And so we return to Peladon! Really enjoyed the first serial set here, let’s hope this one is as good.

 

Episode 1:

We open with the same castle on a stormy mountain that the first Peladon serial opened with; I guess Peladon is a stormy world?

Inside, four men are moving some machine (a sonic lance, I believe) through the tunnels when a strange sound frightens them. One of them says it is the spirit of Aggedor and one of them is engulfed in a nimbus of energy and disappears; the others run off. They scurry by two off-worlders (one human and one race I don’t know, almost satyr-like) who discuss a piece of rock/mineral/jewel that’s being mined.

The human stops one of the natives as they run by and he says that Aggedor slew one of the men for bringing the sonic lance into the mines.

In the throne room, the human and his companions (from the planet Vega), as well as an Alpha Centauran (the same as before, I wonder?) appear before the queen to explain the death. The mining reps say they don’t believe in some supernatural force being behind it. The queen seems reasonable and asks them to arrange a demonstration, feeling that if her people saw that the technology could be trusted it would go far in quelling fears.

Ortron, the chancellor, protests, but the queen says it was her father’s wish to see Peladon become a civilised planet, a full member of the Federation. The Federation is at war with “Galaxy 5” and the mining of trisilicate is needed.

We later see the chancellor performing a ritual, praying to Aggedor, asking him not to punish his loyal servants but to punish those who deserve it.

A soldier moving through the tunnels hears a strange noise and hides as the TARDIS materialises. The Doctor steps out, telling Sarah Jane about the citadel of Peladon. He seems startled that they’re in a tunnel, not the citadel, and she gives him guff about it. They walk off as the guard watches them.

Sarah Jane seems doubtful they’re even on Peladon.

In the tunnels, the queen and her retinue arrive to observe the demonstration of the sonic lance. Talk of a guard seeing more aliens appear is discussed. Ortron sends guards to investigate, with orders to “find and destroy”.

The Doctor and Sarah Jane are lost in the tunnels.

Nexos, the Vegan, activates the sonic lance. They blast open a hole in the wall, and there’s a strange sound within. Nexos, trying to dissuade everyone from being afraid, enters the hole and is engulfed by the nimbus. He screams, flails and falls to the ground before disappearing. The native miners flee, one of them yelling about the curse of Aggedor.

Palace guards find The Doctor and Sarah Jane; one yells, “There they are, kill them,” and Sarah Jane runs off. The Doctor follows, and they find one of the secret doors, accessed by lifting the sconce in the wall, leading into the Temple of Aggedor.

Guards capture them and take them to the throne room, where the queen, chancellor and retinue enter. They are accused of “sacrilige and sabotage”. Ortron introduces himself as “high priest and chancellor” (the two positions now one, interesting) and the queen as “Queen Thalira”. She says she is the daughter of King Peladon.

The Doctor proclaims he was a friend of her father, but Ortron says that everyone knows the story of The Doctor and what better identity to assume for an “alien spy and saboteur”. Just then, Alpha Centauri enters, and it is, in fact, the very same one that was on Peladon years before. Alpha Centauri vouches for The Doctor and the Queen releases them into Alpha’s care.

Ortron tries to tell the queen that The Doctor is not to be trusted; it was he that persuaded Peladon to join the Federation and that is the cause of their troubles now. The queen says that if The Doctor is their enemy, he will reveal himself as such and they will deal with him accordingly.

The miners debate; Gebek, who seems to be their leader, wants to speak to the Queen and Ortron, but another says they are but puppets of the Federation. The other argues for violence and when Gebek goes to speak to the queen, the others begin their violence, breaking into the citadel and attacking a guard.

The Doctor chastises Alpha Centauri for the lack of improvements for the mining caste of Peladon over the fifty-plus years Peladon has been part of the Federation. Alpha says that the feudal caste system is resistent to change, the nobles refuse to give up their stranglehold.

The mining representative (who is really familiar, his face and voice… aha, it’s Donald Gee, who played Major Warne in THE SPACE PIRATES) explains why trisilicate is so essential to the war effort (in short, it’s used for many things.)

On a video scanner, they see the rebel miners trying to break into the armory where the modern weapons are being housed; Eckersley (the mining rep) isn’t concerned, but then one of the miners enters and takes him at swordpoint to go open the door. The Doctor disarms him, while Alpha prattles on uselessly. The Doctor and Eckersley take him to speak to the queen, while Sarah Jane stays behind with Alpha.

Gebek is still speaking with the queen and Ortron, when first, word of the miners attempt to gain access to the armory is brought by a guard, and then The Doctor arrives with his prisoner. When The Doctor tries to get the queen to listen, Ortron starts barking orders (lots of parallels between this serial and the first, all rather intentional, I’m sure – and if years had gone by between viewing them, as opposed to weeks, I’m sure it wouldn’t be grating on my nerves.)

