The Caves of Androzani

Chase - Posted on 20 July 2009


I forgot alot about this and/or I've never fully watched all of this. I guess at the time I was bored by the old Doctor/girl from Earth thing and Davison overall pissed me off or rather his Doctor did. It looks great. The planet looks great, Davison seems to have a green lining on his inside shirt, he even looks different, his hair is straighter or something; Peri is okay in this and not too bad.

What doesn't look great is the city outside Morgus's window. It looks like a painting and I had to figure out if it was meant to be a painting, a mural, or the city through his windows but no matter, the rest of the set looks great. He's a real baddie though as is almost everyone else in this.

Sharez Jek: I'm not impressed. Okay, there's the leather...and yeah he is a bit scary but that laughing's gotta go. And his PHANTOM OF THE OPERA act doesn't quite grab me.

Everyone cites the cliffhanger as great but it also does not grab me. It's just sort of weird and strange and that is explained next time.

Nothing too bad here but again, DW seems to be aping BLAKE'S 7 with gun runners, lotsa deaths, and a lot of mean, self centered people and a lot of politics. Okay, ther'e is a place for that in DW.

I still don't know but I think that CAVES is far too over rated but I did enjoy watching this first episode. Only....I still kind of think about and long for the Tom Baker style...honestly.      

Okay I was wrong. I am thoroughly enjoying this story. Maybe it does deserve its classic status. I am glad I am revewing these over again. Davison is top notch in this, Sharez Jek, and in fact, almost everyone else, is a slimy, evil villain with self serving needs, all of it three dimensional, and with disgusting and true to life politics, too. Peri is not annoying in this at all and in fact, a good companion. In some ways, she and the Doctor have formed a good double act. Not so good that I can believe there are some 50 extra new adventures, Missing Stories, and Big Finish audios and Short Trips, etc squeezed in to here but they do seem to have a good rapport.

Problem is that Davison should have stayed another year or two, even he wishes he had stayed another year. Frankly from this, I could even see him staying as long as Tom or maybe six years or so. It might have stablized the show to a point that it wasn't that bad. Still, I can't blame Colin or Sly for the quality of some of the next two years worth of "scripts".

I just love the scene with the android looking at the Doctor and seeing his two hearts. It's very well done. I don't understand why one of the androids, a few moments later in the caves, doesn't pick up on his not being human...perhaps because the Doc's back is to it and it doesn't read the two hearts. And Davison once more gets some great lines, worthy of Tom Baker's tension-breaking quips and sarcastic wit. Some people have suggested that Jek would make a great companion and trust me, I'm trying to picture that but just can't for some reason.

The scene with the lead gun runner, Stotz is it?, putting his second in line is disturbing but adds to the layers I wrote about earlier.

Yeah, the Magma Beast. It looks great if it doesn't move. Unfortunately it does move. Still, this is DW and this requires some suspension of disbelief, even if the rest of the story normally doesn't...but it sort of does. How did Jek get to where he was? How did he survive alone? How did the gun runners know about him? Still, none of that matters and I'm sure there are answers but I didn't hear them or they weren't given on screen. What is there though is highly entertaining and really above most dirision. Of course, then Jek says, something like, "I can hardly bear to look at or touch myself."

Still, another good episode.    


Just what kind of a planet is Androzani Major? To have a man kill a President in his own lift, get away with it (I guess he did), and then to tell his secretery to have the lift engineer or maintenence man shot? That stuff always stood out in my mind as so cold hearted and evil but now after so many DIE HARDs and TERMINATORS and LETHAL WEAPONSs it's not as bad, desensitized I guess. Still, what kind of place has people like this evil?

In any event, another good ep. The Doctor shows some intitative in getting out of a trap himself, Jek shows how crazy and smart he really is, and one thing i never noticed or knew about and still wouldn't if it were not for the DVD text is that the Doctor is holding off his regeneration to save Peri...that's not conveyed well at all and is so underplayed as to be missed.

The cliffhanger is the definitive moment of the Davison era, a great moment, a great cliffhanger and great action. Too bad the effects of crashing weren't better but it still makes an impression, mostly due to the acting by both Davison and the guy playing Stotz. Davison also has some more flippant answers until Jek commits violence on him.

Peri's been moved about alot here but takes it well...considering she's dying.

Anyway a good episode in a good story.   

A great ending. Of course, almost everybody dies except the two female characters which is, I guess, revenge for having them put in the secondary role in most of this series including the next story where Colin's Doctor says that his work is not for faint hearted girls...really, I can't understand why so many females hate Adric because of his comments in FOUR TO DOOMSDAY but they allow this to go by...perhaps because the Doctor is going through regeneration but at the time, Adric was going through...puberty?

Anyway, this story ends with a few bangs and alot of mean spirited violence...but violence is always mean spirited really...and everyone does a great job again. I could have sworn that the face of Jek was even nastier than it looks now but perhaps that's due to being desensitized with tons of monster make up since the 80s with various versions of horror faces from Freddie Krugar to Jason to Halloween and beyond. Certainly it is horrible but I wish Peri was given some kind of scene where she at least tried to understand Jek's condition or showed some pity or sympathy for him but then again, she was dying. Toward the end, Jek helped the Doctor to try to save Peri but he was still unstable but yet..I guess I could see him as a companion if not a hero. Okay, who cheered when Salateen was killed? Not something I often do but I wanted to. Ditto Chellak. My memory does cheat: I once thought Chellak was sympathetic to the Doctor and Peri in that he wanted to save them.

Okay I see my plot points from ep3 are taken care of and so is Morgus, the swine. Love that his secretery turns on him and gets the goods on him. You SO know he was going to betray that swine Stotz, who, it turns out was really no good in a physical fight, having to rely on his guns. I also so thought that Stotz hit Morgus when firing at Jek. It's sort of funny that Jek dies saying, "Hold me, Salateen," and falls in his arms. Just what were their relationship(S) like?

Peter's just marvelous in this and seems to be quite the action hero. Then again, he was in AWAKENING too. Too bad he didn't get that chance more often in this series. The entire escape from Stotz's men and his escape, not long after, to the TARDIS while getting Peri inside, avoiding mud blasts both times, and getting the formula down her just amazing, followed by an equally amazing regeneration, the regeneration to rival both Pertwee's into Baker and Baker's into Davison. Marvelously done. At the time I wasn't sure about the Master's face looming but it really works. The entire thing is well done.

Colin's first appearance: I wasn't really sure to be honest. He said a few lines and was sarcastic to Peri and seemed...I don't know slightly feminine which at the time I first saw it, was somewhat of a turn off to me.

I first saw his pic in Doctor Who Monthly and...I guess tha'ts another story.

CAVES is much higher on my ratings list than I gave it. I really enjoyed it this time out and I'm sure that will always stay, all my prejudices about DW at the time...death of and never dealing with Adric, a return to trad companion, Blake's 7 inspired violence...gone, I can say I enjoyed it.           

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