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.]]>
Doctor Who: Four to Doomsday (Story 118)
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Studio Recording: Peter Davison's first day as the Doctor
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DVD-ROM features: Radio Times listings
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Janet Fielding's role as Tegan, the brusque, "punchy", and often near hysterical "accidental tourist", continues to drag down the team of three companions; although to be fair, Mathew Waterhouse's role as the continually naïve and commonly unhelpful Aldric does little to help. Out of this mess, Sarah Sutton's perfect counterpart, yet sadly always scripted to be understated, Nyssa brings some relief.
The story itself is quite good and maintains itself as a cohesive whole in complete opposition of the next serial, KINDA (Story 119). Unsurprising since it is written by long time Dr. Who veteran, Terrance Dudley. Perhaps a bit too much time was spent focused on the "Recreation" performances than on the story as well as ridiculously long reprises at the beginning of each episode, but all that is purely producer John Nathan Turner's doing, a man who really brought a strange mixed-bag of great ideas and absurdly terrible ones to Dr. Who.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great one-off villain, great story, great character moments, and just enough creepiness that you want to watch the next episode as soon as the previous one ends. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Michael Burke
The premise was good but the story was brought down some by way too many companions running around.Published 9 months ago by Malbus
A great Fifth Doctor story that takes place on a star ship headed for Earth. The mystery leads to dangerous situation for all and is a fun ride to watch.Published 9 months ago by E. Guerrido
Very interesting Doctor Who. This is one of my favorite episodes.Published 10 months ago by Jeff Sadowski