‘THE FOUR DOCTORS’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
The Fifth; Sixth; Seventh and Eighth Doctors vs the Daleks
This is a multi-Doctor Dalek treat for ‘Doctor Who’ fans in Big Finish!
‘The Four Doctors’ is the 2010 subscribers’ special that was released to Big Finish subscribers. It’s an action-packed explosive Dalek adventure with four Doctors by Peter Anghelides. Peter Davison; Colin Baker; Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann star as the four Doctors with Nicholas Briggs as the Daleks.
I’m afraid you can’t get this from Amazon, as it’s strictly available to those who subscribe to Big Finish. It was released to those who had a 6 or a 12 CD/download ‘Doctor Who’ subscription including ‘The Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories’ with Peter Davison or as a special free gift.
I acquired ‘The Four Doctors’ in a Big Finish subscription as a free gift. I enjoyed ‘The Five Companions’ in another Big Finish subscription and was keen to find out what ‘The Four Doctors’ was like. Sadly ‘The Four Doctors’ didn’t meet fulfil my expectations compared to ‘The Five Companions’.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed listening ‘The Four Doctors’. But it wasn’t what I hoped for as the four Doctors featured in this story didn’t team up or meet each other until the very end. The story felt rather lacklustre and wasn’t as exciting; compelling or very character-driven as I hoped it would be.
The focus of ‘The Four Doctors’ is mainly on the supporting character of Colonel Ulrik who becomes part of the Doctor’s history. Ulrik goes back in time meeting the four Doctors, after he makes a deal with the Daleks and faces the consequences of his actions. The Doctor helps Ulrik to redeem himself.
The story by Peter Anghelides is interesting enough, involving temporal leakage; reverse engineering and setting the story in three points of history including the Vault of Stellar Curios in the future, London, 1854 and the Battle of Pejorica on Earth. But it’s not something to get really excited about.
‘The Four Doctors’ begins with Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor visiting the Vault of Stellar Curios to warn the people there about the temporal leakage. The Vault gets attacked by Daleks who’ve come to collect something very important in the Vault. Colonel Ulrik helps in his deal with them to board.
Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor then shows up and meets Professor Kalinda, who’s just met the Fifth Doctor. Eight helps out solving the crisis when the Daleks with Ulrik’s help attack. Eight knows how this works since he remembers this when he was Five and uses his memories to sort things out.
This story has a timey-wimey feel to it, especially as the two Doctors – Five and Eight cross their own timestream by appearing one place. This was where it got interesting as Five and Eight have a conversation with each other on the intercom as Eight prevents Five knowing he’s talking to himself.
Ulrik ends up traveling back in time to London, 1854 where he meets Michael Faraday, famous English scientist. Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor shows up, just in time to see Faraday and Ulrik before the Daleks arrive. The Doctor sends Ulrik back in time to the Battle of Pejorica on Earth.
During the Battle of Pejorica, Ulrik gets captured and interrogated by the Daleks before he’s thrown into a cell. He soon meets Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor, who helps him in his escape from the Daleks and helps him to redeem himself before sending him back to the Vault of Stellar Curios again.
Despite this being a 70-minute episode of ‘Doctor Who’, there are cliff-hanger moments in the story for the Doctors. This include scenes when the Sixth; Seventh and Eighth Doctors face death when the Daleks come for them. Fortunately these moments get resolved when the Fifth Doctor saves them.
In terms of continuity, this story for the Fifth Doctor occurs during the latter half of Season 21. For the Sixth Doctor, it occurs in his life when he’s mellower and less abrasive. For the Seventh Doctor, it occurs when he’s without Ace. For the Eight Doctor, it occurs during his travels with Lucie Miller.
Peter Davison; Colin Baker; Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann give fantastic performances as their Doctors in this story. Despite not meeting up, the Doctors each have their own adventure and it’s nice that they get to have their part of the action and how their stories all connect together in one.
I wish the four Doctors had companions with them joining in the adventure, as that would have made the story more exciting. It’s a shame there weren’t any companions featured in this story, as the Doctors are travelling alone and for me it’s not ‘Doctor Who’ without a companion(s) to help out.
Nicholas Briggs does a fantastic job as always with providing the voices for the Daleks in this story. I like some of the Dalek lines in this story that sound pretty menacing when either about to exterminate Doctor Six at gunpoint and regarding the Dalek Prime as inferior; unknown or incorrect.
One of the Daleks featured in this story is the Dalek Prime, who is the leader and overall instigator in the attack of the Vault of Stellar Curios. The Dalek Prime gets sent back in time with Ulrik and the Special Weapons Dalek when going backwards in the Doctor’s timeline and becoming part of events.
The Special Weapons Dalek from ‘Remembrance Of The Daleks’ makes an appearance in this ‘Doctor Who’ adventure. It becomes part of Michael Faraday’s collection when Ulrik discovers it in his lab. There is another ‘special’ Dalek contained inside the Vault of Stellar Curios when the Daleks attack.
The last scene of the story has the Eighth Doctor return to his TARDIS where he finds Doctors Five; Six and Seven there. I liked this scene where the four Doctors finally meet each other, although it would have been nicer if they had more interaction with each other during the story than there was.
The CD extras are as follows. On this disc, there is a suite of incidental music to enjoy. Sadly there aren’t any behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew on this disc which is disappointing.
If you subscribe to Big Finish for ‘The Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories’ via a 6 or 12 CD/Download subscription with ‘The Four Doctors’, you’ll get the following extras. As well as this story in the post, there is also a PDF script and extended extras with interviews on ‘The Four Doctors’.
‘The Four Doctors’ has been an enjoyable ‘Doctor Who’ adventure to listen to on audio. It’s not as good as ‘The Five Companions’ as I found that more enjoyable than this one. But this story features some performances by Peter Davison; Colin Baker; Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann facing Daleks.
‘The Four Doctors’ rating – 5/10
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