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There is no plot! I am being completely honest with you.—King Peladon is perhaps being a little harsh on the writers.
The Doctor thinks he's managed to fix the TARDIS at long last. Taking a test flight, he and Jo find themselves on the planet of Peladon, where a new king is about to be crowned and the Galactic Federation are assessing the planet for entry. Only the human delegate is missing - so of course the Doctor is immediately assumed to be him, a role he dives into with enthusiasm.
The other committee members - the giant, camp, eyeball-octopus-thing Alpha Centauri, Arcturus, the Ice Warrior lord Izlyr and his subordinate, Ssorg - are worried about the death of Chancellor Torbis, the new king's advisor. High Priest Hepesh opposes entry into the Federation and attributes Torbis's death to the displeasure of Aggedor, the sacred monster of Peladon. The Doctor, meanwhile, concludes that a saboteur is at work.
Initial suspicion naturally falls on the Ice Warriors - after all, they've been villains twice already - but of course it's Hepesh himself. Arcturus, one of the delegates, has convinced Hepesh that the Federation will exploit Peladon for its mineral wealth, whereas in reality his own government plan to do so once Peladon has rejected entry. Ssorg, defending the Doctor, kills Arcturus, but Hepesh gets away, fleeing into a network of tunnels behind the giant statue of Aggedor.
Hepesh leads a coup and attempts to force the king to reject entry into the Federation once and for all. The Doctor arrives with the real Aggador, a mountain beast thought extinct which Hepesh had trained to obey him, and which he had used to spread the story of the curse. Hepesh orders Aggedor to kill the Doctor. But the Doctor has already met and befriended Aggedor, who turns on Hepesh instead.
Watch it here
- Arranged Marriage: Between Jo and Peladon.
- Bait and Switch Gunshot
- Brains and Brawn: The Doctor and Grun
- Brain In a Jar: Arcturus.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Alpha Centauri
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: This story is an analogy of Britain joining the EEC.
- In the DVD commentary, both Terrance Dicks and Barry Letts deny there was any deliberate message in the storyline, while admitting that it's entirely possible that the author may well have been inspired to write his story by the political debate at the time.
- Gentle Giant: Aggedor, once the Doctor calms him down.
- Good All Along: The Ice Warriors. Although they initially come across as potential villains, they turn out to have developed into a peaceloving race... although they still have weapons in case diplomacy doesn't work.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Possibly Grun, definitely Izlyr (and presumably Ssorg).
- The Radio Dies First
- Real After All: Aggedor.
- The Reveal: The Martians are the good guys here.
- The Speechless: Grun, a mute, and a reasonably heroic one once outmaneuvered by the Doctor.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist / Knight Templar: Hepesh.
- The X of Y
- Zettai Ryouiki: Unusual male example in King Peladon.