Thursday, November 1, 2012

You voted for the 100'th review on this blog. And the winner is...
Doctor Who-City Of Death
                                        On a primordial wasteland a spaceship piloted by who a voice heard on it's intercom as "the last of the Jagaroth" suddenly explodes. Meanwhile in Paris in 1979,the Doctor is intent on showing Romana is the ideal place for a rest bit for the two time travelers. Both during a visit to a cafe where a sketch artist draws Romana with a clock on her face and a visit to the Louvre to show her the wonders of human artwork,the Doctor and Romana are both subjected to two unusual and brief time loops. In the Louvre,the doctor is given an unusual bracelet that Romana determines the bracelet is a very sophisticated alien device. The pair run into British Detective Duggan at yet another cafe later who has been tracing down a Count Scarlioni and his Countess for some time. Since it was apparently her who was using the bracelet scanner the Doctor and Romana somewhat reluctantly team up with Duggan,who has a talent for breaking through different building materials to investigate the matter.Upon entering into the Counts mansion,the trio are taken prisoner by him. At first convinced their is an fine art theft occurring in the city,by the time they engineer an escape so much more has already occurred. With the help of a physicist Dr. Kerensky,the Count has been constructing an unusual device to accelerate time that Kerensky at first believes is designed to feed the human race. 

                                    While imprisoned however,the doctor discovered six identical hidden portraits of the Mona Lisa,all done by Leonardo Da Vinchi. After a quick trip in the TARDIS alone to Da Vinchi's original workshop,he is intercepted by Captain Tancardi who,interestingly enough looks exactly like the count. The Captain explains to the Doctor that he is the last surviving member of the Jagaroth named Scaroth,a war like species who were looking for a new world on which to settle. Upon trying to do so with primordial Earth,Scaroth's ship exploded and he was separated into many halves throughout Earth's centuries. These halves have been pushing forward human technological development in their respective time frames so Scaroth could later develop the technology to restore himself to normal time. Upon returning to Paris,it also becomes apparent that Scaroth had been using his time device as well to commission Da Vinchi to create many copies of the Mona Lisa to finance his project. After Romana is taken prisoner by Scaroth and forced to complete the device the Doctor,Romana and Duggan return in the TARDIS to meet him and the Doctor explains how the destruction of Scaroth's ship on primordial Earth was the causal factor for all development of life on Earth. After killing the Countess and Karensky for being found out,it is only deemed fitting when Duggan knocks Scaroth unconscious so the proper sequence of events can occur. Upon returning in the TARDIS,Scaroth is forever displaced from all time and space by his device and the Doctor and Romana depart with..at least one of the original Mona Lisa's back in the Louvre and leaving a very bewildered Duggan behind.

                                     Many viewers and fans of Doctor Who consider this to be the all time best episode of the classic series. There are many reasons for that. One is the seamless story telling which illustrates the idea of an alien race being responsible,if not purposefully,in the creation of life on Earth. This is a scientific theory that is quite significant in today's mode of thinking on evolution. Another reason is the character of the Doctor. While there would be many who would bemoan the Doctors more comedic attitude during the programs 16'th and in particular 17'th season his attitude in this story,perfectly mingling of curiosity,surprise,drama and remarkable comic wit helped to create in this story the caricature that most people might commonly think of in reference to Tom Baker's character. It is in this story he becomes very consistently the Doctor as he would play him. The episode being shot on location in Paris is also an excellent feature and the entire serial is wonderfully photographed cinema graphically. Further comedy is added to the story via one time companion Duggan,with knuckles thick enough to break bricks but a mind alternately too thick to comprehend much of anything. Monty Python's John Cleese also makes a wonderful cameo as a museum goer in the Louvre observing the TARDIS disappear believing it to be an art installation. Although what makes the ideal Doctor Who episode is very subjective,this definitely deserves all the credit given to it.
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