Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Four to Doomsday

Yet another "homage" to the opening of Star Wars.

Lovely music on this. Very Blade Runner-y in bits. I'm very partial to the soundtracks from seasons 18 & 19, I must admit.

The TARDIS arrives in a hi-tech lab inside the giant spaceship.

The Doctor's still trying to get Tegan on her flight from just 2 stories ago.

"February the twenty eighth, 1981. Oh, you'll have time for a cup of tea. It's only sixteen fifteen hours."

So famously this was Davison's 1st story before the cameras. His performance is therefore slightly unusual.

Still great, but he's obviously feeling his way around and finding what works.
Matthew Tucker @doomedrider · I love the role of Adric in this. And Davison should so have kept up that relationship with him. "Listen you young idiot!" 

Seems very much at this stage that he's trying his hardest to channel Hartnell, later finds his own way. 
Matthew Tucker @doomedrider ·  oh, yes. Although, part of me regrets he didn't keep a little bit of that. (He's great, regardless). 

It's almost like the regeneration's been something of a reset and the 1st & 2nd Doctors echo strongest till he beds in.

It's a very different performance from the laconic world-weary one he gives by the time of Androzani.

Blimey it's a crowded TARDIS, the show treats Adric & Nyssa as young children, Tegan as a stroppy teenager.

With Adric in full-on "comical sexist pig dog" mode.

Lovely little performance here from Davison; his Doctor like a child in a sweetshop marvelling at the technological wonders on display.

As the Doctor discovers what the viewers already know, that they're in space, he finds that they're being observed by the unseen occupants of the ship.
Simon Hart @Si_Hart · Roger Limb's score for Four to Doomsday is oddly acceptable. His other scores around this time are a little squeaky. 

I never used to be able to stand Limb's stuff but it's grown on me, though his season 20 stuff isn't up to much. 

Simon Hart @Si_Hart ·  He starts well, then his scores go off for a bit but he comes back magnificently for Androzani. 

Adric's submission for "Muppet of the Century" goes like this: "That's the trouble with women. Mindless, impatient and bossy." 
"You chauvinist! I heard that."  
"You were meant to." 

"I heard it too. You mean this? Mindless." 

"Well, yes, but you're not a woman." 
"I'm not?" 
"No. You're only a girl." 

Game, set and Berk. 

Tegan is entrusted with the TARDIS key. That won't come back to bite him, I bet. 

The Doctor nerds out over some tech; Adric & Nyssa join in, Tegan wanders off. 

"How can Earthlings have penetrated us?" You couldn't make it up. Except they did.

This 1st episode with the regulars wandering around then walking up to the waiting antagonists who introduce themselves (and the plot!) is all very Keys of Marinus!

The Doctor takes Tegan to meet the ship's owners leaving Adric to throw a strop at the CCTV.
50dw50 @50dw50 ·  in the days where CCTV everywhere was seen as futuristic! 

The Doctor and Tegan meet Monarch and his ministers, Enlightenment and Persuasion.

Monarch lays on some breathable atmosphere. Can't be all that bad... can he?

The Doctor happens to carry around a whacking great pad of paper on the offchance Tegan has to draw any explanations.

It's Adric's turn to mind the shop, but he's soon pulling on his helmet.

Nyssa has an encounter with a man in a toga, and Adric is left alone.

"Her astral plane?"
"Yes, in a sense. They go from Heathrow Airport."
So no, then.
50dw50 @50dw50 ·  Tegan was wasted as an air hostess she should have been an artist!

Monarch fancies the TARDIS...

 ...and palms the Doctor and co. off on his "human" passengers.

Let's let Bigons be Bigons...

"Er, could anyone pass the sodium chloride, please?"
Like Alzarians use salt as salt but only ever call it that.

Bigon is from ancient Greece and introduces Kurkutji from Australia, Princess Vilagra, a Mayan Princess, and Lin Futu...

"I'd never have guessed it, you look in the best of health to me." Er... WHAT?

The giant frogs have turned into Tegan's sketches! Bet it was her that invented the 6th Doctor's coat...
John Mark Frankland @JMFrankland ·  It's a shame that Tegan didn't draw Adam Ant and Toyah isn't it? 

