Doctor Who
The Caves of Androzani

Starring: Peter Davison
BBC Worldwide
Certificate: PG
Available Now


The Caves of Androzani is generally regarded as a classic - probably the last really great Dr Who adventure. And this DVD does it justice and then some. The original recording has been cleaned up and restored by Steve Roberts and his BBC team to a very high standard and the overall effect is nothing short of stunning...

Nearly two hundred tape dropouts and scratches were repaired over the four episodes. However, possibly the most contentious aspect of this process is the "recreation" of some location scenes.

Happily, the story's director, Graeme Harper, supported the re-making of some of the sequences on the planet's surface to remove glaring matt problems. The top part of the planet background was originally painted-in electronically, but unfortunately the foreground film is so unstable that it ruins the effect. However, a private collector loaned the BBC the original 16mm film sequences and new stable versions of the offending scenes were recreated.

But if you want to see it like was originally broadcast the disc provides both versions. Extras includes a BBC1 trail for episode one and three news items. The first is from the One O'Clock News, reporting the announcement that Peter Davison was leaving the show. The second is a Kate Adie interview with Peter Davison from the Nine O'Clock News on the same day. Finally, there is an interview with John Nathan-Turner and Peter Davison from the following day's South-East at Six.

Other goodies include a short feature about the late Christopher Gable, the man behind the mask. Combining a fan interview with studio footage, the disc sets out to show how he helped create Sharaz Jek, one of Dr Who's best remembered villains. But what of the story itself? Basically if you don't already know that Androzani is a winner then you've probably been living on another planet - Androzani Major perhaps? Whatever's the case you cannot afford not to have this DVD.

Anthony Clark