The Monster of Peladon videocover

The Monster of Peladon


"Commander Azaxyr isn't acting on behalf of the
Federation at all. He's up to something on his own.
"
--- The Doctor, Episode Four

The Story:
Peladon, 3935. The Galactic Federation needs the ore trisilicate to help in its on-going war with Galaxy Five. Two Federation Engineers, Eckersley and Vega Nexos are on the planet of Peladon to oversee and to hopefully increase the mining of trisilicate. They hope that the use of sonic lance will help. But, the first time they use the lance the spirit of Aggedor, a thought-extinct beast of Peladon, appears and kills Vega Nexos and sends the superstitious miners running. The miners' distrust and hatred of the Federation has now increased.

The Third Doctor returns to Peladon some fifty years after his last visit (The Curse of Peladon). With him is Sarah Jane Smith. After first getting lost in the tunnels beneath the Citadel, the Doctor and Sarah find themselves in the Temple of Aggedor. Unfortunately, their presence is discovered and they are accused of sacrilege and sabotage by Chancellor Ortron.

 Alpha Centauri
Alpha Centauri

The Doctor is confident that all will be forgiven once he sees King Peladon. Sadly, King Peladon died several years ago and his daughter Thalira is now Queen. There is however one familiar face -- Alpha Centauri, now Ambassador to Peladon. Centauri vouches for the Doctor and Sarah. Eckersley and Centauri tell the Doctor about the current situation on Peladon.

Meanwhile, Gebek, the chief miner, seeks and audience with the Queen. Thalira grants the request. While the two Pels are talking another miner, Ettis, leads an attack on the Citadel’s armory. Gebek is accused of helping the other miners, though he new nothing of the attack. Ortron orders Gebek to be killed, but the Doctor intervenes and Gebek escapes.

Thalira accepts the Doctor’s argument that killing Gebek would have been a mistake. She gives the Time Lord permission to investigate the Aggedor manifestations. However, he has no second chances. The Doctor agrees and goes to the mine. While there, the Spirit of Aggedor attacks, killing the Queen’s Champion and trapping the Doctor behind a wall of solid rock.

Gebek rescues the Doctor by using the sonic lance to melt the rock. The Doctor and the miner agree to work together. The Doctor will try to improve conditions and Gebek will quell the rebellion and get his miners to work.

While searching for the Doctor, Sarah gets lost and finds herself at the ore refinery. She trips an alarm and gets first hand knowledge of Eckersley’s security measures. She also sees a figure moving around in the supposedly empty refinery...

At the Citadel, while Ortron argues crushing the revolt, Ettis and the miners attack again. This time, by threatening Sarah, they are able to open the armory and steal weapons. Ortron accuses Sarah of helping the rebels and takes her to the Temple to be sacrificed. The Doctor arrives and he too is condemned. Without authority from the Queen, Ortron throws the Doctor and Sarah into a deep pit. At the bottom of the pit Sarah notices a musky smell reminiscent of a cage at the zoo. Just then a roar is heard and a real Aggedor creature appears and attacks.

The Doctor uses a pair of pocket spectacles along with a soft Venusian lullaby to soothe the vicious creature. Since the couple has faced Aggedor and lived, they must be released. The Doctor meets with Thalira and is able to convince her of Gebek’s non-violent stance. The Queen asks that the Doctor bring Gebek to her. Ortron, however, overhears the Doctor’s intention to visit the miner and locks the Time Lord in a cell. It’s up to Sarah to find Gebek.

Eckersley has convinced Alpha Centauri that the situation is desperate and the hexapod decides to call in Federation troops to halt the rebellion. Eckersley goes in search for the sonic lance, but finds Ettis instead. The hot-headed miner is about to kill the engineer and Sarah too, until Gebek stops him. Sarah tells Gebek that the Queens wishes to see him and that the Doctor is in jail.

Eckersley, Sarah and Alpha Centauri, with Azaxyr coming up from behind
Sarah, Eckersley, Alpha Centauri with Azaxyr – making his entrance

Gebek finds and frees the Doctor. Intrigued by Sarah’s story, the Doctor asks Gebek to show him the Refinery. When there, he deactivates the alarm system. The door opens and three Ice Warriors step out.

