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Peter Davison
Four to Doomsday
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Synopsis


The Monarch
The Monarch
 Whilst trying to return Tegan to Heathrow Airport, The Doctor instead lands the TARDIS on a seemingly deserted alien spacecraft, just four days away from its final destination - Earth.

 The TARDIS crew discover that the ship isn’t as empty as it first appears. On board they find Chinese, Mayan, Greek and Aboriginal crew members - and the alien froglike Urbankans. The Urbankan leader, Monarch, invites The Doctor, Tegan, Nyssa and Adric to continue the trip to Earth as his guests.

 Monarch has returned to Earth every few thousand years throughout history, but now his intention is to stay for good. The Urbankans want to colonise Earth - but what plans does Monarch have for the future of mankind?

 The more The Doctor learns of Monarch’s grand scheme, the more unsettled Tegan and Nyssa become. But Adric thinks his friends have got the Urbankans all wrong. Who is The Doctor to trust...?

Source: BBC VHS Video


General Information

Season: Nineteen
Production Code: 5W
Story Number: 117
Episode Numbers:558 - 561
Number of Episodes: 4
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Working Titles:"Day of Wrath"
Production Dates: April 1981
Broadcast Started: 18 January 1982
Broadcast Finished: 26 January 1982
Colour Status: Colour
Studio: BBC Television Centre (TC6)
Location: None
Writer:Terence Dudley
Director:John Black
Producer:John Nathan-Turner
Script Editor:Antony Root
Editor:Rod Waldron
Production Manager:Henry Foster
Production Assistant:Jean Davis
Production Associate:Angela Smith
Assistant Floor Manager:Val McCrimmon
Designer:Tony Burrough
Costume Designer:Colin Lavers
Make-Up Designer:Dorka Nieradzik
Cameraman:Alec Wheal
Incidental Music:Roger Limb
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Dick Mills
Studio Sounds:Alan Machin
Lighting:Don Babbage
Visual Effects:Mickey Edwards
Fights Arranged By:B H Barry
Title Sequence:Sid Sutton
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Peter Howell
Choreographer: Sue Lefton
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: Peter Davison (The Fifth Doctor)
Number of Companions: 3The Companions: Matthew Waterhouse (Adric), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa) and Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka) Guest Cast: Stratford Johns (Monarch), Burt Kwouk (Lin Futu) Additional Cast: Paul Shelley (Persuasion), Annie Lambert (Enlightenment), Philip Locke (Bigon), Illarrio Bisi Pedro (Kurkutji), Nadia Hammam (Villagra)Setting: Monarch’s spaceship, Four days out from Earth (28th February 1981) Villains:The Minister of Enlightenment, The Minister of Persuasion and The Monarch

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
558Part 118 January 198223'36"8.4PAL 2" colour videotape
559Part 219 January 198224'11"8.8PAL 2" colour videotape
560Part 325 January 198224'09"8.8PAL 2" colour videotape
561Part 426 January 198224'53"9.4PAL 2" colour videotape

Total Duration 1 Hour 37 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 8.9
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (1998)56.67%  (Position = 139 out of 159)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2009)55.47% Lower (Position = 173 out of 200)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)56.48% Higher (Position = 218 out of 241)


Archives


 All four episodes exist as PAL 2" colour videotapes.



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Notes


Although the previous story "Castrovalva" was the first story, of Season Nineteen, to be aired, "Four to Doomsday" was the first story of this season to be filmed and so was the first which featured Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor.

Despite being mainly remembered as being rather lacklustre this story does, however, boast a strong guest cast and elaborate dance sequences choreographed by Sue Lefton, with fight arranger B.H. Barry contracted to supervise a mock battle between two Trojan warriors.

During this time John Nathan-Turner was taking an active role in the selection of guest performers as he was keen to attract as many big names to Doctor Who as possible, in order to maximise publicity.

Guest stars in this story include Stratford Johns, as Monarch, and Burt Kwouk, as Lin Futu. Stratford Johns, is best known for his starring role as Barlow in the BBC police series Z Cars and its Softly, Softly spin-offs. He also had originally been considered for the role of the Third Doctor in 1969. While Burt Kwouk later guest starred in the Big Finish Productions audio story "Loups-Garoux".

The didgeridoo music played during the Aborigine recreational period was the signature tune of a BBC programme called Quest Under Capricorn first broadcast in the early sixties.

