‘Four To Doomsday’ (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

The Rise of Monarch

Back in 2008, I watched Peter Davison’s first season of ‘Doctor Who’ from start to finish. Two stories were missing in my Season 19 collection including ‘Four To Doomsday’ and ‘Kinda’. I was so glad when ‘Four To Doomsday’ came out on DVD in September 2008. I was so keen to watch it back then!

At that time, it filled in the gap of the character journeys of the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric during that season. I was really enjoying the Season 19 TARDIS team. They quickly became my favourites and were an interesting bunch of TARDIS characters to feature in the ‘Doctor Who’ series.

I’ve had the DVD cover of ‘Four To Doomsday’ signed by Peter Davison at the ‘Regenerations 2016’ convention in Swansea, September 2016 and by the lovely Sarah Sutton at the ‘Valiant 2015’ convention in Sheffield, March 2015. It’s intriguing to note that this was the first story Peter Davison made as the Fifth Doctor whilst this was the third story Sarah Sutton made as Nyssa in ‘Doctor Who’.

Yes, you heard me right! Peter Davison made ‘Four To Doomsday’ first before he did ‘Castrovalva’, the official first story of Season 19 in transmission order. Due to the script problems of ‘Project Zeta-Sigma’ by John Flanagan and Andrew McCulloch, it was decided to produce ‘Four To Doomsday’ first.

The producer John Nathan-Turner wanted to make ‘Project Zeta-Sigma’ first, but leaving the scripts with script-editor Anthony Root and going away on holiday to an American ‘Doctor Who’ convention didn’t help matters. In the end, Anthony Root found the scripts for ‘Project Zeta-Sigma’ unworkable.

A shame really as it would’ve been interesting to see what ‘Project Zeta-Sigma’ would be like as a first Fifth Doctor adventure. Eventually, whilst ‘Four To Doomsday’, ‘The Visitation’ and ‘Kinda’ were getting into production, Eric Saward became the script editor and called in Christopher H. Bidmead.

Chris Bidmead wrote the opening Season 19 tale, ‘Castrovalva’, in place of ‘Project Zeta-Sigma’ as an emergency. But due to the delay of ‘Castrovalva’ being written, ‘Four To Doomsday’ had to be made first in order to save time and get production of Peter Davison’s first ‘Doctor Who’ season underway.

It’s interesting how the production history of Season 19 turned out. The cast and crew must have been under a lot of pressure to get Peter Davison’s first season of ‘Doctor Who’ done in a short space of time. Peter Davison didn’t even know how to play the Doctor by that point in the TV series.

This isn’t the first time this has happened with ‘Doctor Who’ seasons produced out of order. With Season 17, ‘The Creature From The Pit’ was made first before ‘Destiny of the Daleks’. Later on with Series 5 of the new series, ‘The Time of Angels’/’Flesh and Stone’ was made first before ‘The Eleventh Hour’.

Despite this, I found ‘Four To Doomsday’ to be a good space yarn and enjoyed watching how Peter Davison fared in his beginnings as the Doctor in terms of production history. Peter Davison has criticised his performance in ‘Four To Doomsday’, but I found him to be confident and well-settled here.

‘Four To Doomsday’ is a four-part story by Terence Dudley. Beforehand, Terence Dudley had been a director and writer on ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ with Peter Davison. He previously directed ‘Meglos’ in Season 18. He would go on to write ‘Black Orchid’ (my favourite story) and ‘The King’s Demons’.

In the story, the TARDIS lands inside an alien spaceship on its way to Earth. The Doctor is trying to get Tegan back to Heathrow Airport on Earth in 1981 – the same day she walked into the TARDIS in ‘Logopolis’. But the Doctor’s missed the mark. Pretty soon, he and his friends explore the spaceship.

The Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric soon meet the Urbankans, led by Monarch as well as Enlightenment and Persuasion. The Urbankans claim to be on a peaceful mission to Earth. But will the Doctor discover what the true intentions of Monarch are and whether he is peaceful as he says?

