THE MONSTER OF PELADON
' "I've been meaning to pay a return visit to Peladon for ages." "I can't think why." '
No, no, no, no, no. Whoever thought this was a good idea? The Curse of Peladon was an excellent adventure that made a lot out of not very much at all. Monster Of Peladon is a stupendously dull rehash that adds nothing and takes away a lot.
The story's crammed with recycled elements, from repeated characters to duplicated monsters. Ortron is Hepesh all over again, the Queen has, if possible, even less personality than her father, and the bad guy is so transparent we're not sure if it was supposed to be a mystery. As for the Pels... who?
They bring back Aggedor, as a cliffhanger no less, when we know perfectly well that we only have to cringe our way through another karaoke session from the Doctor and he'll be purring like a kitten. (Nice move, too, Doctor, getting him slaughtered. Cheers.) It's a bit of a twist having the Ice Warriors be evil this time, but not much of one, and seeing evil Ice Warriors is, after all, pretty ho hum. All the characters tromp through two tiny sections of corridor ad nauseam, doing the torch trick so often we want to shove one up their nostrils. There's a simple-minded and whack-you-over-the-head-obvious political commentary. It undoes all the good its predecessor did, and it's so... bloody... boring.
Redeeming features? Not a lot. Alpha Centauri, well-meaning but impetuous and cowardly, is a rare and precious example of a secondary character with some light and shade. On the other hand, he doesn't add anything he hadn't already accomplished in the previous adventure.
Sarah does a great job as usual, figuring stuff out all by herself, but oh dear, that Women's Lib speech. It probably wasn't as horrible at the time, but still. And she has do far too much thinking that the Doctor's dead, which seems a bit cry wolfy to us given that the next adventure's Planet of the Spiders. We like the way she gets away with teasing him at the end of the last episode, though.
Monster Of Peladon's not a particularly startling adventure for the Doctor, especially considering the body count he manages to rack up. We come in peace (shoot to kill, shoot to kill, shoot to kill...) File this one under sad.
MORAL: Never trust anyone in a breath mask.
IT'S THE TRISILICATES. THEY ROT YOUR BRAIN
Ettis says "You make one mistake and you're going to kill your alien friend", when a few minutes ago he was assuming the Doctor had died.
OH, HER. SHE CAN WAIT
Gebek is supposed to be hotfooting it back to meet the Queen, but when Sarah intercepts him, he trots off to the prison and then to the refinery without a murmur.
NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER
There's all this fussing over not being able to send Federation troops away once they've arrived - pretty stupid in itself, but why doesn't Alpha Centauri just get on the blower before they arrive and say he's changed his mind?
Those secret passages don't seem very secret...
IT'S HARD TO THINK CLEARLY WHEN YOU'VE GOT A BUCKET ON YOUR HEAD
The Doctor says "Then I think you'd be very foolish to destroy the one person who can help you", to which Azaxyr responds "Meaning yourself, Doctor?" Duh!
SHE MIGHT CONFUSE HIM WITH SOMEBODY ELSE COVERED IN GREEN SCALES
Why does Sarah have to walk right up to the Ice Warrior to identify him?
AS I WAS SAYING
The Doctor helpfully explains "Now I must go and see if I can contact Gebek", and the Ice Warrior replies "Where are you going, Doctor?" Are these the slowest on the uptake villains ever?
AND THEY HAVE THE NERVE TO GO ON STRIKE
Central heating? In the mines?
THAT'S WHAT IT SAYS IN THE FIRST AID MANUAL
Since the heating's turned up to Club Med levels, why does Preba need a blanket?
I WOULDN'T DO THAT IF I WERE YOU. THAT'S FEDERATION PROPERTY
The Third Doctor's second swordfight, which by our reckoning is approximately two too many. Especially when they insist on filming the stunt man from the front.
AT LEAST HE DIDN'T DIE IN VAIN. OH. WAIT A MINUTE...
Ortron nobly sacrifices his life to allow the Queen to get away, which she promptly negates completely by coming back to see if he's all right, the stupid wench.
WHAT, NEVER? WELL, HARDLY EVER
As we all know, the Doctor never uses a gun (smirk). This doesn't stop him, however, from slaughtering the Ice Warriors left and right with the Aggedor thing.
A LUCKY GUESS
Although the Doctor has the preset coordinates for the Aggedor beam, he has no screen to see inside the mines. The first apparition he does with timing, but after that, how does he know where everybody is? And how did Eckersley, come to that?
When Eckersley shoots the miner with the Ice Warrior gun, how come we don't see the twisty effect?
SHALL WE DANCE?
The scene with cute fluffy Aggedor waltzing with Eckersley would be a right laugh if it weren't so sad when Aggedor gets it in the neck. Personally, we'd save Aggedor over the Queen any day.