It has been revealed that Peter Davison found the process of developing his incarnation of The Doctor’s personality frustrating as he was given little indication of how to play the new Doctor other than a strong desire, on the part of John Nathan-Turner and the BBC upper management, to draw a marked contrast from the Fourth Doctor’s incarnation. Peter Davison eventually decided to use an idea one fan had suggested, during his appearance on Pebble Mill At One, that his Doctor should be ‘Tristan Farnon, with bravery and intellect’, referring to Peter Davison’s popular character on All Creatures Great and Small. Although Peter Davison had originally dismissed this idea, it stuck with him, and he eventually decided to use it as the basis for his portrayal of the Fifth Doctor after all. Peter Davison was also determined to occasionally incorporate moments of whimsy, despite John Nathan-Turner’s insistence that jokiness be eliminated from Doctor Who.

This story was directed by John Black, who had previously helmed last season’s "The Keeper of Traken". This though was the final Doctor Who story directed by John Black, although he also worked on the spin-off story "K9 and Company: A Girl's Best Friend" later in 1981.

The opening shot of Monarch's spacecraft in flight was suggested by John Nathan-Turner, who intended it to be a homage to the start of the 1977 feature film Star Wars.

The Doctor, and his companions, discover that the three billion Urbankans, ruled by Monarch, who appoints ministers and keeps slaves, are now all stored on chip, inserted into androids when required. He destroyed their world, which orbits the star Inokshi in Galaxy RE 1489. They can shape-change technologically, and, in biological form, used to secrete a deadly poison. They can hypnotise.

Around 33000 BC the Urbankans first visited Earth. Around 6000 BC they returned to visit a civilisation that The Doctor wrongly identifies as Mayan, recognising certain pre-Mayan aspects of clothing. Around 2200 BC, during the Futu Dynasty (this is not a recognised dynasty, but unrecorded during the legendary prehistory era of the Five Sovereigns, pre-2205 BC), they came again. They were last on Earth in the Athenian era, around 500 BC.

This story takes place contemporaneously with the events of the 1981 Fourth Doctor story "Logopolis".

This story includes The Doctor first demonstration of his skill with a cricket ball and at one point he is heard to claim that he once took five wickets for New South Wales. Virgin Book’s The New Adventures novel "Human Nature" also demonstrates The Doctor's amazing abilities with a cricket ball.

Look out for the scene when The Doctor tells Tegan JovankaWho’ll believe us? We’ll be laughed at!’ when she wants to get to Earth to warn them about Monarch’s plan. The Doctor has clearly forgotten the purpose/existence of UNIT, the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, for which he was unpaid Scientific Advisor (through most of his third incarnation). He does however make use of his UNIT connections later in this season, in "Time-Flight".

In this story The Doctor demonstrates that he can survive (for a short time) the vacuum of space by putting himself into a trance which reduces the need for oxygen. He can also withstand sub-zero temperatures. The Doctor previous displayed an ability to survive exposure to a vacuum in space in the 1979 Fourth Doctor story "Nightmare of Eden".

We also discover that the molecular structure of the TARDIS is Earth like, and neither laser keys nor directional cobalt flux can open its lock. The Doctor also states that only his Professor at the Academy really understood artron energy, which powers the TARDIS.

This is the third occasion of a recurring theme where Adric 'betrays' The Doctor, or else Romana, Nyssa or Tegan, gaining the villains' trust and then later saving them. (See "State of Decay", "Castrovalva", "Kinda" and, to a lesser degree, "The Visitation" and "Black Orchid").

This story contains a number of errors. Namely: Tegan not only speaks the correct one of over 3000 Aboriginal languages, but one over 35,000 years old!; In the first episode one the doors of the TARDIS are pushed shut from behind, ostensibly by a member of the crew, as Peter Davison didn’t shut them all the way also, as Monarch tries to open the TARDIS, you can spot the head of a production person, crouching behind the equipment; Strangely Monarch seems unconcerned by the fact that at one point Tegan is leaving in the TARDIS, given that he wants to steal it; and in the fourth and final episode The Doctor and Tegan take the space pack helmets before they realise that Monarch has turned off the life support.

It had originally been decided that after "Castrovalva", The Doctor would only have two companions, Adric and Tegan. As a result, the character of Nyssa was to be written out of the show at the end of this story. However, Peter Davison strongly opposed this move because he felt that Nyssa was the companion who was ‘most suited to his vision of The Doctor’. Given this, producer John Nathan-Turner and the rest of the production team relented and Nyssa was retained. The story for the following story "Kinda" was already developed with two companions and Nyssa was not featured in that narrative as written. Rather than carry out a complete rewrite of "Kinda", to include Nyssa, it was decided that this story would end with her collapsing so that she could then remain absent during much of "Kinda" – she is said to be resting in the TARDIS.

