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Doctor Who: Four to Doomsday (Story 118) (2009)

Peter Davison , Matthew Waterhouse , John Black  |  NR |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Doctor Who: Four to Doomsday (Story 118) + Doctor Who: Kinda (Story 119) + Doctor Who: Arc of Infinity (Story 124)
Price for all three: $47.12

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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Davison, Matthew Waterhouse, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding
  • Directors: John Black
  • Writers: Terence Dudley
  • Producers: John Nathan-Turner
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 6, 2009
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001GJ4U50
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,306 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

Commentary by actors Peter Davison (The Doctor), Matthew Waterhouse (Adric), Janet Fielding (Tegan), and Sarah Sutton (Nyssa) with director John Black
Studio Recording: Peter Davison's first day as the Doctor
Saturday Night at the Mill: Bob Langley interviews Peter Davison
Theme music video
Photo gallery
Production note option
DVD-ROM features: Radio Times listings

Editorial Reviews

In "Four to Doomsday," Peter Davison's recently regenerated Fifth Doctor is burdened by the most irritating trio of companions in the history of the show (Adric, Nyssa, and Tegan) when the Tardis materializes inside a vast starship with a multiracial crew from Earth's distant past. Downloaded into computer chips are the memories of the 3 billion survivors of the Urbankan race, and the Earth is to be their new home. Meanwhile, Monarch, a giant green frog-thing, wants to travel back to the Big Bang to meet God, who he is convinced is himself.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Peter Davison Episode. February 6, 2009
Not good enough to get five stars, but still pretty damn good. I think Peter Davison's Doctor was even better in this one than in a lot of his other stories. Don't get me wrong. I liked Davison's Doctor, but in this one in particular, he's just great. Better than in his premiere story. I think the reason why I like him better in this one is because he reminds me of a younger and more energetic Tom Baker. Much as he did in "Kinda", "The Visitation", "Earthshock", and "The Caves of Androzani". The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver more in this one, which is a nice thing to see considering that not long from now we won't see it again until the 1996 TV movie. And when they started using it in the new series, they used it way too much.

I haven't seen this one in a while, but that's just because I watched it so much when I first got it on VHS. It is a good one. The story is great. So are all the cliffhangers in it. The special effects are reasonably good, the spaceship was nice looking - both inside and out, lots of excitement, the music was great, and so was the acting. I recommend this one to anyone who has an interest in "Doctor Who". Oh, and by the way, Nyssa collapses at the end leaving you hanging. Let me tell you why she collapsed so you won't have to see the next story, which is not yet on DVD. She was just suffering from extreme exhaustion. She'll be fine.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Adequate story. Weak extras. April 16, 2009
Like most classic Doctor Who stories I have seen them all about a dozen times. "Four to Doomsday" is never one that I bring up in conversations about Doctor Who. Regardless of that, each time another DVD comes out from the classic era I scarf it up.

The one thing I liked about this story was that the special effects were a bit above par for the classic series and the sets were awesome. On the one hand the story is typical Who fodder as it it focuses on a self-centered, patronizing, egotistical frogman called "Monarch" who thinks he's God and wants to take over the earth and turn everyone into obedient androids while harvesting earth's minerals for his own evil existence. It is ingenious in that Monarch has been taking round trips around the universe for eons, snatching up representatives of the human race every few thousand years in the hopes of transplanting them back on earth under his watchful eye. The Doctor, of course, sees through all of this and saves the day.

The story is important in that not only is it Peter Davison's first taped show (it was broadcast second) but it plants the seeds for the Davison era with his interaction with his companions and elements of action.

Where the DVD falls down is with the extras. Since I have seen all these stories many times I look forward to the extras. The extras include about a half-hour of raw video from Davison's first day of shooting, which got a bit redundant, a contempory TV interview with Davison in which he spends more time talking about his role on "All Creatures Great and Small" than as the Doctor, and a collection of promotional photographs. But since 2-Entertain is getting these things out more quickly than Warner Brothers did, they may be spending less time producing the extras.

As a longtime fan of the classic series this is still another fine addition to my collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun stuff, comfortable commentary... January 24, 2009
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Though many criticize this story as being weak, it isn't that bad compared to what comes, and it is as good or better than many stories before. While it isn't an exceptional story, it's good, solid serial adventure. Much of the charm comes from good acting, an unusual story for Who, and excellent direction. The corny component of repetitive dancing, over acting, and hysterics doesn't hurt it as much as the lack of such elements hurts dull Who stories before or since. An emotional component is necessary when stories become a "tale of two rooms".

