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Old 30-08-2012, 09:14
daveyboy7472
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I know this story has a bit of a reputation as one of the weakest of season 19 and to a degree this is true but there was are some positives about it. It's another of those mixed bag stories I think.

It can be seen that this was the first story recorded for the run. Aside from the wildly different hairstyles, Peter Davison is clearly finding his feet in the role in this one and his performance veers wildly from being hyper to moments of humour to his usual interpretation. It certainly is slightly different from the norm. And after her calmer interpretation in Castrovalva, the Tegan in this story is closer to the screechy persona seen in Logopolis.

As for the story itself, I think Stratford John made a very good villain as Monarch, able to be nice when he needed to be to get information, and ultimately quite evil. Enlightenment and Persuasion are the epitome of 80's fashion, copying from Tegan's drawing. I liked all the Monopticon stuff and the supposedly advanced design of everything which looks anything but now! I even like the Cricket ball in Space sequence, no matter how unlikely it seems! I liked all the stuff with Bigon and also, the end of the story seemed like Hartnell days with Nyssa fainting to take us into the next story.

On the downside, I think the story suffers from character overload. I know there are supposed to be many races Monarch has picked up on every trip he has made, but it was really overdone and sometimes it was hard to keep tab of who was who. The pace of the story flounders at times with too much chat and very little action. Worst of all it is the story where Adric hits rock bottom and just about succeeds in annoying everyone and being a general pain in the arse. He isn't the only one. Tegan is also at her worst here with her constant arguing and fighting, with Adric especially, though her reaction to The Doctor when he tries to retrieve the TARDIS from space shows who still had the authority at the end of the day. The only companion who comes out of the story with any credit is Nyssa, who does the ordinary companion jobs without too much fuss.

All in all, though, I still have fond memories of this story. It sort of epitomises the new soap opera flavour of Season 19 with the arguing, trying to get Tegan home, and the ever increasing continuity references. It's definitely not up there with the best of the season, which was about to come, but it is still an enjoyable story anyway.

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Old 30-08-2012, 10:08
CELT1987
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Adric was really annoying in this story, it was starting not to work having three companions, the Doctor had his work cut out in this story!

The story itself is a bit boring, there wasn't a real monster in this story. The cricket ball in space was a bit unlikely, although I did smile watching it.

It is strange to think this was the first story Davision recorded, even though it was transmitted after Castravolva.
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Old 30-08-2012, 11:39
gboy
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Adric was really annoying in this story, it was starting not to work having three companions, the Doctor had his work cut out in this story!

The story itself is a bit boring, there wasn't a real monster in this story. The cricket ball in space was a bit unlikely, although I did smile watching it.

It is strange to think this was the first story Davision recorded, even though it was transmitted after Castravolva.
The first day of recording (April 13th 1981) was also Peter Davison's 30th birthday.

'Four to Doomsday' is OK - nothing too special, but nothing too awful either. It might have worked better as a two-parter as there is an excessive amount of padding.
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Old 30-08-2012, 12:47
adams66
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The whole thing seems so... pointless. Lots of aimless wandering about the (admittedly impressive) spaceship set. There's little real threat, the Urbankans are dull and everyone looks extremely underwhelmed. You can't really explain this away by saying it was the first one recorded - if anything you'd expect the cast to be really fired up by their first story together, so I can only imagine that the sheer uneventfulness of the plot was what made everyone simply go through their paces.
It's not bad, just utterly uninspired.
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Old 30-08-2012, 13:01
daveyboy7472
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The whole thing seems so... pointless. Lots of aimless wandering about the (admittedly impressive) spaceship set. There's little real threat, the Urbankans are dull and everyone looks extremely underwhelmed. You can't really explain this away by saying it was the first one recorded - if anything you'd expect the cast to be really fired up by their first story together, so I can only imagine that the sheer uneventfulness of the plot was what made everyone simply go through their paces.
It's not bad, just utterly uninspired
.
I don't believe I said that the quality of the script was linked to the first story to be recorded. All I mentioned was that Davison was a bit offish(which he admits himself) and that Tegan's personality was similar to the one in Logopolis, being a lot more fiery.

The story itself is another matter.

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Old 30-08-2012, 13:12
Larry1971
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Adric was really annoying in this story, it was starting not to work having three companions, the Doctor had his work cut out in this story!

The story itself is a bit boring, there wasn't a real monster in this story. The cricket ball in space was a bit unlikely, although I did smile watching it.

It is strange to think this was the first story Davision recorded, even though it was transmitted after Castravolva.

TBF all 3 companions were annoying and it did not help that it was uch a dull and boring story.
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Old 30-08-2012, 13:19
adams66
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I don't believe I said that the quality of the script was linked to the first story to be recorded. All I mentioned was that Davison was a bit offish(which he admits himself) and that Tegan's personality was similar to the one in Logopolis, being a lot more fiery.

The story itself is another matter.

