The Caves of Androzani
The Doctor and Peri arrive on the planet of Androzani Minor and upon investigating some nearby cavesthey brush against a strange web-like substance. Soon afterwards hey are arrested by the army of the neighbouring Androzani Major on suspicion of being gun-runners for the rebel known as Sharez Jek who has holed himself up in the caves with an army of androids having stolen the only supply of a drug called Spectrox, said to prolong life.
Rescued by Sharez Jek, who has fallen in love with Peri, they discover that all he wants is revenge against Morgus, a wealthy and corrupt businessman who was resposible for horribly disfiguring him. The Doctor and Peri soon realise that the substance they touched, which is killing them, is raw Spectrox and they must quickly find an antidote. However, on a world of android doubles and double-crosses this is easier said than done as Jek and Morgus battle it out for vengeance and the control of Spectrox.
- The Caves of Androzani was Peter Davison’s final regular appearance as The Doctor. It was also Graeme Harper’s first credits Doctor Who directorial gig. Widely praised by fans, Caves was voted the single best televised Doctor Who story in a 2009 poll conducted by Doctor Who Magazine. (DWM 413)
- Peri asks why The Doctor wears a stick of celery; it is a safety precautedition. He is allergic to certain gases in the praxis range of the spectrum.”If the gas is present, the celery turns purple.” The Doctor apparently also believed the celery to possess some restorative ability, as he attempted to revive a dying Peri by having her smell the celery.
- Despite the title, The Doctor notes that the caves are in fact blowholes.
- The maps of the caves shown on screen bear an uncanny resemblance to the video game Dig Dug.
- The regeneration sequence features specially recorded cameos by Matthew Waterhouse, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, Mark Strickson, Gerald Flood and Anthony Ainley.
- This story had the working title of Chain Reaction.
- In DWM 400, The Caves of Androzani was voted the readers’ favourite televised story. Conversely, The Twin Dilemma, the very next serial, bottomed out at #200 as the least favourite, effectively book-ending the charts.
- Given the departure of Turlough and the destruction of Kamelion in Planet of Fire, this is the only televised The Fifth Doctor story not to feature at least one non-human companion.