Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The Caves of Androzani

Straight into the TARDIS arriving. Good stuff. 

Love that we start with the Doctor & Peri; too many stories don't involve the Doctor quickly enough.

"Sarcasm is not your strong point Peri..."

I've always preferred the season 21 jumper & the shirt with the green. Just ditch the celery & question marks. 

The Doctor's curiosity is piqued straight away by some skid marks. "Is this wise, I ask myself?" Trust your instincts, Peri!

You can tell it's bloody freezing. 

50dw50 @50dw50 · Nicola actually getting frostbite 

I'm not so sure Davison is actually as good as Tom Baker at making waffle sound non-boring. 

It should really be called The Blow-holes of Androzani, shouldn't it?

Down in the blow holes, a panto dragon is menacing some surveyors.

50dw50 @50dw50 ·  the poor old monster is not the best, the stories only weak spot?

Isaac Dakin @IWhittakerDakin ·  Luckily like the giant rat in Talons we don't see it much, it's kept in low light and isn't central to the story.

50dw50 @50dw50 · and its not that bad, just a bit static

Isaac Dakin @IWhittakerDakin ·  Yeah I've seen worse

50dw50 @50dw50 ·  how many Nimon have you seen today?

atruedrwhofan @atruedrwhofan ·  I still believe that monster suit was the refurbished "dragon" costume from Mind Of Evil.
The Fifth Doctor always loves a good bit of cave phosphorescence.

Lol at Peri bouncing on the safety mat. 

Peri's got something sticky on her legs.

The Doctor decides the best way to find out what it is, is to get it all over his fingers and sniff it.

3 years in and the celery is finally explained, even if it does have to be something that would never come up! It's a sort of radiation detector badge for Praxis gases. 

Davison's really starting to relish that Holmes' script allows him to be more the Doctor he would have wanted. On what he does if the celery does turn purple: "I eat the celery! If nothing else, I'm sure it's good for my teeth!" Just lovely delivery from Davison.

The Space Pirate @SpacePirateOz · Love how Bob Holmes always slyly exposed Who's format 

50dw50 @50dw50 ·  Robert Holmes writing really is brilliant after weeks of Saward 

Kosmic Kris @KosmicKris · this is Davison’s best performance bar none! He really found his Doctor in s21 and this was the crescendo.

50dw50 @50dw50 · could be the writing of the great Robert Holmes is helping.

ome gun runner types hide and let the Doctor & Peri blunder into their base... 

The Doctor fingers some warm dice while Peri finds some dirty grenades. 

They're soon captured by the army.

The military uniforms vaguely remind me of the DS9 ones, with the colour section on the shoulders. 

General Chellak is cock-a-hoop at the news that some "gunrunners" have been captured. 

The General is obsessed with hunting down Sharaz Jek, the man who holds the planet's store of precious "Spectrox", supplying only small amounts to the gunrunners in return for arms for his android army, which they sell back on Androzani Major at inflated prices. 

Morgus' remote is on the blink. 

50dw50 @50dw50 ·  Enter Servalan's sister 

Morgus' looks & comments to camera, apparently a happy accident, really elevate this. Brilliant villainy. When he's revealed in this first turn to camera and says "Spineless Cretins!", it's like Holmes talking to the audience! 

Chellak dislikes the boil-in-the-bag gas suits.

The Space Pirate @SpacePirateOz · Bad design, I've always said so...

The sarcasm to General Chellak (sir) is top Doctor-liness from Davison. 

"Well done, sir, I suppose you started in the ranks." 

Davison fits more sarcasm in that 1 line than the whole of the last 3 years.

The General is determined to find out what they know about Sharaz Jek, but the Doctor has a different itch to scratch. 

Morgus is pleased by Chellak's news... 

...but doesn't realize there's a black-gloved, eavesdropping lurker listening in and stroking TV screens. 

When Morgus gets a look at the Doctor and Peri he's visibly relieved, and apologizes to Chellak. What's that all about, then? 

