Friday, September 4, 2009

MMM4 - The Curse of Peladon 4

David Troughton, who was only in his early 20s during the making of The Curse of Peladon, does a fine job, I think, of portraying a young king, forced to the throne before he was ready, and surrounded by men twice as old as him who are more keen to uphold tradition than aid their king. You feel Peladon's pain at the end when he mourns the death of Hepesh. Hepesh may have betrayed King Peladon, but he was the closest thing to a friend that the lonely king has ever known. When the King stands with his back to the court to mask his tears, you just wish he could have more than the few seconds he is allotted to compose himself before returning to his regal duties.

In understanding King Peladon's plight, it is no surprise that he latches on to Jo so quickly. Not so much because she's a pretty young "princess", but mostly because, even though they've only just met, she is instantly the person with whom he has the most in common. You almost wish that Jo would accept the King's invitation to stay, if only because you know that once the King is officially crowned during his coronation and his planet joins the Federation, his life will become even more hectic and lonely.

It's fascinating to see how The Doctor reacts to Jo being upset about having to leave the King. The dotty, scatter brained assistant who tripped her way into his laboratory a year ago was becoming a young woman in her own right, and this story is really Jo's big coming out party. She pretends to be a princess rather well, putting on a believable diplomatic front, she deals with a burgeoning relationship with a king, and she even manages to traverse some ledges in heels. Jo's wings are starting to spread. This story lays the groundwork for The Doctor's personal tragedy to come.


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