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TME > Video > Commercial Releases

The Caves of Androzani

Arriving on the barren world of Androzani Minor, the Doctor and Peri find themselves embroiled in a long-running underground war.
Military troops mount an armed blockade whilst gunrunners bring in weapons for the sinister, masked renegade, Sharaz Jek. Meanwhile, lethal androids guard the caves, a deadly creature lurks in the shadows, killing all in its path. At the heart of the conflict is a substance called Spectrox - the most valuable item in the universe...and the deadliest!
The very presence of the Doctor and Peri on Androzani sets in motion a chain of events that will have dramatic consequences for everyone involved. As the situation gets even more desperate, the Doctor realises time is running out - both for Peri and himself.
Will the Doctor make the ultimate sacrifice to save his young friend's life... ?

-- from the DVD release, 2001

The final adventure for the fifth Doctor was, ironically, the first of his released on DVD.

Episode timings on DVD: 24'34", 25'02", 24'38", 25'41"
Episode timings on PasC: 24'33", 25'00", 24'36", 25'37"


VHS releases

06/01/1992: UK - BBC Enterprises - BBCV4713
06/05/1992: Aus/NZ - PolyGram - BBC47132 [deleted January 1996]
??/??/1992: US - CBS/Fox - 5733 [renumbered as E1183 by WHV in 2000]

DVD releases

18/06/2001: UK - BBC Worldwide - BBCDVD1040
07/01/2002: Aus/NZ - Roadshow Entertainment - B0005769
02/04/2002: US - Warner Home Video - E1608

Cover by unknown artist in the UK (one of three of this style - the others were the 1996 Movie and Vengeance on Varos) and an unknown artist US (with a clearly reversed picture of Davison taking the focus.)

From this release until the introduction of full-colour images across the discs, the on-disc title switched from Futura Display Poster (matching the outside cover) to Industria. Industria had been used on most merchandise since 1996, but the R2 DVDs didn't feature it anywhere, causing a jarring contrast between the covers and the discs within.

DVD Bonus features

Behind The Scenes: The Regeneration (7'39")
A compilation of footage from the 70-minutes of studio tape that survives of Part Four, with optional commentary by director Harper and actors Davison and Bryant.
Original Opening Scene (3'05")
For the DVD release, the opening sequence of the Doctor and Peri on location was recomposited, as problems were caused in 1984 by the film 'wobbling', while the matte shot stayed stable. Despite the increase in quality (and also the MPEG encoding), this was not as originally broadcast (and the third layer of the shot - some smoke - could not be located in 2001 and as such is not 'genuine'), so this option allows the episode to be played without the correction. The timing here is derived from the length of Title 3, Chapter 7, the track on the disc where both versions of this scene are contained.
Extended Scene (2'28")
While all the film footage recorded on location for this story still exists, only one piece of extra film work appears. It is presented here with optional commentary by Harper. Note that the majority of this scene is as broadcast, with only an extra line appearing at the end.
Creating Sharaz Jek (5'04")
This featurette is made up primarily of more footage from the 70 minute studio tape, along with an audio interview conducted in the 1980s by Peter Finklestone (and remastered by Mark Ayres) and some of the since-deceased actor Christopher Gable's Polaroid photos of the make-up sessions.
Gable explains the concept of the mask, how it was put together and the difficulties in performing behind it. He talks about lack of time and money affecting the makeup application - his took about 90 minutes to apply - and explains the application process more clearly. Finally he goes into his thoughts behind the character's voice.
Thanks to Ken Clarke, Peter Finklestone & David Stead
Videotape editor: Tim Savage
Producer: Paul Vanzis
BBC Worldwide (C) BBC MMI.

BBC1 Trailer


Peter Davison, Nicola Bryant and Graham Harper recorded in Dubbing Theatre Y at BBC Television Centre on 25/9/2000. Due to a back injury, Bryant was forced to record the whole commentary standing.

Isolated Music
Created by Mark Ayres using Limb's original tapes, this option allows the story to be played without studio or film sound. Four cues from Part Two are, unfortunately missing, and a number had to be 'recreated' by editing other cues.
Information Text
By Richard Molesworth
Photo Gallery
56 colour photos from the making of the serial.

Restoration Notes

Dave Hawley repaired a large scratch that affected most of Part Four on the master tape (checked against a fan VHS, this seems to have been broadcast this way in 1984) for the DVD release, and also performed deblobbing and corrected a picture hop in Part Four. Original video effects supervisor Dave Chapman oversaw the rematting of the opening sequence described in 'extra features' above. For the DVD, all film sequences, except those beginning or ending in a mix, have been taken from the original location footage as the broadcast tapes are up to 4 generations down. Almost 200 videotape dropouts and scratches were repaired for the disc. Several months after release, some odd single-frame digital artefacting was spotted on the opening scene of Part One on the R1 version only, and in Part Four on all versions. This has been confirmed as a mastering issue, but to date a recall has not occurred, nor is one likely to.


27/11/1991 - Passed as 'PG' by the BBFC for the UK
25/02/1992 - Passed as 'PG' (for 'Low Level Violence') by the OFLC for Aus/NZ
26/03/2001 - Bonuses (except the alternate opening) passed as 'PG' by the BBFC for the UK
09/04/2001 - Main menu passed as 'U' by the BBFC for the UK
11/04/2001 - Special Features Page 1 menu passed as 'PG' by the BBFC for the UK.
13/07/2001 - Special Features Page 2 menu passed as 'PG' by the BBFC for the UK [this date is derived from the BBFC database, but is clearly incorrect as it falls a month after the release of the disc]
04/12/2001 - Passed as 'PG' (for 'Low Level Violence') by the OFLC for Aus/NZ

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