I didn't really mean 'you' specifically Daveyboy, I meant more that 'one' cannot explain, or rather that despite it being the first story they still manage to come across as a bit bored, which seems strange to me.
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Old 30-08-2012, 16:00
daveyboy7472
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I didn't really mean 'you' specifically Daveyboy, I meant more that 'one' cannot explain, or rather that despite it being the first story they still manage to come across as a bit bored, which seems strange to me.
Sorry, I think I misinterpreted your post!

However, I don't see it myself. I mean, Davison you can see just trying to feel his way into the role, he seemed far from bored. As for the others, it feels like they have too much energy to burn off, hence all the arguing!

I guess everyone sees things differently but it's curious you should see it that way!

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Old 30-08-2012, 21:29
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Not a memorable story - but I quite liked it, despite being studio-based (which I tend to dislike....cheap!)
The opening scene was quite good with that HUGE spaceship in space flying past (for those days anyway), and the incidental music (thankfully) changed from those whiney tunes from the previous stories, and got a bit bolder!
Don't know how Tegan managed to draw those sketches in a few minutes - she should have been a designer, not an air stewardess! Her talents were wasted.
Those 'big brother' spheres were cleverly done too.
The cricket-ball scene in space was a bit silly (not possible) - but hey - this is Doctor Who!
The Frog shrinking at the end was a bit 'meh' too! But all in all - quite a fun story.
The dancing stuff went on a bit too long.....but as the BBC had employed a choreographer specially - I suppose they had to warrant the fact!
That 'cliffhanger' at the end was a bit limp too!
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Old 30-08-2012, 22:50
CoalHillJanitor
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Annoying is such an inadequate word for Adric in this one. What's the passive form of 'murderous'? You know, for someone who inspires murderous rage?
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Old 30-08-2012, 22:56
Listentome
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I just remember it for tha laughably quick drawing Tegan does.
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Old 30-08-2012, 23:16
DavetheScot
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It's not very good, but not the worst in series 19. There's much worse to come.

In fact, I don't really think there's that much wrong with this story. It's just nothing very special. Philip Locke is very good as Bigon, though.
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Old 08-09-2012, 16:48
ocox
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Annoying is such an inadequate word for Adric in this one. What's the passive form of 'murderous'? You know, for someone who inspires murderous rage?

Thatís it. This is the effect MW aka Adric has on me
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Old 17-02-2013, 05:17
johnnymc
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Just watched this story and peter davison is kinda quite jolly as the doctor! He is finding his way in the part here but a pleasure to watch. Less serious than some of his interpretations of the doctor and kinda troughtonish and clownish. He's very good in castrovalva too. One of the best actors to have taken the part id say in that he really can portray so many facets to a complexed character such as the time lord.
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Old 02-07-2014, 22:02
doublefour
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What to say about this, dull, flat and underwhelming. Seems to be a lot of the opinions on this thread. Have to agree, it's all a bit of a missed opportunity. Nice ideas but not very well written or pieced together.
The cricket ball bit is my favourite moment, and yes there is some interest in what the Urbankans plan is but is let down by some pointless and tiresome passages in the script and story. Some nice bits as well and Peter does okay, not enough for me to recommend it to anyone though!
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:55
Mrfipp
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Looking back, I sort of get the feeling that nobody knew really what to do with the companions. What they tried to do with Adric here seems like a stawman's argument at best, Tegan's reactions to everything is so over the top, and Nyssa... she's just kind of there while being competent.

Not the best story.
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:19
grazey1985
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My 2nd least favourite doctor who story. So boring. Always nod off at it.
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:52
Pull2Open
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Was Nyssa fainting actually explained? Haven't seen FTD or even Kinda since they were first broadcast
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Old 03-07-2014, 18:33
Pull2Open
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Was Nyssa fainting actually explained? Haven't seen FTD or even Kinda since they were first broadcast
is that a 'no' then?!? Lol
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Old 03-07-2014, 18:41
Jethryk
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is that a 'no' then?!? Lol
I seem to remember they just said she needed some sleep, so The Doctor rigged up that machine, Nyssa protested followed by some more fainting acting and that was it.

Until the end of the story when she was much better, as if by magic.
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Old 03-07-2014, 19:21
kjhskj75
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Was Nyssa fainting actually explained? Haven't seen FTD or even Kinda since they were first broadcast
She was going to written out of the series, so Kinda was written without her. Then at the last minute they changed their minds and kept her, but rather than rewrite the script of Kinda to accommodate her, she just fainted, and spent the story asleep.

Or did you want an in-universe explanation ?
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Old 03-07-2014, 19:41
Pull2Open
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She was going to written out of the series, so Kinda was written without her. Then at the last minute they changed their minds and kept her, but rather than rewrite the script of Kinda to accommodate her, she just fainted, and spent the story asleep.

Or did you want an in-universe explanation ?
Either will do, cheers
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