Stotz and the crazy gang take out the platoon sent to impound their stash... 

...which rather puts the Doctor and Peri in the clear. Doesn't it? Chellak has started to believe the Doctor & Peri but his hands are tied by Morgus. Never quite sure why Morgus has influence over Chellak. It's a bit like Murdoch's influence over Cameron. 

Salateen explains the ritual of "death under the red cloth" is a military tradition. 

Lovely simple lift effect there! 

The gunrunners ditch their stash... 

...while the army count their dead. 

Roger Limb's music really lends the whole thing that funereal atmosphere. 

Even locked in a cell, the Doctor's mind races around the mysteries of their situation. Androids? Spectrox? 

"Curiosity's always been my downfall." Shallow echoes of Pertwee's exit due to his 'greed for knowledge'. 

If Davison's era had had a better script editor this could have been more powerfully thematic through the season. 

Michael Bater ‏@GreenLeftie 
His best story I think & definitely the best regeneration story

As the Doctor and Peri compare their increasing symptoms...

...the lurker starts fiddling with his machinery.

"Morgus said Spectrox is the most valuable substance in the galaxy. I wonder what it can be...?" Bet it's chocolate.

"There was something very funny about that Major..."

Speaking of Spectrox... 

Morgus meets with the President. Notice the President comes to him, not the other way round. 

50dw50 @50dw50 · he was passing the office on the way back from his hairdressers 

"A businessman's patriotism may differ from that of a politician's..." Pure Holmes.

The Doctor & Peri seem quite calm about heading to their executions.

Presumably this Phantom of the Opera joker is the much mentioned Sharaz Jek. He enjoys a good chuckle. Great costume design; that mask's so distinctive. 

The Space Pirate @SpacePirateOz ·He's the most OTT villain on Who since the Master. But you love him for it ;)

Mark Walker @Mark_Walker ·  classic sinister villain laugh as well. 

Jek's so creepy. Imagine instead of going with Ainley, the Master'd been like *that* after the Deadly Assassin. 

Seems the President has come round to watch the execution on Morgus's snazzy telly.

The Doctor's protests about the mockery of justice fall on deaf ears...

Peri shows nerves of steel...

...and the firing squad does what firing squads do.

1st cliffhanger: 8/10. How can they possibly get out of that - you heard the shots!

This version of the theme is soooo good for cliffhangers.

Isaac Dakin @IWhittakerDakin · The cliffhanger to part 1 still shocks me on just how brutal it is.
Mark Walker @Mark_Walker ·  it's a good one! Even more so when episode 2 starts and it actually looks like they have been killed.

50dw50 @50dw50 ·  much is made of the direction and the low lighting but there is a real style and extra quality to this story

Completely agree; it has a real energy, power and focus often lacking in the era.

The Space Pirate @SpacePirateOz ·Well, Chellak does bring a certain style to these things...

Morgus is chuffed with the live execution. 

Probably has shares in Varos Videos.

El Prez is on to Morgus. He'll have to go, then.

The Space Pirate @SpacePirateOz ·You can sense when Bob Holmes' life experience bleeds through into his scripts

But what's this? The Doctor and Peri are alive! They've been brought to Sharaz Jek by his android soldiers.

Jek blanks the Doctor. Rude.

He's far more interested in Peri.

50dw50 @50dw50 · the villain fancies Peri, starting the trend 

When Chellak realizes Jek's pulled the old switcheroo & he's executed a pair of androids, his first worry is his butt.

The ruthless Salateen suggests sending the hapless red-uniformed witness on a suicide mission. Told you they were like Star Trek uniforms.

You can quite easily imagine Bowie playing Jek, actually, as per JNT's fantasy casting. 
Isaac Dakin @IWhittakerDakin ·I heard he also considered Tim Curry and Roger Daltry. 

Mark Walker @Mark_Walker ·  and he also claimed to have invented the question mark. 

50dw50 @50dw50 ·  and the electric squirrel

There's dissent in the gunrunners' ranks. 

