse of Peladon" include the first part of an extensive if somewhat overblown "making of" documentary on both Peladon stories (beware of spoilers that give away elements of "The Monster of Peladon"); a quite thorough and enjoyable retrospective on the Ice Warriors; and a look back at the memorable collaboration of Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning as the Third Doctor and companion Jo Grant.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa416f4d4) out of 5 stars "I'm very, very fond of you. But I can't stay, really." a.k.a "She's just not that into you, King Peladon" Feb. 20 2010
By Kevin J. Loria - Published on
Format: DVD
After ditching poor Captain Mike Yates, with whom Jo has a date, for a test flight of the TARDIS with the Doctor, the pair end up on a cliff face. They then scale a excellently sculpted miniature mountainside to the "Citadel of Peladon. Here they fuel a case of mistaken identity, always a great time saver (like the 2005 invention of the psychic paper), once assuming their roles of the Earth delegates the two are able to immerse themselves in the court conspiracy on a galactic scale. First, Peladon is a planet under a feudal monarchy applying for admission to "Galactic Federation" (no, not that ONE), an application with delegates from Alpha Centauri, Arcturus, and Mars are assessing whether or not to accept Peladon's entry. The good but young King Peladon is torn, his Chancellor Torbis urges towards progress, to bring the Planet from superstitions beliefs, while High Priest of Peladon Hepesh is worried that the ancient ways and traditions will lost with the Federation membership. But the mysterious murder of the Chancellor, is interpreted by the High Priest to be a sign of disapproval from the spirit of the Royal Beast of Peladon, Aggedor.

In a very Agatha Christie style "drawing room mystery", we have the Good Doctor and the usual suspects or delegates. Interestingly enough some bigotry influences the Doc's judgment. The Doctor immediately suspects Ice Lord Izlyr, let's be fair, the Ice Warriors in all previous encounters HAVE attempted world domination. So when someone attacks the Arcturus delegate, and some superficial evidence also pointing to this, the Doctor is onboard with the theory. Meanwhile an equal mistrust of the Ice Warriors themselves towards "Princess" Jo evolves inpart because of the young King Peladon's instant attraction for her, and partly his mother's Earthly origins (also an angle Peladon uses to talk game to Jo), also in their eyes any possible union gives unfair political weight in Federation affairs. All are but pawns in some devious political game...What sinster secret lays behind the killings? Is Aggedor seeking his revenge? Maybe, But more importantly, Jon Pertwee's Doctor is at his best here as the courtly King's counselor filling the void left by Torbis' death, lending his sagely advise to an inexperienced king. Also coming to DVD for May the improved sequel aired the following season The Monster of Peladon, in which the Doctor an Sarah return 50 years later to more treacherous plots.

Influences of this story arc, other than Shakespeare's histories there are strong similarities to the Classic Star Trek episode "Journey to Babel." In turn it may have influenced some Babylon 5 stories as well.

Another important (atleast to me) note: the voice of Alpha Centauri played by Ysanne Churchman worked as an actress on British radio, TV and film (returns as the Voice of Alpha Centauri in The Monster of Peladon and to voice the Spiders in Planet of the Spiders). She is my favorite thing about all three stories, de-lightful!

Great bits.... Delagate from Alpha Centauri's high pitched voice may be nearly enough to distract away from the fact that the costume looks like a man-sized one-eyed-member...other high points...the Doc sings the "monster" Aggedor to sleep, the "Venusian" lullaby the Doctor uses in The Daemons. Here, the Doctor uses the tune of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"

Another neat fact David Troughton, young King Peladon here, is really the son of the second Doctor, the late Patrick Troughton, but you'd know him as the Prof. in season four's MIDNIGHT, if they new series ever needs a 2nd Doctor stand-in, David is perfect (with a wig & a recorder).

Peladon Drinking Game.....Drink whenever:

-King Peladon flirts with Princess Josephine of TARDIS.

-King Peladon proposes to Princess Josephine of TARDIS

-Princess Josephine of TARDIS spurns said flirting & proposal attempts.

-The Doctor calls someone "Old Chap" or "My Dear Fellow."

-The Doctor or Jo are accused of murder or threatened with execution or just "seized"(it happens quite a lot in these stories, doesn't it? )

-The King is taken hostage.

-ALPHA CENTAURI speaks (let's face it, that voice! You gotta have a drink!)

-Aggedor shows up, whether it be to maul or purr (shrine statues count, too)..."Here's to Aggedor....cheers!"
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa491148c) out of 5 stars The Curse of Peladon July 8 2000
By Mr. C. Lewis - Published on
Format: VHS Tape
The Curse Of Peladon is certinally a good episode. The story is exciting and sees the introduction of aggador. It also shows for the first time Alpha Centurai(Why does everyone else who reviewed this story seem to hate him/her! ) As this story was practically entirley filmed underground the quality of the recording isn't great but it was made in the 1970's! This video is Recomended Maybe you should think about the monster of Peladon instead-Much more exciting!