"If there's one thing I can't stand, its being tortured by someone with cold hands."
The Doctor

"City of Death (Part 3)" is the third part of the "City of Death" storyline, which ran through episodes 5-8 in series 17 of Doctor Who. The episodes originally aired on BBC1 from September 29th to October 20th, 1979. It was directed by Michael Hayes and written by David Fisher, Douglas Adams and Graham Williams, all credited under the single pseudonym of David Agnew. In this episode, the Doctor travels back to the year 1505 where he finds Count Scarlioni, alive and well, and operating under the alias Captain Tancredi. Meanwhile, the 1979 incarnation of the Count succeeds in stealing the Mona Lisa from the Louvre. He then has his resident scientist Kerensky, create the ultimate weapon.

Synopsis Edit

Doctor Who 17x07 002

The Doctor gets the point.

Romana and Duggan sneak into the Louvre to stop Carlos Scarlioni from stealing "another" Mona Lisa. When they arrive, they find a guard on the floor and the Mona Lisa is missing even though the security system is still intact. Duggan accidentally trips the alarms and they need to make a hasty retreat before guards come swarming into the room. Duggan jumps through a window and Romana follows after him.

Back at Scarlioni's mansion, Kerensky awakens after having been rendered unconscious by Duggan. He stumbles into the secret chamber in the cellar and finds an open closet containing multiple renditions of the Mona Lisa. On the floor beside him is Scarlioni. He is semi-conscious and begins muttering to himself.

The Doctor meanwhile, has traveled back in time to Florence, Italy in the year 1505. He is in the workshop of Leonardo da Vinci. A military man, Captain Tancredi, addresses him and both men are startled to recognize each other. Tancredi is also Carlos Scarlioni. The Doctor asks how he came to be here, when he had just left him in the year 1979. Tancredi/Scarlioni sits down and explains that he is actually the last of an alien race known as the Jagaroth. His people were destroyed more than four-hundred million years ago. He came to Earth during its primeval days in an effort to colonize it, but found it uninhabitable. When he attempted to leave, his ship was disintegrated. His physical being was fractured, sending splinters of himself scattered throughout the time stream, each one existing with a tangential connection to the other. Scarlioni changes the conversation and asks how the Doctor came to be in this time period. The Doctor blithers on and plays ignorant, but Scarlioni determines for himself that the Doctor is connected to the TARDIS, which happens to be tucked away in the back of the room. Scarlioni leaves the Doctor in the room with a guard while he goes off to retrieve his torture instruments. Once their alone, the Doctor distracts the guard by snapping his picture with a Polaroid camera. The flash cube temporarily blinds the man, enabling the Doctor the chance to knock him out. He scribbles down a hastily written message to Leonardo (written backwards), but before he can take his leave, Scarlioni comes back into the room.

Doctor Who 17x07 003

Kerensky finds Scarlioni.

In the present, Kerensky rouses the Count and helps him to his feet. He realizes that in his unconscious state, he was dreaming of his conversation with the Doctor in 1505. Kerensky asks him, "Who are the Jagaroth", to which the Count angrily replies, "You serve the Jagaroth!" He pulls Kerensky back into the lab and shows him a new set of blueprints for what he wants him to build. Kerensky peruses the plans and is horrified. What the Count wants him to build will increase the effect that he has been trying to eliminate in his previous experiments. He declares the project as monstrous and refuses to do it. Moreover, he says that the equipment and energy required to produce such an invention would cost more money than even the Count possesses. At that moment, the butler Hermann enters the cellar bearing the original Mona Lisa. Scarlioni is overcome with excitement. With the seven Mona Lisas now in his possession, he will have more than enough money for Kerensky to complete his work.

Back in 1505, Scarlioni has his guard place a pair of thumb screws over the Doctor's thumbs. The Doctor lets out a whelp, not from pain, but from the fact that the guard has cold hands. Scarlioni continues to ask questions, but before the Doctor can tell him anything useful, he begins feeling waves of dizziness. He stands and stumbles about the room as the word "Scaroth" echoes repeatedly in his mind. This effect is mirrored in the present as the 1979 Scarlioni begins wavering in front of the Countess. In both time periods, he orders the Countess and the guard to leave. The Doctor takes advantage of his adversary's plight and escapes from the thumb screws. He goes to the TARDIS and returns to the year 1979.