Stotz puts Krelper in his place...

...which is dangling over a cliff edge.

He then forcefeeds him a (fake) suicide pill just to make him shit himself.

"Next time, it'll be for real..."

The androids are underrated, aren't they? You don't really think of them as blokes in suits at any point. 

Davison lying back with his hands behind his head, and his sarky 'jolly evenings round the campfire'... 

He fancies a picnic. It's the well prepared meal agenda again.

He should have been given this kind of free reign all along. Season 22 with Davison *might* have worked...
50dw50 @50dw50 ·  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! #6rules

Kosmic Kris @KosmicKris ·  it really would - I often wonder how Vengeance on Varos would have been with Peter D! 

"You have the mouth of a prattling jackanapes but your eyes, they tell a different story..."

Jek dismisses the army's chances of taking his stockpiled Spectrox supplies. 

"The people of Androzani Major will not wait 5 years for their missing episodes, sorry, Spectrox." 

Jek wants Morgus' head on a platter, congealed in its' own blood. 

The Doctor was thinking more like scotch eggs & sarnies.

Michael Bater ‏@GreenLeftie  Don't forget Celery!

The Space Pirate @SpacePirateOz ·Jeez, Bob, dial down the gore factor already!

There's been an 'accident' at a copper mine which puts Morgus quids in, with plenty of Workfare free labour. 

"Every cloud has a strontium lining, Krau Timmin." 

The Doctor calls Jek a raving egoist for saying "my mind was nearly the equal of his." Now who's the raving egoist? 

Special mention must go to Robert Glenister for his skilfull differentiation of the two Salateens. 

Now the Doctor's got a pain in the neck.

Salateen celebrates the news they've got Spectrox Toxaemia with a Popeye impression.

The Doctor's patience wears thin so Salateen better have some answers.
"What is Spectrox?" "Deposits left by the Bat colonies." Bat shit crazy.

Apparently there is a cure, but it's the bat's milk, and they've all been driven to the depths by the androids harvesting the Spectrox...

...and worse, there's something living down there; a Magma Beast that feeds on anyone stupid enough to go down there.

Jek arranges to meet up with Stotz and the gunrunners in the shaft.

Jek's impressed by the Doctor's knowledge of androids, but not as impressed as he is with his own custom Salateen.

Mark Walker @Mark_Walker ·  nearly perfect! Entirely perfect! Nearly entirely perfect!
Jek can't bear to touch himself. No one asked you to, mate.

Michael Bater ‏@GreenLeftie So that's what he wanted Peri for! 

Jek recounts the origin of his grievance against Morgus; he was betrayed & left for dead, horribly wounded.  

Jek and Stotz haggle about the Spectrox; Stotz hasn't delivered the weapons, after all. 

Talk about wearing your heart on your sleeve, the Doctor's are on his jumper as he sneaks out...

With the android guard deactivated, the Doctor, Peri and Salateen are free! Phew! So they can get the cure and back to the TARDIS! All's well that ends well.

 Stotz thinks he's got one over on Jek.

An android wings the Doctor...

...so Salateen hauls Peri away.

By the time the Doctor's recovered, they've gone, and he wanders straight into trouble. For a change.

Jek isn't too chuffed when he discovers the chickens have flown the coop...

While the gun runners blaze away, the dragon looms into the unforgiving light...

50dw50 @50dw50 ·  poor Robert Holmes really did not have much luck with the realization of his monsters 

Shame about the dragon, but it's actually not a bad cliffhanger - it's right by his head! So the croco-diddly dragon-osaurus roars over Davison's head for Cliffhanger Two. 

5/10 for that one.

The Space Pirate @SpacePirateOz · Bloody hell you're a generous soul. 3/10 from me

There's still jeopardy & I'm crediting Davison for looking suitably worried about it! :-D

The gunrunners distract the dragon and the Doctor escapes...

Mark Walker@Mark_Walker they really should've shot that under darker conditions! 

