Friday, 17 June 2011

Four To Doomsday (Part 4)

Originally Broadcast 26th January 1982
Written by: Terence Dudley

In a nutshell: The Doctor must escape from Monarch’s trap and convince his companions to side with him to save the Earth.

Review: Looking at the four-part serial as a whole, there’s a lot of padding (especially with the dancers in this episode) but it has a great story, a lot of which happens in this part. The Doctor gets some fantastic scenes with Monarch, Dudley writes some great dialogue for the pair early on in this episode. What doesn’t work as well is ‘Monarch on a rampage’ as he tries to stop the Doctor. He marches to the TARDIS, ready to confront the Doctor and Tegan (who run away), only to return to his seat before rising again to make a move to the TARDIS. What is he on about?

Tegan is pretty pointless for the majority of this episode, being sidelined as she’s stuck in space in the TARDIS, although her presence isn’t really missed, as there’s a fair bit to do before we meet her again. One of these things to do is get the Doctor to the TARDIS with the use of clever CSO (the Doctor on an office wheely-chair), this shot is really convincing and looks brilliant thirty years on from it’s initial broadcast.

A brilliant CSO shot of Davison on an office chair!

I was wrong in my guess about the cliffhanger from episode three, although I think my ideas was better than what actually occurred, which looked pants. Nyssa jumps into action from nowhere and has time to put a pencil and sonic to two androids hands before they have a chance to stop her. Whilst on this topic, Adric had time to carefully place the gun he’d taken off Enlightenment on the floor before returning to his ‘fight’ with her.

The way in which Monarch was defeated was great, the Doctor taken a rash decision to shrink him down here, which looked brilliant! The Doctor’s been quite ruthless and mean toward his companions in this episode, especially in comparison to the previous three (where he shouted but wasn’t to this extent). I’m starting to wonder if Davison was trying to give a dark side to his Doctor at this early stage into his career as the fifth Doctor.

A lot of cheesy laughing from our different race-leaders now and then there’s just time for a final shock as Nyssa collapses to the ground! In the most poorly edited sequence of the episode. The whole thing happened so fast the credits were onto Adric before you could take it in. This served as impact=lost for me, I’m afraid.

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