Monday 16 April 2012

511 City of Death Part Two

EPISODE: City of Death Part Two
TRANSMITTED: 06 October 1979
WRITER: "David Agnew" (pseudonym for Douglas Adams, Graham Williams, and David Fisher)
DIRECTOR: Michael Hayes
SCRIPT EDITOR: Douglas Adams
PRODUCER: Graham Williams
RATINGS: 14.1 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - City of Death

The Doctor, Romana & Duggan are taken to the Count's house where they are questioned. As they are taken to the cellar the Count remarks to his wife that they have a Mona Lisa to steal. The Doctor is interested by the laboratory but locked in an adjoining room which Romana notices is too small compared to the outside. They escape and examine the lab, but hide when Kerensky returns. The observe him experimenting on an egg which he ages into a chicken, before the Doctor introduces himself. The Count, Hermann & The Countess plan the robbery using a holographic replica of the Louvre generated from data taken by the countess. The Professor & Doctor discuss the experiment as the chicken collapses into bones then dust. The Doctor reverses the polarity bringing the chicken back to life, but in the time effect the see the face of Scaroth. Romana discovers another room bricked up at the end of the cell. Duggan demolishes the wall and behind it they find a room that has been sealed up for a long time containing six Mona Lisas. Duggan tells them he knows of seven people that would buy a Mona Lisa, but couldn't while the real one is in the Louvre. Count Scarlioni finds them and holds them at gun point, telling them by the end of the night he will have a seventh. Duggan knocks him out and they all escape. Duggan & Romana go to stop the robbery while the Doctor takes the Tardis to early 16th century Florence where he is captured by one of Captain Tancredi's soldiers. Tancredi has put Leonardo to work on something and when he enters he is revealed to be an exact duplicate of Count Scarlioni!

Ah fabulous again. This episode purrs along like a perfectly tuned car, all the more incredible when you think it was cobbled together over a weekend.

We last heard of Leonardo da Vinci during the Masque of Mandragora where the Doctor was looking forward to meeting him c1492. By about 10 years later for Leonardo (given the time period which he paint the Mona Lisa and the visit is dated in the following episode) he has met the Doctor, probably more than once judging by the friendly comments the Doctor makes while poking round his rooms, and is working on his great painting The Mona Lisa.

Leonardo isn't the only painter the Doctor has met: The Eleventh Doctor meets Vincent Van Gogh in Vincent and the Doctor. And, according to a scene cut from Silver Nemesis, at some point the Seventh Doctor's companion Ace gets herself painted by someone famous enough for the Queen to have the portrait hanging in Windsor Castle!

The week following the broadcast of this episode saw two notable publishing events connected with the show. On Thursday 11th October the first issue of Doctor Who Weekly (later Monthly, and now Magazine) was published. Yes I know it's dated 17th October but British periodical publishing custom has it that the date on the issue is the last day it's on sale rather than the first. Odd, yes, but there we go..... The next day, Friday 12th October, Script Editor Douglas Adams had his first novel publish, the printed adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which, to say the least, did rather well for him.

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