The Doctor helps the two rebels escape but he is taken prisoner and Ortron declares he should be executed in their place. The Doctor appeals to the queen, saying that he saved them from civil war. He asks for her permission to investigate the appearances of Aggedor – he feels they are trickery.

The queen’s champion leads The Doctor to the last place Aggedor was sighted. Ortron sends orders with a guard to find and capture, or kill, Gebek and his rebels.

One of the rebels lays explosives in the tunnels.

Eckersley reports to Sarah Jane what has transpired.

The Doctor and the champion (also a mute, like the last champion), investigate the site. It is the same area the rebel has just laid the explosives. The champion is reluctant to go in. The Doctor enters and sees a massive vein of trisilicate.

Two rebels discuss the champion and “one of the aliens” entering the cavern and sacrificing them. The explosive is set off and The Doctor and the champion are trapped within.

As he helps the champion to his feet, The Doctor stops in amazement as a ghostly form of Aggedor (looking rather like the statue and not the creature itself) appears and the nimbus of light envelops the champion, who falls and screams in pain (he’s not voiceless, just grunts, so he can scream) and disappears… and the credits roll.

Well, as stated, I’m a little annoyed by the great similarity between this serial and the first. I’m sure it was done intentionally, and again, if I was watching the show as it aired, several years would have transpired and it wouldn’t be annoying it would be homage-like and clever.


Episode 2:

After Blor is killed, Aggedor disappears. The Doctor tries to dig his way out.

Ettis, the rabble-rousing miner, brags to Gebek (who showed up just before he triggered the explosive) how he returned the cave to the sacred mountain and made a sacrifice to Aggedor. Gebek realises that The Doctor is in there and begins to pull away the rocks, and the other two join in. They activate the sonic lance and blast a hole in the rockfall.

The Doctor jumps through, just as “Aggedor” appears again and blasts where he was standing.

Alpha Centauri dithers on about mining and refining, but Sarah Jane isn’t listening – she’s worried about The Doctor, especially after a warning about explosives comes through. Sarah Jane takes off, as Alpha calls for Eckersley.

Sarah Jane enters through the Temple of Aggedor, using the secret door to access the tunnels.

Gebek says that he and The Doctor are even, now that he has saved his life. The Doctor offers to help him if they will let him. The Doctor tells them that someone is using Aggedor to keep the mining from happening. Before more can be discussed, soldiers arrive and battle breaks out.

The soldiers are defeated and The Doctor and the three miners run off before more arrive.

Sarah Jane is lost in the tunnels, but sees a somewhat translucent window with someone behind it. She calls out to them, asking for help, but they turn the light off within. When she bangs on a door in frustration, some mental or sonic assault overwhelms her.

Eckersley returns to the communications room and sees an alert flashing on the refinery console. He activates a camera and sees Sarah Jane collapse to the ground. He realises that she must have set off the defense system. He rushes off to save her.

The Doctor meets with the miners, who complain about their lot in life. Ettis says that Aggedor’s spirit is angry, but The Doctor insists that it is trickery, and he is going to find out who is behind it.

Gebek and another miner take The Doctor to the queen, leaving Ettis behind to plot to attack the armory again, now that The Doctor inadvertantly gave away that to get in the armory, they need to capture the communications room.

Eckersley and Alpha find Sarah Jane and the mining rep argues with her – he says there was nobody inside, it’s on shut down, nobody can get in, she was imagining it. They leave to return to the communications room, and we see, through the window, that there is in fact someone in there.

In the tunnels, The Doctor is separated from his miner guides when they each break off, trying to lead the guards away from finding The Doctor. When Gebek is being escorted away, The Doctor incapacitates them and frees Gebek.

Ortron argues that The Doctor is their enemy, saying he has been sent to stir up the miners. The queen asks for his counsel, and he says she must crush the revolt and to do so, capture The Doctor and have him executed.

Ettis attacks Eckersley, possibly killing him, leaving him in the corridor. He takes Sarah Jane and Alpha prisoner, taking them into the communications room, demanding they open the armory. Reluctantly, Alpha does so.

Lord Ortron brings news of the attack on the armory, saying this is what comes of softness with common people.

Ettis flees, taking Sarah Jane with him. Alpha natters on until Eckersley wakes (he was only KO’d.)

Ortron and his guards grab Sarah Jane when she manages to break free of Ettis; Ettis and his rebels flee into the tunnels, passing by Gebek and The Doctor. Sarah Jane is taken to the temple.

Gebek leaves The Doctor to be with his people, hoping to prevent any further madness.

