Friday, April 10, 2015

Favourite Fours: City of Death

Felicitations Whovians and welcome to Day 4 of Favourite Fours. Journeying further ahead we meet up with The Doctor and second regeneration of Time Lady Romanadvoratreludar or Romana for short... which she dislikes. On a whim, Romana has regenerated into the likeness of Princess Astra of Atrios from the serial Destiny of the Daleks and they are well on their way back to Earth to experience a holiday in Paris. This is City of Death.

Mossman: The Last Starfighter.

400 million years B.C. A pilot Scaroth attempts to break orbit from the prehistoric planet Earth but fails thus killing everyone on board. 1979 A.D. The Doctor and Romana (Lalla Ward of Vampire Circus, The Upper Crusts, Matushka, The Duchess of Duke Street, Doctor Who and Riviera) are enjoying the sites of Paris and decide for a fine dining where the Doctor claims this bistro does a wonderful bouillabaisse. At the restaurant, the Doctor and Romana experience a time loop while a local artist captures Romana in a sketch. As they look over the sketch they see a clock face in the place of Romana's with a crack in it, as if it were a crack in time. Not assuming the lad had a bit of artistic license, the Doctor is worried about time folding in on itself.

Off to investigate but a slight detour is called for as the Doctor takes Romana to the Louvre in order to appreciate the Mona Lisa, a painting in the Doctor's opinion as unique in the universe. Romana does not seem impressed overall but another temporal hiccup occurs and 20 or so seconds repeats itself when the Doctor bumps into a lady, acquires her bracelet, then heads out.

Timelord and lady about Paris.

The Doctor and Romana are followed by a man in a trenchcoat with a gat in the hand. After a few more encounters with this idiot with a gun, Duggan (Tom Chadbon of Tess, Dance with a Stranger, Shooting Fish and Casino Royale) the three of them are whisked away to find why they are so interested in Countess Scarlioni's bracelet as it is an "antique" that happens to be not of this Earth. The Countess (Catherine Schell of Moon Zero Two, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Space: 1999 and The Return of the Pink Panther) is dissatisfied with the Doctor's answers but the lot of them are locked in the cellar for presumably further questioning. With the aid of the sonic screwdriver, the three proceed to further the investigation around the chateau discovering a scientist, Dr. Kerensky (David Graham of Supercar, Fireball XL5, Doctor Who, Stingray and Thunderbirds Are Go!) who is conducting temporal experiments for greater food production in order to end famine. When it is discovered all he is creating is a different space-time continuum he does not know what to make of his failure.

Temporal anamolies, gunsels adhering to a Count and Countess orders and a missing scientist in league. What can the Doctor do to correct these temporal hiccups? How is Count Scarlioni involved?

Some bits of trivia about this serial now. Oh you knew that was on its way.

Accomplished sci-fi/comedy novelist Douglas Adams penned this serial to pay the bills while working The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. This serial was watched by no less than 12.5 million for its original release. K9 was unable to operate due to difficulties and had to be completely absent this serial while filming in Paris. This is the first Doctor Who shot outside the UK throughout various spots of Paris. There was supposed to be a pull back shot of the Doctor and Romana on the Eiffel Tower alone when the special fish eye lens they rented from a Spanish firm would not and could not be made to fit the BBC camera.   

Really sir, why do you choose to be without a comforting beard?