13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Classic Davison, Classic Doctor Who,
By A Customer
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Caves Of Androzani  [DVD]  (DVD)
The Caves of Androzani is one of those Doctor Who serials where everything seems to fit into place and you get a fantastic story at the end of it.
Firstly, the setting for this story is fantastic. There's the epic dusty desert setting, the intricate well-lit cave setting and the futuristic Androzani Major setting. These sets (not wobbly at all) really place you at the scene drawn into the action. Perhaps my favourite is the Major, where you can see, from Morgus' window, the pink glow from an obviously alien planet. This is a great when compared to some alien planets in Doctor Who which look like rural England!
The Story is a gripping tale of corruption. From the start it is obvious that something is wrong when it becomes obvious that a mere citizen (Morgus) has the authority to control the military (General Chellak). The action in this story helps to keep things going - the first cliffhanger of the story (best cliffhanger ever?) is a good example of this - it doesn't detract from the story but meerly adds to the brilliance. Unsurprisingly this written by Robert Holmes - Doctor Who's most prolific writer - who also wrote the classic Victorian 4th Doctor tale "Talons of Weng-Chiang" and the 3rd Doctor's debut "Spearhead From Space".
The characters in this story are also very believable, a notable example is the ruthless Morgus. He is fabulously acted along with the other antagonist, Sharaz Jek, who you feel sorry for even though he comes across as a pretty barbaric type. Then there is Stotz who is played by Maurice Roeves to be a gritty, gun-running criminal who works for whoever gives him the best price.
And finally the directing in this story is excellent, very tightly done with lots of good shots of Morgus and Sharaz Jek and the spectacular, for its time, scene where Morgus talks to Chellak in his room on the projector screen. Another good moment is the regeneration scene which is fast paced and perhaps the best regeneration scene in Doctor Who history.
Caves of Androzani is by far the best Davison story, and perhaps one of the best DW stories to date. The Commentary on this DVD is a good one (sometimes you get slow ones where little is said) although I don't think Nicola Briant gets to say as much as she could have done. And the features about Davison leaving are quite interesting as well.
If you are a Doctor Who fan this DVD is a great buy, if you are thinking about getting into, Doctor Who buy this one.