Tuesday 17 April 2012

512 City of Death Part Three

EPISODE: City of Death Part Three
TRANSMITTED: 13 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: 15.4 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - City of Death

Duggan & Romana walk into the Louvre, with all it's alarms having been immobilised and found the Mona Lisa gone. Duggan mistakenly sets the alarm off forcing them to make a hasty exit. Kerensky, having recovered, find the room at the back of the cellar with the six Mona Lisas and find the unconscious Count who starts to recover, using the same words that Captain Tancredi is speaking in 1505. Tancredi tells The Doctor of how the Jagaroth wiped themselves out in a war and that the survivors were killed when their spaceship exploded on a primordial lifeless world. Scaroth was splintered through time as identical copies in contact with one another. Tancredi has had the Mona Lisas made by Leonardo DaVinci for Scarlioni to find. Tancredi decides to torture the Doctor for information. The Doctor escapes his guard, writing This Is A Fake on the back of the parchments Tancredi intends to get Leonardo to use and leaves a note for DaVinci. Unfortunately as he is about to leave Tancredi arrives with the thumb screws. Scarlioni recovers and puts Kerensky back to work. Romana & Duggan meet up at the deserted Cafe. The Count has Kerensky modify his machinery, but Kerensky refuses, as Hermon enters with the stolen Mona Lisa. The Doctor tells Tancredi that he is a Time Lord. The Count raves about his achievements in front of his wife, worrying her. Tancredi too is overcome by his other selves communicating with him allowing the Doctor to escape in the Tardis, returning to 1979. Romana leaves a note for the Doctor at the Cafe as she and Duggan wonder if Scarlioni has travelled in time to arrange the copies. They return to the count's chateau, with the Doctor collecting his note sometime later. Hermon holds Romana & Duggan for Scarlioni while the count tries to persuade Romana to help build his time machine. Romana is convinced Scarlioni could destroy Paris with his machine. Kerensky is killed by Scarlioni using it, who ages him to death.

Somehow, and I can't quite put my finger on it, something is just slightly off about this episode compared to the two that preceded it. Yes the dialogue still sparkles, and Douglas is back for another cameo, but somehow , possibly due to the necessity of having to explain what's going on, this doesn't quite work so well. And yet Destiny of the Daleks Part 4's record of 14.4 million viewers falls after just 3 weeks, being smashed by an entire million extra viewers! And we're not done yet.....

Several of the cast have Doctor Who form, or will be back later. The most recognisable face in the cast is Julian Glover as Scaroth / Count Scarlioni / Captain Tancredi. He was previously Richard the Lionheart in the First Doctor Story in The Crusade. His real life wife in real life is Isla Blair, who we'll see later in the King's Demons, but here his fictional wife is the Countess Scarlioni played by Catherine Schell who's most famous as Maya in Space 1999, a series which both Glover & Blair have featured in. Julian Glover's acting CV is huge taking in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, James Bond: For Your Eyes Only and Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade. Meanwhile Tom Chadbon, here playing Duggan, will be back in the first four episodes of Trial of a Timelord as Merdeen. Making his final Doctor Who appearance, but only his second in front of the camera, is David Graham as Professor Kerensky. He was previously seen as Charlie the Barman in The Gunfighters, but he's best known as a Dalek voice artist in The Daleks, The Dalek Invasion of Earth, The Chase (where he also voiced the Mechanoids), Mission to the Unknown and The Daleks' Master Plan on TV plus both of the Dalek films. Nowadays he's best known as the voice of Grandpa Pig in Peppa Pig and the Wise Old Elf in Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom. Another old Doctor Who face (and voice) is Peter Halliday as the Soldier. He was in The Invasion as Packer, the Silurians as the Silurian Voices, The Ambassadors of Death as the Alien Voices and Carnival of Monsters as Pletrac. He has one more appearance to come as in Remembrance of the Daleks as the Vicar.

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