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

Chellak and his men attack Jek's base. The Dr crash lands the ship, and must escape from his captors, find the antidote to Spectrox poisoning and save Peri. He does so, but at the cost of his own life.


Graeme Harper


Robert Holmes (by)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Baker ... The Doctor
Peter Davison ... The Doctor
Nicola Bryant ... Peri
Christopher Gable Christopher Gable ... Sharaz Jek
John Normington ... Morgus
Robert Glenister ... Salateen
Maurice Roëves ... Stotz
Roy Holder ... Krelper
Martin Cochrane Martin Cochrane ... Chellak
Barbara Kinghorn Barbara Kinghorn ... Timmin
Ian Staples Ian Staples ... Soldier
Anthony Ainley ... The Master
Matthew Waterhouse ... Adric
Sarah Sutton ... Nyssa
Janet Fielding ... Tegan


Chellak and his men attack Jek's base. The Dr crash lands the ship, and must escape from his captors, find the antidote to Spectrox poisoning and save Peri. He does so, but at the cost of his own life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

16 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?


The Fifth Doctor's regeneration, like the Fourth Doctor's, features a flashback of that incarnation's companions. However, for this regeneration, it was decided that special recordings of the Fifth Doctor's companions would be used instead of stock footage. This required Matthew Waterhouse, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding, Mark Strickson, Gerald Flood and Anthony Ainley to return in cameos for the regeneration sequence. Fielding, Strickson, Flood and Ainley were already under contract to appear in the stories of Season 21. However, special contracts had to be made for Waterhouse, who left the series in Season 19, and Sutton, who left in Season 20. Johnny Byrne, who created the character of Nyssa in The Keeper of Traken had to be paid royalties for the use of the character in the regeneration scene. See more »


The Doctor: [dying] Is this death?
See more »


Featured in Talking About Regeneration (2009) 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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