Ha! That would have been amazing!!  

I like Persuasion's jacket, anyway.
50dw50 @50dw50 ·  i have never been sure why Tegan is so popular, she really is a moaner.
I genuinely think that she was a (albeit very minor) contributory factor in Who's popularity waning in the 80s, the setting in of the rot, if you will.  Not the actress, who is great, but as the audience identification point she's constantly telling us the Doctor is annoying and she doesn't want to be there, and everything's terrible. I think that gets absorbed by the audience subconsciously.
50dw50 @50dw50 ·  the odd thing was i adored her at the time!

The Doctor's impressed with the makeover technology of the Urbankans. 

Monarch tries to google Gallifrey.

Enlightenment explains that the Urbankans' planet was destroyed when their sun, Inokshi, collapsed. All 3 billion survivors are aboard Monarch's ship. Must be a tight squeeze.

Already we're seeing one of the biggest weaknesses of Davison's era for me... the willingness to tell anyone in sight all about Gallifrey, Time-Lords, the TARDIS etc.

For what is essentially a bunch of corridors in a studio, the spaceship set is pretty good. Looks the part.

The Doctor works out that Monarch's trips backwards & forwards to Earth are getting quicker.
50dw50 @50dw50 ·  i am not surprised half the universe got destroyed at the end of the previous series, less far to travel! 

The Doctor's had enough of Monarch's pervy manopticons and gets them in a tizz with the sonic screwdriver and a well-placed hat. 

The Doctor is now unable to resist the mystery of Monarch's machinations. 

Tegan just wants to get back to the TARDIS.  

The Doctor determines to do more digging; Monarch dispatches agent Persuasion. 

Monarch has his "passengers" put on regular "recreations"; demonstrations of their cultural entertainment. 
50dw50 @50dw50 ·  if Monarch is so clever how come he never invented Netflix? 

Good job he doesn't have any 21st Century Brits, don't think he could cope with Cowell-pats. 
50dw50 @50dw50 · no wonder Monarch went crackers watching this stuff for decades. 

It's all bloody repeats. You've seen one day's worth of recreationals, you've seen 'em all! 

Monarch tells Bigon to keep his trap shut. 

They always had great plants in studios in Davison's time, really lends a splash of colour and life.

Monarch leaves Adric & Nyssa gasping.

Nyssa notices that the greek man working the machinery has an odd metallic disc fixed to his hand...

Bigon uses the staged battle below as cover to invite the Doctor out for a bit of exposition.

Davison's fake faint is hilarious.

The entertainment's got a bit real all of a sudden. We've gone from pan pipes to skewered Greek soldiers in 5 minutes.

Bigon promises all is not as it seems...

...and sure enough the "dead" Greek combatant walks down to the lab and is repaired, good as new.

"Why have you not acted before!" He has, he was in Thunderball!

Then it turns out they're all androids anyway - including Bigon!
11thDoctorAdventures @11thDoctorComic · He's 'Bigon' surprises isn't he? ;)
John Mark Frankland @JMFrankland · THIS IS ME. 


Chris @KosmicKris ·

 I can’t believe i’m missing the tweet along of one of my favourite and much maligned stories!! I loved this cliff hanger :)

I wouldn't mind having my memories in a reliable hard drive sometimes. 
John Mark Frankland @JMFrankland ·  The fleshtime will soon be over. 

Monarch says they're not androids but "fully integrated personalities with a racial memory."

"What about Love?" Nyssa seems to be about to launch into an 80s power ballad.

Adric's having one of his trademark switches of allegiance.
50dw50 @50dw50 · do people like Nyssa? 

I've never seen many people cite her as a favourite, people seem to either think she's totally boring or 'nice', 'pleasant' etc. I don't feel like she ever had much of a character, i.e. she never really seemed particularly motivated by anything. She was just the calm, sensible, dependable one balancing the more "extreme" personalities of Tegan and Adric, maybe?  

50dw50 @50dw50 ·  for me she is listed under "much better on audio" as she as you say escapes the other more dominant companions

Bigon explains just how bonkers Monarch is.

Not only does he want to plunder the Earth's resources to make more silicon chips...

...but he wants to travel back to the big bang, because he believes he will meet himself there - he believes he is "God"! 