There are some nice concepts featured throughout this story regarding Monarch; the Urbankans and a group of humans from four ethnicities of Earth’s history. It’s quite mind-boggling when you have to take in all these ideas into context, but it’s enjoyable and watchable when you see it more and more.

Mind you, I didn’t find the story fast paced enough. It feels theatrical and requires some more action scenes. ‘Four To Doomsday’ is underrated and does have some merit. It shouldn’t be disregarded entirely. Janet Fielding even considers ‘Four To Doomsday’ as the strongest of Season 19 apparently.

I like how Terence Dudley portrayed the four TARDIS regulars. He depicts the different personalities in terms of conflict and drama. Dudley must have found it a challenge to write for the crowded TARDIS of the Fifth Doctor Nyssa, Tegan and Adric, especially when he didn’t know them really well.

I don’t think the TARDIS characters get equal measures of character development, but Terence Dudley does do a grand job anyway. He would make up for any lack of character development for the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric in his next story, ‘Black Orchid’, which I enjoyed very much.

Here, Peter Davison finds his feet as the Doctor. He does an extraordinary job as he’s very enthusiastic, energetic and fresh from playing Tristan in ‘All Creatures’. Peter’s Doctor shows his concern for his companions and he’s really brave to stand up to Monarch and his minions in the tale.

I like how Peter’s Doctor works things out and puts his trust in Bigon, even though it gets him into trouble. The cliff-hanger to ‘Part Three’ where the Doctor was about to be beheaded by a gladiator was tense-driven. I enjoyed it when the Doctor used a cricket ball in space to get back to his TARDIS.

I enjoyed Janet Fielding as Tegan in this. Tegan wants to return to Heathrow Airport to do her job. She gets frustrated and bad-tempered here, not liking what goes on with Monarch. She does get panicky when she and the Doctor discover the Urbankans’ plans for Earth and won’t listen to reason.

I found it tense and amusing to watch Tegan argue with Adric as she tells him to get out of her way. She has a go at flying the TARDIS, which is impressive even for her! I found it funny when Tegan gets frustrated and worked up in the TARDIS before she manages to get it to work and is sobbing joyfully.

Sarah Sutton is lovely as Nyssa in this. She gets side-lined sadly, with being hypnotised and having a ‘hairdryer’ on her head when being processed. I liked it when Nyssa challenged the Urbankans’ principles, calling their good things as ‘fine tyranny’. I liked it when Nyssa asked, “What about love?”

♪ What is love?, Baby don’t hurt me, Don’t hurt me, No more. ♫

It was also good to see Nyssa be a part of the conversation with the Doctor, Tegan and Adric in ‘Part Two’ of the story, demonstrating her expertise in cybernetics. I liked it when Nyssa thanked the Doctor for saving her life and when she in return saved his life when he was about to be beheaded.

I found Matthew Waterhouse as Adric to be poorly developed and pretty annoying in this. When I originally wrote this review, I found him out of character when allying himself with the Urbankans, believing Monarch to be wonderful. Mind you, I’ve had arguments to the contrary in regards to this.

I suppose it’s not impossible for Adric to behave in this manner with him being young and naive. But it strains his relationship with the Doctor by this point. The Doctor scolds Adric in his beliefs for Monarch being a benefactor and offers him a choice about whether to help to stop Monarch or not.

Stratford Johns guest stars as Monarch, the supreme ruler of Urbanka. Stratford is a green, alien frog in this and does a wonderful, majestic performance as a ‘Doctor Who’ villain. It must have been hard work for Stratford to be in that make-up, but he does it amazingly well in terms of playing Monarch.

The two Urbankans working for Monarch included Annie Lambert as Enlightenment and Paul Shelley as Persuasion. These two Urbankans are originally frogs like Monarch at first before they transform into human beings, based on sketches drawn by Tegan. They look human, but are cold and ruthless.

