THE MONSTER OF PELADON

Part One

Sue: Peladon… Peladon. The name rings a bell…

I sigh. For lots of different reasons.

Sue: Oh yeah, Peladon. I remember now. So what have we come back here for? Peladon is a shit hole.

Things immediately get off to a ropey start.

The Monster of PeladonSue: It’s Mad Max with badgers.

Peladon’s miners are terrified of the almighty Aggedor.

Sue: Oh yes, Aggedor. It’s all coming back to me now. It was a giant boar, wasn’t it?

Sometimes this blog writes itself.

Sue: I wasn’t impressed the first time we visited Peladon, so why have we come back? I hope there’s a good reason for it.

In the citadel’s throne room, Sue only has eyes for one character. And no, it isn’t the queen you’re thinking of.

The Monster of PeladonSue: How S&M is this guy? How did they get away with that? Wow.

The TARDIS arrives on Peladon, off-course and about 50 years too late.

Sue: I thought the Doctor’s TARDIS was supposed to work these days? Make your bloody mind up. Does it work or doesn’t it?

As Peladon’s miners lament their terrible working conditions, Sue is much more interested in their uniforms.

Sue: You know, this is just like Game of Thrones but…
Me: But with less incest. You really have to stop using that joke.
Sue: No! With more incest! That’s why they all have the same hairstyle. They must be inbred. Unless Peladon has a branch of hairdressers that specialises in Badger Set and Blow Drys?
Me: It looks like someone’s thrown a bottle of Tipp-Ex over Kevin Keegan.
Sue: At least it keeps their ears warm in the winter, so it’s not all bad news. And they can form a Mungo Jerry tribute band when they lose their jobs.

The miners’ hair will become an endless source of fascination for Sue, which is more than you can say for the plot. But the thing that really annoys her is the constant switching between film and video.

Sue: It’s very jarring. Why can’t they just chose a style and stick to it? It’s especially noticeable when they switch from film to video in the same scene. Why did they do that? And what the hell is actually going, on by the way? I’m lost already.

Sue can’t concentrate on politics when men are parading around in skirts that short.

The Monster of PeladonSue: Is this about the miners’ strikes in the 1970s? Is the queen supposed to represent Margaret Thatcher?
Me: Thatcher doesn’t come to power for years yet.
Sue: Maybe Thatcher is the strange woman in the purple dress who stands at the back doing nothing.
Me: It’s either that or a subtle crossover with Sapphire and Steel.
Sue: So is the queen supposed to be Ted Heath? She’s prettier than Ted Heath.
Me: She is a little easier on the eye, yes. Although that streak of grey hair is very Ted Heath.

A terrible war is raging between the Federation and Galaxy 5.

Sue: Who are Galaxy 5 when they’re at home? Why does that ring a bell? Should I know what that means?
Me: You’re thinking of Galaxy 4. Galaxy 5 are from the galaxy next door.
Sue: They sound like a boy band. Or a local radio station.

A mining expert named Eckersley also rings a bell.

The Monster of PeladonSue: He’s definitely been in Doctor Who before.
Me: I’m impressed. It’s Donald Gee from The Space Pirates.
Sue: The only reason I remember him is because he looks like Jasper Carrott, and I remember somebody looking like Jasper Carrott before. So it had to be him.

Peladon’s miners are a miserable lot, it has to be said.

Sue: Maybe their hair is extra-bouncy so the rocks don’t hurt them when they fall on their heads? Perhaps it’s an evolutionary thing?

Sarah is introduced to Alpha Centauri, and almost has a heart attack in the process.

Sue: (As Alpha Centauri) Yeah, it’s not my fault I look like a giant dick. Do you know how many times I’ve had to go through the “I’m sorry I look like a giant dick” conversation? It’s depressing.

And then, a little later…

Sue: If Steven Moffat brought back Alpha Centauri in the new series, do you think the BBC would tell him off?

And then, just as Sue begins to drift off completely, this happens:

Sue: Who gave him an Equity Card? I’ve seen Nativity plays with better performances. He must be related to one of the production team. It’s the only explanation that makes sense.

The Monster of PeladonThe Doctor is haunted by Aggedor.

Sue: Crash-zooming like that doesn’t make it better, you know.
Me: I vividly remember seeing this cliffhanger when I was four years old. It terrified me. In fact, I wouldn’t visit my great-aunt when my mother told me she had a new Labrador. I thought she said Aggedor. I remember being horrified that a member of my own family would have access to a monster from Doctor Who. I was an easily confused child.
Sue: You’re an easily confused adult, Neil.