Nyssa’s sudden fainting spell at the end of this story is also a throwback to the style of story transition often employed during the First Doctor’s era (for example, when The Doctor suddenly cries out in pain at the end of the 1966 story "The Celestial Toymaker", which leads into "The Gunfighters" in which it is revealed a toothache as the culprit). The reason for Nyssa’s sudden collapse at the end of this story is revealed at the start of "Kinda". The Big Finish Productions audio drama "Primeval" however provides an alternative explanation, beyond mere exhaustion, for Nyssa’s collapse at the end of this story.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first Doctor Who story to be written by Terence Dudley.

 Antony Root's first involvement in the show as Script Editor.

 The first story of this season to be filmed and so the first which featured Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor.

 The Doctor's first demonstration of his skill with a cricket ball.


The Lasts (Subject to Future Stories):

 The last Doctor Who story to be directed by John Black.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
The Doctor with Tegan and Adric
The Doctor with Tegan and Adric

The TARDIS materialises inside a very large, advanced alien spacehip. As The Doctor, Adric, Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka, leave the TARDIS to investigate, putting on space helmets with air supplies, their progress is monitored by hovering monopticons - mobile surveillance device which conveys the arrival of The Doctor and his three travelling companions to an observing being that is the commander of the spaceship.

Adric and Nyssa soon become separated from The Doctor and Tegan, as the latter meet up with their hosts - the green-skinned, frog-like Urbankan Monarch, and his ministers Persuasion and Enlightenment. Monarch explains that they are all headed for Earth - their first visit in 2,500 years. Monarch offers The Doctor his hospitality for the remaining four days of their journey.

The Doctor discovers that the Urbankans have made many periodic visits to Earth, each time getting speedier in their journeys. This time though they have left their homeworld after erratic solar activity, storing three billion of their species on slides aboard their craft, and it seems the current journey is their last and they now wish to settle on Earth.

Exploring Their Surroundings
Exploring Their Surroundings

After exploring Adric and Nyssa eventually meet up with The Doctor and Tegan in their rest room. There all of them meet Bigon, an Athenian; Villagra, a Mayan of the Americas; Lin Futu, a Chinese; and Kurkutji, an Australian Aborigine. All these people it seems are travelling back to Earth.

The Doctor though becomes suspicious of Monarch and soon learns that the Urbankan does not plan on having a peaceful co-existence on Earth. The time travellers become split up: Nyssa and Adric find themselves in areas of the spaceship tended by zombie-like Aborigines, Chinese and Greeks while The Doctor and Tegan attend a Recreational - dance and music from the different ethnic groups on board. While watching the entertainment Bigon quietly tells The Doctor that he must speak with them and when they have returned to their room, he reveals himself to be an android.

The Monarch
The Monarch

Adric and Nyssa are brought before Monarch who explains that he intends to bring the benefits of an android existence to Earth. Adric seems convinced but Nyssa is horrified. She is then hypnotised by Enlightenment and taken to the Mobiliary so that her personal history can be placed on a microchip.

Bigon tells The Doctor that Monarch caused the destruction of Urbanka and is now, aided by his ministers Persuasion and Enlightenment, engaged in a complex scheme to plunder from Earth the raw materials needed to enable him to travel back in time. Monarch intends to strip the Earth of its silicon, carbon and other minerals in order to achieve his great plan which is to travel faster than light and thus return to the creation of the Universe where he believes he will meet himself as he thinks he is God. He intends to use a poison produced by the Urbankans to shrink matter so as to subdue humanity.

Tegan decides to get away and enters the TARDIS, inadvertently moving it into a position just outside the spaceship. Meanwhile The Doctor and Bigon manage to rescue Nyssa. Monarch is about to have The Doctor executed when Adric intervenes on his behalf. Monarch agrees to stay the execution as he hopes to learn more about the TARDIS from the boy.

Bigon
Bigon

The Doctor manages to warn Adric and the pair convince Lin Futu to help them and Bigon, who is about to be re-programmed, is also rescued. The Doctor manages to get to the TARDIS by space-walking between the Monarch’s spaceship and his time machine - and with the aid of a carefully thrown cricket ball when he becomes stranded in space - and returns the TARDIS to the recreational hall. Persuasion and Enlightenment - both of them also revealed as androids - are disabled and their circuits thrown into space.

Monarch orders that the life support systems be shut down to stop the time travellers and Bigon sets the spaceship on a return course to Urbanka. The Doctor takes the Urbankan poison to analyse but returning to the TARDIS, they are confronted by Monarch. The Doctor throws the poison at the Urbankan who shrinks away to nothing.

The Doctor, Adric, Nyssa and Tegan then bid farewell to the humanoid androids, Bigon, Villagra, Kurkutji and Lin Futu, who have decide to pilot the spaceship to a new home on a new world.