Enlightenment hypnotizes Nyssa and she's led off by a couple of greek soldiers to be relieved of the flesh time...

50dw50 @50dw50 · the most fun she has ever had!

One of the greek soldiers looks a bit like Malcolm Tierney. Maybe just me.

50dw50 @50dw50 ·  show him a Vervoid and see how he reacts

Tegan's getting a bit irritating. (More than her usual baseline of being irritating.)

Bigon shows the Doctor the drawers where Monarch keeps the rest of the Urbankans...

...while Lin Futu & co. prepare to convert Nyssa.

Adric tries to get in Tegan's way.

Big mistake.

Are they recording Nyssa's memories or just giving her a tan?

As Monarch and Persuasion tut about him mangling the manopticons...

...Bigon gives the Doctor a tour round Monarch's garden centre. 

There he shows him the frogs whose poison will wipe out life on Earth.

Aw, they're only tiny little frogs, they better get cracking.

Tegan tries to go for a joy ride in the TARDIS.

The Doctor's able to wake Nyssa, who'd nodded off on account of having no lines.

Adric's awake, too. Joy.

He rushes to break the bad news...

...that Tegan's taken the old type 40 for a spin.

Monarch's had enough of the Doctor having his way with his manopticons...

...so Persuasion sets the Androids to chopping his head off.

He's not had this one very long. 
Simon Hart @Si_Hart ·  I love it when he refers back to it when he goes through the same cliffhanger a couple of weeks later in The Visitation.

Yes, a very nice touch! (Deftly sidestepping any criticism of repetition, of course!)

Luckily Nyssa beats the Android with the sonic and... er, a pencil.

Adric uses his influence with Monarch to get the Doctor off the hook.  

Persuasion reluctantly obeys, but confiscates most of the Doctor's pocket paraphernalia. With one exception. "You may keep the pencil."

Tegan's still trying to fly the TARDIS and whinging about it.

No idea what Monarch sees in Adric. Must have heard good things from certain behind the scenes folk.

The Doctor bullshits Adric that he'll apologize to Monarch because he knows he's on candid camera.

But undercover of didgeridoo he tears him a new one.

"The Doctor is tired. A prime disadvantage of the flesh time." 
Pete @other_pete ·  I want that on a mug! 

Who's always been a great source of mugs... ;-P 

The Doctor's able to recruit Lin Futu to the cause...

...and the recreational schedule soon has a clash.

They escape back to the lab with the muted Bigon, under cover of the dragon.

The Doctor finds Nyssa, tired of waiting for her next line, having a snooze. 

"Don't say that Doctor is on the prowl again! What a pest!" Monarch knows his own tricks best.

Many of Adric's storylines make much more sense when you remember he's descended from Melons.

First thing's first, the Doctor needs to wrangle his TARDIS back.

Now the Doctor's made Adric dress up in tinfoil, has tied himself to a post and is having a good tug.

Just an average Tuesday night on BBC One in 1982.

Although the Doctor is able to get his sonic screwdriver back from the deactivated Persuasion...

...his second spacewalk goes to pot when Enlightenment casts him off.

Adric gets the better of Enlightenment...

...but the Doctor's going to have to get creative if he's going to make it to the TARDIS.

Love this bit with the cricket ball in space.
Simon Hart @Si_Hart · Roger Limbs' music is great for that scene too. 

"I too am not without agility!" You kind of are, Monarch.

HexEd @HexEd1967 ·  I always thought he was more of a lemon.

The Doctor can hold his breath for an extremely long time.

"You don't stand an Earthly where we're going - Earth!"

Monarch falls foul of his own plan and is shrunk by the frog poison.

Monarch's not feeling so big now. (Not sure why the poison makes him shrink but there you go.)

Bigon and the gang are off to see the stars, so it's tatty bye to the TARDIS crew.

So we end on a cliffhanger into the next story as Nyssa collapses! Pure Hartnell era!
50dw50 @50dw50 ·  Four to Doomsday has its problems but its never boring

It's never less than a stylish oddity & though the pacing is slow in places, that builds a unique feel. Not a fave, but I enjoy it.

Coming Soon... The Armageddon Factor

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