The leader of the Warriors, Lord Azaxyr, gathers everyone in the throne room. There he lays out his plan for martial law on Peladon. Ortron and Gebek protest -- in this they are united. Suddenly, a band of miners led by Ettis blasts it way into the room in a bid to rescue Gebek. They are summarily cut down by the Ice Warriors. Ettis narrowly escapes. Azaxyr’s plan is put into action. The miners will now work under Ortron’s armed guards and Azaxyr’s Ice Warriors.

In the Communication Room the Doctor, Sarah and Centauri theorize that the Martians must have been there for some time. Sarah seems to recognize their guard as the shape she saw in the Refinery. Centauri discovers that communications have been cut off, presumably by Azaxyr. The Doctor believes that the Ice Lord is acting on his own in some way, not on behalf of the Federation as he claims.

Finding the temperature controls, the Doctor turns up the heat in the mine. As the temperature rises, the Ice Warrior guards become drowsier and drowsier. The miners begin to fight. Ettis decides to use the sonic lance to destroy the Citadel. The Doctor is informed of Ettis' plan and follows him up Mount Megeshra to a vantage point across from the Citadel. Unable to reason with the miner, the Doctor must physically wrest control of the lance away from the Ettis. In the Communications Room Azaxyr orders Eckersley to booby-trap the lance so, if activated, it will explode. Ettis knocks the Doctor cold and presses the button to fire the weapon. There is a tremendous explosion and the lance and Ettis and, presumably the Doctor, are destroyed.

Orton
Ortron

With the Doctor dead, Azaxyr shuts off the air circulation in the mine. He hopes to force the rebels to surrender. Sarah is put in the throne room with the Queen and Ortron, an armed Ice Warrior on guard outside the door. Centauri enters and tells the Queen that Azaxyr plans to take over the whole of Peladon. Sarah asks if there is any way to contact someone from the Federation. Centauri believes that the emergency distress beacon may work. The four decide to escape, but Ortron is shot in the attempt. The Queen stays with the dying man, while Sarah and Centauri flee.

Sarah and Centauri make it to the Communications Room. Sarah notices a monitor that shows Azaxyr and Eckersley talking in the Refinery. Finding the volume control Sarah is able to here the two talking. As they listen, Sarah and Alpha Centauri are shocked to learn that Eckersley and Azaxyr are agents for Galaxy Five! Eckersley also reveals that he is the one behind the manifestation of Aggedor. While Sarah and Centauri watch, Eckersley uses his machinery again to produce the Spirit of Aggedor and force more miners out of the mine. Sarah spies the Doctor peeking through the half-opened door of the Refinery. Excited, she heads down to join the the Doctor once Eckersley and the Ice Lord leave the Refinery.

In the Refinery the Doctor, Gebek and Sarah reactivate the air circulation system. Suddenly, a group of Ice Warriors are at the door. Thinking quickly the Doctor uses the Eckersley’s machinery to create the Aggedor spirit and destroy two of the Warriors. The third lumbers away.

The Doctor and Gebek use the Aggedor spirit to convince the miners that Aggedor is once again on their side. With their confidence restored, guards and miners alike unite to fight the Ice Warriors. Eckersley activates the security system in an attempt to stop the Doctor. The Time Lord, however, is able to withstand the assault long enough help the miners against the Warriors.

Gebek and the miners fight their way to the throne room of the Citadel. One of the royal guards kills Azaxyr. Eckersley kidnaps the Queen and tries to escape, but the Doctor uses the real Aggedor creature to track the traitor down. Eckersley is killed and, sadly, so is last Aggedor beast.

Gebek
Gebek

Communication with the Federation is restored. News is received that Galaxy Five as surrendered, their plan to take over Peladon having failed. Thalira asks the Doctor to be her new Chancellor. He turns the position down, suggesting that Gebek would be a better choice for the job. The Queen agrees.

The Doctor and Sarah once again head back into the mines; this time to find the TARDIS and go home.



Story Code: YYY -- Six Episodes
Originally Transmitted: 23 March to 27 April 1974

Cast and Credits:
Doctor Who:
Jon Pertwee \ Sarah Jane Smith: Elisabeth Sladen
Queen Thalira: Nina Thomas \ Gebek: Rex Robinson \ Ortron: Frank Gatcliffe
Azaxyr: Alan Bennion \ Eckersley: Donald Gee \ Alpha Centauri: Stuart Fell
Voice of Alpha Centauri: Ysanne Churchman \ Sskeet: Sonny Caldinez
Written by: Brian Hayles
Directed by: Lennie Mayne
Produced by: Barry Letts

Sequel: Legacy

Bibliography



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