Annie Lambert would later go on to be in one episode of ‘All Creatures Great and Small’. I found Enlightenment to be quite cold in her approach and fiercely loyal to Monarch, despite appearing pretty and glamorous in human form. He unties the rope to throw the Doctor out into space forever.

Paul Shelley was also in the 1980 BBC TV adaptation of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ by Charles Dickens. He would later guest star in the Big Finish audio, ‘The Whispering Forest’ with Peter Davison. I found Persuasion to be quite sneaky and slimy serving Monarch. He’s pretty suspicious of Bigon’s motives.

On board Monarch’s spaceship, there seem to be four ethnic groups of humans. There are the Ancient Greeks, led by Philip Locke as Bigon; the Chinese, led by Burk Kwouk as Lin Futu; the Mayans led by Nadia Hamman as Villagra and the Aborigines led by Illarrio Bisi Pedro as Kurkutji. Interesting bunch!

I’ve seen Philip Locke before in Series 4, Episode 3 of ‘Jeeves and Wooster’. I was delighted to see him as Bigon in this ‘Doctor Who’ story. Bigon is a Greek philosopher who knows Monarch’s plans for Earth are dastardly evil. Bigon shares this with the Doctor, believing that he can stop Monarch in his plans.

Burt Kwouk is very good as Lin Futu. I’ve seen Burt in TV shows like ‘The Saint’ and ‘The Avengers’. The character he plays in Lin Futu seems to be a corrupt man who’s agreed to serve the great Monarch. But there is still a chance that the Doctor might get through and persuade him otherwise.

I didn’t feel Nadia Hamman as Villagra and Illarrio Bisi Pedro as Kurkutji played a huge part in the story overall. Villagra didn’t say anything at all as she was vowed not to speak until the journey’s end. There was an intriguing scene where Tegan spoke to Kurkutji in a different Australian language.

I found the story well-directed by John Black, who previously directed ‘The Keeper of Traken’. I found the spaceship set designs impressive as well as the outer space scenes; the various entertainments performed by various ethnic groups and those big camera eyes called monopticons aboard the ship.

The opening shot of the Urbankans’ spaceship in space is very impressive even for its time back in the 1980s. It would’ve been nice if there were some actual space battles with that Urbankan spaceship to make the story feel epic and action-packed. Sadly that didn’t out to be the case here. 😀

The original DVD special features were as follows. There was some behind-the-scenes studio recording footage on the story; the ‘Saturday Night at the Mill’ interview with Peter Davison (now on the ‘Castrovalva’ disc for the Season 19 Blu-ray) and two versions of the 1980s theme music video (also now on the ‘Castrovalva’ disc for the Season 19 Blu-ray) including the mono sound audio mix version and the 5.1 surround sound audio mix version. There was a photo gallery of the story; a mono sound audio mix option for the story and a DVD audio commentary with Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, Matthew Waterhouse and director John Black. There was also an info-text commentary option; a ‘Radio Times Listings’ PDF of the story and a ‘coming soon’ DVD trailer for ‘The War Machines’ with William Hartnell, Jackie Lane, Anneke Wills and Michael Craze.

On Disc 2 of the ‘Doctor Who – The Collection – Season 19’ Blu-ray, the behind-the-scenes studio recording footage (now called the highlights); the mono sound audio mix option for the story; the DVD audio commentary and the ‘Radio Times Listings’ PDF can be found on there. The photo gallery and the info-text commentary option for ‘Four To Doomsday’ have been updated for 2018 on the Blu-ray.

The new special features on Blu-ray include the making-of documentary called ‘Days of Wrath’ with cast and crew interviews. There’s also the ‘Behind the Sofa’ feature on ‘Four To Doomsday’ with Peter Davison (the Fifth Doctor); Sarah Sutton (Nyssa); Janet Fielding (Tegan) and Matthew Waterhouse (Adric) as well as Mark Strickson (Turlough) and Sophie Aldred (Ace). There’s also the unedited version of the behind-the-scenes studio footage. There are also BBC continuity announcements of the story and an audio archive interview with Stratford Johns.

