The ‘Peladon’ stories of Doctor Who are held in high regard (by some). It’s not hard to see why. After all, it’s not often that Who ever tries to create entire civilisations of weird aliens with depth and individuality.
The stories are set in the future on the feudal planet of Peladon which has suddenly became very interesting to the rest of the galaxy thanks to the discovery of the mineral ‘trisilicate’ in its mines. An alien delegation, with representatives from Arcturus (spongy blob in a glass box), Alpha Centauri (green, one-eyed giant penis in a cape), Mars (scaly green Ice Warriors with helmets) and Earth (floppy grey-haired dandies – oh wait, it’s the Doctor, incognito), turn up to decide on the planet’s admission into the galactic Federation. Then before you can say “Agatha Christie”, they’re being bumped off one at a time.
At first, suspicion descends on those naughty Ice Warriors, who spent most of the Troughton era trying to invade Earth. But it soon turns out they’re reformed characters and someone else is to blame. The Doctor solves the mystery just in time for brandies and cards, with the hindrance of his useless companion Jo who spends most of her time being romanced by the King of Peladon.
The second story, set a few years on, is typical left-wing agitprop of the time in which the miners of Peladon rebel at being exploited. The morals of the story are that whenever workers strike, you must give in to whatever they demand, because it is just, and that miners are thick and can be manipulated by those deceptive Ice Warriors, who aren’t always good after all. Just you wait, Peladon, you’ll be sorry when your whole planet gets trisilicate induced global warming. It also features new companion Sarah Jane Smith hectoring the Queen of Peladon into standing up for herself and to stop being such a girl.
Now we have Bride of Peladon, the first bit of creative writing by regular Big Finish director Barnaby Edwards since he was at school, and what would appear to be a sequel of sorts to those two Peladon stories, mixing in elements of each. Except, naughtily enough, just like an Ice Warrior trap, it’s all a big bluff and it’s really a sequel to a completely different story.
Oh yes, and Eminem the pikey Pharoah gets thrown overboard. What a shame.
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