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Visual effects designer Ian Scoones pulls out all the stops to present an alien landscape second to none, and the simple spider-like design of the Jagaroth ship is both elegant and effective. Doctor Who has often been derided for the questionable quality of its effects, and yet those showcased here still stand up to close scrutiny many years after they were created. The modelwork was great, and the backdrop, an empty, inert Earth, four million years past, was eerie and formidably exciting.

Desolation and death were thus even suggested in the opening frames, but few could have had an inkling of how history would eventually turn full circle City of Death succeeds in part simply because it is unlike any other Doctor Who story before or since. And what about Dudley Simpson's incidental music? One can well believe that Dudley has flown over to Paris to sample the atmosphere - at least that's the way it sounds.

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His music for the story is positively epochal; it's ornately structured; cyclical yet free-falling; marvellously arranged - it's like a And what about the special effects, the Jagaroth ship and all? No painted washing-up liquid bottles here! But, in retrospect, it was more than that; from that moment on, they were on course to create the best blend of kitsch, surrealism, fantasy and comedy-drama seen in our favourite Time Lord's annals.

Originally dismissed as too camp and silly to be of more than passing interest, City of Death has been reassessed and reconsidered to the point where it's now a strong contender for the crown of best story ever. It's not hard to see why. Early reaction to the story was, as Connors suggested, not always so positive. To my mind, the acting once more was appalling French gangsters in turned-up collars and hats! Good grief!

And Duggan was so stupid as to be unbelievable. On the whole I simply couldn't believe that this was Doctor Who. Humour on the show is one thing; the continual buffoonery is getting completely on my nerves. This point was also picked up by Dunk: 'The only thing that I can find to fault the production team on Whether these are ad libs or not, I believe that many of them are unnecessary, not contributing to the success that Doctor Who enjoys.

In retrospect these criticisms can be seen to have been misplaced. The humour in City of Death is actually quite delightful, and one of its main attractions. Tom Chadbon's performance as the ever-enthusiastic private eye Duggan is nicely light-hearted and David Graham's outrageously-accented portrayal of the ill-fated scientist Kerensky is excellent. The story's major plus point in terms of casting, however, is Julian Glover as Count Scarlioni. Glover brings a certain dignity and authority to any production in which he appears, and here he is perfectly cast as the totally controlled and ruthless Scaroth.

Catherine Schell is also admirable as his wife, although her attractiveness unfortunately serves to highlight the slight oddity that, presumably, they have never enjoyed conjugal rights - unless it is only Scaroth's head and hands that look alien! The mask used for the Jagaroth is actually the one aspect of the production that is less than wholly successful, in that it is clearly much larger than Julian Glover's own head and so could not logically be accommodated within the human disguise worn by Scaroth for most of the action.

One can only assume that the creatures are able somehow to scrunch up their heads, which might also perhaps explain why Scaroth feels the need to relax by tearing off his human disguise at the end of Part One - an action that otherwise seems to serve no purpose but to provide the obligatory cliffhanger. These are mere quibbles, though, and in no way detract from the fact that City of Death is in almost every way a triumph, belying the fact that its scripts were hurried last minute rewrites.

Howe and Stephen James Walker.

City of Death: Doctor Who classic episode #10

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She states that she's [and appears therefore to have picked up the Doctor's vain habit of lying about her age: see The Ribos Operation ]. On Gallifrey, painting is done by computer. The Jagaroth, apart from Scaroth's shipful, were destroyed in a war 4 million years ago. They are warlike and callous, with knowledge of scanning, warp and holographic technology. Scaroth, attempting to take his ship into warp from Earth's surface, was thrown into the time vortex, and split into twelve splinters [all in telepathic communication].

"Doctor Who" City of Death: Part One (TV Episode ) - IMDb

The twelve all landed in different times, led individual lives, and eventually died. He claims to have caused or encouraged the progress of the pyramids [see Pyramids of Mars : there were a lot of pyramids built for different reasons, and perhaps Scaroth thought that humans should emulate the Osirans and set them to this technological task], the wheel, fire, and stellar mapping.

All his selves have the same human face, a mask that can be ripped open down the middle and then instantly re created [The Jagaroth gift for holography items in the recreation of the Louvre can be touched suggests that this is a holographic, if touchable, mask, which can be instantly reassembled, and has a lifelike, mobile, appearance.

Perhaps the earliest of the Scaroth splinters created it, and left it for the others to find. Unless the technology's really great it would seem that Scarlioni and his wife have never had sex.

Life on Earth was caused by the explosion of the Jagaroth spaceship. The Doctor states that Scaroth can't change history [but he's talking philosophically, saying that he should be content with his fate: if Scaroth really couldn't change history then the Doctor wouldn't need to stop him see Carnival of Monsters ]. Scarlioni's treasures include: A Gainsborough painting, several Gutenburg Bibles, a Ming vase, and the first draft of Hamlet.

The Doctor's Age.


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Aliens and the Origins of Mankind. He knew Shakespeare a taciturn boy and advised him on metaphor, writing out some of Hamlet when Shakespeare sprained his wrist writing sonnets. John Cleese and Eleanor Bron make a cameo appearance as eccentric art dealers in part four. In episode four Romana wires up a British three pin plug in order to connect Scaroth's time equipment to the French mains. Writer - David Agnew This was a pseudonym for Douglas Adams and Graham Williams, who put together the final scripts after initial drafts commissioned from writer David Fisher failed to meet with their approval.

Absolutely exquisite. It's a pity that the rest of Doctor Who exists to make this story part of a bigger continuity, because it deserves to stand alone. Just when you think it can't get any better, John bloody Cleese appears. City of Death mixes time travel, spaghetti-headed aliens and hard-boiled detectives in a tale of an alien race's fight for survival, and the sublime Parisian ambience supplied by virtue of a brief location shoot in the French capital - made possible by judicious budget balancing on the part of Graham Williams and production unit manager John Nathan-Turner - is the icing on the cake.

http://ns1.yepi10games.org/sitemap9.xml From the opening shots of Scaroth in his ship the viewer gets the feeling that this story is going to be something really special. Visual effects designer Ian Scoones pulls out all the stops to present an alien landscape second to none, and the simple spider-like design of the Jagaroth ship is both elegant and effective. Doctor Who has often been derided for the questionable quality of its effects, and yet those showcased here still stand up to close scrutiny many years after they were created.

The modelwork was great, and the backdrop, an empty, inert Earth, four million years past, was eerie and formidably exciting.

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Desolation and death were thus even suggested in the opening frames, but few could have had an inkling of how history would eventually turn full circle City of Death succeeds in part simply because it is unlike any other Doctor Who story before or since. And what about Dudley Simpson's incidental music? One can well believe that Dudley has flown over to Paris to sample the atmosphere - at least that's the way it sounds.