Doctor Who: The Caves of Androzani (Special Edition) (Story 136)
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On the cave-riddled world of Androzani Minor, the Doctor and Peri inadvertently find themselves enmeshed in a war fought between the ruthless General Chellak and the sinister Sharaz Jek and his army of androids. The duplicitous politician Morgus wants Chellak to execute the time travelers as spies, while the disfigured Jek seeks to keep Peri forever hostage within his stronghold. But the Doctor soon realizes an even more gruesome fate awaits them – they have been infected with fatal spectrox toxemia, and there is no cure. Hunted by both factions and with death just hours away, how far must the Doctor go in order to save his friend's life?]]>
Top Customer Reviews
The story focuses on the Doctor and Peri arriving at Androzani, where they find out that, as per usual for places they visit, things aren't going well. There's a bit of a war on between rebels and the corporation that controls the planet. This was in the 1980s, you see, when corporations controlled everything, unlike now where...uh...actually, I don't know how to finish that. Moving on. The Doctor inserts himself into the middle of things, but this time does so at the cost of his own life.
It's an excellent story, and directed by Graeme Harper, who has since gone on to direct several new series episodes. It's really great, and I'm pleased that it's getting a special edition version, as it was one of the earlier DVD releases and was somewhat bare-bones.
Here's what you get (lifted from a review on Amazon's UK website):
· 4 x 25 min colour episodes with mono audio.
· Commentary with actors Peter Davison, Nicola Bryant and director Graeme Harper.
· Isolated Music - option to view the episodes with isolated music scores.
· Behind the Scenes - The Regeneration (dur. 7' 53") - a look inside the studio during the shooting of the climactic regeneration scene. Features an optional commentary track with Peter Davison, Nicola Bryant and Graeme Harper.
· Behind the Scenes - Creating Sharaz Jek (dur.Read more ›
Here's the situation: Spectrox is a drug that can increase twice the ordinary lifespan. Demand for the drug shoots up when Sharaz Jek, a robotics expert who is lusting for revenge against Morgus, the man who'd betrayed him, seized the spectrox mines with an army of androids. The military under Chellak and his subordinate Salateen have been fighting a losing battle against androids, gunrunners led by Stotz, and a carnivorous monster that looks like something out of a Godzilla movie. Public demand has put pressure on the Androzani president to possibly capitulate to Jek's demands and negotiate an armistice. Jek's terms? "I want the head of Morgus at my feet. I want the head of that perfidious treacherous degenerate congealed in its own evil blood."
Well-picked words by Jek, because Morgus is exactly that. A cold-hearted businessman on Androzani Major whose conglomerate controls the spectrox mines as well as other holdings offworld, and speaks in a cold, low, level, emotionless tone. His profitmaking goes as far as sabotaging his own mines when an increase in production leads to lower prices and even closing down plants, leaving many unemployed workers being shipped off to labour camps in the East.Read more ›
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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not as good as I was expecting. Peter Davidson was awesome, but Peri was whinier than I remembered. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Leonard M. Struttmann
Great quality. Lived up to expectations. Some description of episodes would be helpfulPublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
The Collection is growing!!!!! Thank you for having this awesome story!Published 7 months ago by VictorSlim3D
The Caves of Androzani works for many reasons. Graham Harper's director is spot on and the use of locations, particularly dark ones are very atmospheric. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Adam Graham, Superhero and Detective Fiction Author
As a long time fan of Doctor Who I wanted to revisit this all time classic that constantly tops every Doctor Who fan poll and put it on my 2014 Christmas List with fellow fan... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Trae Stratton
In the minds of many long-time Whovians, "The Caves of Androzani" may be the best story ever told on "Doctor Who", and they may well be right. Read morePublished 13 months ago by John Kwok