The Truth of Peladon

Posted in Audio by - February 19, 2022
The Truth of Peladon

Released January 2022


As Peladon continues its descent into a society and world far from the one the Doctor came to love, Tim Foley closes out Peladon with ‘The Truth of Peladon.’ Arla Decanto, the last great seamstress, has been commissioned to create a regal cloak for a coronation the public does not yet know is set to occur, and while she frets over whether thirty days is enough time to complete her task, the Doctor has his own threads to pull together, ones that could well change the course of this planet forever.

With only four actors, ‘The Truth of Peladon’ tells a far more intimate story than any of the three preceding serials attempted, and Paul McGann and Meera Syal share a mesmerizing chemistry right from the start to bring this very unique look at the current state of affairs on Peladon to life so vividly. Filling the role apprentice as Arla begins her momentous undertaking, the Doctor clearly has ulterior motives, and while Arla is perhaps suspicious at first given the Doctor’s age compared to those of her usual assistants, his assertive demeanour and suggestions of higher connections quickly earn her confidence. However, whereas the Sixth Doctor was only more tangentially involved in previous events, the Eighth Doctor quite quickly proves how directly he will take charge here, ensuring the night sky Arla depicts is that of Arcturus rather than of Peladon and duly earning Arla a prison sentence for sedition.

While certain individuals are naturally the figureheads for a civilization at any one time, the Doctor knows all too clearly that the foundation is sustained by the apathy of the masses, and in a plan befitting of Charles Dickens, he uses his abilities and knowledge to force Arla to genuinely and directly confront the different aspects of her world for the first time. The truths of the general populace, of the government, and even of the wildlands and the iconic Aggedor creatures are all boldly brought into focus against the Galactic Federation backdrop, and as Arla slowly reveals more of her own past and secrets, she cannot help but be changed by the state of affairs before her that she can no longer turn a blind eye to or ignore. The Doctor and the story are in no rush at any point in order to allow Arla and the audience to experience the maximum impact, and the solemn yet optimistic tone the story ends with is a fitting compliment to the Doctor’s meaningful speech about reckoning with the actions of the past while blazing a brighter path forward, in this case out of the watchful eyes of the Chancellors.

Peladon as a whole does try to balance the fine line of showing how important it is for individuals to take control of their own situation while also highlighting just how important outside influences are in the form of River Song and the Doctor. There is little doubt that there is more than enough material for this set to sustain itself without the inclusion of more familiar Doctor Who heroes, and the political intrigue likely would have been even stronger in such a scenario since the thoughts and motivations of central figures could have been more thoroughly explored, but the unique energy and influence that these characters bring to this beleaguered world are undoubted highlights, especially as the Eighth Doctor here takes on a slightly darker and more assertive persona. Setting this set up as a more of an anthology than as a continuing tale does mean that the full potential of the Tenth Doctor’s ominous warning from the first story is never truly realized, but the overall arc displayed is more than resonant when compared to recent and ongoing events on Earth and serves as a fitting reminder that things can always change for the better no matter how dark any given circumstances may seem at any given point in time.

This post was written by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.