The scene is a castle, on top of a mountain. Hepesh and Torbis are arguing in front of the King of Peladon; the question at hand is membership of the Galactic Federation. Torbis is for, Hepesh against. The King is resolute - Peladon will apply. Torbis is struck down and killed by Aggedor as he walks from the throne room; Hepesh says the curse of Peladon is upon them. The TARDIS materialises close to the castle; unfortunately, it has landed on the end of a cliff and as Jo and the Doctor jump out, they see the ship plunge. They climb up the mountain towards the castle. Hepesh and the King welcome the delegate Alpha Centauri; they await the last delegate, from Earth. Jo finds a tunnel and the two set off down it, reaching the castle. They see a statue of Aggedor and then move on. Hepesh and the King talk; Hepesh continues to argue against the Galactic federation, as he doesn't trust them or their motives. The Doctor pulls on a lamp and a door opens to the castle corridors; they see an Ice Warrior. They try to head back to the tunnel but are taken by guards. The delegates (Ice Warriors, Alpha Centauri and Arcturus) are in the throne room, where Hepesh tells them of the death of Torbis and the curse of Peladon. The Doctor and Jo are led into the room, where he is mistaken as the Earth delegate and he presents Jo as a princess and observer. As the delegates move out of the throne room, a statue of Aggedor falls down towards them.
None of them are killed or injued. (The champion Gron moves off from the ledge.) Hepesh proclaims this is the curse of Peladon. The King calls the delegates back. The delegates are not certain about accepting Peladon into the federation. They adjourn to discuss the situation. Peladon develops a crush on Jo, but tries to use her as a means to influence the delegates, which she refuses. Hepesh orders Gron to kill the Doctor. The Doctor has found an Ice Warrior ship key on the balcony, where the statue was pushed from. The Doctor suspects the Ice Warriors are up to their old tricks. They hear an alarm - Arcturus's life support system has been tampered with. The Doctor saves him and whilst Hepesh and delegates enter, Jo slips off to look for the missing circuit from the life support system. She finds it in the Ice Warriors' room; she is caught. The delegates are suspicious of the Earth delegates. The Doctor follows Gron to some caves; the champion has something to show him. Jo clambers out of the Ice Warrior room, sees Aggedor and then tries to explain what she has seen to the Ice Warriors. The leader says that the tampered circuit was not crucial for Arcturus's life support. The Doctor moves along the tunnels; seeing a lever, he opens a door into the Temple of Aggedor. There he is seized by Hepesh and his guards. He is rought before the King, who orders a death sentence.
The Doctor is tried and, at the interception of Jo, Peladon changes the sentence to a trial by battle. The Doctor will face Gron in a battle to the death. Peladon proposes to Jo, who runs away. Hepesh gives the octora map and wants him to escape. They talk; Hepesh does not want Peladon to be enslaved by the Federation and says they are not lone in countering this. The delegates discuss leaving; Jo storms out. In his cell, the Doctor puts together a device, which has a spinning mirror. Jo is called into the Ice Warriors' quarters; the Leader explains he has voted against leaving and wants to save the Doctor. All this is heard by Arcturus, who has a listening device at the door. The Doctor sees Aggedor; meanwhile, soldiers are sent by Hepesh to get the Doctor. He is subduing Aggedor with the spinning mirror and a Venusian lullaby; but Jo uses fire to scare the creature off because she thought the Doctor was in danger. The Doctor tells Peladon that Aggedor is an animal and is being used by someone to wreck the Federation negotiations. The Doctor, though, is ordered to be led away to face his trial by combat with Gron. They fight and the Doctor wins, refusing to kill the King's champion. A weapon is drawn at the Doctor and a shot is fired.
The Ice Warrior kills Arcturus, who tried to kill the Doctor. He tells Peladon that Arcturus and Hepesh have been plotting against him. The situation is dire: civil war is likely, the federation will reject Peladon's application and the Ice Warriors and Arcturus are old enemies. Gron beckons to the Doctor; he puts a rock in a door to the passages and the Doctor follows. Hepesh prepares his soldiers. The Doctor follows Gron. There is a fight in the throne room. Hepesh tries, by force, to end the federation deal.The Doctor spins his miiror again when faced with Aggedor. The delegates are taken to the thone room, where Hepesh tells them to go and leave Peladon. The Doctor arrives with Gron and Aggedor. Aggedor kills Hepesh. His dying words are he only wanted to save Peladon. The Doctor and Jo g0 back to the TARDIS; he realises that the Time Lords brought him there. Peladon asks Jo to stay; she, tearfully, declines. Jo and the Doc take off as the real Earth delegate and the others look on.
The story is a bit political: the UK and the Common Market. (It was 1972 back then.)
The sets are wonderful - dark, gloomy and what's around the corner scary. The, as has sometimes been said, menagerie of monsters is a thrill. It must have been a shock back then to see the Ice Warriors as friendly.
I like this one.
Classic Jo Grant
Doctor: [choosing a tunnel to follow] Eeny, meeny, miny, moe
a creature roars
Jo: [startled] Meeny?
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