a real world point of view
|The Monster of Peladon|
|Novelised as:||Doctor Who and the Monster of Peladon|
|Main enemy:||Azaxyr, Sskel, Eckersley|
|Number of episodes:||6|
|Premiere broadcast:||23 March - 27 April 1974|
|Doctor Who television stories|
|Death to the Daleks||Planet of the Spiders|
The Monster of Peladon was the fourth story of Season 11 of Doctor Who. It was the Third Doctor's penultimate story. It was a sequel to The Curse of Peladon and established firmly the Doctor's fondness for the planet of Peladon. Although it is the last televised story, as of 2013[update], to take place on Peladon, and the last to feature the Ice Warriors until 2013, the location and monsters would be reused in other media.
The story had obvious pro-labour and pro-feminist themes.
The Doctor returns to Peladon fifty years after his last visit, to find Queen Thalira, daughter of the late King Peladon, on the throne. A tense labour 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 brutal Ice Warrior troopers to ensure production. The Doctor discovers a devious plot at the heart of Aggedor's appearances.
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 armoury, while Gebek appeals for calm and negotiation. The Doctor suspects that someone is creating the appearances of Aggedor in order to further destabilise 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 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 utilise 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 goes mad 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 Doctor gains control of the mechanism creating the Aggedor apparitions and uses it against the Ice Warriors. The real Aggedor appears and kills Eckersley as he attempts to kidnap 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.
- The Doctor - Jon Pertwee
- Sarah Jane Smith - Elisabeth Sladen
- Thalira - Nina Thomas
- Eckersley - Donald Gee
- Ortron - Frank Gatliff
- Gebek - Rex Robinson
- Azaxyr - Alan Bennion
- Sskel - Sonny Caldinez
- Ettis - Ralph Watson
- Voice of Alpha Centauri - Ysanne Churchman
- Body of Alpha Centauri - Stuart Fell
- Vega Nexos - Gerald Taylor
- Preba - Graeme Eton
- Blor - Michael Crane
- Guard Captain - Terry Walsh
- Aggedor - Nick Hobbs
- Miner - Roy Evans
- Miner - Max Faulkner
- Assistant Floor Manager - Roselyn Parker
- Costumes - Barbara Kidd
- Designer - Gloria Clayton
- Film Cameraman - Keith Hopper
- Film Editor - William Symon
- Incidental Music - Dudley Simpson
- Make-Up - Elisabeth Moss
- Producer - Barry Letts
- Production Assistant - Marcia Wheeler
- Production Unit Manager - George Gallaccio
- Script Editor - Terrance Dicks
- Special Sounds - Dick Mills
- Studio Lighting - Ralph Walton
- Studio Sound - Tony Millier
- Theme Arrangement - Delia Derbyshire
- Title Music - Ron Grainer
- Visual Effects - Peter Day
- Despite Izlyr's assertion that the Ice Warriors have renounced their warlike ways, there still exist some break-away groups, including those led by Azaxyr, who yearn for warfare.
- The Doctor uses a Venusian lullaby to subdue Aggedor, again.
- Trisilicate is a vital component of circuits and heat shields.
- 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 for thirty-nine years, though they did reappear in various novels (PROSE: Legacy, Theatre of War, Happy Endings, GodEngine, The Dying Days) and audio dramas (AUDIO: Red Dawn, Frozen Time, BFBS: The Dance of the Dead) to name a few. They reappeared in the BBC Wales series 2013 episode Cold War
- 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 and Aggedor costumes) were re-used. The Ice Warrior costumes were all originally made for the 1960's episodes.
- 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
- Azaxyr is an 'Ice Lord'. (The term is never used.)
- 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.
- In episode four we get a clear look at stunt double Terry Walsh when, as the Doctor, he throws Ettis.
- 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.
- Alpha Centauri's costume has many problems. The inner-lining is frequently visible, the actor's neck is repeatedly shown, and in Part 1 the actor's feet come out from underneath.
- This is a sequel to TV: The Curse of Peladon. PROSE: Legacy and AUDIO: The Bride of Peladon are sequels to both this story and The Curse of Peladon.
- Sarah Jane Smith references bringing freedom to miners on Peladon in TV: The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith.
- The Ice Warriors use hand-held sonic weapons similar to the built-in weapons they had in previous encounters with the Second Doctor. (TV: The Ice Warriors, TV: The Seeds of Death)
- In Part Five, while Sarah Jane Smith believes the Doctor is dead, as she speaks with Thalira and Ortron, she refers to a previous conversation she had with the Doctor. "That's what the Doctor used to say. There's always a chance. That while there's life...". Unable to finish, Sarah walks away. This foreshadows the Doctor's final words to Sarah Jane in the following story TV: Planet of the Spiders, before he regenerates into his fourth incarnation.
Home video and audio releases
- This story was first released on DVD in the UK on 4 January 2010 as part of the Peladon Tales Boxset. The two disc set includes a restored version of the story, as well as the following special features:
- Commentary by Nina Thomas (Queen Thalira), Donald Gee (Eckersley), Ralph Watson (Ettis), Stuart Fell (Alpha Centauri), Barry Letts (Producer), Terrance Dicks (Script Editor) and Toby Hadoke (Moderator).
- Commentary by Rob Shearman (Fan/Writer), Mark Aldridge (Fan), Kate Du-Rose (Fan) and Philip Newman (Fan).
- The Peladon Saga – Part Two
- On Target – Terrance Dicks
- Deleted Scene
- Where Are They Now?
- Coming Soon Trailer
- Radio Times Billings
- Production Subtitles
- Photo Gallery
- Easter Egg: 32-second clip from BBC News 27 May 1973, "Jon Pertwee Races Lord Montagu." To access this hidden feature, press left at Where Are They Now? on the bonus disc menu.
- Editing for the DVD release was completed by the Doctor Who Restoration Team.
- The Monster of Peladon at the BBC's official site
- The Monster of Peladon at BroaDWcast
- Detailed synopsis of The Monster of Peladon at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- The Monster of Peladon at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)