 

Part Two

The Monster of PeladonSue: The giant dick is reflecting a lot of light. It’s too shiny. Did they polish its helmet before they started filming?

An electronic voice excitedly exclaims there’s been an unauthorised explosion in the mine.

Sue: Have they got a Dalek working the switchboard?

The Doctor returned to Peladon because he has a special interest in the planet.

Sue: Since when? What is there to be interested in? It’s a boring shithole! Does the Doctor pop back to all the planets he’s saved to check up on them? And if he does, how does he ever get there?

As Sarah investigates Peladon’s refinery, something mysterious lurks behind a window.

The Monster of PeladonSue: Am I supposed to know what that is?
Me: You could make an educated guess.
Sue: Is it the Daleks? Is that why we heard one earlier?
Me: No.
Sue: Is it…
Me: Don’t even joke about it.
Sue: …the Yeti?

The studio lighting still annoys Sue.

Sue: It’s too brightly lit for that giant penis. They should have stuck that penis in the mine so you couldn’t see it properly.

When a miner named Ettis attacks Alpha Centauri with a sword, Sue is appalled.

Sue: He’s going to castrate him!

The Doctor and Sarah are arrested for blasphemy, although the religious gobbledygook flies over Sue’s head because she’s too busy checking out Aggedor’s statue.

The Monster of PeladonSue: Aggedor could do with losing a little weight. Have you seen the size of his sagging belly? He’s almost as fat as our cats.

The Doctor and Sarah are thrown into a deep, dark pit for their crime.

Sue: That won’t be very good for Jon Pertwee’s knees.

The Doctor and Sarah can hear a large animal approaching in the darkness…

Sue: We’ve seen this cliffhanger before. It’s exactly the same cliffhanger as the first story! Why do they feel the need to repeat themselves? Why don’t they write something new? Why?

This seems like as good a time as any to introduce Sue to Doctor Who’s production codes, and how this story sports the most appropriate code of all: YYY.

Sue: Hang on a minute, how bad is the next story going to be?

 

Part Three

The Monster of PeladonAs Aggedor charges towards the Doctor, Sue has a suggestion.

Sue: Hypnotise him!
Me: Don’t you start!
Sue: It’s what he did the last time he was in this situation. You have to sing Christmas carols to it.

And that’s exactly what the Doctor does.

Sue: We’ve seen this before. It’s boring!

Eckersley convinces Alpha Centauri to send for Federation reinforcements.

Sue: I don’t trust Eckersley. He’s a shit stirrer.

Sarah gives Queen Thalira a quick lesson in Women’s Lib (Sue loves it when she tells her “There’s nothing ‘only’ about being a girl”), and as the mystery surrounding the inhabitant of the locked refinery mounts, Sue decides to take part in the investigation.

Sue: Should I know who it is?
Me: Yes.
Sue: Is it an Ice Warrior?
Me: What? Sorry, I mean yes! Wow. You actually got there in the end.
Sue: Once I thought about it, and stopped being flippant, it was pretty obvious, really.

And then Sue hits the proverbial nail on the head.

The Monster of PeladonSue: There’s too much talking in this story. Is it just me or is it really boring? I’m running out of things to say about it.
Me: No, it isn’t just you. In fact, I think it was John Williams who once said that the only extra feature this story needs is a wrap of speed.

As Gebek maintains order, Sue is drawn to his northernness.

Sue: He’s like Arthur Scargill. But with better hair. I’m surprised he doesn’t call Eckersley, Eckerslike.

When the Federation’s reinforcements radio in, they sound suspiciously like the Ice Warriors.

Sue: It’s definitely the Ice Warriors.

And then the episode concludes with – yes, you guessed it – an Ice Warrior!

Sue: Told you.

 

Part Four

The Monster of PeladonThe Ice Warriors declare martial law.

Sue: Martian law?
Me: Close enough.
Sue: Did they make this story again because all the sets and costumes were sitting in storage? That’s the real reason, isn’t it? I mean, who was crying out for a sequel to the other one set on Peladon? It doesn’t make any sense.

The Ice Lord Azaxyr concisely summarises the plot so far.

Sue: That was helpful. Thanks. He should turn up at the beginning of every episode to explain the bits I’ve missed. And how come he can talk reasonably okay, while all the other Ice Warriors sound asthmatic? That doesn’t seem fair.

The Doctor asks Sarah if the Ice Warrior silhouette she saw through the refinery’s window matches that of Sskel, the Ice Warrior who’s guarding them.

Sue: How can she tell? They all look the same to me.
Me: Racist.

She decides to change the subject.

Sue: I had a jacket like Sarah Jane’s when I was 12.
Me: You dressed like Sarah Jane?
Sue: What can I say? We were both very trendy. I’m not convinced by her Christmas jumper, though. I wouldn’t have been seen dead in a jumper like that.

