Now on DVD from the BBC is Doctor Who's "The Caves of Adrozani" Special Edition. Broadcast in 1984 and voted the best Doctor Who story ever by fans in both 2003 and 2009, "The Caves of Ardozani" finds the Doctor (Peter Davison, the fifth actor to play the role) and Peri (Nicola Bryant) landing smack dab in the middle of a war. Trapped as they are between gun runners and drug dealers, there is the added threat of poison that is slowly killing the pair. And only one of them survives the ordeal.
Yep, that's right. "The Caves of Ardozani" features the last regular appearance of Davison's Doctor, who regenerates into the sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) at the end of the four-part adventure. It is an emotional scene, with the Doctor dying right in front of Peri, only to awaken again seconds later. It's even better, when one considers how many old companions recorded new content for the special effect that goes with the event. The monumental sequence is the subject of an eight-minute extra on the DVD, which can be viewed with or without commentary, and it is mentioned in multiple other extras as well. Surely, as big as the events of "The Caves of Ardozani" are, no element of the story is more important than the finale.
But before that happens, plenty else must occur. The battle that the Doctor and Peri drop into is raging between General Chellak (Martin Cochrane, Specials) and Sharaz Jek (Christopher Gable, The Boy Friend). Chellak has control of the caves, and has an army to back him up. But Jek has control of the planet's precious resource, which lengthens life, and he has many androids to protect him. Adding to the power struggle is a duplicitous politician named Morgus (John Normington), who is comfortable playing with others as his personal pawns, and who has no problem assassinating presidents to get his way.
Which means that the struggle within "The Caves of Androzani" is multi-layered, and has many players. Each of these characters has his or her own motivations and goals, making for a very full two hours. There are officers who serve Chellak, as well as gunrunners who also come into play. As such, the story is complicated and intricate.