December 1, 2022

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Doctor Who “The Curse Of Peladon Part 3”

The Third Doctor. "The Curse of Peladon," Episode Three.

You know, friendly Ice Warriors may be only a temporary thing, but they sure do come in handy.

With the Doctor under a death sentence, the only thing King Peladon can do is at least give the Doctor a fighting chance by sentencing him to a trail by combat scenario with the King’s Champion, that being the big, muscular mute He-Man cosplayer that has been acting as a henchman to obvious villain High Priest Hepesh.  If this were any other Doctor, I’d be worried.

Jo, of course, is worried, and gets in the young king’s face about how he wants to be different and make his planet better, but at the same time, he has to follow the law because that’s a king’s job.  Then, as a man, he proposes to Jo, and while that is the explanation he gives and it actually makes perfect sense to me, Jo doesn’t get it.

Look, I know the Third Doctor’s adventures are not quite as humorous as previous Doctors’ adventures, weird given Jon Pertwee’s background as a comedic actor, but what humor we do see often takes the form of “Jo isn’t very bright!  Ha ha!” jokes, and that sort of humor doesn’t sit right with me.  It’s like her only job for the show is to look pretty.

Case in point a bit later.

Jo next tries to appeal to the delegates for the Galactic Federation, and while two of them (the head in a tank and the giant wee-wee) are not going to interfere, the Ice Warrior actually has a sense of honor, especially since the Doctor saved his life, and all Federation decisions have to be done on a unanimous basis.  Point is, he and his bulky assistant will help the Doctor.

Problem:  the Doctor is missing.

Well, not quite.  Hepesh gave him a map out of the palace, even saying where the TARDIS is, if he and Jo just leave through the tunnels the king never heard about before.  And yeah, the Doctor uses the map, but not for the reasons everyone believes.  Instead, he finds the Aggedor, that big spikey ALF, and sings to it something he says is a Venusian lullaby, hypnotizing the beast as he tries to befriend it.  Then Jo comes along and scares it away with the torch, but while the Doctor explains that simple beasts can be put into a hypnotic trance, he puts Jo into a hypnotic trance.

See above comments on Jo’s intelligence.

However, the Doctor and Jo leave the tunnels and are immediately caught by obvious villain Hepesh being obviously villainous.  That means the Doctor has to go immediately into the fighting pit.  Can the Doctor defeat that big, brawny brute, even while Hepesh tosses the big guy some weapons?

Um, yeah.  The Doctor won’t kill the big guy, but he does subdue him.

And then that head in a tank thing pops a gun out and shoots…something.

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