"Tomorrow, at midday, I will have the glorious honour of
beheading the Doctor. For his crimes against Mars. For his crimes against New Mars. For
his crimes against Peladon and for his crimes against Federation Unity... Tomorrow,
Doctor, the Ice Warriors will finally get their revenge."
Io, 3985. The commissioner of Cantryan who is the head of the Galactic Federation and an old friend of the Doctor's, asks the Seventh Doctor to find the person who murdered his daughter Damjina. It seems Damjina had discovered the general location of the lost Ancient Diadem on the planet Pakha. She was about to recover the Diadem when she was killed by a member of her search team. The Diadem is an artifact of immense power that once plunged the people of Pakhar into perpetual war. The Doctor has encountered the Diadem before. In a previous incarnation he freed the Pakhars from the evil of the Diadem, an artifact the Doctor believes is inhabited by a totally malevolent force that influences whomever is possession of it.
The Doctor agrees to help find the unknown murder, a master of disguise, and recover the Diadem before anyone can harness its power. The Commissioner tells the Doctor that the criminals trail leads to Peladon, where the biennial restatement of King Tarrols Ascendancy Vows is about to take place. Peladon, the Doctor says. Like a second home. Yes, Commissioner, definitely a good place to start.
The Commissioner arranges for the Doctor and Bernice to travel with a delegation from Mars, who are to attend the Pel ceremony. The Commissioner also sends his son Kort as his personal representative. The Doctor sends Ace, his other traveling companion, to Pakha to find out what she can about people Damjina was associated with.
The Doctor, Benny and Kort travel to Peladon aboard the Martian Deep Space Izlyr-class cruiser Bruk -- under the command of the High Lord Savaar. Benny and Savaar hit it off. She is intrigued by the Martian Lord and his culture. He is impressed with the Bennys knowledge and respect of his race. The Doctor is suspicious of Savaar. Savaar is suspicious of the Doctor. Are they worthy opponents or indispensable associates? Kort is bored.
On Peladon King Tarrol, son of Queen Thalira now rules, along with his advisors Geban, son of Gebek and Attissa. Four years ago Gebek and Thalira were killed in a shuttle accident. Lianna, Atissas mother and lady-in-waiting to Thalira, was also supposed to be on that same shuttle, but stayed behind. She is now a respected lady-of-the-court, and another close advisor to Tarrol.
For the last fifty years Peladons relationship with the Federation has been a successful one, bringing many years of prosperity to the small planet. Now, however, Peladon has fallen on lean years. Recently the Federation terminated its mining contract and now it seems the only resource the planet has is its own history. Nic Reese, Earth's Federation representative, has proposed opening Peladon to tourists as a museum and gallery. Atissa has violently opposed this. She believes that the Pels should hold their traditions as sacred. She has even gone so far as to criticize her Liannas more liberal stance. Geben has counseled that Tarrol consider the offer; after all the Federation has guided them well over the years. Tarrol is torn. Both views have merit, but he wants to do what is best for Peladon.
The Bruk arrives on Peladon. While Kort does a good job of being a diplomat with Geban, the Doctor introduces Benny to his old friend Ambassador Alpha Centauri. Centauri is surprised by the changes in the Doctor, but readily accepts him as the same man who helped Peladon many years ago.
Later, the Doctor is visited in his rooms by Lianna. Lianna seeks the Doctors help. She fears for the future prosperity of Peladon. She doesnt elaborate further, saying that her daughter would not approve of their meeting. She leaves the Doctor wondering. Savaar and Sskeet: friend or foe? Were they the danger Lianna feared? Why was Alpha Centauri still here, years after he should have retired? Why had his old friend the Commissioner sent his son Kort when the Martian delegates were enough representation. Someone to watch the watchers?
The Doctor and Benny attend a dinner with the King Tarrol and his court, along with the representatives of the Federation. Atissa is conspicuous by her absence. While there, the Doctor meets Nic Reese, who greets the Doctor like an old friend. The Doctor returns the warm greeting, but then says to Benny, Ive never set eyes on him before in my lives.
