FOUR TO DOOMSDAY was Peter Davison's first studio recording as the Doctor, the general idea was to release shootings out of chronological order in order to give a new lead role as chance to present themselves to the public as already comfortable in their role. This does explain why Lalla Ward's debut performance as Romana in THE CREATURE FROM THE PIT (Story 106) was so horrifyingly awful compared to the previous two serials of the new season (Story 104 & 105). However, in an ironic twist, Davison's unsure but energetic debut performance in FOUR TO DOOMSDAY far outweighs his cringing and winging in his first released performance in CASTROVALA (Story 117).
Janet Fielding's role as Tegan, the brusque, "punchy", and often near hysterical "accidental tourist", continues to drag down the team of three companions; although to be fair, Mathew Waterhouse's role as the continually naïve and commonly unhelpful Aldric does little to help. Out of this mess, Sarah Sutton's perfect counterpart, yet sadly always scripted to be understated, Nyssa brings some relief.
The story itself is quite good and maintains itself as a cohesive whole in complete opposition of the next serial, KINDA (Story 119). Unsurprising since it is written by long time Dr. Who veteran, Terrance Dudley. Perhaps a bit too much time was spent focused on the "Recreation" performances than on the story as well as ridiculously long reprises at the beginning of each episode, but all that is purely producer John Nathan Turner's doing, a man who really brought a strange mixed-bag of great ideas and absurdly terrible ones to Dr. Who.
The audio commentary is a pure mess, being pretty much unbearable to listen to as five people (Davison, Waterhouse, Fielding, Sutton, and director John Black) continuously talk over each other, leaving nothing but an incomprehensible babble for the majority of all four episodes. The "Studio Recording" segment is interesting, but on the whole, there aren't really anything of actual extra worth in the extras.
Still, wedged between two somewhat unusual and disconnected plot serials, FOUR TO DOOMSDAY does bring a solid story to entertain.