On the PDF front, as well as the ‘Radio Times Listings’ of the story, there are also production documents and scripts for the story. You need a special Blu-ray computer drive for that.

I like ‘Four To Doomsday’ as a ‘Doctor Who’ story! It’s not the best story by any means and I don’t consider it as the strongest of Season 19 like Janet Fielding suggests. But it’s certainly worth the entertainment and I greatly enjoyed how Peter Davison establishes himself as the Doctor in this tale.

It’s also great to watch with Nyssa, Tegan and Adric as the Doctor’s companions and how the four work together as a team despite their dysfunctional tendencies. Sarah Sutton makes interesting comments about how the four fare in this story. Stratford Johns is also really good as Monarch here.

‘Four To Doomsday’ rating – 8/10

Four_to_Doomsday_novel  four to doomsday audiobook


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Monarch’s Mission To Earth Explored

Back in March 2015, I read ‘Doctor Who – Four To Doomsday’ in ‘four’ days! Honest, I did!

In the first weekend of March 2015, I attended the ‘Doctor Who’ convention called ‘Valiant 2015’ in Sheffield. During that weekend, I read the Target novelization of ‘Four To Doomsday’ by Terrance Dicks. I read it whilst I stayed at a Premier Inn hotel; I read it on a train and soon finished it at home.

I enjoyed reading the ‘Four To Doomsday’ book a lot. It’s a nice read and I was able to hear the voices of the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan, Adric and Monarch from watching the TV story on DVD. It was such a unique experience reading the Target novelizations of the ‘Doctor Who’ TV stories that I love.

In March 2017, the audiobook of ‘Doctor Who – Four To Doomsday’ was released. I was pleased to find it released and read by Matthew Waterhouse who played Adric in the ‘Doctor Who’ TV series. I was looking forward to reading and hearing the adventure with Matthew’s narration in the background.

I’ve had the CD cover of the ‘Doctor Who – Four To Doomsday’ audiobook signed by Matthew Waterhouse at the ‘London Film & Comic Con’ in July 2017. I had some nice chats with Matthew about this ‘Doctor Who’ audiobook he read for BBC Worldwide as well as the TV series in general.

Before it was released, I did wonder whether the ‘Four To Doomsday’ novelization would get its own audiobook by the BBC someday. I wondered who would read the story, since I hoped it would be either Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding, Matthew Waterhouse or all four of them reading.

I am glad it’s Matthew Waterhouse who’s reading this audiobook of ‘Four To Doomsday’, since he clearly enjoys reading these novelizations of the ‘Doctor Who’ stories he was in and gives good readings of them anyway. He also previously read the audiobooks of ‘Full Circle’ and ‘The Visitation’.

I enjoyed Matthew’s interpretation of the voices he gave to the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric in the audiobook of ‘Four To Doomsday’. Having worked with his co-stars lately for Big Finish as well as in the TV series, he can get the pitches and tones of Peter, Janet and Sarah’s voices of the characters.

I found Matthew’s voice for Monarch in this story very interesting to listen to. It’s not an exact match to Stratford John’s voice in the TV story, but it’s clearly meant to be a throaty voice as described in the book. It was at times chilling when Matthew had Monarch getting angry in the tale.

As I said before, the ‘Doctor Who – Four To Doomsday’ novelization is by Terrance Dicks. It was based on the TV scripts by another ‘Terence’ – Terence Dudley. Terrance Dicks has a knack for novelizing ‘Doctor Who’ stories not by himself, as he’s worked for the Target novelization range in the 1970s and 1980s.

I found it surprising that Terence Dudley didn’t novelize his TV scripts of ‘Four To Doomsday’ into a book like he did for ‘Black Orchid’ and ‘The King’s Demons’. Dudley put in a lot of detail when he novelized those two stories and I felt that this was missing for the ‘Four To Doomsday’ novelization.