After the dinner Savaar and Sskeet escort a seemingly inebriated Bernice back to her room. However, after the two Ice Warriors leave, all trace of drunkenness disappear. At the behest of the Doctor, she played drunk to test the patience of the Ice Lord. In the corridor outside her quarters, Benny covertly overhears a conversation between Reece and Lianna. Savaar and Sskeet covertly observe Benny, sober and spying on the couple. The Doctor covertly overhears Lianna talking to Savaar. Half an hour later the guard to the relic room of Peladon is killed and the Lance of Aggedor is stolen.
Savaar takes over the investigation of the murder. Benny and Nic Reece strike up a friendship as do Kort and Keri, the Pakhar reporter. Kort tells Keri about the Pakhar official who brought his sisters body back to Io. Keri, who along with Reece were friends of Damjina, says that no one by the name Kort mentioned exists in the Pakhar government. Keri also tells the young Cantryan of the Diadem his sister was searching for before she was killed. The two decide to go to use a computer link in the Martian shuttle to investigate a suspicious member of Damjinas party. Behind the scenes, the Doctor keeps tabs on them all.
Neal Corry gets lost in the mines. He finds himself at a door marked REFINERY. He reaches out to open the door, but when he touched it he is attacked by a defense mechanism and falls like a dead weight to the ground. Aboard the Martian shuttle, Kort and Keri discover that the Pakhar official was really a petty criminal. Their investigation is halted when an Ice Warrior discovers them.
Meanwhile, two signals are being received across Peladon. One signal is reaching the one who killed Korts sister. The other signal comes from the Refinery. That one is being received aboard the Bruk in orbit around Peladon by its captain Marshal Hissel.
Meanwhile, Lianna and Attissa have met in the Temple of Aggedor where Attissa is the high priestess of Aggedor. They are fighting. Atissa accuses her mother of being a heretic for siding with the members of the Federation. Lianna calls Atissa mad and says that the issue has not been put to rest. Before Lianna leaves, Attissa puts a curse on her. A half an hour later Lianna is found dead. The Lance of Aggedor has been shoved through her midriff, pinning her to the wall of her quarters. The Doctor is standing before Lianna, holding the shaft of the Lance. His hands are soaked in blood.
The Doctor is accused of killing Lianna. As he is being dragged to a cell, Sskeet reports that another Pel artifact has been stolen: the Crown of Sherak. Meanwhile, Kort and Keri are prisoners the Martian shuttle. Savaar offers them a deal; he wont report their transgression if they help him. Somewhere else Neal Corry wakes up in a cold and dark place...
In the throne room, Atissa demands that the Doctor be killed according to Pel tradition. The King agrees and says he will be killed in the Shrine of Aggedor. But Savaar asserts his right as a Federation representative and proclaims that he will behead the Doctor the following day. Benny and Alpha Centauri convince Geban to approach Tarrol and try to stop the execution. The King refuses to change his mind. The King seems to be under Atissas mad influence. Geban has lost faith in his leader and friend.
The Doctor tells Savaar that Lianna identified her killer before she died. The Martian tells the Time Lord that no harm will come to the Doctor. But the Doctor says he wishes to be executed. He believes something will happen when he is killed. Perhaps the Savaar can arrange something? In the relic room someone attacks Atissa and knocks her out. The thief and murder once again steals the Lance of Aggedor along with the Sword of Truth.
Everyone gathers in the Shrine of Aggedor; The King, Geban, Sskeet and Reece. Kerri and Kort arrive with a vidcamera and begin to record the proceedings. The Doctor is brought in.Savaar strides in, dressed in ancient attire worn by High Martian warrior chieftains in the barbaric Martian past. Around his waist the Ice Lord is wearing a leather belt decorated with Pel symbols, the face of Aggedor at the center. Savaar is carrying the sword of Tuburr, an ancient and sacred relic. The Doctor falls to knees and bows his head. Tarrol pronounces the Doctor executed. Savaar raises the sword and brings it down, slicing through the Doctors neck....
