Doctor Who #376: The Monster of Peladon Part 5

"When my father signed treaties with the Federation, he could not have known it would lead to nothing but bloodshed!"
TECHNICAL SPECS: First aired Apr.20 1974.

IN THIS ONE... The Doctor and Sarah are reunited at the refinery, where Azaxyr and Eckersley are both definitely proven to be traitors. Ortron is killed; no one cries.

REVIEW: Ok, ok, I give in. These Ice Warriors are baddies. I'm fine with it. And as far as invasion schemes go, this one's not bad. Swoop in to "help", declare martial law, take over planet. It's politically smart. And the reveal that Eckersley is also a traitor is well handled (if hardly surprising), revealing his voice before cutting to him. Not so smart is how everyone is so keen to reveal their plans. Both villains go on and on about what they're doing and why they're doing it. Even when they're supposedly acting in secret, they never bother to turn off the CCTV so that everyone can find out their plans simultaneously. And it's infectious, with Alpha Centauri spilling the beans on two occasions, either by mistake or in fear for its life. You can read the shame on its massive eyelid. At least the cramped tunnels and corridors make it reasonable for us never to see more than a handful of Ice Warriors at at time. The production team has clearly had to shore up their numbers by including the oh-so-silly "bobble-head" Ice Warrior costume. You'd think with a helmet like that, it could take Gebek hitting it with a rock.

More wrong-headedness... Sarah's escape plan is deeply flawed. She pushes the Ice Warrior right on the Queen's train, which means she and Ortron are stuck there, the latter paying with his life. (He's been such a two-dimensional jerk, he can't exactly be missed.) And then there's the statue of Aggador Eckersley uses to kill the miners and soldiers with. It plainly looks like he transmats the statue, which then shoots people. When the Doctor takes control, he presents it as a projector tied to a heat blaster, an image broadcast to other locations. Except we do see Aggador disappear when it's in use, so... Who screwed up?

Not to say everyone is acting dumb or saying dumb things. The heroes heat up the mines so the Ice Warriors can't advance, and the Ice Warriors cut off the air supply to choke the miners out. Doomed Ortron is proven right about aliens in general. Queen Thalira is more and more embittered as the story moves along, more regal when she takes off the crown than when she had it. Sarah has emotional ups and downs when she believes the Doctor dead and then see him alive. And I like the moment when Eckersley prevents Azaxyr from killing Alpha Centauri, and the hexapod thanks him, then quickly clarifies that he's still a traitor. It's in these character moments that the episode is redeemed.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - I went to Peladon looking for a sensible plot, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt. Ok, not as bad as that - thanks to the character work, mostly - but you could drive the whole Martian fleet through those plot holes.



Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Orville Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine