Number : Season 19, serial 1 of 7
Which One : The new Fifth Doctor has a holiday.
Cast : The Doctor : Peter Davison
Tegan : Janet Fielding
Nyssa : Sarah Sutton
Adric : Matthew Waterhouse
The Master / Portreeve : Anthony Ainley
Head Of Security : Dallas Cavell
Ruther : Frank Wylie
Mergrave : Michael Sheard
Shardovan : Derek Waring
Child : Souska John
Written By : Christopher H. Bidmead
Produced By : JNT
First UK Broadcast : 4 – 12 Jan 1981.
Length : 4 x 25 minute episodes.
Plot : The Fifth Doctor takes some time out, to recuperate. Following regeneration – in the tranquil surroundings of Castrovalva.
Whats good : Davison slowly comes to grips, with the newly regenerated Fifth Doctor.
Whats bad : The hangover from Tom Baker leaving. The whole Castrovalva illusion and the Master doubling as the Portreeve. We knew – ok?
Review With Spoilers : Castrovalva is the opening episode of season 19 and an interesting first turn for Davison – in the “huge void”, following Tom Baker’s departure.
How should Davison best play this? Wisely, as he does which is to comes off with the worst post regenerative stress – yet, which means the viewer can live it, with him. After Baker’s career defining turn, in the role. We were all a bit shell shocked – to say the least!
When Davison’s not flat out unconcious, he’s unpicking Baker’s scarf and tearing up Baker’s outfit, so that the Fifth Doctor can leave a trail back through the Tardis, to follow. The Fifth Doctor is also on the lookout for the ‘zero-room’. A Time Lord post-regeneration suite, to help newly generated Time Lords – relax and recover.
Of course, nothing goes to plan and the Fifth Doctor has to jettison the zero-room, to save the Tardis from being trapped in a blackhole – by the Master. So it’s a trip to the ‘Dwellings of Simplicity’, on Castrovalva – as a second choice, recuperation destination.
“Thats the trouble with regeneration! You never know what you’re going to get!” Doctor
Castrovalva is another (based on real science-fact) episode from writer; Chris Bidmead. Bidmead also wrote the previous science mumbo-jumbo story; Logopolis.
In Castrovalva, we have “recursive occlusion” to describe the whole Castrovalva illusion. Which sounds impressive but doesn’t make an awful lot of sense. This goes along with the “recursive loops” and “charged vacuum emboitments” psuedo-science waffle of Logopolis.
Castrovalva is a slightly better episode – than it’s predecessor Logopolis. It marked the last time, (bar Bidmead’s other later Doctor Who story; Frontios) – that the show, would be written – in this way.
It wasn’t a great loss to the series either, once the show moved on to pastures new.
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