Musick has Charms to sooth a savage Breast, To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak
(That's not a typo in the title, by the way. Look it up.)
What a satisfying day. I started out by finishing The Curse of Peladon while putting in three and a half miles on the treadmill. I spent a good chunk of the day hanging out at the Magic Kingdom with my son, which is always awesome. I got the final confirmation on the date and time of my first cabaret performance, coming up on October 1st -- the title of the show is The Gospel According to My Old Man, and it features a dozen songs plus lots of stories about my dad and my son. And now, as I wrap up the day, I have begun packing for my annual two-week working trip to Las Vegas where I help to put on Virtuoso Travel Week -- easily the finest luxury travel event in the world. But I can't finish my day without talking a little bit about Doctor Who.
So let's talk about that.
The Curse of Peladon - Episodes 3 & 4
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
The back half of Peladon is every bit as good as the front. Of course the Doctor escapes the death sentence from the end of episode two, but does so by agreeing to a trial by combat against the King's top warrior. Prior to the battle, though, there is a bit of political maneuvering by both the High Priest plus several of the Galactic Federation delegates, which results in an interlude where the Doctor briefly escapes into the caverns beneath the castle. It is there that he encounters the beast Aggedor, and begins to tame it by using a hypnotic device while singing the Venusian Lullaby (which was previously quoted in The Dæmons). Unfortunately he is "rescued" by Jo, who scares the beast away.
Ultimately the Doctor winds up in the trial by combat, and I am trying to think back but I am pretty sure this is the first time in the series that the Doctor has been thrown into a gladiatorial pit. It really highlights just how different the Third Doctor is from his first two incarnations, where the writers used to have to have a Man of Action companion to handle those kinds of storylines. Now here is the Doctor himself credibly duking it out in a combat arena against a 'roided out strongman. It is no great shock that the Doctor wins by using Venusian Aikido.
And then the huge shocker - it turns out that green-tentacled-head-in-a-glass-dome delegate Arcturus is the real bad guy, trying to sabotage the peace process so that his people can have direct access to the rich mineral resources of the planet Peladon. Oh no! After much running and shouting and an attempted coup, honor and progress prevails, the bad guys are defeated, and the Doctor and Jo rush out just as the real delegate from Earth arrives.
Along the way there was a nifty little almost-love story between Jo (or, I guess, Princess Josephine) and King Peladon. It was nice to see actress Katy Manning get to stretch herself a little and play a bit more complex role in the story. She's a better actress than the writers have given her credit for up until now. She and Jon Pertwee clearly had great chemistry and affection for each other, both on and off screen, and it particularly shows in this story.
The Curse of Peladon is, without question, my favorite Third Doctor story so far and it bodes well for my future viewing. Hopefully tomorrow's The Sea Devils will live up to the same standard.
Companion(s): Jo Grant
Episode(s): The Curse of Peladon - Episodes 3 & 4
Steps Walked: 6,961 today, 1,065,815 total
Distance Walked: 3.53 miles today, 522.90 miles total
Weight: 265.98 lbs (five day moving average), net change -41.32 lbs