As Ettis riles the miners, Sue spots a familiar face.

The Monster of PeladonSue: It’s Burt the miner! From the one with the giant maggots. Is he the go-to guy when the BBC need a pretend-miner?

The Doctor persuades the miners to return to work.

Sue: THE END!

Sadly, we’re only halfway through this story, which is a truly harrowing thought, actually.

Sue: I like the way the Doctor is wearing green in this story. It’s almost as if he knew the Ice Warriors were going to show up and he didn’t want to clash with them.

The Doctor turns up the heat, which results in the Ice Warriors feeling groggier and groggier.

Sue: I know exactly how they feel.

The Doctor rushes off to stop Ettis, who is currently pointing a sonic lance at the citadel. But before he goes, Gebek hands him a sword.

Sue: Why did the Doctor accept that weapon? That wasn’t a very Doctorish thing to do. Then again, he does like a good swashbuckle.

And that’s exactly what he gets, because Ettis – who literally is as mad as a badger – wants to kill everyone.

The Monster of PeladonSue: (Pointing at Terry Walsh) Who the hell is that? Did Jon Pertwee regenerate in the middle of a fight scene?

After head-butting the Doctor in the balls, Ettis activates the sonic lance. But Azaxyr has booby-trapped it and the machine blows up in the mad miner’s face.

Sue: Do you think Jon Pertwee was far enough away from that explosion?
Me: Yeah, I bet he was in the BBC canteen by that point.

 

Part Five

Sue: I knew Eckerslike was in on it. Pfft.

 

Part Six

After a slow, and frankly tedious, Part Five (although Sue did enjoy the cliffhanger), we rouse ourselves for one last trip to Peladon.

Sue: Eckerslike’s hands are always in his pockets. Never a trust a man who doesn’t take his hands out of his pockets.

The Doctor uncovers Eckersley’s weaponised Aggedor statue, which he then teleports to some miners in order to gain their trust.

Sue: Wouldn’t it be funny if the Doctor’s elbow accidentally landed on the big red button and he killed them all?

It would, if only the Doctor didn’t spend several minutes murdering Ice Warriors.

Sue: This Doctor doesn’t give a hoot for the sanctity of life. He’d kill anything given the chance.

The Monster of PeladonEckersley ends the Doctor’s killing spree with a sonic security system that reminds Sue of a mobile disco.

Sue: It looks like the Doctor’s going to regenerate. Actually, when does this Doctor regenerate? It can’t be long now.

I glance at my watch.

Me: In just under three minutes.
Sue: What? He regenerates in this episode? Why didn’t you say so?
Me: I wanted it to be a surprise.
Sue: Oh, I’m excited now. It’s not a great story to go out on, though. Regenerating in front of a giant cock can’t be good.

Sarah rushes off to tend to the Doctor’s corpse.

Sue: So was Eckerslike a last-minute replacement for the Master? Was it supposed to be his arch-enemy who killed him, but they had to change it? That would make a lot of sense.
Me: That’s right. Eckersley is the Doctor’s arch-nemesis from this point.

Sue is bludgeoned into submission by the scene’s emotional heft.

The Monster of PeladonSue: He died for some stupid badgers. This is quite sad, actually.

The Doctor sits bolt upright in his chair (the cushion in the face was worth it), and then Queen Thalira is harassed by some Ice Warriors.

Sue: She never varies her performance. She looks nice, but that’s about it.

Eckersley kidnaps Queen Thalira and the Doctor sends the real Aggedor after him. The poor thing is promptly shot in the head, but not before it mauls the mad mineralogist to death.

Queen Thalira thanks the Doctor for his actions. “We are forever in your debt,” she tells him.

Sue: You’ve saved them a small fortune in vet bills.

The episode concludes with the Doctor scolding Sarah as he drags her into the TARDIS by her ear. Sarah giggles like a naughty schoolgirl.

Sue: What a fantastic role model for feminism. Good grief.

 

The Score

2/10

Sue: That was tedious. I mean, what was the point? We’ve seen it all before. And it was shorter last time, as well! I despair.

 

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Comments

  1. Neowhovian  March 5, 2012

    Eep! That was a bit of a surprise, seeing myself as I scrolled down to make notes for an eventual comment…

    ~ahem~

    I bloody LOVE “It’s Mad Max with badgers.” Definite merchandising opportunity there. So’s “Toby Hadoke, eat your heart out.”

    And you really shouldn’t lead Sue on so, you naughty thing. 🙂

    • Frankymole  March 5, 2012

      What an amazing pic! William Russell just doesn’t change, does he. Ian still takes it all in his stride!

