Monday, March 30, 2015

The Penis Shaped Alien isn't the Monster? - Curse of Peladon

So after two seasons of Earth/UNIT based stories, we're just giving up on them? Not that I mind, but I expected some decent to address it. At least Day of the Daleks excused it's time travel with it being Dalek technology. Here we just have the Doctor announcing the TARDIS is repaired. It seems a little anti-climatic.

Fair enough, at the end we're told that it was likely the Time Lords doing, but it comes across as bolted on. Like a traditional Doctor Who script was written and at the end someone realised they had to explain how Jo and the Doctor are here.

The rest of The Curse of Peladon doesn't start off well either. The set dressing is awful. The Centuari delegate is atrocious. Some simply godawful voice over. Yet these are things I swore I wouldn't moan about.

The Curse of Peladon is a prime example as to why I shouldn't either. A great bit of political intrigue, and the use of the Ice Warriors is masterful. Here's a race we've met twice before, both times incredibly warlike and on the last they were after terraforming the Earth. Just like the Doctor we're predisposed to not trust them. For them to turn out to be his closest allies is a great move.

It's eked out too. They keep you believing it just long enough, then it's proven and something else is thrown in just to make you wonder if it's all a double bluff. Then the real bad guy is shown and things turn into a man-hunt, with one of the double crosses still going on and the Doctor actively having to prove his innocence while at the same time trying to resolve everything.

I genuinely loved this serial. As much as I enjoyed Day of the Daleks it's been awhile since I've been able to say that. If the story can make you look past the production short comings then it's a very good thing, and The Curse of Peladon certainly did that.

That's three of the four outings of the Ice Warriors done in one run through. It's a shame I'm not carrying on with Pertwee for the final one this time. But then Planet of the Daleks is also not on this run through, and I think every other Dalek encounter will have featured before we return to Capaldi.

So why aren't I staying for more Pertwee? Because he got a hell of a run last year with six serials, and the fourth and seventh doctors are woefully under represented in my watching. Something I aim to fix before the return of 12. So I can't dawdle on Pertwee. Next week's The Sea Devils is the last before we leap to Baker.
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