However, Terrance Dicks novelizes the TV scripts of ‘Four To Doomsday’ into a compelling read and he decently sticks to the plot of what was shown in the TV story with few subtle changes. Terrance is good at novelizing ‘Doctor Who’ stories which he did not write as he gets the atmosphere for them.

The ‘Four To Doomsday’ book was published in 1983 – a year after the story was transmitted in 1982. The story was divided into 12 chapters with 3 chapters each making up for one episode out of the four-part story. So 3 chapters; times 4; equals the 12 chapters that are found in the novelization.

The audiobook itself is a 3-disc CD set. I expected this to be a 4-disc set with the four episodes of the story allocated a disc each. Instead, the first four chapters (‘Part One into Two’) are on Disc 1; the second four (‘Part Two to Three’) are on Disc 2 and the last four (‘Part Three into Four’) are on Disc 3.

This was the first time that Terrance Dicks wrote for the complete TARDIS team from Season 19 in action. I really enjoyed how Terrance writes for the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric; how he depicts them in the actual action of the story and their reactions to events during ‘Four To Doomsday’ itself.

Terrance has written for Adric before since he wrote him in the TV story, ‘State of Decay’. He’s also written for Nyssa before when he did the novelization of ‘Doctor Who and the Keeper of Traken’. I assume this was the first time that he wrote for the Fifth Doctor and Tegan and he writes for them very well.

As I said before, Terrance more or less sticks to the plot of the TV story without changing much. Terrance does well in enhancing the descriptions of scene settings in the story though. He may not have changed the dialogue much, but he enhances the world of Monarch’s ship with superb descriptions.

Terrance does well in describing Monarch’s mission more clearly and what he intends to do with Earth when his ship arrives. From reading the book, ‘Four To Doomsday’ has the makings of a good story. It’s such a shame it isn’t clear in the TV version of the tale compared to Terrance novelizing it.

I discovered there were subtle changes made in the book which deviated from the TV story. One moment is when one Greek slave worker shoved Nyssa aside and Adric shouted, “Don’t you do that to her!” I was so surprised Terrance didn’t include that moment. It was a great character moment for Adric here.

The ‘Part Three’ cliff-hanger in Chapter 9 differs slightly from the TV version. The Doctor tells Monarch no-one can pilot the TARDIS except him. But he’s proven wrong when Tegan pilots the TARDIS herself. This is a good tense moment, since the Doctor’s death gets accidentally signed here.

I also found it interesting with how Terrance describes Monarch’s influence on Adric in persuading him to think that he’s wonderful. It implies that Adric is being manipulated by Monarch in a hypnotic fashion rather than by free will compared to what was shown in the TV story with Adric being annoying.

The story’s climax differs as Adric kills Monarch with the poison instead of the Doctor. I found this interesting. It was uncharacteristic and violent of the Doctor to throw the poison at Monarch in the TV story. Thus Terrance had this changed to have Adric throw the poison instead which makes sense.

I asked Matthew Waterhouse what he made of that moment when he read the audiobook, since I told him it was different in the TV story. He didn’t register the difference between the TV story and the novelization with Adric throwing the poison instead of the Doctor, which was rather interesting.

Matthew did say to me that Terrance Dicks would have worked on the original TV scripts when he novelized the story. Therefore, Adric could have been meant to have thrown the poison at Monarch first before it was changed to the Doctor instead. This was so intriguing to hear from Matthew’s lips.

Regarding Nyssa, Terrance hasn’t changed much to what she does in the actual TV story. But I found it gripping to read as I was anxious about Nyssa when she was taken away to be hypnotized and processed by the androids. Terrance describes Nyssa so interestingly as being ‘haughty’ in the book.

A big change is that Nyssa doesn’t faint at the end of the book. The end has the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric carrying on traveling in the TARDIS. I was surprised and wondered why Terrance didn’t end the ‘Four To Doomsday’ book with Nyssa fainting. Not that I’m complaining. I’m just intrigued by this.

