Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Caves of Androzani: Part One 

The Doctor and Peri get involved with drug running after landing on the twin planet of Androzani Minor and getting arrested as gun runners and targeted for execution. Not before Peri stumbles into some highly toxic and lethal plant life.


Graeme Harper


Robert Holmes (by)

On Disc

at Amazon




Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Davison ... The Doctor
Nicola Bryant ... Peri
Christopher Gable Christopher Gable ... Sharaz Jek
John Normington ... Morgus
Robert Glenister ... Salateen
Maurice Roëves ... Stotz
Martin Cochrane Martin Cochrane ... Chellak
Roy Holder ... Krelper
Barbara Kinghorn Barbara Kinghorn ... Timmin
David Neal ... President


After landing on the planet Androzani Minor, the Doctor and Peri develop lethal spectrox toxaemia poisoning. As the two search for a cure before it is too late, they become enmeshed in a decades-old feud between the disfigured roboticist Sharaz Jek and businessman Morgus. Jek falls in love with Peri, but the situation only degenerates when the girl refuses his affections. Between threats from mire beasts and gun runners, it quickly becomes apparent that the Doctor will never find a cure in time to save both himself and his companion. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fifth doctor | celery | See All (2) »


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

8 March 1984 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to Eric Saward, producer John Nathan-Turner wasn't keen on commissioning a story from veteran Doctor Who writer Robert Holmes. However, Nathan-Turner would later name this as one of his favourite stories from his tenure as producer. See more »


In the early exterior shots of Androzani Minor, matte effects are used to enhance the location with painted mountainous terrain. The camera that is filming the live action location is noticeably unsteady, while the matte terrain remains completely still, making the division between the sections obvious. See more »


The Doctor: [the Doctor and Peri are waiting in a prison cell to be executed] I'm sorry I got you in to this Peri.
Peri: It's alright. It's not your fault. I mean it's as much my fault as it is yours.
The Doctor: Yes. Should never have followed those tracks. Curiosity's always been my downfall.
See more »

Alternate Versions

For the DVD release, the opening sequence of the first episode (with the mountains in the background) was adjusted to improve the matte in the background (which in the original broadcast version jiggled noticeably). Although the difference is minute, DVD viewers have the option of watching the original version or the new, improved version. See more »


Referenced in Revelation Exhumed (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

"You have the mouth of a prattling jackanapes."
5 December 2018 | by A_Kind_Of_CineMagicSee all my reviews

In my opinion, and the opinion of many other fans, this story is one of the best of all time. The Caves of Androzani gives the 5th Doctor the very finest send off possible and Peter Davison not only is brilliant in this story he is given superb material to demonstrate the full potential of his Doctor. Robert Holmes contributed so much of the best work on Doctor Who both as writer of many great stories and script editor overseeing the greatest era of the show in Tom Baker's first few seasons. Here he has written another immaculate script and excellent plot. The intelligence and quality of the dialogue is as good as it gets and the dark, gritty story full of action but also deeper themes makes for an adventure that is thoroughly impressive and absorbing.

The Doctor and Peri get caught up in a 3 way battle of intrigue, violence and greed where different factions seek to exploit the mining of a hugely valuable elixir of youth. Meanwhile both Peri and The Doctor suffer poisoning which leaves them facing death unless an antidote can be found.

As well as Peter Davison on top form this boasts an entire cast providing top notch performances. Christopher Gable as Sharaz Jek creates one of the finest villains in the history of Who. He is cunning, clever, has a wonderful way with words and has great menace. In addition, the character has depth in how he shows the trauma he has suffered and how it drives him to insanity. John Normington is also perfect as ruthless leader Morgus and other characters are all spot on. I am not a fan of Nicola Bryant as Peri but this story and the material provided gloss over any weakness in that role.

The only element which is not as well realised on screen as it could be is the Magma Beast which is not very good but does not detract from overall quality. The rest of the effects, set and production values are top Doctor Who standard.

Simply phenomenal. 10/10

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