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Audio Book Review


Cover

Doctor Who
The Companion Chronicles
The Prisoner of Peladon

 

Authors: Mark Wright and Cavan Scott
Read by: David Troughton
Big Finish Productions
RRP: £8.99 (CD), £7.99 (download)
ISBN: 978 1 84435 426 9
Available 30 September 2009


Tonight, I am going to tell you the story of the Prisoner of Peladon, and of the time when a friend and protector returned to our planet. A man called... the Doctor.” The planet Peladon has joined the Galactic Federation, and has undergone a painful period of change. Still eager to embrace alien cultures, King Peladon has welcomed refugee Ice Warriors to his world - innocent beings that are fleeing the aggressively militaristic New Martian Republic. However, as an old friend returns to the capitol, there is murder in the refugee camps. Could the truth lie in an ancient legend...?

The Jago and Litefoot Companion Chronicle The Mahogany Murderers set a precedent by featuring characters who would not normally be classed as companions of the Doctor. The Prisoner of Peladon takes a similar approach, casting King Peladon (David Troughton) as its speaker. However, whereas the King only appeared in the television series once, the planet Peladon has notched up a couple of appearances on TV and several more in spin-off media, so it’s almost a companion in its own way. And of course, David Troughton is a familiar voice to Who fans, having appeared in a couple of television adventures and several recent audio productions for both Big Finish and BBC Audio.

He steps back into the world of Peladon with apparent ease, though he has long since lost the lisp he possessed in The Curse of Peladon. Despite being the son of Patrick Troughton, his vocal qualities are often more similar to those of Jon Pertwee, so it’s easy to imagine the Third Doctor traipsing the corridors of the Citadel as Troughton reads his lines. The performer even does a serviceable impersonation of the squeaky-voiced hermaphrodite hexapod Alpha Centauri - though in the interview at the end of the CD he begs the production team not to make him do that again!

Meanwhile, Nicholas Briggs provides the voices of the Ice Warriors, and Toby Hrycek-Robinson evokes the incidental music of Dudley Simpson, completing the re-creation of the era. Director Nicola Bryant has thoroughly immersed herself in the world of Peladon, the interview reveals, having acquainted herself with both television Peladon stories, as well as starring in The Bride of Peladon.

The Doctor is without a fellow TARDIS crew member during this story, travelling alone between The Green Death and The Time Warrior. Writers Mark Wright and Cavan Scott make the Time Lord’s loneliness palpable.

Following a gripping Part One, the cliffhanger is rather pointless, involving as it does a threat to the life of the narrator. The subsequent episode is relatively low on incident. Overall, though, this is a welcome return of the planet Peladon.

8

Richard McGinlay

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