Back in the Console Room The Doctor dematerialises the TARDIS. However, once on their way, Nyssa suddenly collapses to the floor…

 
The Monarch with Enlightenment and Persuasion
The Monarch with Enlightenment and Persuasion
Adric
Adric
The Doctor and Adric
The Doctor and Adric
Adric and Nyssa
Adric and Nyssa
 
The Urbankan Ship Survivors
The Urbankan Ship Survivors
The Doctor in Trouble
The Doctor in Trouble
The Doctor Attempts to Reach the TARDIS
The Doctor Attempts to Reach the TARDIS
Space Cricket
Space Cricket




Quote of the Story


 'Oh, he's always in trouble, Tegan, hadn't you noticed? It amuses him...'

Adric (Talking about The Doctor)



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Audio
LP
Doctor Who: The Music1983REC 462Music score
Audio
Tape
Doctor Who: The Music1983Music score
Audio
CD
Doctor Who - Earthshock - Classic Music From The BBC Radiophonic Workshop Volume 11992FLMCD 709Alister PearsonMusic score
Video
VHS
Four to DoomsdaySeptember 2001BBCV 7134Photo-montage
Video
DVD
Four to DoomsdaySeptember 2008BBCDVD 2431Photo-montage
Audio
CD
The 50th Anniversary CollectionDecember 2013Photo-montageOriginal Television Soundtracks
Video
Blu-Ray
Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 19 (Limited Edition)December 2018BBCBD 0446Photo-montageBlu-Ray Limited Edition boxed set containing 7 specially restored stories
Video
Blu-Ray
Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 19 (Standard Edition)May 2021BBCBD 0527Photo-montageBlu-Ray Standard Edition boxed set containing 7 specially restored stories


In Print

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)PublisherAuthorCover ArtRemarks
Novel
Novel
Four to DoomsdayJuly 1983Target No. 77Terrance DicksPhoto-montageISBN: 0-426-19334-2
Novel
Novel
Four to Doomsday1983Target No. 77Terrance DicksBook: Photograph
Box: Photo
Re-released as part of The Third Doctor Who Gift Set
ISBN: 0-426-19422-5
Novel
Novel
Four to DoomsdayJune 1991Target No. 77Terrance DicksAlister PearsonVirgin new cover reprint.
ISBN: 0-426-19334-2
CD
CD
Four to DoomsdayMar 2017Target No. 77Terrance DicksAlister PearsonAudio version of the Target Novel read by Matthew Waterhouse (Adric).
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (In Vision)Issue 56 (Released: March 1995)
Doctor Who Monthly - PreviewIssue 61 (Released: February 1982)
Doctor Who Monthly - ReviewIssue 64 (Released: May 1982)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArchiveIssue 213 (Released: June 1994)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 375 (Released: November 2006)
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of FictionIssue 498 (Released: May 2016)
Doctor Who DVD FilesVolume 105 (Released: January 2013)

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Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Companions

 
Peter Davison
The Fifth Doctor

   

Matthew Waterhouse
Adric
Sarah Sutton
Nyssa
Janet Fielding
Tegan Jovanka
   




On Release

Audio LP - Doctor Who: The Music
Audio LP - Doctor Who: The Music

BBC
AUDIO
Audio Tape - Doctor Who: The Music
Audio Tape - Doctor Who: The Music

BBC
AUDIO
Doctor Who - Earthshock CD Cover
Doctor Who - Earthshock CD Cover

Silva Screen
AUDIO
VHS Video Cover
VHS Video Cover

BBC
VIDEO
   
DVD Cover
DVD Cover

BBC
VIDEO
The 50th Anniversary Collection Cover
The 50th Anniversary Collection Cover

BBC
AUDIO
The Collection Season 19 Limited Edition Blu-Ray Cover
The Collection Season 19 Limited Edition Blu-Ray Cover

BBC
VIDEO
The Collection Season 19 Standard Edition Blu-Ray Cover
The Collection Season 19 Standard Edition Blu-Ray Cover

BBC
VIDEO
   



In Print

Target Book Cover
Target Book Cover

Target
NOVEL
The Third Doctor Who Gift Set
The Third Doctor Who Gift Set

Target
NOVEL
Reprinted Virgin Book Cover
Reprinted Virgin Book Cover

Virgin
NOVEL
Target Audio CD Cover
Target Audio CD Cover

BBC
CD
   



Magazines

Doctor Who CMS Magazine (In Vision): Issue 56
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (In Vision): Issue 56

CMS
Doctor Who Monthly - Preview: Issue 61
Doctor Who Monthly - Preview: Issue 61

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Monthly - Review: Issue 64
Doctor Who Monthly - Review: Issue 64

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 213
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 213

Marvel Comics
   
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 375
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 375

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 498
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 498

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 105
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 105

GE Fabbri


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