Meanwhile, Romana and Duggan return to the café. Romana admonishes Duggan for his violent behavior and his inexhaustible need to break everything. They try to work out Scarlioni's scheme concerning the multiple Mona Lisas. Romana theorizes that the Count may have found a way to go back in time to convince Leonardo da Vinci to paint multiple canvases, knowing how valuable they would one day become so he could sell them later. However, nothing she found in Kerensky's laboratory would allow the Count to travel through time. She leaves a note for the Doctor and the two proceed back to the Count's chateau.

The Doctor goes to the Louvre and learns that the real Mona Lisa has been stolen. He tries to get information from one of the tour guides, but she proves useless. He then goes to the café where an employee hands him Romana's note.

At the chateau, the Count and Countess capture Romana and Duggan. Hermann holds them at gunpoint. The Count tells Romana that the Doctor let it slip that she is an expert in temporal travel. The Count wants Romana to take a look at the equipment herself. If she refuses, he will destroy Paris. Upon seeing the equipment Romana, worried, tells Duggan that the Count can indeed destroy Paris by blasting the capital into an un-stabilized time field. Duggan asks her if she believes in all this time travel nonsense. In response, she asks him whether he believes wood comes from trees. Time travel is just something she was brought up with. Kerensky wants to know why all the talk of destruction - his work was surely not designed for malevolent reasons. The Count asks Kerensky to go into the middle of the field cones; the field generator needs examination. Once the professor is in position, the Count turns on the machine. Romana and Duggan can only watch, helpless, as the Professor falls, and withers and ages, until nothing but a skeleton is left.

Cast Edit

Principal Cast Edit

Guest Stars Edit

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • David Fisher, Douglas Adams and Graham Williams are all credited under the collective pseudonym of David Agnew in this episode. Originally, David Fisher was contracted to write the entire teleplay, but he was undergoing a divorce at the time and was unable to complete the serial. As a result, Graham Williams and Douglas Adams rewrote it under the David Agnew by-line.
  • "City of Death" is story number 105; production code number 5H
  • Includes a recap of the climax from last episode.
  • This episode establishes that Romana is 125-years-old. "The Ribos Operation" however, posits that Romana is closer to 140.
  • The Mona Lisa was originally painted in 1503. The flashback scenes in this episode take place in 1505.

Allusions Edit

  • There are no allusions available for this episode at this time. Be the first to add some! Just click on the edit tab under the section heading and start typing. An allusion is an incidental reference made to a character, person, event or other miscellaneous piece of media that can be found somewhere in the episode itself. In most cases, this refers to characters or events from previous episodes.

Bloopers Edit

  • There are no bloopers available for this episode at this time. Be the first to add some! Just click on the edit tab under the section heading and start typing. A blooper is any revealing mistake that can be found within the episode that the production crew may have missed during editing. This can range from inconsistent lines of dialogue to visible production equipment in the shot to mis-spoken lines of dialogue, or... dare we say it? A wardrobe malfunction.

Quotes Edit

  • Duggan: You don't seriously believe all this time-travel nonsense, do you?
  • Romana: Do you believe wood comes from trees?
  • Duggan: What do you mean?
  • Romana: Well… it's just a fact of life one's brought up with.


  • Duggan: Another alarm been immobilized.
  • Romana: You've got a pretty cynical attitude to life, haven't you, Duggan?
  • Duggan: Well, when you've been around as long as I have. How old are you, anyway?
  • Romana: Hundred and twenty-five.
  • Duggan: What?


  • Duggan: You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.
  • Romana: If you made an omelette, I'd expect to find a pile of broken crockery, a cooker in flames, and an unconscious chef!
  • Duggan: You know what I don't understand?
  • Romana: I expect so.

See also Edit


The World of Doctor Who

Doctor Who miscellaneous

External Links Edit

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