At the temple, Ortron accuses Sarah Jane of collusion with Ettis. The Doctor arrives at the secret door outside the temple, and enters the temple saying he’s got it all wrong. Ortron uses every unfortunate statement to say they’re both guilty. In the temple, his will is law and he appeals to Aggedor for what to do.

The queen says she will trust in Alpha Centauri’s judgment, but there is nothing she can do to overrule Ortron.

Ortron condemns The Doctor and Sarah Jane to the pit.

Alpha talks the queen into trying to change things, to assert herself.

In the temple, guards move a pedestal, revealing a hole. As the queen demands to be let in, The Doctor and Sarah Jane are thrown into the hole. The queen enters the temple, too late, and Ortron says the choice is out of their hands, their fate is subject to the judgment of Aggedor.

In the pit, there’s something roaring, something musky and alive. The Doctor pulls out a small penlight, and we see Aggedor, who roars… and the credits roll.

That’s a good cliffhanger!

 

 

Episode 3:

The queen insists that they rescue The Doctor and Sarah Jane, but Ortron says it is too late.

Aggedor attacks, while The Doctor tries to talk to him, saying they are old friends. The Doctor pulls out a shiny dangly thing, spinning and singing to Aggedor, as he did before, lulling the beast into a docile state.

Rather embarrassed, Ortron complies with the queen’s demand to release them.

Alpha Centauri turns to Eckersley for advice; he counsels Alpha to contact the Federation, asking for troops to be sent. Eckersley takes off to fetch the sonic lance, afraid it might be used as a weapon by the rebels. Alpha contacts the Federation.

The queen brings The Doctor and Sarah Jane to the throne room to sit for refreshments and speak about his investigations. The Doctor advocates treating the miners more fairly, to contact Gebek and work with him. The Doctor leaves to consult with Alpha and then go speak with Gebek to set up a secret meeting between he and the queen; he asks Sarah Jane to stay behind and give the queen some advice about Women’s Lib.

In the tunnels, Gebek argues with Ettis and his followers.

The Doctor chastises Alpha Centauri over sending for Federation troops. Sarah Jane shows up to tell The Doctor about seeing someone at the refinery, and suggests that whomever is behind the fake Aggedor is in the refinery.

Ortron shows up to say that The Doctor cannot leave the citadel to contact his rebel friends. After trading words, he and his guard leave, but wait around the corner. When The Doctor tries to leave the citadel, Ortron and his guards take The Doctor prisoner for trying to leave.

Eckersley is at the sonic lance; Sarah Jane shows up to tell him The Doctor is afraid the rebels might be after it. Eckersley says there are none in sight, but Gebek, Ettis and others watch from a hiding spot.

Alpha Centauri protests The Doctor’s arrest and imprisonment. Ortron protests that The Doctor is a nameless alien with no official records in the Federation. The queen asserts that Sarah Jane will not be arrested, as Ortron plans.

The rebels attack the guards and take the sonic lance. Despite Ettis’ protests, Gebek lets Sarah Jane and Eckersley go, but not before Sarah Jane passes on the message that the queen will meet with him in secret.

When it is revealed that Federation troops are on their way, everyone is upset at Alpha for contacting them. Sarah Jane advises that the only way to get rid of the troops once they arrive is to make it seem that all is going well and they are not needed.

Gebek enters the citadel, and runs into Sarah Jane. He tells her he will free The Doctor for her. He makes his way to the cells and frees The Doctor. The Doctor insists that Gebek take him to the refinery to investigate Sarah’s claims.

Ettis and his men set up the sonic lance outside, facing the citadel.

Alpha Centauri receives a message that the Federation ship is in orbit. The voice is obviously an Ice Warrior.

Gebek warns The Doctor that there is magic at the refinery that has destroyed several of the miners’ minds. The Doctor pulls out his sonic screwdriver to disarm the security system. On the security monitors, Eckersley sees this and Alpha, who is quite the idiot, says it’s obvious that The Doctor is in league with the rebels. Eckersley storms off to stop them, but Sarah Jane talks him down, explaining their theory that the refinery is being used to power the fake Aggedor manifestations.

Ortron goes into the tunnels with guards to meet with the rebels, to tell them of the need to coexist while the Federation troops are present. He promises them a fair hearing of any complaints once the Federation troops have left if the miners return to work ASAP to convince the troops all is well.

The miners agree, and as they leave, Aggedor manifests and kills one. The men flee, panicking, and Gebek hears it from outside the refinery. The Doctor has almost hot wired the door, and once he does it opens, and an Ice Warrior steps out… and the credits roll.

Now, THAT is a perfect place to stop for the day. See you tomorrow and Happy Memorial Day, BTW!  

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