"I am Scaroth! Through me, my people will live again!"
Count Scarlioni
Doctor Who 17x04 001
Aliases: Carlos Scarlioni
Count Scarlioni
Captain Tancredi
Series: Doctor Who
Gender: Male
Notability: Antagonist
Race: Jagaroth
Location: Paris, France
Relatives: Countess Scarlioni [1]
Status: Deceased
Died: 1979
First: "City of Death (Part 1)"
Final: "City of Death (Part 4)"
Actor: Julian Glover

Scaroth was the central antagonist of the four-part Doctor Who serial titled "City of Death". He was played by British actor Julian Glover and appeared in all four chapters of the serial. Scaroth was an alien representative from a dying race, characterized by his inhuman green flesh and single eye. Through most of the storyline however, Scaroth assumed a human visage, which consisted of a rubber mask and wig.

Biography Edit

Scaroth was the last of an alien race known as the Jagaroth. He came to Earth more than four-hundred million years ago. When he tried to leave however, the warp drive on his space ship malfunctioned and the craft exploded. Scaroth didn't die, but rather, his physical essence was splintered into twelve independent fractions of itself and cast throughout the time stream. Though each splinter was identical, they could function independently of one another. However, they did share a collective consciousness and were privy to the thoughts and knowledge of the other replicants.

From the time that he was left stranded on Earth, Scaroth's only motivation was to reverse the events that caused the explosion so he could reunite with his people. What he didn't realize at the time, was that the radioactivity from the exploding ship actually served as the catalyst for the first signs of life on the planet Earth.

Scaroth spent the next several million years, stimulating events that would one day give rise to humanity. He was the first to discover fire. He was the first to invent the wheel. He helped to design the pyramids of Egypt and was a key figure in the mapping of the stars. All of these efforts were done to advance humanity's technological level so that one day it would be at the point where he could develop a time machine, which would enable him to return to the moment his ship exploded and prevent himself from pushing the button that precipitated the malfunction. [2]

In the early 16th century, Scaroth was living in Florence, Italy under the guise of a soldier named Captain Tancredi. As Tancredi, he befriended artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci. With the foreknowledge (from his future counterpart) that da Vinci's Mona Lisa would become one of the most valuable pieces of art in the world, Tancredi coaxed Leonardo into painting six exact duplicates of the piece. Chronologically, this was also the time that Scaroth had his first encounter with The Doctor. The Doctor came back in time to 1505 from the year 1979 where he had already become involved in the schemes of the future version of Scaroth. The Doctor and Scaroth instantly recognized one another and Scaroth explained how his essence had been fractured throughout time. The Doctor knew of Scaroth's scheme with the multiple Mona Lisas, so when Scaroth wasn't looking, he wrote the words "This is a fake" on each blank canvas in a black felt tip pen". He then left a message for Leonardo (apparently an old acquaintance of his) explaining his actions. [3]

By the late 1970s, Scaroth was living in a chateau in Paris, France under the guise of Count Carlos Scarlioni. He was married to a woman (known only as the Countess) and had hired a Russian immigrant named Fyodor Nikolai Kerensky to build a time machine for him. Kerensky operated under false pretenses however, and he believed that what he was creating was actually a cellular accelerator device. To finance Kerensky's work, Scarlioni lined up several private buyers who were willing to purchase his duplicate Mona Lisas. None of them knew that what they were buying were actually fakes [4] To pull this off however, Scarlioni had to acquire the last remaining Mona Lisa - the original painting, which still hung in the Louvre. With Kerensky's scientific expertise, he used advanced technology to bypass the museum's security systems and steal the original Mona Lisa.

Kerensky's work with his cellular accelerator had certain unexpected results. For starters, it lacked a field interface stabilizer, which was necessary in order for it to send someone back in time. Also, the power output of the machine itself began causing time slips, in which pockets of time would re-loop back upon itself. It was these time slips that first attracted the attention of the Doctor and his companion Romana.

Investigating the time slips brought the two of them to the Louvre, where they first met the Countess. The Doctor saw that she was wearing a bracelet that contained technological elements that should not exist in this era. The Doctor stole the bracelet, but this earned him the attention of a detective named Duggan, who was investigating rumors of a plot to steal the Mona Lisa. This misadventure brought all three of them into contact with Count Carlos Scarlioni. [5][6]

Scarlioni imprisoned the Doctor, Romana and Duggan in a cell in the basement of his home, next to his laboratory. With Duggan's aid, they were able to free themselves and the Doctor learned more about Scarlioni's plot concerning the theft of the Mona Lisa and his experiments in time travel. By staring into the view finder of Kerensky's machine, the Doctor saw an image of Scarlioni in his true form.

Scarlioni meanwhile, successfully liberated the first (and final) Mona Lisa from the Louvre. With his buyers lined up, he would have more than enough money to finance his scientific experiments in time travel. Returning to his chateau, Scarlioni discovered that the Doctor and the others were free, but Duggan punched him across the jaw, knocking him out with a single blow. Leaving Romana and Duggan behind, the Doctor then took the TARDIS and traveled back in time to the year 1505 whereupon he encountered Scarlioni during his Captain Tancredi phase.

When Scarlioni revived from Duggan's sock to the jaw, he began having telepathic visions of his sixteenth century counterpart's conversation with the Doctor. Through this, he discovered that Romana was an expert in temporal mechanics. He provided Kerensky with a set of plans to upgrade the design of his device, then captured Romana. Threatening to kill Duggan, he forced her to make the needed adjustments to Kerensky's time traveling machine. [7]

When the Doctor returned to the present, he knew what Scarlioni truly was and also understood how his efforts to go back in time would wipe out all of humanity. If he succeeded in preventing his space ship from exploding, then Earth's primordial ooze would never receive the radioactive flash required to jump-start the human race. The Doctor tried to stop Scarlioni, but he was too late. The Count activated the machine and went backwards in time four-hundred million years. Romana told the Doctor that she only enabled the time machine to send someone into the time stream for exactly one minute, but one minute would be all the time Scaroth would need to alter history.

The Doctor, Romana and Duggan followed the Count in the TARDIS. They actually arrived in the past a few moments prior to Scaroth's arrival and located his space ship moments before it would attempt lift off. The time traveling Scaroth appeared before them and the Doctor made a final effort to convince him to abandon this mad plan. It was Duggan however who saved the day by once again punching Scaroth across the jaw. Once his minute was up, Scaroth instantly returned to the year 1979. He appeared inside the generator field of the time machine where he was discovered by his faithful servant Hermann. Hermann, unaware that the Count was actually an alien, did not recognize him in his true form. He picked up a vase and threw it at the Count. The impact disrupted the field generator, causing an explosion which killed Scaroth. [8]

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • Given that Scaroth only had one eye in the center of his forehead, it would have been impossible for him to see through his Count Scarlioni mask.
  • Although Scaroth died in the year 1979, presumably, his eleven other chronal counterparts still exist within their respective timelines.

See also Edit


The World of Doctor Who

Doctor Who miscellaneous

External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. Wife of the modern era; deceased.
  2. Doctor Who: City of Death (Part 4)
  3. Doctor Who: City of Death (Part 3)
  4. An x-ray scan on any of them would have revealed the "This is a Fake" message that the Doctor wrote upon them back in 1505.
  5. At this point, the Doctor had yet to travel backwards to the year 1505, so he did not recognize Scarlioni as Captain Tancredi at this time.
  6. Doctor Who: City of Death (Part 1)
  7. Doctor Who: City of Death (Part 3)
  8. Doctor Who: City of Death (Part 4)