The Truth of Peladon (Peladon)

Audio  Ah Peladon!  One time allegory for the UK flirting with the Common Market now in this new boxed set a thematic soup about the exploitation of a country's wealth while the ruling classes stand idly by and watch it happen, and specifically the effects it has on the local water supply.  As is mentioned in the extras, despite only appearing in two stories on screen, Peladon has evoked a curiosity from fans, I think partly because it has the Doctor visit a planet other than Earth on a couple of occasions and offers window on its generational changes.

It's that idea these four stories exploit as we see Peladon at various points in its history, between the two television stories, then at three other undated points in its future history with River Song, then Sixy and Doctor Number Eigth making gradual then huge inroads in turning the planet from an absolute monarchy towards socialism, with the various Time Lords gradually becoming wary of the Royal chamber and more interested in what's happening on the fringes of Pel society, the parts which largely go undepicted in the Curse and the Monster.

Of the first three stories, The Poison of Peladon is probably the easily consumed due to the stunning decision to give River and Alpha Centuri the on-audio pairing we didn't know we needed but should now be very pleased that we have.  Alpha's a far stronger character here than on screen, and River becomes very protective of her during this hour, rightly correcting others on their pronouns.  The Ordeal of Peladon is perhaps an attempt at what a Peladon series might look like without a Time Lord present and The Death of Peladon shows how far the Doctor has shifted from the man who bowed to royalty on TV.

The Truth of Peladon

But it's the final episode which makes the boxed set essential, with an Eighth Doctor classic by Tim Foley.  The Doctor introduces himself to the seamstress, Arla Decanto, who will be making the cloak for an upcoming coronation, wins her confidence, shatters it, then wins it back using a Dickensian approach of showing the three tiers of Peladon society we've already witnessed in the previous three stories which are also subtly part of her own past, present and potential future.  Meera Syal's multi-layered performance as Decanto also takes us on a journey through the various layers of apathy and self-delusion through which the seamstress has justified her own actions or indeed inactions.

The big narrative swing is that Eighth comes and goes in her story.  We're offered hints of the Time Lord's wider plans along the way, with behaviour not unlike the Scottish manipulator who came before.  He has friends and collaborators but their participation is largely only hinted at.  It's refreshing to "see" what it's like when the Doctor liberates a people from the point of view of someone who's right at the heart of the problem and part of the solution.  This is aided by Jason Watkins as the villainous Peladonian Chancellor, a man fooled into thinking he can gain his planet's independence by inviting another in as an "ally" who just wants to take control.

Placement:  The cover suggests that this story takes place during the “Dark Eyes” era of the Eighth Doctor, but there is no clear gap for it. Since Time Lord Victorious has him in his Time War outfit, I’m placing this just before Echoes of Extinction, assuming that there are other stories in between that explain his change of appearance.

All The Doom's Day stories And Where To Buy Them.

TV  With this being an anniversary year for Doctor Who but without an actual television programme until November, much as they did in 2020, BBC Studios are co-ordinating another multi-merchandising platform storyline.  Doom's Day is somewhat less expansive (and expensive!) than Time Lord Victorious and has a much clearer chronology in that we follow Doom, a single protagonist across a whole day on the trail of the Doctor.

The official website is here and has a few problems.  For one thing, whoever created it ironically doesn't know how the 24 hour clock works, so when faced with a list of times like 1600, 1700, 1800 and 1900 (each is the given start time for a particular adventure from BBC Audio) says that the story "takes place between 1600 and 1900 in Doom's Day" which would mean the final chapter has zero duration (it does this a couple of times).

But there also isn't a simply way of seeing all of the adventures in a simple chronological list so that you can see how all the comics, the novel and various audios slot together.  Find below a simple chronological list so that you can see how all the comics, the novel and various audios slot together.  They've kept this pretty simply in comparison to last time with the various types media clustered together, the DWM comic into Titan comics, BBC Audio into Big Finish (which is where the story ends obviously).

Where possible I've offered to the cheapest options.  The main site links to the BBC Audio story on vinyl (£29.99) but it will be available on a much cheaper CD release (£13) and I've also included the Kindle editions of the Titan comics.  Anything linked to Amazon has an affiliate link too, which should not be taken in any way as the reason for this exercise, at all.  Anyway, congratulations Sooz on all of this.  I'm really looking forward to it.

