Friday, September 4, 2009
Jon Pertwee's Doctor finds himself smack dab in the middle of probably the oddest Jon Pertwee story ever made. The Curse of Peladon (like its sequel two years later) features no location filming, is predominantly set in dark, torchlit corridors, and is easily the most dialogue heavy story in the Pertwee era.
In fact, Episode One makes this seem entirely like a William Hartnell story. The Doctor and Jo are forcibly separated from the TARDIS (getting back to "The Ship" was a common motivation in early Hartnell stories), and then the pair adopt fake identities to bluff their way out of a tricky situation (a la The Aztecs). Seeing Jon Pertwee as the noble diplomat, conversing with royalty with all the courtesy and grace that he could muster, is also neat to see, given how The Doctor was busy blasting Ogrons and driving bubble tyred trikes just a week or so ago.
Best of all, though, is the fact that the Ice Warriors don't appear to be the baddies in this, although obviously The Doctor immediately suspects them to be up to no good. Director Lennie Mayne doesn't share this suspicion, though. Aware that their very reputation will cast doubt on them as to their intentions, Mayne introduces the Ice Warriors rather casually as Ssorg walks casually through a shot of The Doctor and Jo hiding behind a stone column. A more dramatic entrance for the Ice Warriors would have led everyone to believe that they were the villains. Mayne's subtlety leaves the viewers questioning their own ideas about the Ice Warriors, leaving only The Doctor convinced that the Ice Warriors are up to no good.
Posted by Steven at 1:43 PM