Salateen, having made it back to base, plots to use his android double to trick Jek.

As Stotz and the remnants of his group make it to Jek, the Doctor appears in the shadows.

Salateen tells Chellak that Jek has been bugging him; the way to convince Jek of their ruse is to skype Morgus.

It's been 6 seconds so Jek's thoughts turn to Peri.

Jek has his androids stretch Davison's arms. He could get further away from that Earthshock bomb now.

Having found out that Peri is with Salateen - the real Salateen - Jek lets the gunrunners take the Doctor; he's only got eyes for Peri. Fair play.

Android Salateen already knows Chellak has rumbled him.

Chellak wants Jek dragged through the city in chains. Whatever turns you on.

Stotz & Morgus are in cahoots. Not that Stotz is entirely on the level with his silent partner.

Stotz bullshits Morgus about getting a good deal out of Jek...

...but Morgus spies a familiar jumper in the background... *Cyberleader voice* "I know that jumper!" 

He starts to smell conspiracy; if the execution was fake, is Chellak on to him? Davison can't leave the sarcasm alone now. "How do you know it was faked? Maybe they were just bad shots." 

He sends Stotz back to minor, much to the gunrunner's annoyance.

What's with the red/pink lighting on Stotz's ship, anyway?

Chellak dispatches robo Salateen on his wild goose chase to the depths... 

The Doctor uses a convenient laser beam to burn through his chains, then gets in the driving seat. 

Then he has to figure out how to fly the ship on an old BBC computer without doing an Adric. 

Tim@parks8472 You mean having a strop about not knowing who was right then getting blowed up?

With everyone out of the base, Jek sneaks in to take Peri from under the army's nose.

Lovely work from Roger Limb on the music, by the way. Great doom-laden soundtrack.

Morgus gives el prez the (lift) shaft!

"It could've been worse. It could have been me!" Predictable line but classic.

50dw50 @50dw50 ·  dont worry the President survives his fall when he is cushioned by his massive hair

With one little shove, Morgus commits 2 murders. "Have the lift engineer shot." The fall guy for the guy that fell.
Morgus uses this as an excuse for a run to Minor to "negotiate" with Jek personally.

Not enough of these glorious supervillain types in modern Who.

Jek breaks it to Peri that the Doctor's been hauled off to Major by Stotz.

"You think I'm mad? I *am* mad." Jek's gone over the edge.

Love that the blurring effects echo both the Hartnell titles, and the upcoming regeneration...

...suggesting that he's *already* starting to regenerate but holding it back just to save Peri.

As Stotz threatens him through the locked door, the Doctor gives it some swagger. 

Stotz starts cutting through... 

Never been able to figure out what Stotz says here, and not convinced by the subtitles. They just about fit.  

"Not a very persuasive argument actually, Stotz, because I'm going to die soon anyway."

"I owe it to my friend to try because I got her into this. So you see..."

"I'm not going to let you stop me now!"

Best. Cliffhanger. Ever. (probably) 

Mark Walker@Mark_Walker I'm not g
oing to let you stop me now - possibly Davison's best line.

Lee Mahon@Lee_JM75 My pick for greatest Who cliffhanger ever!

50dw50 @50dw50 ·  Part Four, otherwise known as Colin Eve 

Long recap here, but totally worth it. 

Oddly - I only noticed this last time of watching - there's much less camera shake on Davison in the recap. 

Davison legs it. Now those are obviously sand shoes! 

Morgus is on his way to take care of business.

Salateen's confidence is misplaced as the android guns him down for wearing the wrong belt. Harsh.

The Doctor evades Krelper & chum...

...by sliding down the dunes...

...into a mud explosion. 

The "nice" Doctor is nails.

But he's running out of time to save Peri.

Chellak's on Jek's doorstep now and he's running out of androids.

The Doctor decides to go into the depths for the bat-milk without any extra oxygen.

Jek hopes to buy some time but ends up leading Chellak right to his base.

