Synopsis: Journey to Peladon. This member world of the Galactic Federation is home to intrigue and adventure. With each passing generation, industrial exploitation and deadly political games are taking a toll on the planet. Can the Doctor and his allies guide the course of history towards a hopeful future? Or is Peladon’s fate in the lap of the gods?
Review: Initially, I hoped Queen Erimem would play a larger role in the story. That said, Doctor Who: Peladon didn’t disappoint. The writers spun yarns evoking the socially conscious era of the original Peladon tales.
Like they’ve done so well in the past, Big Finish crafted a Span of History narrative. In the process, they deftly balanced the presence of our heroes with Peladon’s need for autonomous development.
“The Ordeal of Peladon” by Jonathan Barnes and Robert Valentine reintroduces the world and the king Peladon perfectly. Both feel incredibly real and layered. I appreciated how the story built on both original and Big Finish continuity to set the scene.
“The Poison of Peladon” by Lizzie Hopley is further proof that classic and modern Doctor Who can co-exist. Hopley integrates River Song into the story effortlessly. Moreover, the dynamic between her and Alpha Centauri is worth the price alone.
“The Death of Peladon” by Mark Wright marks a significant shift in the story. The Sixth Doctor and Mel are forced to split up.
Apart, they each confront the unraveling of a world. It isn’t until the concluding story that listeners realize how pivotal these events are.
This story by Tim Foley is functionally a two-hander. The Eighth Doctor is forced to impart harsh lessons. Consequently, a renowned seamstress learns to sew more than a pattern of apathy.
The tale is both intimate and epic. Best of all, listeners get to hear the Eighth Doctor croon a Venusian lullaby!
As ever, the regulars are superb. That said, Paul McGann is especially affecting in the final installment. Indeed, he has to play the most tragic chords as Eight catalogues Peladon’s many woes. His rendition of the Venusian lullaby is the perfect bitter-sweet grace note.
As for the guest cast, David Troughton continues to inhabit King Peladon wonderfully. The passage of time strengthens his performance. Listeners feel Peladon has lived.
Additionally, Jane Goddard completely crushes it as Alpha Centauri. Like King Peladon, they feel real.
Thank you, Big Finish, for a marvelous box set. I would love for Peladon 2 to juxtapose Queen Erimem’s era with Peladon’s continuing evolution.
- Audio Production10