117) FOUR TO DOOMSDAY

18 - 26 January 1982

Average Viewing Figure: 8.9M

Plot

The Doctor and his companions land on a spaceship filled with humans from different cultures who are ruled over by Monarch

Cast

Peter Davison (The Doctor), Matthew Waterhouse (Adric), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Janet Fielding (Tegan), Stratford Johns (Monarch)

Paul Shelley (Persuasion), Annie Lambert (Enlightenment), Philip Locke (Bigon), Burt Kwouk (Lin Futu), Illarrio Bisi Pedro (Kurkutji)

Nadia Hammam (Vallagra)

Uncredited Cast

Adisa Sanie, Beyhan Fowkes, Kathy Lewis, Susan Fazzaro (Mayan Dancers), John Sarbutt, Jerry Paris (Greek Wrestlers)

Simon Ramirez, Steve Durante (Greek Swordsmen)

Bruce Callender, Abi Gouhard, Carlton Morris, Leonard Hay (Aboriginal Dancers/Botanists in Flora Chamber)

Philip Tan, Eiji Kusuhara, Kay Tong Lim. Chua Kahjoo Yat Wong (Chinese Dragon Dancers/Surgeons in Mobiliary)

Victor Reyolds, Les Fuller, Peter Whitaker, John Doyle (Greek Philosophers in Library)

Crew

Terence Dudley (Writer), BH Barry (Fight Arranger), Sue Lefton (Choreographer), Roger Limb (Incidental Music)

Dick Mills (Special Sound), Henry Foster (Production Manager), Angela Smith (Production Associate)

Jean Davis (Production Assistant), Val McCrimmon (Assistant Floor Manager), Mickey Edwards (Visual Effects Designer)

Dave Chapman (Video Effects), Robert Hignett (Technical Manager), Alec Wheal (Senior Cameraman), Carol Johnson (Vision Mixer)

Rod Waldron (Videotape Editor), Don Babbage (Lighting), Alan Machin (Sound), Colin Levers (Costume Designer)

Dorka Nieradik (Make-Up Designer), Antony Root (Script Editor), Sid Sutton (Title Sequence), Tony Burrough (Designer)

John Nathan-Turner (Producer), John Black (Director)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Television Centre: Studio 6

Deaths

  • Persuasion [possibly killed when his control circuit is removed]

  • Enlightenment [possibly killed when her control circuit is removed]

Production Days

  • 6 Days between Monday 13 April - Thursday 30 April 1981

Production Errors

  1. If Monarch has in fact got his sums right and has managed to travel between Urbanka and Earth in 1250 years, then he has already achieved his goal to travel faster than the speed of light.

  2. When Monarch attempts to open The Tardis in episode one, a crewmember's hand can be seen amongst the ship's equipment.

  3. Tegan coincidentally speaks the 1 language out of a possibly 3000, when she converses with Kurkutji. Also it seems unlikely that Tegan would know a language that is over 35,000 years old.

  4. During episode two, one of the Greeks Swordsmen appears to be wearing lace-up trainers on his feet.​​

Working Titles

  • Day of Wrath

Verdict

A plot so out there and bizarre it’s hard not to enjoy the serial which relies on visual storytelling rather than story narrative. The script incorporates themes of religion, greed and power which mesh together surprisingly well. Some repetitious scenes such as the black sphere communicating with the androids and the overly long space jump segment in space make for some tedious viewing. Peter Davison continues to find his feet in the role but his confidence for the part is never far away. Stratford Johns is a delight in costume, make-up, and performance however Monarch never comes across as a powerful villain due to the frogman sitting down for most of the story. Most of the cast are either totally forgettable due to them appearing, saying a few lines, and disappearing into the background. The companions once again are in constant battle for attention. Throw away lines, sexist remarks, childish acting and a lack of important qualities make for some tiresome scenes. The dances and swordfights are crafted nicely by choreographer Sue Lefton. The dances suggest a sense of robotics and machinery which turns out to be Monarch’s evil secret. The sets although well-made and realised are a little bland at times. Dark shadows in the corners keep them from reaching their full potential. Four to Doomsday with its atmospheric shots, memorable cliffhangers, great camera angles all hold this story up. The less said about Enlightenment and Persuasion the better. ****​