I loved seeing this again after 20 years.

The real treat for me was hearing the cast/crew commentary track. Davison, Waterhouse, Fielding, and Sutton were a very good set of personalities to work together, and you can hear their ease and familiarity in the commentary. They don't take the show seriously and it provides a warm commentary, similar to an afternoon in Davison's living room with old friends. I love how these four seem to know so much about the show through all eras, including the recent series. Though technical commentary is much more satisfying, such amiable commentary is a good second best. John Black, the director, was on the track, but he was too often set back by the banter of the cast. Blame throwing never showed up, unlike many commentaries during the Nathan-Turner era.

It's a pity the DVD production didn't include the familiar "making of" documentary included with many of the more recent DVDs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Style and Pace are the stars here. January 20, 2009
Verified Purchase
Very little has been said about Four To Doomsday. Even the extras on this DVD release are slim. But if you are a fan of the chlostrophopic-trapped inside a spaceship story than Four to Doomsday is for you. In fact you could argue that the real stars of this episode are the sets. There is a nice mix of dark, shadowy hallways and vibrant colors throughout this story. The low, pulsating hum of deep space that permiate the backround noise in Four To Doomsday create an erie edge to this story that never lets up throughout the four episodes.
As for the stars of the show,Peter Davison is still new to the role at this point and boy does it show. Only his second story Four To Doomsday was actualy filmed first which I belive to be a mistake in hindsight. Davison's performance has that feeling my way around quality to it which should be reserved for the first story of a new doctor. That being said it gives the doctor an extended feeling of "newness" left over from Castrovalva. Janet Feilding and Mathew Waterhouse are at thier series lows here. Not realy their fault though as they are forced to spill out mind numbingly dumd lines like, "Could you pass the sodium chloride please"? and Tegan's "too right this and too right that". Sarah Sutton slowly starts to shine in this episode as her character becomes more entangled in the capture's web. An of course there are the Frogs: Monarch, Elightenment , and Persuation. Thank goodness the later two are only seen in frog form for one episode. These were not the worst monsters in the show's history but they certainly were not the best.
I could ramble on about the rest of the faults with this episode but anyone who reads this review will already be well aware of them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Dr Who Four to Doomsday
Wasn't a bad episode to view, it had great potential as it was part of a triology, the problem was the next too got old and boring,,,However, this episode was really entertaining!
Published 2 days ago by JKINSPECTOR
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Solid Story
While a little weird, this is a good, solid outting for Peter Davidson's Doctor (1st one recorded, 4th one aired). Read more
Published 1 month ago by Michael Mueller
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the greatest Fifth Doctor story.
The newly regenerated Fifth Doctor along with Adric, Tegan, and Nyssa materialize on a large spacecraft which they then begin exploring. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Keitheaux
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for all Whovians!
I got this for my husband for Christmas. He was thrilled! We are both total Whovians and have been slowly trading out his old VHS recordings of the original series episodes for... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Molly Gandolfo
3.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who: Four to Doomsday
A good story. Peter Davidson does his normal excellent job of not exactly knowing what he is going to do until he does it. Very good support from all the other actors.
Published on July 4, 2009 by Gary Prott
4.0 out of 5 stars A newly Regenrated Doctor on his way to earth but not by the TARDIS.
The Doctor fresh from his rest from his regenration and his escape from the clutches of the Master. Is taking Tegan home so she can catch her flight and go on with her life. Read more
Published on February 22, 2009 by Jacob
5.0 out of 5 stars Ah yes
I just love all things Doctor Who. This episode was very enjoyable, about plastic people on a space ship. It seems that is one of the Doctor's places to land. Read more
Published on February 12, 2009 by James L. Strachota
5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD SHOW
AS AN EARLY EPISODE OF THE FITH DOCTOR, I WAS WELL ENTERAINED. THE DOCTOR, TEAGAN ADRIC AND NYSSA NOW TRAVLE WITH THE FITH DOCTOR (THEY WERE WITH HIM BEFORE WHEN HE REGENERATED... Read more
Published on February 11, 2009 by Gus J
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who
It was a lot of fun watching this dvd. I'm sharing the classic Doctor Who's with my children who are enjoying them as much as I did growing up.
Published on January 30, 2009 by L. Crawford
2.0 out of 5 stars Not one of Davisons' best...
Four to Doomsday was the very first episode that Davison filmed for the series. It was felt that they wanted him to be more at ease in the role when he shot Castrovalva so they... Read more
Published on January 29, 2009 by Rick Lundeen
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