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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Frogs with funny hairdos
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...
Published on 28 May 2009 by Captain Pugwash

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Davison era doomed?
....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...
Published on 3 Sep 2001 by Matthew Lidbury


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5.0 out of 5 stars Spot On!, 9 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Four to Doomsday [DVD] (DVD)
You can't go wrong with many of the old doctor who stories and this one is no exception. A classic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars ...And in this corner, TEGAN VS ADRIC!!, 24 Aug 2012
This review is from: Doctor Who - Four to Doomsday [DVD] (DVD)
Great story highly underated.

Peter Davison - The Doctor
Janet Fielding - Tegan
Sarah Sutton - Nyssa
Matthew Waterhouse - Adric
(Ranked 173rd in 2009 in Doctor Who Magazine's, Mighty 200 pol)

A definate Highlight of this episode is Tegan knockig annoying Adric out. Possibly buy this release for that alone!
This one is not held high among fans of Doctor Who, I LIKE IT! Peter Davison is my all-time favorite Doctor and Janet Fielding and Sarah Sutton play my all-time favorite companions. RECOMMENDED!
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5.0 out of 5 stars a real visual treat...., 17 Aug 2007
some stories of doc who have great storylines and acting but obvious limitations of budget, like in the sun makers and underworld, and some stories have great storylines and great designing, and here is one of the best for its overall look on the eye.

not just the impressive and massive looking sets, but also the cultures developed and shown throughout. and monarch is a great central moron if ever there was one. Peter Davison is a great doctor, here in his debut performance as the time lord. And the crew of the TARDIS are all different and all get a decent amount of things to do.

this is doctor who at its most imaginative and fun.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For the slow of thinking...., 14 Sep 2008
By 
L. Dickenson (Darlington UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doctor Who - Four to Doomsday [DVD] (DVD)
2Entertain are releasing all the Doctor Who stories currently available.The key word there is "all".As in "all".Everyone of.That includes the good,the bad and the occasional ugly.Four To Doomsday may indeed fall into that category but it has to be released at some point.There are a limited number of Hartnell/Troughton episodes available and they need more restoration,so they are obviously going to be released less frequently than the later stories.Buy or don't buy.That is the question....

Four To Doomsday is a decent story,let down by the inadequacy both of FX available,and of the people in charge at the time of production.But the story is better than the criticism usually aimed at it would have you believe.Peter Davison's Doctor is clearly still finding his feet in his predecessor's somewhat sizeable shoes.Which is entirely understandable.The tale seems burdened by the presence of the three companions,which is two too many,at times events seemingly occuring just to provide them with something to do(Tegan attempting to steal the Tardis most obviously)which,as much as anything,distract from the plot.

Speaking of the plot,it's not hugely original,and reminds me in places of The Ark,a early William Hartnell story,which has yet to reach the shelves on DVD(hint hint).Alien invasion of Earth is nothing new,yet Four to Doomsday puts it's own spin on the premise,which while never ingenius,gives enough original moments to stand out on it's own,for better or for worse!.Monarch may not have become an icon such as Daleks or Cybermen,but i'm not going to forget Stratford Johns as a life-size frog!

They tried,and did at times fail.But they tried.And at the end of the day,thats why i love the show.And it's also why i like Four To Doomsday.It's one of those stories that reminds me why i love the show.Because even when it's not great,it's good.What more can you ask for?
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ignore negative reviews, 29 Oct 2009
By 
L. Whitehurst - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Four to Doomsday [DVD] (DVD)
It was pretty good and had quite an interesting story. You could see Peter Davison just starting to develop into the role which is cool to watch. All of the companions had something to do even though there were three of them. The special effects are good for their time and are completely believable too.

