Doctor Who: The Caves Of Androzani
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Doctor Who: The Caves of Androzani - Special Edition
Peter Davison's final adventure, "The Caves of Androzani," pulls out all stops to give this Doctor an unforgettable farewell. Deep within the titular caves, the disfigured, masked antihero Sharez Jek (Christopher Gable) and his regiment of androids are locked in conflict with an army unit and a group of smugglers for control of the life-extending Spectrox. When the Doctor and Peri (Nicola Bryant) enter this labyrinth, they immediately become victims of deadly Spectrox poisoning. The story's numerous subplots involve espionage, betrayal, and revenge, as well as big-business corruption, political assassination, and silly-looking reptilian monsters. And the first episode has one of the best cliffhangers ever: our heroes are executed by a firing squad armed with submachine guns.
Robert Holmes (who wrote the more satirical Doctor Who story "The Sun Makers") here concentrates on delivering a breathlessly paced action thriller, with relentless death and destruction unfolding like in a Sam Peckinpah film, making Davison's heroic pacifism all the more effective. --Gary S. Dalkin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The scripting, pacing, and performances in this episode are simply brilliant. Peter Davison turns out the best performance of his time, skillfully balancing the Doctor's struggle for his own life with his unwavering impulse to protect the innocent. Superior production values and direction create gritty, edge-of- your seat drama throughout.
With the obligatory extras and the excellent remastering courtesy of The Doctor Who Restoration Team, Caves of Androzani is a five star disc all around. If you can only buy one episode from Peter Davison's era as the Doctor, this should be it.
It's the final story for Peter Davison, the 5th Doctor, and is notably gloomy and dark. Roger Limb's militaristic score, replete with a rattlesnake motif, and Graeme Harper's inspired direction -- full of cross-fades, matched dissolves, and Shakespearean soliloquies to the camera -- is light-years beyond the dull visual look for which so much "Who" is unfortunately remembered. The script is Robert Holmes at his darkest: a planet run by a mega-corporation is involved in a bitter war against a deformed mad scientist and his android army over supply of a life-preserving drug. Into this picture stumble the Doctor and Peri, who both contract fatal poisoning within minutes. The acting is superb, from John Normington's evil-CEO Morgus, who delivers chilling asides to the camera, to former dancer Christopher Gable as the mad Sharaz Jek, stalking the camera (and Peri) in skin-tight leather and a memorable black-and-white mask.
The features are a slight decline from those in the first set of DVD releases. The raw studio footage of Peter Davison's regeneration scene is tolerable only with Davison and Harper's voiceover commentary -- but the DVD doesn't inform that this track exists over the featurettes as well as over the story. Similarly, the extended scene (featuring just 20 seonds of new material) works best with this commentary. The photo gallery and TV trailer strike of tokenism.
Better is a featurette narrated by (the late) Gable, describing the creation of Sharaz Jek: possibly the best original featurette on a DW disc thus far.Read more ›
Is there any point going into the plot? If you're on this page, you probably know everything about the story anyway so i won't bother. What I will discuss are the extras; these are what make DVDs what they are and unlike many TV shows the BBC knows exactly how to treat their Doctor Who fans. Steve Roberts and the chaps of the restoration team have yet again done a fabulous job in remastering the video, putting together a superb commentary track and a host of interviews and featurettes. These are what makes Who DVDs worth plonking down your [price] for.
Some people have complained about the slow release schedule of these DVDs, but let me ask you, would you prefer vanilla DVDs every month or 6 jam-packed with features event DVDs a year. I know which I prefer.
So raise a pint to Steve and the boys; visit their fabulous website at restoration-team.co.uk and if you work for the people who put out X-Files, Buffy and Star Trek DVDs show them what can be done with a DVD of a nearly 20 year old tv show.
A trait shared by all of the Doctors gets the Doctor & Peri into a nice little fix. 'Curiosity's always been my downfall.', the Doctor confesses to Peri as they sit in a cell, awaiting their execution. The pair are 'rescued' by Sharez Jek, who is played with great flair by dancer Christopher Gable. Although Jek comes off as a mad man, one can't help but feel sympathy for him.
Another great performance is given by John Normington who plays the slimy business man, Morgus. Normington's Shakespearian asides to the camera send a chill down the spine.
Davison's performance is terrific and Nicola Bryant is quite good as Peri. Peri is a bit whiny at times, but I suppose I'd be whiny too if I had to climb around in caves wearing very little clothing, got my legs in a fuzzy, sticky, web like substance, and then had some masked mad scientist obsessing over my beauty.
Davison is quite heroic in this story, although he doesn't save the universe or a planet, just his companion, sacrificing himself in the process.
Graeme Harper's direction is great, using all kinds of pans and fades not normally seen in Doctor Who. Roger Limb's music has a terrific dramatic effect, especially the rattlesnake motif that is used during Jek's scenes.
The DVD package is terrific.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I'm going to keep this short and sweet. There is a reason why Doctor Who fans voted this story as the best of all time. It has everything a food story needs. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Marcus Almighty
This is an excellent dvd. One of the best of the tv series. The episode format is ok but if the BBC could release the Doctor Who series with an omnibus version on the same dvd... Read morePublished on May 11 2004 by Kevin Harty
The Fifth Doctor and Peri's trip to the sandy Androzani Minor turns out to be a fateful and intensely eventful one in this Dune meets The Phantom of the Opera story. Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2004 by Daniel J. Hamlow
Don't want to take up too much room here for this other than to say that this is one of the most satisfying Doctor Who adventures there is. Read morePublished on Dec 29 2003
Okay, first of all, I'd better start off by saying that no die-hard science fiction fan is going to mark this review "helpful". Read morePublished on Dec 29 2003 by babydoh
This story might be the best 5th Doctor story, it marks the end of the Davison era and the beginning of the Colin Baker era. Very good!Published on May 13 2003
One of the truly great stories from possibly the best television show of all time.Published on March 25 2003