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Doctor Who - Four to Doomsday [DVD]


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Doctor Who - Four to Doomsday [DVD] + Doctor Who - Black Orchid [1981] [DVD] + Doctor Who: The Visitation - Special Edition [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Peter Davison, Stratford Johns, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, Matthew Waterhouse
  • Directors: John Black
  • Format: PAL, Colour
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Sep 2008
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001ARYYUE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,903 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

The Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) discovers that his attempt to return Tegan (Janet Fielding) to Heathrow Airport has brought the Tardis to a spacecraft that appears abandoned at first, but actually carries a force of frog-like aliens that may challenge the future of humankind on Earth. Also featuring Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) and Adric (Matthew Waterhouse).

From Amazon.co.uk

An adventure starring Peter Davison in the title role, this latest classic Doctor Who release, Four To Doomsday, has plenty of interesting ideas up its sleeve, even if they aren’t all fully realised by the time the credits run on the last episode. But there’s still plenty to enjoy, nonetheless.

The basis of Four To Doomsday is that the Doctor is trying to return Tegan back home, but instead finds himself on a strange spaceship, that almost inevitably is heading to Earth with unpleasantness very much on its agenda. The Doctor, accompanied by Nyssa, Adric and the aforementioned Tegan, naturally has to come to the rescue, aided by some very economic special effects (even for the time).

Four To Doomsday, however, is certainly a story with its moments, and the appearance of Stratford Johns is very much responsible for many of them. It’s also breezy enough, and easily pulls you through its four episodes. The plot doesn’t bear too much scrutiny, though, with a narrative that jumps around and loses cohesion. But it’s all engaging enough, with Davison very much finding his feet in the role. Few people would launch a campaign to have it lauded as an all-time classic, but it’s good fun, warts and all, nonetheless. --Jon Foster

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Captain Pugwash on 28 May 2009
Format: DVD
Peter Davison's second serial playing the eponymous Time Lord was actually the first that he recorded; you'd never know this from his assured and breezy performance, although there are a few moments of clunky humour that don't sit well with his earnest demeanour - left over from his fourth incarnation perhaps?. Davison's `wanderer in eternity' is both dashing and as fiercely intelligent as any of his predecessors; he also brings a fresh inquisitiveness and real energy to the role; something that had been lacking in Tom Baker's twilight years on the show.

The story itself is pretty routine; The Doctor and his three companions (Adric, Tegan and Nyssa) arrive on a colossal spaceship and meet its pilots; three amphibian-looking Urbankans. The aliens claim to be visiting Earth as tourists, but their uncanny abilities to replicate the human form, plus the fact that their ship is stocked with androids posing as Earthlings, leads the time travellers to uncover an altogether more sinister purpose.

Perfectly adequate as a lead-in to The Fifth Doctor and his companions; this serial does suffer from being rather static. The best performance comes from the excellent Stratford Johns as the power-crazed Monarch, whilst his fellow Urbankans `Persuasion' and `Enlightenment' are also well played. The music is atmospheric without being intrusive, and the set designs and costumes are effective; reflecting a time in the early 80s when the show still had a pretty healthy budget.

DVD extras here include Davison's first recording session; intriguing as a reminder of how slow it all was in 1981, but rather odd and stilted without the incidental music. It also contains the amusing scenario of Matthew Waterhouse (Adric) demonstrating that he was unable to act his way out of a paper bag.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Lidbury on 3 Sep 2001
Format: VHS Tape
....Not at all!! This isn't the most gripping or well produced of the Fifth Doctor's adventures, however it makes up for this with the deployment of a solid villain and sterling support from all current companions. After the intriguing post-regeneration trauma of Castrovalva, Davison seems to have come to terms with the role, whilst Nyssa, Tegan and Adric have gelled as his bickering but emotive fellow time-travellers. Production values seem to have slipped - particularly evidenced by an unconvincing spaceship and a baddie reminiscent of the Vogon warlord in Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Nevertheless, believable characterisations and a robust storyline ensure that Four to Doomsday can sit quite comfortably alongside Enlightenment and The Caves of Androzani, and certainly does the new era justice.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Robert Chapman on 21 Aug 2008
Format: DVD
THE FIRST STORY Peter Davison recorded shows the awkwardness of the new regulars as they try to settle in. The younger cast (presumably brought together to invest a fresh, innocent quality back into the series after the more mature Doctor/Romana relationship of the year before), are a mixed bunch. Davison is instantly appealing, even if he lacks some of the otherworldly edge needed for the role and Janet Fielding has real potential. Sadly, Sarah Sutton's Nyssa is too dull and mannerly to set the screen alight, while pudding-bowl-haired boy genius Adric got on everyone's three-penny bits!
Nevertheless, following a stilted first episode, this emerges as an intriguing tale. The mood and narrative style are reminiscent of the show's earliest days but the concepts are very contemporary (for 1982). Stratford Johns is a wonderfully charming villain and his schemes are both engaging and barking mad. There is wit rather than all-out clowning and the design is gorgeous to boot. Not a story to illicit the panning it has received by others here, or great acclaim either - it's a diverting, middling episode with some interesting ideas and perhaps best if - like me - you watched it go out as a kid where the rush of nostalgia is as powerful as for anyone old enough to remember earlier years and equally influential on one's opinion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By StormSworder on 8 Feb 2010
Format: DVD
The Doctor (Peter Davison) and his sidekicks arrive on a spacecraft run by a trio of frog-people on course for the Earth. On board are a lot of people from various Earth cultures. But all is not what it seems.

In 1980 a new production team decided they wanted rid of Romana and K9 because they were geniuses and therefore nobody could identify with them. So they were replaced by an irritatingly smug boy maths genius and a girl science genius with no personality. When the viewer's only 'identification' is with the obnoxious 'mouth on legs' Tegan, you can't help feeling the show was better off with Romana and Robo-Rover. It was also decided in 1980 that the Doctor and his companions should always be wearing the same outfits, hence the main characters in this story wear specially-designed 'uniforms' rather than ordinary clothes. Like I'm sure most viewers do. This being post-Star Wars Dr Who, most of the budget has been blown on a 'big spaceship shot' for the beginning of episode 1.

Another decision in 1980 was that Dr Who should be about 'real science'. What this meant was that for the next two or three years a number of stories felt like they were aimed at swotty nerd types rather than the public at large. It also led to some very long-drawn-out episodes which just seemed to revolve around one 'big idea'.

As demonstrated by the laughable "Doctor plays cricket in space", the supposedly clever scientific stuff made no actual sense whatsoever. This scene is sadly not all that's wrong with this story. It sets out with keen intentions, there are genuinely good points made about human society's failings, and Stratford Johns is excellent as the chief alien Monarch. What lets this story down is its slow pace and its rambling dialogue.
Worth watching, but doesn't really stand up to repeated viewing.
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