Also, the actress playing 'Enlightenment' is extremely beautiful. I wish she was in it more than she was.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not as bad as it's made out to be - again!!, 18 Sep 2008
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Four to Doomsday [DVD] (DVD)
I saw this story for the first time yesterday on DVD. I was expecting something truly awful but I was very pleasantly surprised. The sets, design,lighting and direction are very effective, especially considering the financial and time restraints put on the progamme in the 80s. Well done crew!! The acting isn't too bad either - The TARDIS crew are fine. I found Persuasion's and Enlightenment's human forms chilling - I've always favoured humanoid aliens as more threatening, especially glamorous ones, you know, how does the quote go : '..so beautiful as to be evil..'? These two, with the excellent Stratford Johns hold the story up. Pity the plot unravels feebly by the middle of Episode 3 but the trio above could have had their roles expanded with the theme of political corruption and surveillance states brought more to the surface etc... Still not too sure about what to make of the recreational dances & fights - they feel like a crowded Blue Peter studio outtake! The commentary by the cast and director is cracking, engaging, funny and insightful - well worth a listen! Basically, not as bad as it's made out to be and there are some interesting concepts floating around there too. Five stars for being an underdog for so long! BTW, I watched 'Revenge of the Cybermen' last month and nearly died of boredom!! Oh, but I'm not allowed to say that because his Holiness Tom Baker's in it and all his stories are EXCELLENT..apparently! LOL!
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19 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasing addition., 13 Jun 2008
By 
andy "andy" (Cornwall, England UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Four to Doomsday [DVD] (DVD)
This was always one of my favourite Doctor Who stories, and one of the more memorable Peter Davison outings.
His first story, but shown fourth, you can see he is settling in in places.
This story has, for me, a very memorable premise; that of a huge spaceship with a catalogue of lifeforms from earths history. I found the concept of these people being taken from points in time fascinating and the idea is put across well.
The lizard aliens who suddenly re-appear changed into the exact form of drawings done by Tegan is also a clever and rather creepy idea; one that stayed with me.
This story is also notable for having Stratford Johns as guest name.
I am a fan of Peter Davison doctor who stories, as for me, and being aged 12 when this was shown on TV, Doctor Who suddenly got a whole lot more interesting and grown up with the departure of Tom Baker and the arrival of a new Doctor. Much more like 'proper' science fiction, at the time.
I also found the 'Tardis family' of The Doctor, Adric, Tegan and Nyssa a much more interesting dynamic than One Doctor. One Companion, and it suddenly seemed much more that here were a crew, rather than just a companion.
I found the same dynamic when i watched, years later, the first few William Hartnell stories; A crew of four. Much more engaging.
This story is very much of that ilk; a classic Doctor Who adventure that could almost have been made then had it been written in those years.

So, Peter davison gets to chuck a cricket ball in space, and yes those effects are dire, but they didn't appear so at the time i remember!

Four To Doomsday has much to recommend it and while not as classic assome is a good way to spend 90 minutes.

UPDATE.
And, yes, i am pleased to see it being released, and i feel thet a lot of the negative comments being posted here by other reviewers are truly unfair.
This is a good story, not great, but competent, and is worth buying.
And, full marks to the person who was able as a child to be aware enough to be critically accurate and be able to recognise poor stories when they were originally released.
I feel that there are a lot of Doctor Who stories out there that are clunkier and cheesier than this one; 'Frontier In Space' or 'Monster of Peladon' anyone? which don't stand up well today, and have many a toe-curlingly embarrasing sequence. But Doctor Who is pure escapist entertainment, and that is what it should be judged as; not whether it stands up as a classic or whatever, get some perspective!!

Despite its cheapness, (and this was not limited to this one story at all, but shared with the majority of Doctor Who since Day One, including all those stories that people label as classics; there are a lot worse,) the design and atmosphere of this tale are well up to standard. Four To Doomsday is let down by the usual Doctor Who complaint; Bad special effects. All the classic stories suffer from this to one degree or another and you have to suspend your disbelief with most old Doctor Who; you just have to do it a little more here.
In its defence, the Monopticon effect is achived relatively well, but its the cricket in space bit everyne remembers and i feel that this is why people are panning this story.
But bad special effects do not a bad story make; Witness the appalling New Series clunker that starred Peter Kay, and the Kylie Christmas Special.
All the bells and whistles in the world couldn't save those...

