Tuesday, 25 January 2022

566 Four to Doomsday: Part Three

EPISODE: Four to Doomsday: Part Three
TRANSMITTED: Monday 25 January 1982
WRITER: Terence Dudley
DIRECTOR: John Black
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 8.9 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Four to Doomsday

"In the Mobiliary there is a deadly poison. The deadliest in the known universe. The Urbankans secreted it in a gland. It causes organic matter to shrink in on itself. One trillionth of a gram would reduce you to the size of a grain of salt. With this he will conquer Earth."

Nyssa & Adric are taken to Monarch where Adric, taken in by the leader, co-operates but Nyssa resists. Adric is sent to ask the Doctor to admit Monarch to the Tardis while Nyssa is taken away to be turned into one of Monarch's robots. Tegan is appalled by what's happening on the ship and wants to leave but the Doctor gets her to remain in the quarters while Bigon shows him the bits of the ship Monarch has kept hidden. She argues with Adric, seeking the Doctor, and accidentally knock him out before fleeing to the Tardis to try to get it leave, eventually succeeding. The Doctor is show the mobiliary where the poison is kept and Nyssa is being converted. They free her but Persuasion apprehends them, removing Bigon's control circuit and sentencing the Doctor to death at the hands of the Greek gladiators.

3y 3z

If last episode was all about the revelation of the android technology .....

BIGON: This is my memory of two thousand five hundred and fifty five years, linked to that, which is my reason, my intelligence, linked to that, which is my motor power.
DOCTOR: Incredible engineering.
BIGON: This compound is a polymer stretched over a non-corrosive steel frame.
TEGAN: It's wicked. Evil.
BIGON: Not in itself. As with all technology, it is the use to which it is put.
DOCTOR: Exactly. Just three silicon chips.
BIGON: My reasoning chip contains more circuits than there are synapses in your brain, Doctor, each linked by lines one hundred nanometres thick.
TEGAN: What's a nanometre?
DOCTOR: Oh, a thousand millionth of a metre.
TEGAN: No. I'm sorry, I can't believe that.
DOCTOR: Well, like it or not, Tegan, you're looking at a fact, if not a fact of life. This ship contains the entire population of Urbanka. Nine billion silicon chips.
BIGON: Not so many. Some are slaves, robots. They have but one chip, the motor circuit. Those are they that wear the discs.
DOCTOR: So, the Aborigine, the Chinaman and the Mayan are
BIGON: All as I, yes. The leaders of four ethnic groups.

3e 3f

..... then this is about revealing the threat posed by Monarch.

BIGON: We have been made immortal.
DOCTOR: So it would seem. As long as you have spare parts you could go on forever. All you need is the raw materials.
BIGON: The reason for Monarch's invasion of Earth. The visits established its suitability.
DOCTOR: Of course! That's it, he's after the silicon.
TEGAN: What?
DOCTOR: One of the biggest components of the Earth's crust is silicon. All the chips he wants.
BIGON: And the fossilisation.
DOCTOR: Oh yes, carbon too.
BIGON: First he intends to replace the population of Earth with his own.
TEGAN: What, three billion people?
BIGON: He can do it. The landing will be peaceful. He has prepared a message of peace and will offer them the help of his advanced alien intelligence. That is why he will want your help. To convince the people of Earth that he means them no harm.
TEGAN: He'll get no help from me.
BIGON: Don't be too sure. In the Mobiliary there is a deadly poison. The deadliest in the known universe. The Urbankans secreted it in a gland. It causes organic matter to shrink in on itself. One trillionth of a gram would reduce you to the size of a grain of salt. With this he will conquer Earth.
Monarch's overall plan is barking though:
BIGON: Unless he is stopped, he will eventually destroy Earth just as he destroyed Urbanka.
DOCTOR: I thought he said Urbanka's son was a supernova?
BIGON: A lie. He exhausted the planet of its minerals and then polluted it with his technology. The pollution destroyed the ozone layer and left ultraviolet light to scorch Urbanka.
DOCTOR: And all this for what?
BIGON: His great plan. For him to travel faster than light.
BIGON: Monarch is obsessed with solving the riddle of the universe.
DOCTOR: Absurd. So he believes that to travel faster than light would mean going backwards in time, back to the Big Bang?
BIGON: And beyond. Monarch believes he will meet himself there. He believes he is God.
And there does seem to be some confusion over the poison: When Bigon explained it earlier, it had been secreted by the Urbankans. Now however:
DOCTOR: Intensified ultraviolet for photosynthesis.
BIGON: Yes, this is all that was saved from Urbanka.
DOCTOR: And now it's a source of oxygen.
BIGON: For those who need it.
DOCTOR: Point taken.
BIGON: And this is the graveyard of all those taken from Earth.
DOCTOR: There were others?
BIGON: Many. After the experiments, only the highest intelligence was allowed to live on, as I.
DOCTOR: And the frogs?
BIGON: To ensure a supply of the poison with which Monarch will conquer Earth.
So how are the frogs supplying the poison? Yes there are poisonous frogs, have these ben modified to produce the Urbankans' poison?

Unfortunately Adric, who's already assisted the Great Vampires in State of Decay and, perhaps unwillingly, The Master in Castrovalva seems to fall for Monarch's spiel:

NYSSA: You're androids.
MONARCH: Oh no, girl, don't irritate me. And above all, don't disappoint me. I hold you to be intelligent. I've already explained simply and succinctly that we're fully integrated personalities with a racial memory.
ADRIC: Then what are these, your Majesty?
MONARCH: No, no, no. There must be a class system. It is absolutely essential for good government. Now these are second-class citizens. You could call them assisters.
NYSSA: Or slaves.
MONARCH: If you will, girl. It is, however, a very emotive word.
ENLIGHTENMENT: Very flesh time.
ADRIC: Flesh time?
ENLIGHTENMENT: It is the name Monarch to the primitive time. In your terms, the time of the chickenpox, of hunger and heart disease, arthritis, bronchitis and the common cold.
MONARCH: I have over thrown the greatest tyranny in the universe. External and internal organs.
NYSSA: What about love?
ENLIGHTENMENT: The exchange of two fantasies, your Majesty.
MONARCH: Ah. Thank you, Enlightenment. Oh, my children, I would like to have held you captive by my words, not by assisters.
ADRIC: But you have, your Majesty.
MONARCH: My boy?
ADRIC: What you've done is almost beyond belief. You've performed a miracle.
MONARCH: Did you hear that, Enlightenment? We have been receiving messages from Earth for fifty years. Have you ever heard a more intelligent statement? Release them. Release them at once.
MONARCH: You will be invaluable to me in my crusade.
ADRIC: Crusade?
MONARCH: To come to the aid of the Earthlings. To save them from themselves. They're not as intelligent as you. They war amongst themselves. They make more weapons than food and two thirds of them are starving. It is all a problem of the flesh time. We come to rid them of it.
NYSSA: Perhaps they don't want to be rid of it.
ADRIC: Well, that's silly, Nyssa. How can anyone want to live like that?
MONARCH: He's right.
ENLIGHTENMENT: Think, girl. Think.
NYSSA: I am thinking.

3c 3d

And doesn't hesitate to spill the secrets of the Tardis to the Urbankan!