Of course, from my conversation with Matthew Waterhouse at the ‘London Film & Comic Con’ in July 2017, perhaps the ending with Nyssa fainting in the TARDIS wasn’t included in the original TV scripts. It would make sense as it was rather abrupt and sudden when it happened in the TV version.

I enjoyed the ‘Doctor Who – Four To Doomsday’ novelization when I first read it in ‘four’ days back in March 2015. It was great to read it during the ‘Valiant 2015’ convention weekend in Sheffield. I’m so glad I enjoyed the novelization when I read it again with the audiobook in the background for 2017.

Matthew Waterhouse’s narration is so superb and he’s engaging throughout when I read the novelization with the audiobook in the background. I enjoyed immersing into the world of Monarch’s ship and following the journeys of the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric when they were saving Earth.

‘Doctor Who – Four To Doomsday’ – 8/10

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9 thoughts on “‘Four To Doomsday’ (TV)

  1. Elinor

    Hi! I’m back to reading these again after another looong absence (seriously, my life’s chaotic).

    I think this story is rather underrated by many. I my not be a favorite of mine, but is still really enjoyed it and liked reading your review of it.

    I was particularly interested by the fact you found Adric’s worship of Monarch to be out of character and not making sense, as I didn’t find it that odd myself. I really don’t think it’s that much of a stretch for a character who has a high mathimatical intellect, but is very naive, to be swept up by Monarch’s speach and ideals. Annoying it may be, but out of character? I don’t think so.

    I also liked that most of Tegan’s whining in this was more funny than annoying. And one should not forget that she wasn’t whining hysterically all the time, but actually had moments of calm, like when she spoke to the Aborigines in his native language and we also learned that she’s quite good a drawing (lol).

    And while Nyssa was side-lined for most of the story, it was cool that she got to save the Doctor.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Bradley Post author

    Hi Elinor.

    It’s nice to hear from you again! Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘Four To Doomsday’!

    Yes indeed, this story is pretty underrated. I’m wondering how it could be made now with a bigger budget and having more pacier scenes. Sometimes the story doesn’t have the sense of urgency as it should, but I found the concepts with Monarch’s ship and the Urbankans fascinating and I enjoyed the interaction and character journeys of the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric in this one.

    Okay, well perhaps it’s just me. It just seemed strange that Adric would ally himself so willingly to Monarch without a second’s thought. In the novelization, it seemed to make sense as Adric was being hypnotised under Monarch’s influence to believe he was so wonderful. If that was clear in the TV story with Adric being manipulated by Monarch to ally to him so willingly, then perhaps it would have made sense. Interesting that you didn’t find it out of character for Adric and that it made sense for you and not for me. Thank you for sharing that with me, Elinor. 😀

    No that is true! Tegan doesn’t whine all the time in these ‘Doctor Who’ stories. I liked that moment when Tegan gets to speak in Aborigine to Kurkutji, although why couldn’t the TARDIS translate the language into English via the telepathic circuits? Surely Aborigine can’t be difficult to translate?! 😀 Yes very interesting that Tegan can do a good drawing of two people that end up looking like Persuasion and Enlightenment! Very interesting also in how she tries to explain the fashion she wears when not in uniform by drawing when she states it’s difficult to explain.

    Yes it is good that Nyssa gets to save the Doctor’s life in ‘Part Four’ with a pencil and a sonic screwdriver. I’m not saying that Nyssa’s badly written in this story as she does get some lovely character moments. I enjoy it when she comes into her own and gets to put her technical expertise and skills to good use.

    I’m currently enjoying the latest Big Finish audio with the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric! Looking forward to the next two.

    Thanks Elinor! Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘Four To Doomsday’! Greatly enjoyed reading your thoughts on this story! I’ll check out your comments on ‘Kinda’ later on.