While the events on Peladon have unfolded, Ace has been following clues, and a trail of bodies to the Ancient Diadem. It is now in the possession of a group of mercenaries. The criminals are now on a course to Peladon, and Ace is covertly following the mercenary shuttle in a shuttle of her own. Unfortunately the she is detected and is fired on. Thinking quickly she pretends to be seriously damaged. The mercenaries, thinking she is out of action, continue on to Peladon. Ace returns to Io.
Atissa wakes up in the relic room. She believes it was Savaar that attacked her. She goes to the King and tells him that it is the will of Aggedor that all the aliens be removed from the planet. She also tells him she, as the speaker for Aggedor, is the truthful ruler of Peladon. The King now realizes that Atissa is insane.
Savaar is arrested. Sskeet takes Benny to the catacombs. The Doctor is there. He tells Benny about how Savaar, Keri and Kort helped to fake is death. Benny tells to the Doctor about Savaar. The Doctor asks Benny to help the Martian and he must go with Sskeet who has something to show him in the catacombs.
Bernice goes to the Shrine of Aggedor where Atissa is about to sacrifice Savaar. Benny saves him by pretending to kill him. Sskeet leads the Doctor to the old Refinery. Inside is Commander Rassbur along with several other Ice Warriors. The Martians have been on Peladon for six weeks. The Doctor is chagrined. Corry is also in the Refinery. The Ice Warriors had captured him, thinking he was the murder. Rassbur says that the shuttle containing the mercenaries, and the Diadem will soon land on Peladon...
The Doctor and Corry return to the Citadel. He meets up with Keri, Kort, Geban, Alpha Centauri and Sskeet and Savaar. The Time Lord reveals that the murder and thief was Nic Reese. The Doctor believes it was Reeces plan to bring tourist to Peladon, then influence them with the Diadem. From there he could control the entire Federation. When Sskeet tries to break into Reeces quarters, he sets of an explosion that kills Geban.
The mercenaries land. The Doctor believes that Reece plans to exchanged the Pel lance, crown and lance for the Diadem. Savaar tells the Doctor that Reece has taken Benny to the catacombs. Time for the final battle, the Doctor says.
Reece has revealed himself to Benny and his holding her hostage at the Martian shuttle. The mercenaries meet up with Reece, but are confronted by Rassburs Warriors. Soon the cavern is filled sonic blasts, laser fire and explosions. Some of the mercenaries are killed, but not Reece or Benny. King Tarrol takes the Sword of Truth and rescues Benny and kills Reece. However, the Diadem has escaped. Having taken control of one of the mercenaries, the Diadem tries to escape using their shuttle. But the Bruk is waiting, with a single shot it destroys the shuttle and the Diadem.
Tarrol meets with Atissa. He tells her that he has forgiven her and wishes her to continue to advise him. Atissa, however, still believes the King to be a weak leader. She leaves the Citadel vowing never to return. Because of all that has happened the Tarrol decides to break ties with the Federation. He believes that Peladon must find its own future. The Doctor understands, but suggests that the King allows the Federation to come back in fifty or so years, to see if Peladon needs any further assistance. Tarrol agrees.
During Tarrols reinstatement ceremony, the Doctor walks among the wreckage of the mercenary shuttle. A few things have survived the blast from the Bruk. I know youre still out there somewhere, he calls out to the Ancient Diadem. Ill be waiting, dont you worry. There is no response...
Published: April 1994
Cast of Characters and Credits:
The Doctor \ Professor Bernice Summerfield \ Ace
Savaar \ Kort \ Keri \ Alpha Centauri
King Tarrol \ Geben \ Atissa \ Lianna
Nic Reese \ Neal Corry \ Sskeet
Written by: Gary Russell
The Ice Warriors | The Seeds of Death | The
Curse of Peladon | The Monster of Peladon