Two Days Late for Labor Day
Today's new story The Monster of Peladon thus far boils down to a treatise about the inequities between Capitol and Labor. The Doctor returns to Peladon to visit his friend the King, but arrives fifty years later than planned (and also a few hundred meters deeper than planned, down inside the caverns instead of up in the citadel). The King is long dead, his daughter is queen, the Galactic Federation is still mucking about, and as usual it's the common folk who are getting screwed. Let's talk about that.
The Monster of Peladon - Parts 1 & 2
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
I was really looking forward to this story, because I liked the first one so much. Unfortunately, thus far it is very much a retread of the original. There is a feckless ruler (in this case a young queen instead of a young king), a high priest as a royal advisor who suspects basically everyone of crimes against their god Aggedor, and visiting representatives from the Galactic Federation - some of whom may have duplicitous intent. The Doctor and his companion blunder into a political powder keg, and off we go.
I'm not saying it's bad - I am certainly enjoying it more than the stupid Dalek story I just finished - but thus far it is not nearly the same caliber as its predecessor. There is some lurking evil force manipulating events, and I am pretty much assuming it will turn out to be Ice Warriors given that the story is written by Brian Hayles (who also wrote The Ice Warriors, The Seeds of Death, and The Curse of Peladon, all of which featured Ice Warriors. Their absence thus far is deafening. There was a mysterious figure behind some clouded glass in part two, and I am reasonably certain that will turn out to be one of our favorite big green Martians.
One thing that is substantially better in this story than yesterday's is in the background music. Death to the Daleks sounded like it was scored by three farting clarinetists, and it is hard for a Dalek to be scary when it is accompanied by a derp-de-derp lilting squad of woodwinds. At least The Monster of Peladon has a properly bombastic dramatic score with percussion and brass (quite possibly via synthesizer, but still...).
By the end of part two the Doctor and Sarah Jane have been thrown down into a pit under the altar of Aggedor to be sacrificed for their heresy, where they come face to face with Aggy himself. Oh no! What are the odds that tomorrow's viewing will begin with the Doctor using a hypnotic light while singing some Venusian poetry?
Companion(s): Sarah Jane Smith
Episode(s): The Monster of Peladon - Parts 1 & 2
Steps Walked: 7,125 today, 1,274,741 total
Distance Walked: 3.75 miles today, 630.05 miles total
Weight: 261.10 lbs (five day moving average), net change -46.20 lbs