Doctor Who (season 21)

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Doctor Who season 21
Doctor Who logo 1980-1984.svg
Logo used from Warriors of the Deep to The Caves of Androzani
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 24, 7 serials
Original channel BBC One
Original run 5 January 1984 (1984-01-05) – 30 March 1984 (1984-03-30)
Home video release
DVD release
Region 1 1 July 2003 -
12 July 2011 [1]
Region 2 18 November 2002 -
20 June 2011 [1]
Region 4 3 February 2003 -
4 August 2011 [1]
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 20
Next →
Season 22
List of Doctor Who serials

The twenty-first season of British science fiction television series Doctor Who began on 5 January 1984 with the 5th Doctor (Peter Davison) serial Warriors of the Deep, and ended with Colin Baker's first serial The Twin Dilemma. For only the second time (the first being during season 4), the entire TARDIS crew changed over the course of a single season.


Main Characters[edit]

The Doctor[edit]

Peter Davison makes his final appearance as the Doctor in the The Caves of Androzani. Colin Baker makes his first full appearance as the Doctor in the final serial The Twin Dilemma.


Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka) and Mark Strickson (Vislor Turlough) continue their roles as the Fifth Doctor's companions for their final season, Janet Fielding leaves in Resurrection of the Daleks and Mark Strickson departs in Planet of Fire. New companion Peri Brown played by Nicola Bryant makes her first appearance in Planet of Fire.

The Shape-shifting Android Companion Kamelion, played by Gerald Flood, makes his second and final appearance in Planet of Fire, though the character itself, along with other fifth Doctor's companion's who left by this story; Tegan, Nyssa, Adric, Turlough, all make illusionary cameos as the Doctor regenerates at the climax of The Caves of Androzani.

Guest stars[edit]

Anthony Ainley returns yet again in Planet of Fire as the Master, which was intended to be his final appearance. Ainley, like other departed fifth Doctor companions make illusionary cameos as the Doctor regenerates.

Davros makes his first appearance since Destiny of the Daleks this time played by Terry Molloy.


Episodes were broadcast twice weekly on Thursday and Friday evenings, with Resurrection of the Daleks broadcast on two consecutive Wednesday nights.

Resurrection of the Daleks was planned as a standard four-parter. However, the BBC's coverage of the 1984 Winter Olympics meant that Doctor Who's normal timeslot was unavailable. Rather than delay broadcasting the story, the decision was taken to produce it as a pair of double length episodes and broadcast it in the unfamiliar Wednesday timeslot.

The Caves of Androzani was the first time since Season 4's The Tenth Planet that the introduction of a new Doctor had taken place before the final serial of the season.

Story Serial Title Directed by Written by UK viewers
AI[2] Original air date Production
130 1 Warriors of the Deep Pennant Roberts Johnny Byrne 7.6
5 January 1984
6 January 1984
12 January 1984
13 January 1984
Two rival power blocs are locked in a cold war. Under the sea, old adversaries of the Doctor's awaken, ready to take advantage of the tension and reclaim the planet Earth
131 2 The Awakening Michael Owen Morris Eric Pringle 7.9
19 January 1984
20 January 1984
The Doctor must also face the villagers of Little Hodcombe, who have been influenced by the Malus, and save Tegan before she is burned as the ill-fated Queen of the May.
132 3 Frontios Ron Jones Christopher H. Bidmead 8.0
26 January 1984
27 January 1984
2 February 1984
3 February 1984
Its inhabitants having fled a dying Earth, the planet Frontios is mankind’s last colony and the location of hidden dangers
133 4 Resurrection of the Daleks Matthew Robinson Eric Saward 7.3
8 February 1984
15 February 1984
Caught in a time corridor, the TARDIS gets dragged to Earth. At the other end of the corridor, a strike force plans the prison break of the man who created the ultimate evil.
134 5 Planet of Fire Fiona Cumming Peter Grimwade 7.4
23 February 1984
24 February 1984
1 March 1984
2 March 1984
The Fifth Doctor and Turlough are drawn to the planet Sarn by Kamelion, where they encounter the Master in one of his diabolical plans to tap the power of the Numismaton gas.
135 6 The Caves of Androzani Graeme Harper Robert Holmes 6.9

8 March 1984
9 March 1984
15 March 1984
16 March 1984
On the planet of Androzani Minor, the Fifth Doctor and Peri get caught in the politics and dangers of mining spectrox, the most valuable substance in the universe.
136 7 The Twin Dilemma Peter Moffatt Anthony Steven 7.6
22 March 1984
23 March 1984
29 March 1984
30 March 1984
In a post-regenerative crisis, the Sixth Doctor takes Peri to the desolate asteroid Titan 3 planning to stay there as a hermit for 1000 years.


Title card as used in this season in The Twin Dilemma.

During this season, this title card was slightly modified for the final serial The Twin Dilemma, and continued during Colin Baker's reign as the Sixth Doctor until his departure in the 23rd season The Trial of a Time Lord.


The entire season was broadcast from 5 January to 30 March 1984.

DVD Release[edit]

All serials of season 21 were released individually in between 2002 and 2011.

Serial name Number and duration
of episodes
R2 release date R4 release date R1 release date
Warriors of the Deep
Only available as part of the Beneath the Surface box set in Regions 2 and 4.
Available individually or in the box set in Region 1.
4 × 25 min. 14 January 2008 5 March 2008 3 June 2008
The Awakening
Only available as part of the Earthstory box set in Regions 2 and 4.
Only available individually in Region 1.
2 × 25 min. 20 June 2011 4 August 2011 12 July 2011
Frontios 4 × 25 min. 30 May 2011 7 July 2011 14 June 2011
Resurrection of the Daleks
Available individually or in The Complete Davros Collection box set in Regions 2 and 4.
Only available individually in Region 1.
4 × 25 min.
(original version)[notes 1]
18 November 2002 3 February 2003 1 July 2003
Resurrection of the Daleks – Special Edition
Only available as part of the Revisitations 2 box set in Regions 2 and 4.
4 × 25 min.
(original version)
2 × 46 min.
(broadcast version)
28 March 2011 5 May 2011 12 June 2012[3][4]
Planet of Fire
Only available as part of the Kamelion Tales box set in Regions 2 and 4.
Only available individually in Region 1.
4 × 25 min.
(broadcast version)
1 × 66 min.
(special edition)
14 June 2010 5 August 2010 7 September 2010
The Caves of Androzani 4 × 25 min. 18 June 2001 7 January 2002 2 April 2002
The Caves of Androzani – Special Edition
Only available as part of the Revisitations 1 box set in Regions 2 and 4.
4 × 25 min. 4 October 2010 2 December 2010 14 February 2012[5]
The Twin Dilemma 4 × 25 min. 7 September 2009 3 December 2009 5 January 2010
  1. ^ Resurrection of the Daleks was originally made in 4 25-minute episodes, but broadcast as 2 46-minute episodes due to the BBC's coverage of the 1984 Winter Olympics. The DVD contains the story in its intended 4-part format.

In print[edit]

Serial name Novelisation title Author First published
Warriors of the Deep Warriors of the Deep Terrance Dicks 1984
The Awakening The Awakening Eric Pringle 1985
Frontios Frontios Christopher H. Bidmead 1984
Resurrection of the Daleks Never novelised^1
Planet of Fire Planet of Fire Peter Grimwade 1985
The Caves of Androzani The Caves of Androzani Terrance Dicks 1985
The Twin Dilemma The Twin Dilemma Eric Saward 1986

:^1 As of January 2015, Resurrection of the Daleks is one of two serials by Eric Saward never to have been novelised.