For fans of the modern Doctor Who, the original BBC TV series takes a little getting used to. It is the case for this Doctor Who DVD of story 61, the four-episode The Curse of Peladon starring Jon Pertwee as the Doctor and Katy Manning as companion Jo Grant.
The Curse of Peladon is fun even if this particular episode had the smallest budget of the season.
The Doctor and Jo land awkwardly on Peladon at a crucial time in its history. Peladon's ruler is hoping his planet will be accepted in the Galactic Federation. Delegates are assembling and the delegate from Earth (huh?) is expected soon. All is not well though. The king's main proponent for joining the Federation has been killed by some kind of gorilla-looking thing and the high priest believes this is the curse of Aggedor and an omen Peladon should not join.
The Doctor is mistaken for the Earth delegate and knows something is afoot when he sees Ice Warriors behind the scenes.
This 4 episode Doctor Who story features especially cheesy effects. The delegate from Alpha Centauri is a papier-mache centipede with a bad Miss Piggy voice. The Arcturus delegate is a green rubber skull under glass riding a jukebox. One of the Ice Warriors sounds like Peter Lorre. And, I swear this is true, the Peladon deity looks exactly like ALF. Oddly enough all this just adds to the fun in watching this story.
There is something Shakespearean about The Curse of Peladon, especially in the exchanges between the king and his advisors. The commentary for this Doctor Who suggests a parallel between the story here and Great Britain debating whether to join the EU.
Special features on this Doctor Who DVD include Audio commentary with Katy Manning and others, a subtitled factoid track, The Peladon Saga Part One, a 23-minute making of; a 13-minute feature on the Warriors of Mars; a featurette on Jon and Katy; storyboard comparison; and a photo gallery.
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