Doctor Who (season 21)

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Doctor Who (season 21)
Doctor Who Season 21 DVD.jpg
Cover art of the Region 2 DVD release for first serial of the season
Starring
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of stories 7
No. of episodes 24
Release
Original network BBC One
Original release 5 January (1984-01-05) – 30 March 1984 (1984-03-30)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 20
Next →
Season 22
List of Doctor Who episodes (1963–1989)

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.

Casting[edit]

Main cast[edit]

The Doctor[edit]

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

Companions[edit]

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 companions who left by this story (Tegan, Nyssa, Adric, and Turlough) – all make illusionary cameos as the Doctor regenerates at the climax of The Caves of Androzani.

Recurring 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.

Guest stars[edit]

Davros makes his first appearance since Destiny of the Daleks (1979) this time played by Terry Molloy.

Serials[edit]

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.

StorySerialTitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
UK viewers
(millions) [1]
AI [1]
1301Warriors of the DeepPennant RobertsJohnny Byrne5 January 1984 (1984-01-05)
6 January 1984
12 January 1984
13 January 1984
6L7.6
7.5
7.3
6.6
65
64
62
65
The TARDIS materialises in a seabase in the year 2084. Earth in the late 21st century is divided between two power blocs waging a bitter cold war, forever threatening to escalate into violent conflict. Mysterious accidents have been occurring on the seabase, including the deaths of key personnel. Investigating, the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough discover that not only have double agents infiltrated the seabase, but the Doctor's old foes, the Silurians and Sea Devils, are plotting to use the seabase to set off a war which will decimate humanity.
1312The AwakeningMichael Owen MorrisEric Pringle19 January 1984 (1984-01-19)
20 January 1984
6M7.9
6.6
65
63
The Doctor takes Tegan to the village of Little Hodcombe to visit her grandfather. The villagers, led by Sir George Hutchinson, are reenacting events from the English Civil War, including skirmishes which took place near the town. But the recreations have revived the Malus, an alien entity buried beneath a ruined church which feeds on the passions inflamed by war and death. Time is becoming distorted while Hutchinson – who has fallen under the Malus' influence – works to set the creature free, putting Tegan's life at risk in the process.
1323FrontiosRon JonesChristopher H. Bidmead26 January 1984 (1984-01-26)
27 January 1984
2 February 1984
3 February 1984
6N8.0
5.8
7.8
5.6
66
69
65
65
The TARDIS arrives on the planet Frontios in the far future, where the last vestiges of humanity crashlanded years earlier. The struggling colony is beset by disasters, including deadly meteorite showers and the disappearance of several prominent colonists who have been sucked down beneath the ground. The Doctor, Tegan and Turlough discover that the culprits are the Gravis and his Tractators, giant insects with incredible powers over gravity. The Gravis intends to transform Frontios into an enormous spaceship, and spread the terror of the Tractators across the galaxy.
1334Resurrection of the DaleksMatthew RobinsonEric Saward8 February 1984 (1984-02-08)
15 February 1984
6P7.3
8.0
69
65
The Doctor, Tegan and Turlough are nearly torn apart in a Dalek time corridor which connects a warehouse on modern-day Earth with a spacecraft in the future. The Daleks have lost the war with the Movellans due to a virus which affects only their kind. Now, with the help of the mercenary Lytton, they intend to free the imprisoned Davros and force him to create an antidote. Once successful, the Daleks will at last be in a position to destroy the Movellans and rampage across the cosmo.
1345Planet of FireFiona CummingPeter Grimwade23 February 1984 (1984-02-23)
24 February 1984
1 March 1984
2 March 1984
6Q7.4
6.1
7.4
7.0
Turlough rescues a drowning botany student named Peri Brown and brings her to the TARDIS to recuperate. Before Peri can bid her farewells, Kamelion – once again under the Master's control – takes the TARDIS to the planet Sarn. There his mission is to find the Master, who has been diminished to just inches in height following a mishap with his tissue compression eliminator, and restore him using the healing properties of Sarn's miraculous numismaton flames. But Sarn hides a mysterious connection to Turlough's past – a connection which may prove to be the catalyst in the Master's scheme.
1356The Caves of AndrozaniGraeme HarperRobert Holmes8 March 1984 (1984-03-08)
9 March 1984
15 March 1984
16 March 1984
6R6.9
6.6
7.8
7.8
65

65
68
After landing on the planet Androzani Minor, the Doctor and Peri develop lethal spectrox toxaemia poisoning. As the two search for a cure before it is too late, they become enmeshed in a decades-old feud between the disfigured roboticist Sharaz Jek and businessman Morgus. Jek falls in love with Peri, but the situation only degenerates when the girl rebuffs his affections. Between threats from mire beasts and gun runners, it quickly becomes apparent that the Doctor will never find a cure in time to save both himself and his companion.
1367The Twin DilemmaPeter MoffattAnthony Steven22 March 1984 (1984-03-22)
23 March 1984
29 March 1984
30 March 1984
6S7.6
7.4
7.0
6.3
61
66
59
67
The Doctor experiences serious regenerative instability, causing him to attack Peri and then decide to live as a hermit on the barren asteroid Titan 3. There he stumbles upon a plot by his old friend, the Time Lord Azmael, who has kidnapped twin mathematical geniuses named Romulus and Remus. Azmael's adopted planet, Jaconda, has been taken over by the sluglike Mestor and his Gastropods, forcing the Time Lord to do Mestor's bidding. But even Azmael is unaware of Mestor's true plan – to destroy Jaconda's sun, and thereby scatter Gastropod eggs throughout the universe.

Production[edit]

Title card as used in the season finale The Twin Dilemma.

During this season, the title card was slightly modified for the final serial The Twin Dilemma, and continued during Colin Baker's reign as the Sixth Doctor until the end of the season 23 14 episode epic The Trial of a Time Lord.

Broadcast[edit]

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

DVD Releases[edit]

All season 21 serials had individual DVD release 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[2][3]
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[4]
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 24 May 1984
The Awakening The Awakening Eric Pringle 14 February 1985
Frontios Frontios Christopher H. Bidmead 20 September 1984
Resurrection of the Daleks Never novelised^1
Planet of Fire Planet of Fire Peter Grimwade 18 October 1984
The Caves of Androzani The Caves of Androzani Terrance Dicks 15 November 1984
The Twin Dilemma The Twin Dilemma Eric Saward 10 October 1985

:^1 As of March 2018, Resurrection of the Daleks is one of two serials by Eric Saward never to have been novelised.

References[edit]