Production Code: MMM
1 - 29/01/1972 17:50
2 - 05/02/1972 17:50
3 - 12/02/1972 17:50
4 - 19/02/1972 17:50
The Doctor and Jo make a test flight in the TARDIS and arrive on the planet Peladon. Seeking shelter, they enter the citadel of the soon-to-be-crowned King Peladon, where the Doctor is mistaken for a human dignitary summoned to act as Chairman of a committee assessing an application by the planet to join the Galactic Federation.
The other committee members - Alpha Centauri, Arcturus and the Martian Lord Izlyr and his Warrior subordinate Ssorg - have already arrived, but are disconcerted by the death of one of the King's advisors, Chancellor Torbis. High Priest Hepesh, who opposes the union with the Federation, attributes Torbis's death to the Curse of Aggedor, the sacred beast of Peladon. Other incidents occur and the Doctor concludes that a saboteur is at work.
At first he suspects the Ice Warriors, but the guilty parties are eventually revealed to be Hepesh and Arcturus. Arcturus has convinced Hepesh that the Federation would only exploit Peladon for its mineral riches, whereas this is in fact his own race's intention. Arcturus is destroyed with a blast from Ssorg's sonic gun, but Hepesh escapes into a network of tunnels beneath the citadel, where he foments rebellion amongst the guards. The rebels storm the citadel and take the King prisoner.
Hepesh then orders Aggedor - a real beast he has been using for his own ends - to kill the Doctor. The Doctor, however, has tamed Aggedor, and it is Hepesh who dies.
As the Doctor and the committee delegates leave Peladon's throne room, a large stone statue of Aggedor overlooking the passage outside the door topples from its ledge and starts to fall towards them...
Hepesh accuses the Doctor of desecrating the planet's holy of holies - the inner sanctum of the Temple of Aggedor. Peladon reluctantly proclaims that to this charge there can be no defence and only one sentence - death.
The Doctor and the King's Champion Grun have been fighting each other in a trial of strength in a deep pit. The Doctor is victorious but spares Grun's life. Peladon raises his hand to declare the trial over. Then, in a rapid succession of events, Arcturus extends his energy weapon, Jo screams and Ssorg fires his sonic gun...
The real Earth delegate arrives and looks on in open-mouthed astonishment as the TARDIS dematerialises.
Star Trek, particularly Journey to Babel.
The Hound of the Baskervilles.
The UK's entry into the EC.
The Government Inspector.
Izlyr : "We reject all violence... except in self-defence."
Hepesh : "I wanted to save our world... to preserve the old ways. Perhaps I was wrong, Peladon. I hope so. Your future, which you set so much store by, is yours now."
Jo Grant : [To Peladon] "I don't understand you! One minute you're condemning the Doctor to death and the next you're proposing to me!"
King Peladon : "There is no plot! I am being completely honest with you!'"
The Ice Warriors don't recognise the Doctor or the TARDIS, and state that they are 'from Mars' (see The Ice Warriors). They maintain an aristocracy. Their spaceships are opened by electronic keys. Trisilicate is only found on Mars. [The Pels are either colonists who have forgotten Earth or are non terrestrial humanoids, perhaps the former, since Peladon has atmosphere, temperature and gravity similar to Earth's, and the Pel 'H' is the same as in the English alphabet. They are biologically compatible with humans (Peladon's parentage).]
The Doctor has telepathic empathy with animals and is skilled at spear fighting. He is sent to Peladon by the Time Lords [the CIA] who seem to have an interest in the Federation progressing successfully. [Doubtless it pacifies many potentially aggressive species in the Milky Way.]
Peladon is about to be admitted to the Galactic Federation (which includes Alpha Centauri, Arcturus, Earth and Mars). Earth is regarded as 'remote and unattractive' by Alpha Centauri, whose solar system is next to Earth's. [This is a measure of Earth's low standing within the Federation, explaining why the others don't see any problem with Jo's status as a Princess.]
The Ice Warriors assume that Earth still has an aristocratic system. Federation law doesn't allow armed political conflicts, only accepts unanimous decisions, and cannot over-ride local laws.
The Doctor's been to the coronation of Elizabeth I, or perhaps Victoria. He can't remember which, (but isn't worried about attending twice).
This story is an allegory of the UK's accession to the Common Market - a highly topical issue at the time of its original transmission.
The only on-screen credit for Terry Walsh's short-lived stunt group PROFILE. Walsh had by this point superseded Derek Ware as the series' regular stunt co-ordinator, but would subsequently be credited simply under his own name.
David Troughton, playing King Peladon, shared a flat with future Doctor Colin Baker at this time.
Sonny Caldinez replaced David Purcell at a late stage as Ssorg.
Amazonia, the real delegate from Earth, is never referred to by name in the story's dialogue; her name is given only in the closing credits.
The natives of the planet Peladon are called Pels. (They are not called by this name here.)
Izlyr is an Ice Lord. (Although he is referred to as a Lord, the term 'Ice Lord' is never used.)
The Doctor is nearly hit by the swinging secret passage door in episode one.
Jo's hair straightens when she climbs back into the citadel.
Why don't the delegates use Arcturus' radio?
There's only one bed in the Ice Warriors' quarters.
If Centauri's a hexapod, what's (s)he walking on?
The Pel's streaked hairdos.
Jo's pink party frock.
Jo keeps her high heels on to navigate narrow ledges.
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Jon Pertwee
Jo Grant - Katy Manning
Aggedor - Nick Hobbs
Alpha Centauri - Stuart Fell
Amazonia - Wendy Danvers
Arcturus - Murphy Grumbar
Grun - Gordon St Clair
Guard Captain - George Giles
Hepesh - Geoffrey Toone
Izlyr - Alan Bennion
Peladon - David Troughton
Ssorg - Sonny Caldinez
Torbis - Henry Gilbert
Voice of Alpha Centauri - Ysanne Churchman
Voice of Arcturus - Terry Bale
Director - Lennie Mayne