Now earlier I heavily criticised the 11th series of Doctor Who on many fields. Sgathaich: Flawed Adventures In Time And Space In his defense Chibnall tried to claim that Doctor Who has always reflected current events, while that is true he failed to point out those that put agendas before story telling like he has where some of the worst episodes of their runs (look at Happiness Patrol, Thatcher was bad, we get it, or the Andagons in the 2 Doctors) However those that took inspiration from current events and were actually well written resulted in some interesting tales, and we are going to look at one that is very relative to today, The Curse of Peledon. (warning may go into an angry rant about Chibnall closing of UNIT because of Brexit, I apologise ahead if that happens but… you will see why)
The curse of Peledon is a story from the 9th series and the third Doctor’s 3rd season. The Doctor is still technically Earth bound as he doesn’t have full control of the Tardis till the 3 Doctors but the Time Lords occasionally throw him at important events. Peledon is a planet that is currently negotiating with the Galactic Federation to join them, there is opposition from the traditionalist and high priest Hepesh who warns that the curse of their god Aggador will fall upon those who side with the Federation. However the young king does want Peledon to join however he considers Hepesh a trusted aid and not one completely disregard him.
Yes this story was inspired by Britain joining the EU at the time (and hence why I may end up ranting later).
The Doctor and Jo Grant (A COMPANION!… sorry, still mad about Nu Who) arrive on the mountain side where the king’s castle is located. They climb up while the Tardis falls down and are mistaken for the delegates from Earth, with Jo pretending to be Earth royalty to get round why she was with the Doctor. However things are troubled, as well as Hepesh calling upon old ideals and images of the past to try and get people against joining the Galactic Federation (hmm I wonder why this may be relevant all of a sudden?) someone is trying to attack the delegates and the Doctor suspects it’s his old enemy THE ICE WARRIORS! actually the Martians but the name stuck from that episode with the second Doctor (have I reviewed that one yet, man been 2 years almost need to do a check list on what I have and haven’t reviewed).
This was the third story with the ice warriors and it reinvented them to a degree, here they mention that once they had been conquerors but now were an honorable race, an image that stuck with fans and I’m glad it was kept into the modern age since they only appeared once more in the Classic era (they had plans for more but kept getting hit by the show being cancelled) It was a nice twist that the classic enemy aliens turned out to be good guys in this story.
While Hepesh (because of course he’s a bad guy) has the Doctor accused of heresy to try and dispose of him it’s up to Jo Grant to hold the Federation together as a plan unfolds that could lead to a galactic civil war! ( yes Miss Whittacker a companion saves the whole Galactic Federation, strange how you talk about them as if that’s a bad thing).
Peladon ended up appearing one more time in the Classic show which is practically unheard of in Classic Who. The story Monster of Peledon was not as good but still kept it with being associated with current events and the planet would be explored in additional material but Nu Who has yet to return to the planet (and with Chibnall showing so much ignorant contempt for Classic Who it’s not likely to happen).
Curse of Peledon is an enjoyable story, one of the only 2 colour appearances in Classic Who of the ice warriors, first episode set Peledon, introduction to Alpha Centauri Jo Grant being awesome, the third Doctor engaging in a fight against the king’s champion while dealing with conspiracy with considerable ramifications. While not the best of Pertwee’s stories it is very enjoyable and memorable, a good example of events inspiring a story. Hopefully next time I touch on Doctor Who events will be happier so I don’t feel the need to reference the ***** that’s going on right now with the show.
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