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TME > Video > Commercial Releases

Vengeance on Varos

On the planet of Varos, prisoners and guards alike are subject to the severest forms of punishment, which are then broadcast to the masses as entertainment.
For the Doctor, Varos is the only hope for him to locate the rare mineral Zeiton-7, which powers his ailing TARDIS. But when he and Peri arrive, they are caught up in events beyond their control...
Freeing the rebel leader Jondar and incurring the wrath of the sinister alien Sil are just the beginnings of their ordeal. Hunted through the concealed terrors of the Punishment Dome, The Doctor becomes the subject of Varos's latest TV entertainment. But this is one show where he is not expected to survive beyond the cliffhanger...

-- from the DVD release, 2001

The first sixth Doctor adventure to be released on VHS and on DVD was the controversial Vengeance on Varos...

Episode timings on DVD: 44'45", 42'46"
Episode timings on PasC: 44'42", 44'43"


VHS releases

04/05/1993: UK - BBC Enterprises - BBCV4962
??/09/1993: Aus/NZ - PolyGram - BBC49622 [deleted January 1996, not pictured]
27/06/1995: US - CBS/Fox - 8252 [renumbered as E1274 by WHV in 2000]

Cover art by Andrew Skilleter.

The video tape included a coupon, many of which were intended to grace Doctor Who products ("videos, merchandise, magazines, and exhibitions") throughout 1993, the anniversary year. While we have seen no other such coupons, if we'd been lucky enough to collect 10, we could have entered an exclusive competition, first prize of which was 2 tickets to the Chicago 'Visions 1993' convention 26-28 November, including air fair, accommodation for one week, 500 spending money and access to all convention events, including the special dinner. Second prize was a copy of every Doctor Who title released by BBC Video (we are unsure if this would have included alternate releases such as those on Betamax) and five third prize winners would get every Doctor Who title released during 1993.

DVD releases

15/10/2001: UK - BBC Worldwide - BBCDVD1044
07/01/2002: Aus/NZ - Roadshow Entertainment - B0005759
04/03/2002: US - Warner Home Video - E1718

Cover art unknown for the UK/Aus (one of three in this style, along with The Caves of Androzani and The Movie) and for the US as well. One early cover featured a substatially different design (left) and another featured a certificate slightly lower down than the finished version.

The UK release of this story on DVD has a layer-change mid-episode during Part Two, and the production subtitle track is missing from the second layer. This was corrected for the Australian release in 2002 and the later American release.

DVD Bonus features

Extended/Deleted Scene (11'06")
Ten extended or deleted scenes taken from Ian Levine's U-Matic dub, with burnt in timecode, of the show's 71 edits.
A brief exchange between Arak and Etta taken from after she threatens "you'll be in that one's place". Only the first 17 seconds are 'new', but the conversation leads more neatly into the "I'd tell 'em" line.
From the following scene in the TARDIS, an extension to the ending, picking up where the broadcast edit leaves off, featuring Peri listing the problems experienced with the chameleon circuit since 'Attack Of The Cybermen'. This also introduces the plot device of the problematic TARDIS.
After Sil leaves at the end of the following scene, this extension picks up with an extra 39 seconds, where the Governor makes a reference to his family and we see a different final shot of him than the one ultimately used.
Following the TARDIS' stalling, this scene shows another exchange between the Governor and the Chief Officer. The final moments of him straightening up and saying 'good evening' would later appear in the broadcast cut following the next scene.
Quillam's original introduction scene, commending Bax's idea.
The original opening to the execution scene, where Jondar explains his imprisonment.
The original opening to the transfiguration scene, showing Quillam sniffing Peri.
Another scene of Arak and Etta commenting on the action. Arak suggests that she would "watch anything".
From Quillam explaining that the Punishment Dome is the only way of assessing the damage done (included as part of this sequence) and before the Chief Officer says "This Doctors must be eliminated..." (again included), a brief scene where the Chief Officer expresses his concerns about the population's opinion.
An extra TARDIS scene, intended to go after the broadcast final scene of Arak and Etta.
Behind the Scenes (4'42")
An extract from the original studio footage of Episode 2, showing the filming of the scene where the Governor questions why Sil is not bargaining with Amorb.

Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant and Nabil Shiban, recorded 29th March 2001.

Isolated Music
The entire story without added music or effects. Whilst the original soundtrack does exist, and could have been been used to create an isolated score (as had been done, by that point, with Remembrance of the Daleks, The Caves of Androzani and The Movie), it was felt that due to the sparse use of music the score would be better off released on CD at a later date.

Information Text
By Richard Molesworth.

Photo Gallery
71 colour photos.
Outtakes (3'06")
A compilation of accidents during the time of recording, again taken from the original studio footage of both episodes.

Continuity Announcements

Restoration Notes

Oddly, the VHS release features several frames cut out of the final starburst of each episode. Paul Vanezis went back to the original broadcast tapes for this story when preparing it for DVD and found no such cut. Matt Dale was thanked on the Restoration Team's website for work on the deleted scenes segment.


28/04/1993 - Passed as 'PG' by the BBFC for the UK [Despite the extra few frames at the end of each episode (detailed in 'notes'), the BBC wisely chose not to resubmit the whole story in 2001]
15/06/1993 - Passed as 'PG' (for 'Low Level Violence') by the OFLC for Aus/NZ
08/06/2001 - Bonuses passed as 'PG' by the BBFC for the UK
18/07/2001 - Bonuses repassed as 'PG' by the BBFC for the UK (3 seconds longer) [There are a number of minor changes in the breakdown, but the most interesting is the addition of an item called 'BBC1 - CEEFAX 170'. Although this sounds like it should be a grab from the television guide pages of the BBC's computerised teletext service, this does not appear on any versions of the disc.]
04/12/2001 - Passed as 'PG' (for 'Low Level Violence') by the OFLC for Aus/NZ

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