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The Four Doctors was the eighth Doctor Who bonus story released by Big Finish Productions. It was written by Peter Anghelides and featured Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor, Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor, Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor and Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor.
It is one of only two bonus releases which aren't available for general purchase and can only be obtained by the purchase of a subscription (originally including The Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories, but now can also be selected with any twelve CD subscription). The other subscription exclusive is The Five Companions.
The fifth incarnation of the Doctor has been allowed access to the Vault of Stellar Curios, where the biomechanoid Jariden are at least prepared to consider his warnings about dangerous temporal leakage. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the Daleks attack, unleashing a temporal maelstrom that will not only threaten the Jariden race, but will have dire consequences for the history of the Doctor himself.
Travelling through the Time Vortex, the TARDIS detects a leak of chronon particles, which are causing temporal distortions in local space. The Fifth Doctor believes that it is being caused by whatever is stored in the inner vault of the Jariden Vault of Stellar Curios.
At the vault, he speaks to Professor Kalinda Ulrik, the facility director. According to Kalinda, the Fifth Doctor is fully versed in every detail of the Vault of Stellar Curios' top secret temporal research. Kalinda's elder brother Colonel Ulrik arrives in the Vault in order to conduct a military inspection. Their grandfather, who is long dead, had fought in the Jariden war against the Daleks decades earlier. A Dalek assault vessel, which is under the command of the Dalek Prime, is on its way to the Vault, looking for its mysterious contents.
The Eighth Doctor's TARDIS materialises in the Vault, intending to land at the Petrachi Collection. He recalls his fifth incarnation's encounter with Kalinda, but does not immediately recognise her. His TARDIS likewise detected the emission of chronon particles.
Colonel Ulrik is collaborating with the Daleks and has deactivated the station's defence shields. Ulrik forged a deal with the Daleks to allow them to have the contents of the inner vault on the condition that they withdraw from Jariden space immediately.
The Eighth Doctor tells Kalinda that he was present at the Battle of Pejorica in a "former life." By wiring Kalinda's personal communicator into the station's communications system, the Eighth Doctor contacts his fifth incarnation in the laboratory wing. He claims that he is a Time Lord agent working on behalf of the High Council. The Fifth Doctor intends to use a light comb generator to create a highly localised disturbance in space time. The Eighth Doctor tells him that this will create a temporal whirlwind and that he must contain the temporal instability. He has Kalinda instruct his younger self to create a time loop to contain the Daleks by forming a temporal bridge between their two TARDISes.
Colonel Ulrik is sent back through time to the laboratory of Professor Michael Faraday in the Royal Institution in London in 1854. Ulrik denigrates Faraday's position and equipment, smeering that the technology of 19th century Earth is sub-Level 4 technology. He informs Faraday that the unknown device he has been trying to reverse-engineer since it appeared in his lab a week ago is actually a Special Weapons Dalek, and he mocks Faraday's inability to comprehend its significance.
Shortly after Ulrik's arrival, the Seventh Doctor's TARDIS materialises in Faraday's home, which contains one end of an unstable time-space corridor that he intends to seal to prevent anything else from falling through. On being introduced to Ulrik, the Seventh Doctor tells Faraday that they have already met. Before the Seventh Doctor can seal the time-space corridor, however, two more fully active Daleks, one of whom is the Dalek Prime, arrive at Faraday's house. The Daleks recognise the Doctor in his seventh incarnation. After activating Faraday's electromagnet, which disrupts the two Daleks' functioning, the Seventh Doctor is able to escape through the dumbwaiter.
The Seventh Doctor tells Ulrik that they have actually met on two previous occasions: the first was in the Vault while the second was on the battlefield of Pejorica on the planet Sovavevanti. Colonel Ulrik is swept through the time corridor and arrives in Pejorica during the battle. He is captured and tortured by the Daleks of that era.
Ulrik is revealed to be a functional upgrade of the Jaridens who fought in the Battle of Pejorica. His technology is unknown to the Daleks. He serves in the 47th Division of the Jariden Army, his ident number being 6-Four-Alpha-Z.
While in his cell, Ulrik converses with the Sixth Doctor, telling him that he arrived in the midst of the Battle of Pejorica, the Jaridens' "glorious, historic victory over the Daleks." Ulrik tells the Sixth Doctor that it seemed anything but glorious. He sought refuge in the manor house to which his grandfather had fled but discovered that it was being used as the Dalek base of operations in Pejorica; he was captured when he entered. He tells the Sixth Doctor that the Dalek Prime and the Special Weapons Dalek were swept into the past as well. The Sixth Doctor knows that The Battle of Pejorica occurred at a point in Dalek history prior to the creation of the Dalek Prime and the Special Weapons Dalek, and he believes that the two future Daleks were captured by the Jariden forces, reverse-engineered and used to create the next generation of Dalek technology. However, Ulrik learns that this was only true of the Special Weapons Dalek when the Dalek Prime appears and assumes command of the past versions of the Daleks. Ulrik realizes that he and the Dalek Prime are not travelling back along their own timelines but that of the Doctor. Kalinda and Ulrik's grandfather did not flee the Battle of Pejorica as they were brought up to believe but was captured by the Daleks and converted into a Roboman. As per the Sixth Doctor's instructions, Ulrik liberates his robotised grandfather from Dalek control and instructs him to surrender himself to the Jariden forces. The Sixth Doctor tells Ulrik that the Roboman will be the Jariden's best help in reverse-engineering Dalek technology, and will enable them to win the war.
When Ulrik comes within range of the time field generated by the TARDIS, the residual chronon particles cause him to be sent forward in time to the Vault, which was his initial starting point. While the Sixth Doctor had hoped that the same would be true of the Dalek Prime, it instead remained in Pejorica, poised to exterminate him.