    Tim. 🙂


  3. Timelord 007

    Fantastic review of both adaptions, i agree with Elinor this is a very underrated story, i think it’s a damm good four parter, ok the FX aren’t the best but the story makes for a intriguing watch & is a very imaginative idea.

    John Blacks direction is excellent, i like the angst between the Doctor & Adric this makes good character drama that work well in balancing the sci-fi elements of the story.

    I like Peter Davisons performance as the Doctor, he’s a little reckless at times which makes the character fallible but still works out how to save the day.

    Again i love how you compared the different versions of the story, i remember being surprised Nyssa didn’t faint in the novel & Adric throwing the poison at the end was more suited to his character than the Doctor’s.

    Loved your reviews on this underrated gem Tim, i hope one day you get to write a Fifth Doctor audio, my reply would be “here Big Finish take my money”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Thanks for your comments on my reviews for both the TV story and novelization/audiobook of ‘Four To Doomsday’. Glad you enjoyed my thoughts on them.

      I enjoyed ‘Four To Doomsday’ when I first saw it on DVD back in 2008. I know it wasn’t the most spectacular of stories, but I enjoyed how some of the ideas delivered in this and the performances of the cast were great.

      I’m glad you enjoyed John Black’s direction on this story. He did well with ‘The Keeper of Traken’, so it’s not surprise he did well with this one. I’m glad you enjoyed the character drama between the Doctor and Adric in this one. I agree it balances well with the sci-fi elements of this story.

      I don’t know why Peter Davison was nervous about his performance as the Doctor in ‘Four To Doomsday’. He does well in this one, surprisingly as this was the first one he recorded in production order and you wouldn’t have guessed that.

      I’m glad you enjoyed how I compared both the TV story and novelization/audiobook in my review. I enjoyed chatting to Matthew about Adric throwing the poison at Monarch instead of the Doctor. He said it would have been altered to have the Doctor throw the poison instead of Adric as opposed to what was in the original script by Terrence Dudley. I think it works better with Adric throwing the poison at Monarch instead of the Doctor in the book.

      Yes the ending where Nyssa didn’t faint in the book was quite a surprise. It doesn’t tie in to what happens to Nyssa in ‘Kinda’ as Terrance Dicks novelized that and just stated that she was unwell with no lead in from ‘Four To Doomsday’. Interesting how he did that, yes. Again, I suppose the faint wasn’t in the original script and was added in at JNT’s request.

      I would love to write for Big Finish someday. I’m sure you would enjoy my stories if they ever get made for audio. But the way, it’s taking me a while to add my new story ‘Dawn of the Dwaxi’ to my blog. Hopefully it’ll be added soon in January.

      I’ve enjoyed revisiting ‘Four To Doomsday’ recently on DVD as well as through the audiobook with Matthew Waterhouse. I’ve just re-watched the story with the commentary track with Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, Matthew Waterhouse and director John Black. Greatly enjoyed re-watching the first two episodes with the commentary.

      Thanks again, Simon.

      Tim. 🙂


  4. Timelord 007

    Excellent Blu ray update of this very underated story, i remember watching this as a 7 yr old being intrigued by this adventure, i like the story & characters & considering this was the first story Peter did his performance as the Doctor is brilliant & adds a fresh zest of energy to the show that was sorely lacking in season 18.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Very pleased you enjoyed my updated Blu-ray review on ‘Four To Doomsday’.

      This is a very underrated story and whilst not perfect in all areas it did engage me with the story and the characters featured in it. I enjoyed Peter Davison’s Doctor in this adventure, despite this being the first one he recorded in production order which was interesting as well as the performances of Sarah, Janet and Matthew featured throughout.

      Updating my reviews on these stories has been interesting as I’ve been able to look back and gather new thoughts on the story, especially through watching the new Blu-ray extras like the making-of documentaries and the Behind the Sofa features. My opinions on Adric’s character in this story have changed since I first wrote the review on the TV story.

      I’m looking forward to when the Season 18 Blu-ray box set comes out this year in 2019. Interesting how you found Peter’s Doctor added zest and energy into the show and that you found that sorely missing in Season 18.

      Many thanks for your comments, Simon.

      Tim. 🙂


  5. Williams Fan 92

    Great review Tim.

    I just finished watching part 4 of this story on Blu-Ray and I loved it. The tension kept me hooked all the way through especially surrounding Nyssa when she was processed and when she fainted at the end. Ironically, I didn’t find Tegan funny in this unlike you. I didn’t hate her however even though she tried to leave in the Tardis without the Doctor, Adric and Nyssa. Then again we all make mistakes and the Doctor seemed to take it better than I thought he would. She didn’t cause any problems compared to Adric at least. I don’t know what was going his mind when he sided with Monarch but he did have a change of heart in the end. I would like to purchase the audiobook read by Matthew Waterhouse. Like with most old novelisations, I’ll skip the actual book and go through to it’s audio adaptation as the books are hard to come by.

    I have seen Burt Kwouk in ‘Last in the Summer Wine’. I can’t remember if I’ve seen Annie Lambert in ‘All Creatures Great and Small’, but apparently Robert Hardy was annoyed by her according to Peter in ‘Behind the Sofa’ so she never appeared again after her first appearance.

    P.s. I have ordered ‘Interstitial/Feast of Fear’ to listen to when it arrives. Tartarus too 3 weeks to arrive but I don’t know if this will be the same. I ordered ‘Interstitial/Feast of Fear’ on Wednesday.

    Take care, WF92.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Williams Fan 92

      One more thing. It regards ‘Strange Love’. Maybe we should do ‘Logopolis’ next, followed by ‘Castrovalva’, then ‘Four to Doomsday’ and all of Nyssa’s tv stories up until ‘Terminus’. Of course that will depend on wether or not I’ve watched Nyssa’s other stories, and other ideas you have for ‘Strange Love’ because you said you wanted to do ‘Batman 89’ or ‘Thunderbirds’ next. But we’ll see what happens.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi WF92,

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘Four to Doomsday’ and glad you enjoyed the story itself. I’m glad you were gripped by the tensions of the story, especially when Nyssa became hypnotised and when she fainted on the TARDIS floor at the story’s end. Interesting that you didn’t find Tegan funny in this story as I found her funny, especially when she tried to get away in the TARDIS and pilot the ship herself. I suppose it’s all down to perception with characters like Tegan, Nyssa, Adric and the Fifth Doctor in ‘Doctor Who’. I’m glad you still enjoyed them. I hope you’ll get to enjoy the ‘Four to Doomsday’ audiobook read by Matthew Waterhouse. I haven’t heard it in a while, but I do recall enjoying it when I read the Target novelization with it.

      Annie Lambert was in the 1983 Christmas Special of ‘All Creatures’ and that was her only appearance where she became Siegfried’s wife. A shame that her laughter got on Robert Hardy’s nerves as she didn’t return to the series again. 😦 Glad you’ve ordered ‘Interstitial’/’Feast of Fear’. If you ordered via Big Finish, you should be able to hear a download version on their website as well as receive the CD version. I’m waiting for my copies of ‘The War Master: Killing Time’ and ‘The Ninth Doctor Adventures – Volume 2’ to come in the post. Hopefully they’ll come soon and Big Finish does send notifications about sending items out to their customers. It has taken a while for items to be sent out these past couple of years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the CD products do come in the post eventually. They’d advise you to wait for about 28 days before you can report to them that the item you ordered hasn’t come. Hopefully it will come soon.

      Not a bad idea regarding doing the Nyssa TV stories in chronological order for the ‘Strange Love’ discussions. I might consider that. I’m a bit behind on things as I’ve yet to edit the ‘Strange Love’ discussion for ‘The Keeper of Traken’. Hopefully I’ll get that done in time before the 30th of September for ‘Bradley’s Basement’s 6th anniversary.

      Many thanks for your comments.

      Tim. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


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