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Doctor Who: Four to Doomsday (Story 118)
Doctor Who Four to Doomsday
Story 118
Actors: Peter Davison, Matthew Waterhouse, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding
Director: John Black
Genres: Television, Cult Movies
NR     2009     1hr 40min

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...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Peter Davison, Matthew Waterhouse, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding
Director: John Black
Genres: Television, Cult Movies
Sub-Genres: Science Fiction, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Studio: BBC Video / Warner Bros.
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 01/06/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 40min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 18
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

"Conformity is the only Freedom" says the Frog-man.
Kevin J. Loria | New Orleans, LA USA | 11/24/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"First let me qualify that I loved the Peter Davison years (1981-84). The potentially disastrous transition from Tom Baker's longest running a 4th incarnation to Davison's Fifth. From the Doctor Who writer Terence Dudley who brought us such 80's plot train wrecks as the Black Orchid and the original Xmas special K9 & Co., we now welcome "Four to Doomsday" to DVD. Dudley's writing is the least of this episode's problems, as it happens this was the first story arc that the "new" Doctor would film, although it would follow the excellent season premiere of Castrovalva, it was truly the story Davison would explore how he was intending to portray the character. For this reason, "Four to Doomsday" is weaker, but for the very same reason it is worth owning to watch this awkward transition period. For his charter season, Davison's Doctor is very much like William Hartnell's 1st Doctor, not to mention the entourage of companions that both Doctor's were afflicted. The show's design and effects are quite neat, like the Doctor's spacewalk, the retro-pseudo-science helmets and the Monopitcon camera-critters.

The plot, if you can follow it between the Rave/World Music dance-offs, is something about a frogman Monarch, who has visited Earth 4 times, collecting people to make android replicas to distract him on his millennia-road trips. The Urbankans' leader, Monarch, is aided by his ministers Persuasion and Enlightenment. They are engaged in a overly-complex plan to loot raw materials needed to enable him to travel back in time confirming his belief in his own status as "creator of the universe." He intends to poison humanity, allowing him to use his androids as replacements on Earth. The Doctor ultimately uses this poison against the Monarch himself. Ultimately, the baddies plan never becomes clear, in spite of all the exposition.

The episode endings are weaker than the usual fare, the first part wraps with the appearance of android embodiments of companion Tegan's highly proficient "new wave" Earthling renderings, surprising, but hardly the point to wrap the show until next week! Counter to "Who" cliffhanger tradition, the Doctor actually doesn't any immediate threat until little over an hour in (crazy long by Who standards), and then it gets very BOND as the villain invites them to dine. But as if the apologize for this weakness, the closing moments of the story have Nyssa collapsing upon returning to the TARDIS, a cliffhanger leading to Nyssa being largely absent from the next story arc KINDA.

"Four to Doomsday" Drinking game...drink each time .....

...the Doctor loses his Companions, Sonic ScrewDriver...his way.

...the dialogue unleashes some amazing double entendres Adric's gem, "He (The Doctor) knows I'm no good with my hands!" and several from the Urbankans, like "How can Earthlings have penetrated us?" or "Nyssa, relieve him" and "Is this one of your dropping times, Doctor?"

..the dialogue turns to heavy self-referencing exposition like Adric's non-stop rambling about the Timelords, TARDIS and anything else the Urbankans "Wanted to Know, but Were Afraid to Ask."

...the cameras cut back to a musical number.

...the action breaks for some Greco-Roman wrestling.
Not one of Davisons' best...
Rick Lundeen | Western Springs, Il USA | 01/29/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)

"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 mixed things up a bit and shot Four to Doomsday first. Nice idea but F.T.D. is an average Davison adventure at best. Worth getting to complete the collection but that's about it. I myself will be picking it up used as Amazon, in it's wisdom (?) decided to raise the price on the new disc while it sat in my saved section in the cart. Economic times being what they are, I deleted it and the War Machines for the same reason. I guess it really doesn't pay to keep things in the saved section of the cart! They just get more expensive and for a substandard ep like this or War Machines, it's just not even worth full price, ans especially not a raised one."
Good Peter Davison Episode.
Jero Briggs | 02/06/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"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."
Style and Pace are the stars here.
David W. Curry | Philadelphia,Pa | 01/21/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"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. The fact of the matter for me though is that I am glad they released this episode when they did. Most fans of the show probably had this episode pegged as one of the last to be released on DVD (just as it was on VHS). Kudos to the restoration team for dropping this slightly off centered "GEM" right in the middle. I have always had a fondness for this story because of it's "Doctor Who-e-ness". Cheesey aliens, colorful sets and costums, crazy, non-plausable story arc and dialog that would make william Shakesphere turn in his grave. If I could only have one Peter Davison episode for the rest of my life I would of course take Mawdryn Undead....but if I could have two I would take the little episode that almost could: Four To Doomsday.....Anybody could watch Caves of Andrazani."