      • Neowhovian  March 5, 2012

        He was wonderful. I felt really honored to have met him. Of course, the guy in front of me in line was even more eager, so it was kind of infectious. 🙂

        • Andrew Orton  March 5, 2012

          That’s quite lovely! William Russell sitting next to a T-shirt I designed. Very nice.

          • Neowhovian  March 6, 2012

            Glad to have had a hand in making it happen! 🙂

  2. Dan  March 5, 2012

    I’ve voted for 4P, but I’m very worried that the pressure of a audio commentary will spoil it. Hope you can watch the episodes again if you miss too much.

    • Dave Sanders  March 5, 2012

      It’s got to be 4P, hasn’t it? The others are just sitting targets; there’ll be much more fun to be had in winding up Gallifrey Base when Sue utterly fails to get any of it.

      • Dan  March 5, 2012

        I bet she’ll like it though…

        • Dave Sanders  March 5, 2012

          I’m sure there are particular bits she’ll love, especially if she’s got used to David Maloney-spotting by this point; she just won’t be able to relate them to each other, or place them in context with anything that’s going on.

          • Dan  March 5, 2012

            I don’t know if Sue’s comprehension is that bad?!!

          • Dave Sanders  March 8, 2012

            The Deadly Assassin’s current standing comes from being the cornerstone of all the mythology that followed, but it’s not a good piece of storytelling – without that crucial grounding, which didn’t exist in 1976, there will be no reference points for Sue to latch onto. She *will not* get it, and as the casual viewer, she’ll be in the right.

            It’s rather like The Daemons – the only reason fandom has taken that one to heart, instead of treating it as a warm-up to The Time Monster, is because everyone has seen and heard all the documentary anecdotes of how it was the cast and crew’s favourite to make, and believes itself to have been invited to the same party.

      • Noodles  March 7, 2012

        Is it really a good idea? We know from “The Three Doctors” that, because they can’t pause and rewind bits, that Sue ends up not being able to follow all of the plot because they’re talking over it. I don’t think that’d really work for 4P.

        What’s needed is one where you don’t have to pay too much attention to the plot, but which is still lots of fun.

  3. PolarityReversed  March 5, 2012

    Arthur Eckersley and the Flying Pels…
    I honestly don’t think I can remember a damn thing about this one apart from the sense of “oh we’re back here again, and this time the Ice Warriors really are the goons”. Suppose the team may have thought that a sludgy backwards reference was a good idea given what was to come next.

    4P – yeah. Well, it’s almost bound to win on grounds of canonicity (if there is such a word), but it’s far from my favourite Tom Baker story. I’d prefer one of the consummate gothic numbers myself. Those I can watch again and again – I have, erm, hang on a minute, 4G, 4K and 4S on my iPhone.

    • Olman Eer  March 5, 2012

      Do we *have* to talk in production numbers?

      • PolarityReversed  March 5, 2012

        Courtesy to Neil – on the off-chance Sue should read anything below the line…

      • Neil Perryman  March 5, 2012

        Yes, why are we talking in production codes? The titles in question are sitting on the sidebar and contain no spoilers that I am aware of….

        • PolarityReversed  March 5, 2012

          Okay, sorry. I was referring to Pyramids, Morbius and Talons.

  4. Thomas Bush  March 5, 2012

    MoP was a real snoozefest, but the most entertaining review so far. A story guaranteed to test the patience of devoted fans and newbies alike.

  5. James C  March 5, 2012

    I must make sure not to watch this one again. I used to love it, and don’t want to trash the memory!

    Perhaps I liked it as this was my first Peladon tale, so it seemed fresh. The ideas around a technologically and politically unsophisticated society coming to grips with high technology, and the mining politics both grabbed me. What an odd kid I must have been…

    Seeing ‘Curse’ a lot later on, it was like a fever dream version of this, especially with Arcturus. Freaky!

    • encyclops  March 5, 2012

      You’re not alone; I loved the Peladon stories as a kid, too, and have a dim memory of writing yet another sequel starring the Fifth Doctor and his companions. So I guess I’m admitting to having written fanfic, but all of it G-rated and before puberty, which from what I understand is sort of opposite how that usually works.

      I’m pretty sure they won’t have aged well for me when I finally rewatch them. This one in particular is likely to be a chore. If I could swap the queen from Monster of Peladon out for the queen from Curse of Peladon I could just pretend this one never existed.

      • Simon Harries  March 6, 2012

        Which particular queen in The Curse of Peladon are you referring to?!

        • encyclops  March 6, 2012

          I’m referring to the character David Troughton played.

