Doctor Who: Season 9, Episode 5

The Curse of Peladon: Episode One (29 Jan. 1972)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Family
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 141 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 1 critic

The Doctor and Jo arrive on the medieval planet Peladon, where the Doctor is mistaken for the Earth Delegate of the Galactic Federation and Jo is mistaken for a princess. Where the Doctor ... See full summary »



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Title: The Curse of Peladon: Episode One (29 Jan 1972)

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Episode complete credited cast:
David Troughton ...
Geoffrey Toone ...
Henry Gilbert ...
Alan Bennion ...
Sonny Caldinez ...
Stuart Fell ...
Ysanne Churchman ...
Murray Grumbar ...
Arcturus (as Murphy Grumbar)
Terry Bale ...
Gordon Stothard ...
Grun (as Gordon St Clair)


The Doctor and Jo arrive on the medieval planet Peladon, where the Doctor is mistaken for the Earth Delegate of the Galactic Federation and Jo is mistaken for a princess. Where the Doctor uncovers a conspiracy, as he exposes the evil scheme of the high-priest Hepesh who bids to prevent King Peladon from joining the galactic Federation. Written by Daniel Williamson

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Release Date:

29 January 1972 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Aggedor was conceived as being ape-like. The finished costume was more ursine in appearance. See more »


Izlyr: [Izlyr has sworn to save the Doctor's life after the Doctor has saved his own, only to discover the Doctor's prison cell empty] It seems that the Doctor has escaped without our help.
Ssorg: Or he has been eliminated...
Izlyr: If that is so, Hepesh and this planet will have much to answer for!
See more »


Referenced in Jon Pertwee at Panopticon (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

A very good story, among the best of the Pertwee era after season 7
13 November 2008 | by ( – See all my reviews

There are certainly some gems to be found in the inconsistent Pertwee seasons which followed the phenomenal season 7, and "The Curse of Peladon" is among them. This is a wonderful, thrilling story with a superb cast of characters, a great location in the medieval planet of Peladon where the progressive vs. conservative debate is raging, and just some wonderful writing and one excellent fight scene towards the end of episode three.

"The Curse of Peladon" is one of the better politically-conscious Pertwee stories. The politics don't get in the way of the storytelling, which is certainly very politically-oriented in itself, I suppose, but there's little heavy-handed moralizing here, it's all presented rather fairly and simply. What's wonderful about Brian Hayles' script here is how excellent all the supporting characters here are. Not only do we get a return of the Ice Warriors, one of the all-time greatest Doctor Who monsters (who don't play a particularly villainous role here, but are still very entertaining), but also a couple of other amusing aliens (Alpha Centauri's unfortunately phallic appearance makes it hard to take the story too seriously, though). The really superb guest characters here are King Peladon (played superbly by David Troughton, son of Patrick) and Geoffrey Toone as Hepesh, who is doing all he can to fight off Peladon's joining of the Federation, which he perceives as something that would threaten Peladon's traditions and would essentially end with them becoming slaves.

Both Troughton and Toone are excellent here, and it helps that Katy Manning and Jon Pertwee are both on top form as well. Jo's given a fair amount to do here, and I think it's one of the best stories overall for her character (not that I buy into the whole 'Jo was useless' thing, I found her to be quite a good character and her relationship with the Doctor to be very interesting), even if what she's involved in is unlikely to please the ultra-feminist portion of the audience.

The episodes are directed very well, the scripts are very good, and while the story may not ever reach true greatness, it's both a fun romp and an interesting political/social allegory which is still surprisingly relevant today.

Episode 1: 8/10, Episode 2: 8/10, Episode 3: 8/10, Episode 4: 8/10

Average: 8/10

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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