City of Death

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City of Death is a serial from the seventeenth season of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was made by the BBC and first broadcast in four weekly parts between 29 September 1979 and 20 October 1979 on BBC1. It features the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) and Romana (Lalla Ward). Set mainly in Paris in 1979, the plot concerns a scheme by an alien, Scaroth, to steal the Mona Lisa to finance experiments in time travel in the hope of averting the accident that marooned him on Earth four hundred million years previously, which also began the existence of life on the planet as well.

The storyline for City of Death was devised by David Fisher but was heavily re-written by script editor Douglas Adams, aided by producer Graham Williams, and was broadcast under the single pseudonym "David Agnew". It was the first Doctor Who serial to film on location outside of the United Kingdom. The fourth episode was watched by over sixteen million viewers, the highest audience ever attained by an episode of Doctor Who.


Plot summary

While leisurely enjoying the city of Paris with Romana, the Doctor feels effects of time distortion. At the Louvre while admiring the painting of the Mona Lisa, he encounters the Countess Scarlioni wearing an alien bracelet used to scan security systems. The Doctor and Romana meet Inspector Duggan who has been tailing Count Scarlioni for some time, as he has placed a large number of lost art treasures on the market, and fears the Scarlionis are looking to steal the Mona Lisa. Though the three are briefly captured by the Countess, the Doctor helps them to escape and explore the Count's mansion, where they discover equipment by Dr. Kerensky to experiment with time, the source of the Doctor's time distortions. They also discover, behind a wall, six exact copies of the Mona Lisa, each painted by Leonardo Da Vinci himself.

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