  6. Andre Salles  March 5, 2012

    I vote for this on a t-shirt: “What have we come back here for? Peladon’s a shit-hole.”

  7. Dave Sanders  March 5, 2012

    It’s not speed the story needs at all, it’s a dose of mushrooms. With a snake. And that joke was STILL less derivative than anything that goes on here.

  8. PSanders  March 5, 2012

    It would be a shame if 4P won the poll, as it’s too good to waste by distracting Sue with a talking commentary – she missed half of The Three Doctors last time. Better suited to something silly so we can enjoy Sue’s reaction to a giant prawns or a double entendre blob monster… Remember folks, this isn’t about the best story, but which will provide the most entertaining commentary.

    • John Callaghan  March 5, 2012

      Amen!

      • John Callaghan  March 5, 2012

        Although I’d be happy with any of the options presented! There’s lots of promise in them all. Any chance that we could have two 4th Doctor commentaries, because he was so long in the role and the show’s style varied quite so much?

        No? Oh well.

        Am I missing something from the opening few moments of this (again, excellent) commentary? Aggedor *was* a giant boar, wasn’t he?

        • John Callaghan  March 5, 2012

          Oh! It sounds like “bore”!

          How appropriate for a story about mining, I suppose.

      • Dan  March 5, 2012

        I voted to hear how impressed she’ll sound.

    • Cracked Polystyrene Man  March 5, 2012

      Do we really need another audio commentary? I was looking forward to reading THE THREE DOCTORS comments and was disappointed when there was nothing in writing. And I have steel knees, which makes it worse.

      • Neil Perryman  March 5, 2012

        You can’t please everyone all the time. Double that for Doctor Who fans.

  9. Chris Too-old-to-watch  March 5, 2012

    I think Sue hit the nail on the head: obviously spent too much money on the original story, so just had to use the costumes/sets again. It’s the only reason possible. Isn’t it? Don’t say someone at the Beeb actually thought this was any good?
    I lived in a mining village all of my youthful life, so the miners-strike analogy always bypasses me. No-one I knew ever had badger-like hair (except the badgers) and the nearest S&M gay bar was miles aways (such a hike back on a Sunday morning don’t-yer-know). If the really wanted them to look like Arthur Scargill, they should have given them thinning ginger hair……

  10. William Keith  March 5, 2012

    For the talking thing, I’d recommend 4T, because of the mix of companions, the set design, the guest acting, it is sometimes good, sometimes terrible, and never boring., it tries hard, and has special effects from the sublime to the extra-special. The only snag with 4T is that, coming at it in transmission order, it is an unexpected style of story.

  11. Lewis Christian  March 5, 2012

    Voted for TCFTP purely for entertainment purposes! How come those are the options, Neil? Do you pick 4 or 5 at random, or do you pick your favourites which we can then vote on? 🙂

    As for this story… my GOD it’s dull. Love the write-up for episode 5!

    • Rollocks  March 7, 2012

      “As for this story… my GOD it’s dull.”

      Oh god, and having bit the bullet and finally bought “Time and the Rani” from HMV last week this is now the only surviving “classic” Who story I don’t own on DVD or VHS. Not really looking forward to it now (not that I was to begin with)

  12. Auntie Celia  March 5, 2012

    I’m afraid I can see precious little similarity between Her Majesty Queen Thalira and the late Mr. Edward Heath. The notion that he might have sat on a fun fur surrounded by hulking, muscular fellows in leather is frankly absurd. Other than that, to-day’s summation has been marvellously pithy as Mr Jon Pertwee might have said.

    • PolarityReversed  March 5, 2012

      Maybe not so absurd – he was “a confirmed bachelor”…

      • Antinous  March 5, 2012

        Umm – I think that was what Auntie Celia was trying to say …

  13. BWT  March 5, 2012

    Neil’s got the T-shirt this week: “It looks like someone threw a bottle of Tipp-Ex at Kevin Keegan.”

    What a sublime visual…

    • BWT  March 5, 2012

      Oh, and I voted for “The Sontaran Experiment” because no one else will (watch them all flock to it now, though)

      It’s one of my favourite Toms (nostalgia) and I want to hear Sue’s reaction to the sadism…

  14. John G  March 5, 2012

    “He’s like Arthur Scargill. But with better hair.”