A History of the BBC in 100 Blog Posts: 1958.

By 1958, the BBC was in full swing, with numerous formats which would become the cornerstone of future schedules joining the airwaves.  Blue Peter, Grandstand and Monitor all began in this year along with a variety show who's title and existence are best left in history.  It's also the year when Quatermass and the Pitt was first broadcast (and is available on blu-ray in a version which probably looks better then when it was originally broadcast).  Ewan MacColl and Charles Parker began their series of radio ballads, blending folk tunes with actuality recordings which ran until 1964, the first of which, The Ballad of John Axon is on Spotify.  These must have been extraordinary times for watching television and the problem with the level of choice we have in 2023 is that it lessens the serendipity of stumbling upon something you might not have thought of.  Now on BBC One ...

Blue Peter

"The BBC has always been eager to create shows for children, but at first their programmes were often more preachy than action-packed."
[History Extra]

"Editor Biddy Baxter and presenter Sarah Greene look back on the nautically named iconic kids' show where each episode was a voyage into the unknown."
[The Guardian]

"Paul Jackson continues his exploration of cult TV with Biddy Baxter, who was the show's editor for 27 years, and former presenters Anthea Turner and Diane Louise Jordan."
[BBC Sounds]

"Auction reveals how Tony Hart’s work on another BBC project inspired his galleon for the children’s show."
[The Guardian]

"Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the TV producer and former Blue Peter editor Biddy Baxter."
[BBC Sounds]

"This clip is from the early days of BBC children’s television."
[BBC Archive]

"Blue Peter have some BRAND NEW opening credits, theme tune and Blue Peter logo for 2021! So we thought we'd play you every single opening titles ever from history from when it started in 1958 to present! We wonder which theme tune your favourite is!"

The BBC Archive pages have numerous clips from the show.
[BBC Archive]


"Stars of Stage, Screen, and Radio are invited to join with you in the fun starring Michael Holliday and presenting the big beat of Ted Heath and his Music, Tony Osborne and his Brasshats and The Tito Burns 6.5ers with the Kingpins featuring The Five Dallas Boys, Don Rennie, Don Lang, Claudio Venturelli, Steve Martin, Janice Peters, Dale Greaves. With Jim Dale as your host.
Next week: 'Dig This!' - first of a new series."
[Sean Macreavy][BBC Programme Index]

"Series showing medical practices introduced by Dr Charles Fletcher. This programme looks at Stratton Cottage Hospital and the work of the 11 GPs who run it."
[BBC Rewind]


"Tom Richards, news editor on the launch of television in Wales in 1952, and presenter Michael Aspel, recall the first news broadcast from Wales in 1957."
[BBC Archive]

"BBC Television item trailing the opening of the new regional BBC TV studios in St. Catherine's Close, Norwich."
[East Anglian Film Archive]

"The BBC's Director General Sir Ian Jacob opens the new Southampton studios."
[BBC Rewind]

"Rising on the site of the old White City exhibition, London, is a building that will one day be the most modern television headquarters in Europe."


"Richard Dimbleby introduces V.E.R.A. (Vision Electronic Recording Apparatus), during a live edition of Panorama. Then - thanks to the magic of videotape - he introduces it all over again."
[BBC Archive]

"In a forthcoming experimental BBC radio programme called "Lend Both Your Ears", listeners will get a chance to experience the wonders of stereophonic effects in the comfort of their own homes."
[BBC Archive]

"This article examines the coverage of the visual arts by Monitor, the pioneer arts magazine series broadcast by the BBC between 1958 and 1965. It explores Monitor’s place in the evolution of approaches to visual art on British television and assesses Monitor’s wider impact on the “art support system” (in Margaret Garlake’s phrase) of the late 1950s and 1960s."
[British Art Studies]

"Founded in 1958."
Delia Derbyshire pictured above.  Any other material will feature in the relevant years.
[Sound on Sound]

"Grandstand - in a programme recorded before the London Olympics, Paul traces the origins of the show that for nearly 50 years changed our relationship to sport, brought constant innovation to live TV coverage, and gave us not only David Coleman and Frank Bough but also Des Lynam."
[BBC Sounds]


"The BBC is responsible for providing sound and television services in the United Kingdom, and external broadcasting services on a world scale."

"This handbook is intended to be a concise and reliable guide to the British Broadcasting Corporation. [World Radio History]