Doctor Who: The Caves of Androzani (Story #135)

7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Say goodbye to Peter Davison

Say hello to Colin Baker


Cool mask, dude…do you have a cure for a deadly terminal disease?

The Doctor (Peter Davison) and Peri (Nicola Bryant) have landed on a planet called Androzani Minor where a rare, life extending chemical called spectrox is farmed from bats.  Unfortunately, Peri and the Doctor come in contact with a deadly chemical that can only be cured by the milk of the queen bat which resides deep under the surface of the planet.  The Doctor and Peri are dying and are caught in a war between the Trau Morgus (John Normington) and Sharaz Jek (Christopher Gable), and with time running out, the Doctor and Peri may not survive.

Doctor Who:  The Caves of Androzani aired during the twenty-first season of the long-running BBC series.  The serial aired in four part from March 8, 1984 to March 16, 1984.  Following Doctor Who:  Planet of Fire, the story featured the last regular appearance of Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor and introduced Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor.  The story was collected as part of The Peter Davison Years as Story #136 (or Story #135 depending on how you count the unaired Tom Baker story Doctor Who:  Shada).


Peri, I’m dying…and you boobs are falling out

The death episodes of Doctor Who are always big deals and this one is a really big deal because it essentially leads to the demise of Doctor Who.  While Peter Davison isn’t my favorite Doctor, I always felt he was an ok Doctor.  With his death and regeneration, Colin Baker’s Doctor isn’t a good Doctor and Sylvester McCoy further weakened the franchise after replacing Baker.  Doctor Who:  The Caves of Androzani  is almost like the end of an era in some ways.

I am by no means saying Davison had a perfect run.  He had really bad companions and Peri is not much better.  He was the only thing holding the series together at this point and he often cites this Doctor Who as his favorite storyline of his turn as the Doctor.  It is a decent story, but it is too little and too late.


Hey…I’ve just transformed into an inadequate substitute!

The plot for Doctor Who:  The Caves of Androzani  is rather twisting and weaving and like many Doctor Who serials, a bit long at points.  This is often listed as one of the best Doctor Who stories of all time.  I wouldn’t agree with that, but it is good.

Davison was in a tricky position.  He took over after one of the most popular Doctors (if not the most popular Doctor) and had a hard road ahead.  The writers at this point weren’t helping him much and I don’t entirely blame him for some of the weaker episodes.  Doctor Who:  The Caves of Androzani however is a must for fans of the series and should be sought out.  Doctor Who:  The Caves of Androzani is followed by Colin Baker’s first full serial Doctor Who:  The Twin Dilemma.

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Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  Planet of Fire (Story #134)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  The Twin Dilemma (Story #136)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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