    That has to go on a t-shirt! Like Sue, I can imagine the miners going around calling Eckersley Eckerslike – did Brian Hayles deliberately choose a northern-sounding name, I wonder? I was also impressed to see that she recognised poor old Bert from The Green Death. What a shame that he once again comes to a sticky end…

    This was a very fun post, particularly Sue falling hook, line and sinker for the regeneration that never was – as Neil says, most definitely worth a little cushion-related pain. Mind you, I think 2 is way too harsh a verdict. This isn’t the most exciting or original story, it’s true, but I have seen far worse and both Alpha Centauri and the Ice Warriors give pretty good value. It’s true that Curse didn’t really need a sequel, but it was a popular story and so you can see why Letts and Dicks were tempted to reuse the sets.

    I have voted for 4P in the poll, not because I think it’s the best story ever (I don’t, not by a long chalk) but because it is so different and surreal, not to say somewhat expectation-confounding, that I would love to hear Sue’s immediate reactions to it. Having said that, an Invisible Enemy commentary would also make for a good, fun listen.

    • John G  March 5, 2012

      By the way, love the William Russell/Neowhovian photo! I’d love to know what his reaction was to the t-shirt…

      • Neowhovian  March 5, 2012

        He didn’t seem to know quite what to make of it. I actually had that photo autographed later, and tried to explain to him what it was all about. He just kind of chuckled and “oh”ed as if he was humoring me because he really didn’t get it. Or because he thought it was to harsh on Hartnell/the Doctor. I suspect the former.

        But when I told him I’d love Ian since I first saw him, and thanked him, he perked up, and acted both surprised and gratified.

        The man’s 87. Maybe I talked too fast, and too American. 🙂

        • John G  March 5, 2012

          Thanks for that. Whatever he did think, he sounds like a true gentleman!

          • Neowhovian  March 5, 2012

            Absolutely. He was wonderful and gracious and just a joy to have in the same room, whether it was on a panel or a direct interaction like a photo or autograph. I feel honored to have met him.

  15. Alex Wilcock  March 5, 2012

    Another winner. I’d say ‘Can’t go wrong with a giant cock,’ but as I said back when I reviewed the Peladon Tales, if ever there was proof that it’s not how big it is but what you do with it, it’s this overlong ‘adventure’. Unlike Sue, I love the first Peladon story, but I’m with her here.

    “How S&M is this guy?”
    Blor may have the look, but I immediately thought of Azaxyr and Willy (as Eckerslike is known in our flat).

    I love the naturally evolving miners’ helmets. Though you’d probably not sell many “Do you know how many times I’ve had to go through the “I’m sorry that I look like a giant dick” conversation? It’s depressing.” T-shirts, it’s worth a try.

    Neil wins for this week, though. Fantastic Labrador memory, and that killingly funny regeneration moment. Well, I say ‘this week’ – you’re doing them daily, now, aren’t you?

    “It’s too brightly lit for a giant penis. They should have stuck the penis in the mine so no one could see it properly.”
    Now, that could have been much ruder if you’d thought of some synonyms for “mine”.
    A couple of paragraphs later:
    “deep, dark pit”
    See?

    The Part Five summary made me laugh, but shame – not enough Alpha Centauri. What, no “Thank you, Eckersley, but you are still a traitor.” Totally fabulous! Or, earlier, that most butch of all heroic moments: “I shall summon assistance. [pause] Help! Guards! Aaahh!” And never mind the giant penis – isn’t it Part Five that has the Universe’s largest screw, too?

  16. Alex Wilcock  March 5, 2012

    Oh, and I hope the next video commentary isn’t for 4P – it’s my favourite story, and I prefer to read the in-depth pieces on the good ones. Though I love 5G [I had to look that up – clearly, these votes require a certificate in advanced fandom] and voted for it, that’d surely be the best one to hear Sue’s full-blooded reaction…

    Though, having looked them up, “YYY” isn’t necessarily the most appropriate story code. Looking at what’s coming out today, “4Q” has a ring to it, as in ‘The Day God Went Mad: 4Q, Mary Whitehouse!’

    • PolarityReversed  March 5, 2012

      4 God’s Sake…?

      If anyone here hasn’t had to look them up, I salute them. 5G, if I remember right, gives the giant green one-eyed bulbous thing in a roll-neck a run for its money in the green phallus stakes…

    • Dave Sanders  March 5, 2012

      XXX was definitely Robert Holmes’ response when Terry ran off to Moonbase 3 and left him with Death To The Daleks as his first editing job.

      • John G  March 5, 2012

        I do hope the story that Holmes gave “Death to the Daleks” its title, owing to the strong dislike he felt for Skaro’s finest, is true…

  17. Jazza1971  March 5, 2012

    I voted for “The Android Invasion” just so I could hear Sue’s reaction when the eye-patch is removed…and “Terry F****** Nation”, of course!

    • Frankymole  March 5, 2012

      Ditto – it’ll also be fun when the Doctor visits Brigadier Alistair… er, not there.