In the Vault several decades in the future, Magran, a scientist working at the Vault, tells the Fifth Doctor that the defence shields have been deactivated and that a Dalek assault vessel is approaching. It soon boards the station. The Fifth Doctor, Magran and several other scientists barricade themselves inside the laboratory wing of the Vault. According to Magran, the inner vault contains a device which is the work of generations of Jaridens. The Fifth Doctor tells Ulrik that he intends to use the light comb generator to create a highly localised disturbance in space-time. Shortly afterwards, the older Ulrik arrives in the laboratory through such a disturbance. The older Ulrik incapacitates his younger self, which he recalls happening to him earlier in his personal timeline.
The Fifth Doctor receives a message from a Time Lord agent who is working for the High Council. He intends to use a light comb generator to create a highly localised disturbance in space time. The Time Lord agent tells him that this will create a temporal whirlwind and that he must contain the temporal instability. As per the instructions of the Time Lord agent, Kalinda suggests that the Fifth Doctor create a time loop to contain the Daleks by forming a temporal bridge between his TARDIS and that of the Time Lord agent. The Fifth Doctor determines that the Time Lord agent is, in fact, his future self, given that the older Ulrik had told him that he had travelled along his personal timeline and met three of his other incarnations.
The Vault contains the still robotised version of Ulrik's grandfather, who has been fused with the remnants of the Special Weapons Dalek which the Jariden forces procured at the Battle of Pejorica. The older Ulrik instructs his grandfather to destroy the Daleks but they are exterminated before this can occur. The younger Ulrik sees the corpse of his future self shortly before he, the Dalek Prime, the younger version of the Special Weapons Dalek and another Dalek are sent back in time to 1854.
Shortly before the Eighth Doctor and Kalinda are going to be exterminated, the remaining Daleks vanish due to the resonating TARDIS trace pulling them into the Time Vortex. He tells her that he has seen this happen before, specifically on Sovavevanti during his sixth incarnation and in London in 1854 during his seventh incarnation. The Eighth Doctor enters the TARDIS to find that his fifth, sixth and seventh incarnations are all present due to the temporal instability. The time phasing eventually corrects itself and the younger Doctors are returned to their own versions of the TARDIS at the proper points in their respective personal timelines. The Eighth Doctor is the only one of the four of them to remember their encounter in the TARDIS.
- Fifth Doctor - Peter Davison
- Sixth Doctor - Colin Baker
- Seventh Doctor - Sylvester McCoy
- Eighth Doctor - Paul McGann
- The Daleks - Nicholas Briggs
- Professor Kalinda / Lady Cowen - Ellie Burrow
- Colonel Ulrik / Whitmore - David Bamber
- Professor Michael Faraday / Magran - Nigel Lambert
- Roboman / Jariden Device - Alex Mallinson
- The Eighth Doctor describes the Fifth Doctor as "a blond chap in Edwardian cricket gear".
- Colonel Ulrik is sent back through time to the laboratory of Professor Michael Faraday in the Royal Institution in London in 1854.
- This is a special release given away to Big Finish subscribers who had The Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories as part of their subscription. It is yet to be made available commercially.
- The audio is accompanied by a commemorative sixteen-page booklet.
- The character names "Lady Cowen" and "Whitmore" are in-joke references to two friends of the author, Laura Cowen and Tony Whitmore.
- This is the first performed multi-Doctor story to feature the Daleks as the main antagonists.
- This story was recorded on 6 September 2010 (plus various inserts) at The Moat Studios.
- The Dalek Prime is in command of the Dalek assault vessel which boards the Vault of Stellar Curios (PROSE: War of the Daleks) while a Special Weapons Dalek is among the Dalek forces (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks). Both are sent back in time to the home of Professor Michael Faraday in London in 1854.
- The Daleks used Robomen during the Battle of Pejorica. (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth)
- The Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors all previously met each other in AUDIO: The Sirens of Time. The Fifth and Sixth Doctors also met each other in AUDIO: Peri and the Piscon Paradox. On that occasion, the Sixth Doctor disguised himself as a Piscon named Zarl so his younger self did not realise his identity. The Fifth and Seventh Doctors also met on at least two other occasions, namely in PROSE: Cold Fusion and prior to the events of AUDIO: The Veiled Leopard. Furthermore, the Eighth Doctor previously met his three immediate predecessors (as well as his first four incarnations) in PROSE: The Eight Doctors.
- The Eighth Doctor remembers speaking to the Fifth Doctor over the intercom from the perspective of his younger self as well as other details of his fifth incarnation's visit to the Vault of Stellar Curios such as meeting Kalinda. This is similar to AUDIO: Peri and the Piscon Paradox, PROSE: Cold Fusion and TV: Time Crash in which the Sixth, Seventh and Tenth Doctors respectively remember the events portrayed from the point of view of their fifth incarnation.
- The Seventh Doctor previously visited 1854 when he and his companions Ace and Hex travelled to Scutari and Sevastopol in September of that year during the Crimean War (1853-1856). (AUDIO: The Angel of Scutari)
- The Seventh Doctor fails to recognise his immediate successor. However, during his sixth incarnation, he along with his companion Evelyn Smythe observed two Eighth Doctors, Charley Pollard, C'rizz and Lucie Miller meeting in an American frontier town in the 1870s. (AUDIO: The 100 Days of the Doctor)
- The Daleks use rels as a unit of measure of time. (COMIC: The Emissaries of Jevo onwards)
- Official The Four Doctors page at bigfinish.com
- DisContinuity for The Four Doctors at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide