Burdened by the most irritating trio of companions in the history of the show, (Adric, Nyssa and Tegan) Peter Davidson’s recently regenerated Fifth Doctor finds that they are Four to Doomsday when the Tardis materialises inside a vast starship with a multiracial crew from Earth’s distant past. Downloaded into computer chips are the memories of the three billion survivors of the Urbankan race, and the Earth is to be their new home. Meanwhile Monarch, a giant green frog-thing, wants to travel back to the Big Bang to meet God, whom he is convinced is himself.
The Alien-influenced spaceship sets are striking, and there are enough ideas to make a decent adventure. Unfortunately, the gentleman autocrat Monarch–your only opportunity to see distinguished actor Stratford Johns maintain his dignity while dressed as a giant green frog–is far too reasonable and easy going an opponent for the Doctor. The ideas underlying the plot are barely explored, and in constantly trying to find something for three companions to do, the pace slows to a crawl and dissipates any suspense. Fatally, there is an almost complete lack of action. Following Peter Davidson’s introduction in the mind-bending Castrovalva this is thin stuff indeed. —Gary S Dalkin