Morgus admits his position may be in jeopardy and a (spectrox) nest egg would come in handy right about now.

The Doctor edges along a cliff face avoiding the river of boiling mud below.

Chellak makes it inside Jek's base and the two grapple. 

Chellak sees the true face of Jek...

Chellak's done for; Jek shoves him into the mudburst. He knows exactly what that feels like too.

Another great villain-howl-of-anguish from Jek there. Up there with Omega in the 3 Doctors.

Timmin's betrayal is delicious. Barbara Kinghorn totally rocks it. "I wish that was all I didn't like about you!"

Timmin is Servalan 2: Maximum Power Harder.
"Who is this foul slanderer?"
"You might want to check out Saward's interview in Starburst." 

Bye Krelper...

Morgus and Stotz are still haggling to backstab each other...

In the end Jek will help the Doctor rather than let Peri die.

Davison waves his celery under Peri's nose. This is not a euphemism.

Mobeena Khan@greebstreebling *passes you a hankie*
John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland I need it everytime.

He might not have any bat's milk but at least Jek has some oxygen he can use to get to the depths.

Love the bell of doom on the soundtrack. 

Isaac Dakin@IWhittakerDakin Recreating the cloister bell, possibly? 

"It's not your lucky day, either, is it?" Alas, poor Croco-diddly, he menaced me, Horatio.

In a shout out to his All Creatures days, Davison milks a giant bat.

"Stinking Offal" Morgus arrives, so Jek gives him the bent-face routine. 

Return of the Jedi was recent, so perhaps unsurprising that the unmasked Jek looks like the unmasked Vader.  

"Do you think bullets could stop me now?" 

With Jek seeing nothing but Morgus, Stotz gets a clear shot at Jek; but he hasn't counted on robo-Salateen coolly sliding in to kill him. 

Jek finishes Morgus off, but dies in the arms of robo-Salateen. Bullets did stop him eventually. 

With everyone else dead, the Doctor heroically carries Peri back to the TARDIS, the bat's milk retrieved.

50dw50 @50dw50 ·  The Doctor is a total idiot, why not give Peri the antidote rather than do it after carrying her? 

CosmicDebris ‏@margitan I figured he was trying to make sure he got in the TARDIS before it got blown up. He didn't know it would work fast. 

True, the mudbursts are going off everywhere, no point using the time to cure her only to die on the way to the TARDIS.

That bat's milk acts FAST.

Only enough bat's milk for Peri...

...so the 5th Doctor succumbs to the companion flashback of doom. 

John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland ADRIC. It's a really good touch that, actually. Great stuff. 

Yes, haunted by the great 'failure' of this life, the death of a companion.

And now, probably the best regeneration (still).

It's got everything: old companions, an old enemy, great FX, that Day In The Life rush, & of course, cleavage...

50dw50@50dw50 love this regeneration, liked the days when the change always looked different


The Master's imagined taunts ringing in his ears...

...the Doctor fights his way through the regenerative maelstrom... 

...and comes out of it a new man.

"That's three I's in one breath. Makes you sound a rather egotistical young lady."

"What's happened?"

"Change, my dear..."

"...and it seems not a moment too soon!" 

Best regeneration scene?

The Space Pirate @SpacePirateOz ·By a country mile, I'd say

Michael Bater ‏@GreenLeftie 
Best regeneration visual effects

Lee Mahon@Lee_JM75 From the classic series I would say so.

Isaac Dakin@IWhittakerDakin OF COURSE!!

Jackie Gibbs‏@RealGeorgieGirl  I cried sooooo much at this point

 Best Regeneration story for me, brilliant story ending a wonderful Dr's era

Ed Watkinson @CouncillorEd Planet of the Spiders for me, Androzani never really did it for me.

Considering it was done for the following week, never understood why they didn't use Colin's proper title-face. 

Reveals a bit of the costume, I suppose. But why tint his face green and purple?!  

Goodbye, Doctor number Five, Peter Davison...

Coming Soon... The Ark in Space

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