On my first viewing of Robert Holmes’ ‘The Caves of Androzani’, I wasn’t overly impressed. Yes, it has the great part one cliff-hanger, but other elements such as the Magma Monster let the story down in my eyes. I was surprised to see it voted Doctor Who Magazines number one story, and decided to watch it again. This time I formed an entirely new opinion on the story.
The story benefits from a set of good cliff-hangers – in particular the episode one execution of the Doctor and Peri. Although Sharaz Jek is a clichéd villain (a madman who wears a mask to conceal horrific disfigurement) he is played in an interesting way and becomes the first in a long line of bad guys to lust after Peri.
The final scene marks the first appearance of Colin Baker as the Doctor (having previously appeared in the 1983 story ‘Arc of Infinity’ as a different character) and the final appearance of Peter Davison after three years in the role.
While arguably some elements of the story fall flat, on the whole ‘The Caves of Androzani’ remains a very good story. We will be watching it on Wednesday. The bar will open at 7.30pm and we press play at 8.00pm. Hope to see you there.