Doctor Who: The Caves of Androzani
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Doctor Who: The Caves of Androzani - Special Edition
On the cave-riddled world of Androzani Minor, the Doctor and Peri inadvertently find themselves enmeshed in a war fought between the ruthless General Chellak and the sinister Sharaz Jek and his army of androids. The duplicitous politician Morgus wants Chellak to execute the time travelers as spies, while the disfigured Jek seeks to keep Peri forever hostage within his stronghold. But the Doctor soon realizes an even more gruesome fate awaits them – they have been infected with fatal spectrox toxemia, and there is no cure. Hunted by both factions and with death just hours away, how far must the Doctor go in order to save his friend’s life?]]>
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This is probably the best Peter Davison story overall and definitely ranks in the top 10 of all the classic episodes in my book.
I haven't watched Doctor Who since I was a kid viewing the original PBS broadcast. Like many I started with Tom Baker but I appreciate what all of the actors who play the doctor bring to the show. Davison is probably the least humorous and most serious of all of the actors who play the role and knowing this in advance, I don't hold it against him. In addition, everyone who enjoys this program knows that it was made with no money for special effects, costumes, sets, etc. Therefore, the story is paramount, which brings me to the problem with this episode...
There are just too many important parts that do not logically make sense. For example, the first cliffhanger where the Doctor and Peri are executed. How does Sharez Jek make the swap with the androids? The only place it could have happened is in the holding cell. How does he get in? Wouldn't the doctor have found a way out if possible. And how does he get the exact replicas made in such short notice, complete with voices and mannerisms...all this in less than an hour!? None of this is ever explained. This continues throughout the story, even to the finale that everyone raves about, where the Doctor saves Peri by recovering the milk from the Queen Bat. The sacrifice is made because the Doctor has only enough milk for Peri...why? He knows that the sickness causes paralysis so why would he take a chance of being paralyzed before getting the milk to her...why wouldn't he drink some himself first, while he had access to the source?
Don't get me wrong, this is a fast-paced story that keeps the viewer interested and I suppose no longer being a kid, I notice problems which are evident in all episodes. However, there is a distinct element of contrivance that makes this episode not quite as enjoyable as many others.