  18. Richard Lyth  March 5, 2012

    I liked the Curse of Peladon a lot more than Sue did, but she’s spot on with this on – just a dull, overlong rip-off, the equivalent of a cash-in sequel to a blockbuster movie. But on the plus side, the worse the episode, the more entertaining these reviews are, and this is definitely one of the best.

  19. Dylan Miller  March 5, 2012

    Neil’s memory is scary but…

    “I was an easily confused child.”

    “You’re an easily confused adult.”

    gets my vote for quote of the show. 🙂

  20. Dylan Miller  March 5, 2012

    p.s. I, too, prefer the written commentaries to the podcasts.

  21. django  March 5, 2012

    After Sue didn’t like the first Peladon story I wasn’t expecting a high score, but 2? Even The Chase managed a 5! I wonder if fatigue is setting in and she’s not being as lenient as she once was?

    I made the mistake of reading this during my lunch at work. I was getting strange looks whilst stifiling laughter at:

    “The giant dick is reflecting a lot of glare. It’s far too shiny. Did somebody polish the top of its helmet before they started filming?”

  22. Matt Sharp  March 5, 2012

    Talking of production codes:

    Y – The Celestial Toymaker
    YY – The Space Pirates
    YYY – The Monster of Peladon
    4Y – Underworld
    6Y – Timelash

    If it wasn’t for Kinda, that would be an extremely interesting statistical anomaly…

    • Tangocow  March 6, 2012

      We also have KKK for a story about a race of fascists (“Day of the Daleks”)…

      • Lewis Christian  March 8, 2012

        And The Mutants/The Time Monster, together = NNNOOO!

        This is a brilliant game 😀

  23. Tangocow  March 5, 2012

    Gary’s gay?

    I think we all know EXACTLY why “Creature from the Pit” is currently in the lead. Personally I’m more inclined to go for “Deadly Assassin”, just to hear the reaction when Sue discovers who’s in it.

    • Tangocow  March 5, 2012

      Oh, and how exactly does Sue know what the bouncers look like at Man Bar?

      • Neil Perryman  March 5, 2012

        Because she’s been there.

        • Tangocow  March 5, 2012

          Well, ask a silly question…

  24. Simon Harries  March 6, 2012

    The “Terry F++king Nation” comment would be a superb item to capture again on a commentary, hence my vote for Android Invasion. As for YYY, couldn’t agree more with Sue’s vote. This has to be one of the most tedious pieces of television I have ever sat through.

    • Simon Harries  March 6, 2012

      I speak as someone who has sat through an episode of “The World of Pam Ayres”…

  25. Jason Miller  March 6, 2012

    “Did Jon Pertwee regenerate in the middle of a fight scene?” had me spew my chilled beverage all over my work monitor. The accompanying photo of Terry Walsh helped sell that.

    Plus, mad bonus points for the whole faking-Sue-into-thinking-that-the-Doctor-died-to-save-a-bunch-of-giant-badgers. One of the highlights of the whole experiment thus far!

  26. Dave Sanders  March 6, 2012

    Sadly, the climax to ZZZ will almost certainly be overshadowed by the passing of the lovely Phillip Madoc.

  27. DamonD  March 6, 2012

    “The cushion in the face was worth it.”

    That whole thing was great stuff!

    Monster gets a 2 and likes it. Curse is decent but this is a tired retread.

    • Dave Sanders  March 6, 2012

      It doesn’t ‘like’ it, it just can’t be bothered to complain about it.

  28. Bryan Simcott  March 6, 2012

    Thought 2 a bit harsh, but everyone to thier own and the like.

    Will the Proposed book have exclusive pages with the written up pieces for the audio commentary episodes?

    Maybe thats a good thing to give the book an ooomph of something extra about it.

    Thats if we are still up for a book

  29. Thomas Bush  March 7, 2012

    Pertwee’s undeniably on cruise control here. So even and unvaried. We should all be grateful that he decided to call it a day after the filming of this story.

  30. Robert Dick  March 7, 2012

    I find this story quite entertaining when the regulars, the royal court and the Ice Warriors are on. It’s only the miner scenes that are dull.

    And speaking of dull, a 4P commentary would not be appreciated by me. It’s the most tedious story, I can’t think it’d prompt much reaction (other than the obvious) from Sue apart from ‘why am I doing a video commentary on this one, it’s boring’. (Don’t foget though when you reach it to hide the closing credits of the first few episodes from her, they blow the reveal.)

    • Robert Dick  March 7, 2012

      Oh, and the writing for / characterisation of Alpha is actually much better in this one than in Curse.