MONARCH: So, this Doctor of yours is also a Time Lord, eh?
ADRIC: Yes, your Majesty.
MONARCH: Whence comes his power?
ADRIC: From other Time Lords. He speaks of the one called Rassilon.
ENLIGHTENMENT: There is a galactic legend about a Rassilon. He who found the Eye of Harmony.
MONARCH: You know very well, Enlightenment, I regard such tales as superstition.
ENLIGHTENMENT: Yes, your Majesty.
MONARCH: Yes, now tell me more about this Time Lord Doctor. He seems to be a very agreeable person.
MONARCH: He has a powerful mind.
ADRIC: Yes, yes.
MONARCH: Yes, I like that. Has he any power outside his machine?
ADRIC: Well, he has two hearts.
MONARCH: Oh, poor fellow. That must make him very vulnerable.
ADRIC: And he has the ability to go into a trance that suspends life functions.
MONARCH: Oh, that must be useful. But I'm interested in this er, machine of his.
ADRIC: The Tardis.
ADRIC: Short for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space.
MONARCH: Fascinating. It's very small. I mean, is it not uncomfortable.
ADRIC: No, the interior's in a different dimension.
MONARCH: Really?
ADRIC: Yes, it's quite large.
NYSSA: Why don't you shut up!
MONARCH: Oh, mind your manners, my dear. Go on, boy.
ADRIC: Oh. Well, it's got a power room, it's got a bathroom. It's even got cloisters.
MONARCH: Cloisters?
ENLIGHTENMENT: A covered walkway, your Majesty. An architectural feature of ecclesiastical and educational establishments on Earth.
MONARCH: All that inside this Tardis?
ADRIC: Yes, your Majesty.
MONARCH: Fascinating. I should love to see all this.
ADRIC: Well, I'm quite sure the Doctor would be only too pleased to show you around. He's the only one of us who really understands it and how it operates.
MONARCH: Oh, I like that. Could you ask this Doctor now if I could look inside his Tardis?
ADRIC: Of course, your Majesty.
But to do that he needs the Tardis Key. Tegan has the spare, and she just wants to run away:
ADRIC: Tegan, where's the Doctor?
TEGAN: I don't know.
ADRIC: What's the matter?
TEGAN: We've got to get off this ship. We must or we'll all die.
ADRIC: What utter rubbish! Monarch has no reason for harming us. He wants our help. Tegan, the Doctor was right about these Urbankans. They're light years ahead in their technology.
TEGAN: Oh, silicon chips!
ADRIC: You know?
TEGAN: Yeah, and a lot more than you. Now out of my way.
ADRIC: Where do you think you're going?
TEGAN: To the Tardis.
TEGAN: To try to get out of here. Somebody's got to.
ADRIC: You're being very silly, and anyway, you can't even work it.
TEGAN: Well, I'm going to try.
ADRIC: But I don't see what you're in such a state about. Look, can't you understand? These Urbankans are benefactors.
ADRIC: And Monarch is charming. He's just asked me very politely if he could have a look round the Tardis.
TEGAN: Adric, you can come with me or get out of my way. What's it going to be?
ADRIC: But everything is all right, I tell you! And anyway, you can't get into the Tardis.
TEGAN: Oh, can't I? You forget, I was given this when we left it.
ADRIC: Well, I'll take that.
TEGAN: You will not! Adric, I'm warning you. Get out of my way!
ADRIC: No! Now look, I'm not going to let you do anything silly.
We had out first real Adric/Tegan argument in the Tardis in the first episode, and here's another. Here they're both wrong, Adric wanting to go along with Monarch and Tegan wanting to run away. And unfortunately Adric's now inadvertently let Tegan out of the room she was trapped in allowing her to escape to the Tardis which somehow she has dematerialised!

3a 3b

What I remember most about this episode from when I was younger: I was ill and missed it. It basically fills in the story a bit and pushes Tegan over the edge.

Last time I watched this story, I started to wonder if Terence Dudley, the writer of this script, had seen Disney's The Black Hole (released 1980 in the UK) as certain bits are looking eerily familiar: exploring a seemingly deserted ship, then watching the slightly odd crew at work, seeing a garden that seemingly feeds the crew before finding out what's wrong with the crew. In the Black Hole they were cybernetically reanimated dead crew members, here they are android copies.

More similarities follow in this episode:

Crewmember of visiting ship sent for conversion and saved: Kate McCrae/Nyssa
Crewmember of visiting ship attempting escape in their vessel: Harry Booth/Tegan
Crewmember of visiting ship siding with the being in charge of large ship: Alex Durrant/Adric
Crewmember of large ship siding with visitors: Old Bob/Bigon
Commanding officer of large ship wanting to do something insane: Reinhardt believing he can travel through black hole/Monarch wanting to go faster than light believing he'll go back in time and meet himself as God.

No comments:

Post a Comment