Friday, September 4, 2009

MMM3 - The Curse of Peladon 3

Now we get into some standard Third Doctor fare as Jon Pertwee gets to tangle with the king's champion, Grun, in an epic-length fight scene that is sorely crying out to be scored by the fight music from Star Trek. Pertwee also gets to show off his singing voice again as he reprises his Venusian lullaby in an attempt to subdue Aggedor.

Of course, Pertwee himself barely features in the fight scene, leaving most of the work up to his stunt double, Terry Walsh wearing a bad wig. This story marks the end of the "stunt association" in Doctor Who. HAVOC will have their swan song in The Sea Devils (which follows Curse, but was actually made before it), and the stunt team that provided the arranging in this story was the short lived PROFILE. During the heyday of the stunt associations, Jon Pertwee was more adept at jumping in on the proceedings, but by halfway through his run in Doctor Who, his bad back had led him to sit on the sidelines more and more. It's a shame, that, as I immediately think of Pertwee as the eternal man of action, although he appears in a fair more active scenes in this story than he does in Season 11...

My favourite scene in this episode is probably the one where Hepesh offers The Doctor, who is condemned to death, a way out by telling him to simply leave the planet in peace. What I love about it is that Hepesh knows that The Doctor is too smart to believe that Hepesh isn't behind all the nefarious events on Peladon, yet he also knows that The Doctor has no way of proving Hepesh's guilt to the court. The Doctor could get proof, but he would have to convince a court and a populace raised on superstition. He knows that no amount of proof can sway the opinions of those who who don't wish to have them changed. It's a remarkably frank conversation and a joy to watch.


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