The thing is that the story is an interesting concept and fairly well realised. Thewriting is no worse than any other, and it is directed competently.
I am looking forward to seeing it released.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'We had personalities but no characters...', 23 May 2010
By 
John (London, London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doctor Who - Four to Doomsday [DVD] (DVD)
...which is Janet Fielding's assessment of Tegan, Nyssa & Adric on the commentary track, & which explains why, despite perky performances, they often come across as dull & tiresome. It's funny that producer John Nathan-Turner always slated Graham Williams' stories for having the Doctor and co turn up &, for no reason, wander about poking into corners when they could just have carried on on their way, and become involved for hopelessly undermotivated reasons, because that's exactly what happens here. There's some bafflegab about some piece of technology that turns out to have nothing to do with anything. The Doctor isn't worried about trespassing; isn't really curious about the culture or creatures whose ship it is; & isn't afraid he might get in trouble for poking about at random. I longed for Jon Pertwee to drag out an astrolabe or something to work out where they've ended up so as to set the co-ordinates (as in Frontier in Space) but no such luck. I also thought of Jon Pertwee & how he'd have known how to bow to the Chinese guy, & how he wouldn't have dismissed the Urbankan leader as 'a frog in a funny hairdo' (also, Monarch doesn't look like a frog; nor does he have much of a hairdo). Given the Tardis's telepathic circuits (eg in Masque of Mandragora) he (& indeed everyone else) would have been able to understand the Aborigine guy's language. The Chinese guy's learned English, apparently; the Aborigine guy hasn't bothered (in 2000 years or however long it is - but then why would any of them speak English - including the Greek philosopher). Everything creaks along slowly, like some old Hartnell yarn: lots of being shown to guest quarters, 'entertained' in a boring fashion, & slow chuntering on. Then some really odd 'cliff-hangers' with no real suspense (the revelation that the Urbankans can change form, & that the philosopher is an android, are presented as if they're amazing & terrifying. Interestingly that really lodged them in some young viewers' minds as striking, as other reviews attest, but they really aren't narratively speaking). I didn't really understand why Monarch was traipsing back & forth over & over, nor why he wanted to have a human crew when he had '3 billion' Urbankans in storage. Why, when spying on the Doctor & co watching the dancers, does Monarch keep the monopticon focussed on the dancers, not the Doctor? He must be exceedingly bored of them, as they have one routine each, apparently, & it's nothing too special. How can the poison of an alien version of the curare frog make someone shrink to the size of a real frog in an instant? It's magic, not science. Also it's cavalier of the Doctor to fling the vial of poison - supposedly enough to kill everyone on Earth - at Monarch's feet. Luckily none of it splashes on anyone or goes anywhere. Adric's character turns on such a dime that we have to assume he isn't taken in by Monarch, but he is. The ending is abrupt, & then ludicrous as Bert Kwouk & pals decide to just head on to some other nearby planet & settle down (perhaps with 3 billion Urbankans), so that's alright then. These abrupt elements stick out all the more because the rest of the story is so slow & directionless. Monarch wanting to travel faster than time & meet himself as God is an intriguing idea that has nothing to do with the rest of the story: it just makes him interested in the Tardis for 5 minutes. Later he isn't interested, as he walks past the open door without a glance.

I didn't mind the tat space walking effects, tho it seemed heartless to lumber Peter Davison & his companions with those awful Buck Rogers space helmets for the first few scenes that they shot together. But the lack of plot was quite disconcerting. Stratford Johns is good value, but essentially wasted. The commentary was quite fun: the cast & director had been dreading rewatching it but were surprised to find it at least looked better than they thought. There's also footage of the first studio day which is interesting in its hard-as-nailsness - no time to coax performances from the cast, just bang out the lines & on - & you can see Matthew Waterhouse at times needing (but not receiving) some affirmation that he'd managed to get it right.

Despite the foregoing I have a fondness for this story. But it's not very good.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as it could have been......, 4 Sep 2001
By A Customer
I felt this story could have had so much more done to improve the rather boring and ultimately pointless plot. I'd heard that this was Peter Davidson's first story to be recorded, and so was eager to buy the video. When the video arrived and I watched it I was dissapointed at the bad acting and annoying behavoir of Adric. It just really spoilt the whole of the story for me. To make matters worse the 'baddies' of the story are basically frogs in big chairs, that can change their appearance at will. Arggh! Couldn't the BBC have thought of anything better? Obviously not. I would not recommend this to any Peter Davidson ( 5th Doctor) fans as it really is quite an awful story. I was really dissapointed.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Boring and out of character, 23 Oct 2011
This review is from: Doctor Who - Four to Doomsday [DVD] (DVD)
After the good start with Castrovalva, this story is a disappointment. The first episode promises a good story, but after that it goes downhill. Boring, boring, boring. Worse than that is that the Doctor, Adric and Tegan act totally out of character. Did the person who write this completely forget what happened in the previous stories to make them act so moronically? Only Nyssa and the villains provide for some good viewing.
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