135) THE CAVES OF ANDROZANI

8 - 16 March 1984

Average Viewing Figure: 7.3M

Plot

On Androzani Minor, The Doctor and Peri must battle gunrunners, politicians, androids and the mysterious Sharaz Jek whilst they are dying from spectrox poisoning 

Cast

Peter Davison (The Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri), Christopher Gable (Sharaz Jek), John Normington (Morgus)

Robert Glenister (Salateen), Maurice Roeves (Stotz), Martin Cochrane (Chellak), Roy Holder (Krelper), Barbara Kinghorn (Timmin)

David Neal (President), Ian Staples (Soldier), Anthony Ainley (The Master), Matthew Waterhouse (Adric), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa)

Janet Fielding (Tegan), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Gerald Flood (Voice of Kamelion)

Uncredited Cast

Ray Martin, Pat Gorman, Bryan Jacobs, Harry Payne, Shaun McCabe, Steve Rockson, Darrell Brooks, Jerry Judge, Steve Wickham

Doug Stark, Russell Brooks, Bob Tarff, Derek Briggs (Soldiers), Colin Taylor (Magma Creature)

Gerry O'Brien, Les Conrad, Robert Smythe (Gunrunners), Keith Harvey (Thin Strangler)

Andrew Smith, Stephen Smith, Keith Harvey (Androids)

and introducing Colin Baker as The Doctor

Crew

Robert Holmes (Writer), Ron Grainer (Title Music), Roger Limb (Incidental Music), Dick Mills (Special Sound)

Elizabeth Trubridge, Corinne Hollingworth (Production Managers), June Collins (Production Assocaite)

Juley Harding (Production Assistant), Susan Hedden (Assistant Floor Manager), John Walker (Film Cameraman)

Malcolm Campbell (Film Sound), Roger Guertin (Film Editor), Jim Francis, Stuart Brisdon (Visual Effects Designers)

Dave Chapman (Video Effects), Dinah Long (Vision Mixer), John Peyre (Design Effects), Alan Arbuthnott (Technical Co-ordinator)

Alec Wheal (Camera Supervisor), Steve Newnham (Videotape Editor), Don Babbage (Lighting Director), Scott Talbott (Studio Sound)

Andrew Rose (Costume Designer), Jan Nethercott, Shirley Stallard (Make-Up Artists), Eric Saward (Script Editor)

Sid Sutton (Title Sequence), John Hurst (Designer), John Nathan-Turner (Producer), Graeme Harper (Director) 

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Masters Pit, Stokeford Heath, Dorest

  • Television Centre: Studio 6

Deaths

  • Sharaz Jek [shot dead by Stotz]

  • Morgus [head forced into an energy beam by Sharaz Jek]

  • Salateen [shot and killed by one of Jek's androids]

  • Stotz [killed by the Salateen android]

  • Chellak [drowns in a flow of mud]

  • Krelper [shot dead by Stotz]

  • President [pushed down an elevator shaft]

  • Soldier [killed]

  • Magma Creature [shot dead]

  • Trooper Boze [killed by the Magam Creature]

  • Captain Rones [killed in a gas attack]

  • Ensign Cass [possibly killed on a suicide deep penetration mission]

  • Gunrunner [shot dead by Stotz]

  • Magma Creature [killed by Troopers, possibly]

  • other Soldiers and Gunrunners are also killed

Production Days

  • 8 Days between Tuesday 15 November 1983 - Thursday 12 January 1984 

Production Errors

  1. The sound of the machine guns continually interferes with the screen

  2. Androzani Minor is apparently a barren, and uninhabited world. However during part four, a house can be seen as The Doctor is chased by gunrunners 

  3. The electronic device used by Timmin and Morgus is clearly a TV remote control rather than a handheld computer. John Normington can be seen hiding the manufacturing logo with his thumb

  4. Throughout the serial, Sharaz Jek's eye is clearly normal, however when he rips off his face mask, his eye is clearly damaged and his whole face is grey

  5. During the android POV shot, The Doctor's hearts is clearly outside his coat

Working Titles

  • Chain Reaction

Verdict

A wonderfully crafted and directed television War narrative filled with violence, power hungry villains, a dangerous planet, a monster which lurks in the shadows and a deadly virus which kills in hours. The whole plot is centred around The Doctor navigating himself through impossible to escape situations to save Peri in a limited amount of time, while the villains plan and execute their own evil plans from the side lines. Sharaz Jek is the first fully developed villain to appear in the series in a long time. An original backstory, agile appearance, all thanks to the wonderful Christopher Gable, and basic but operational costume all combine to the characters' brilliance who is neither good nor bad, just simply misguided. The cast: John Normington, Robert Glenister and especially Peter Davison, are all on top form. Robert Holmes’ most accomplished script dealing with themes of immorality, greed, corruption and beauty and some of the darkest lines ever spoken by a villain all accumulating to the tense and nerve racking atmosphere helped along by one of most tightly combined soundtracks. Unexpected and surprising plot twists, tight camera angles, dark cinematography admirable stunt work and gunfights, gruesome make-up, shocking cliffhangers and workable and realistic sets all meshes together to provide the perfect swansong for Peter Davison. The most memorable regeneration sequence to date which combines the last three years in a space of two minutes. Nothing more can be asked. *****​