    • solar penguin  March 7, 2012

      It’s nice to find someone else who doesn’t like 4P (Deadly Assassin). It’s one of those stories, like Inferno or The Daemons, whose popularity rests more on its reputation, rather than its actual contents. OTOH it’s not dull. It’s just badly structured. Very, very, very badly structured.

      Episode 1 is almost pure padding (get captured, escape again, run up and down a lot, etc.). It’s entertaining enough, but just marking time so the assassination can occur at the cliffhanger. All the detective story investigating the assassination is squeezed uncomfortably into Episode 2.

      Episode 3 is more padding, and nothing but padding. Again, it’s entertaining, but it doesn’t really fit with the main whodunnit plot at all. There’s no reason the big reveal mat the end couldn’t have come at the end of Episode 2 instead.

      And Episode 4 has the unenviable job trying to make sense of this mess, and doesn’t quite succeed. The end result is one of the least satisfying detective stories of all time,

      With hindsight, the assassination should’ve come right at the start. Then the main detective story would have room to fill most of Episodes 1, 2 and 3, and be done properly. And there’d be less of a mess to sort out in Episode 4. The whole thing would’ve fitted together much better.

      But, Deadly Assassin is the story Mary Whitehouse hated the most, so of course fans are going to love it no matter what it’s really like.

      P.S. Sorry I’ve ranted on so long about a different story. But Monster Of Peladon is so dull, I can’t even think of anything to say about it.

      • encyclops  March 7, 2012

        If it weren’t for padding, you’d WANT to get out of bed in the morning.

        I’m not sure how much time we should spend talking about The Deadly Assassin, but even if I agreed that the story was flawed in the ways and to the extents you describe, I enjoyed it long before and long after I knew it had a “reputation.” I respect your prerogative to buck what you perceive as the conventional wisdom, though I myself love almost everything about it.

        Inferno’s a bit long, but otherwise ditto. The Daemons is my least favorite of the three, but I will say that being “well-crafted” ranks very low in my list of reasons why I like Doctor Who episodes.

      • Dave Sanders  March 8, 2012

        Fandom HATED The Deadly Assassin at the time.

        • Frankymole  March 11, 2012

          Jan Vincent-Rudszki (or whatever his name was) hated the way it contradicted earlier Time Lord stories, but vocal minorities (of one) do not fandom make.

      • Dan  March 9, 2012

        Sometimes “padding” can be more than padding. A painting might not necessarily tell a story, but it can be compelling, engaging or communicate on some other level. I think this is the case for the parts set in The Matrix. If that’s just padding it’s still genius.

  31. Professor Thascales  March 7, 2012

    I enjoy Monster of Peladon, but this review is fun. It does really bring out Sue’s wit when she dislikes a story.
    I like the comment about Aggedor being a giant bore.

  32. Cracked Polystyrene Man  March 8, 2012

    To be fair here (maybe my comments sounded a bit blunt) I do appreciate the effort you go to for the audio commentaries. The problem is that with a job and a young family I don’t always have twenty minutes to put aside to listen to an audio commentary uninterrupted. I click on the blog and am happy to see it updated with a new story, only to find I have to wait a week or two before I can set aside the time to hear it. Being a fast reader I could have read a written version in just a few minutes.

    Might I suggest perhaps doing both? I realise they may “clash” somewhat (I assume there’s probably some “tidying up” of the comments and grammer for the written blog) but it would satisfy both camps.

    My knees would be eternally grateful. And I only have two left.

    • Neil Perryman  March 8, 2012

      Some things in life are sent to try us. Like Time and the Rani.

      Sadly, I too have a real life and I haven’t got the time to do both.

      Luckily, video commentaries will only make up approx. 6% of the experiment and I also promise to release a transcript of the next video commentary for those of you with very busy lives. I hope that helps.

      • Cracked Polystyrene Man  March 10, 2012

        Thanks Neil, that will me 6% happier!

  33. Graeme C-G  March 8, 2012

    2/10 – Sue was generous. 😀

  34. farsighted99  April 19, 2012

    I’ve decided to pass on this one. I didn’t like the first Peladon adventure, and especially didn’t like the one-eyed penis wrapped in a shower curtain. So I’ll leave it for when I run out of new classic Doctor Who episodes and I’ll still have a few to watch. Oh my. Sounds dreadful. And it doesn’t even have David Troughton in it to liven it up. 😀

    • PolarityReversed  April 19, 2012

      And why not. When I did my little rerun of 3 & 4 a couple of years back, I did it magpie fashion, filling in the iffy and meh ones at the end. Actually, I branched out into a few Trouts, Hartnells and Farnons before I got round to this one.