Doctor Who: City of Death (Story #105)

7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 8/10

Nice location shots, good story

They are in Paris...I get it...enough with the establishing scenes


Yeah, we’re in Paris!!! (But Doctor, if we could go to 1920s Paris, why did we come to 1970s Paris?)

The Doctor (Tom Baker) and Romana (Lila Ward) are taking a vacation to the City of Lights…Paris! When tears in time occur, Romana and the Doctor must find out what is causing the breakdown. When they encounter an officer named Inspector Duggan (Tom Chadbon) with the love of knocking men out, they discover a ring of thieves bent on stealing the Mona Lisa. The Doctor finds multiple copies of the Mona Lisa and learns that a man shattered across time known as Count Scarlioni (Julian Glover) has plans for the biggest score of all that could mean the extinction of the human race.

Doctor Who:  City of Death falls in the seventeenth season of Doctor Who.  It followed Doctor Who:  Destiny of the Daleks and aired in four parts from September 29, 1979 to October 20, 1977.  The episode was written in part by popular humor/sci-fi author Douglas Adams.  It has been released as part of The Tom Baker Years collection on DVD as Story #105.


I’m going to punch that lady!

Doctor Who: City of Death is a fun serial. It gets a lot of credit for being co-written by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy scribe Douglas Adams, but it is deserving of the attention. The story is interesting and takes a few twists I didn’t expect. Like many old Doctor Who episodes it is a bit too long, but it does a better job managing the time it is allotted more than other collections.

Doctor Who rarely went on location back in the day, and the makers really wanted you to know that they did go to Paris to shoot. Be it the obligatory Eiffel Tower shots, or running down the Champs Elieyes, or entering the Louvre, the Doctor and Romana went to Paris. They kept shoving the pictures of them running in and I’d say it is a good ten minutes of the episode. I know they wanted to get their money’s worth, but I wish they had cut back (and maybe put some more effort into some of the sets for the actual scenes).


You are a beautiful beast!

I thought Scaroth (Glover character’s real name) a pretty good villain and wish that his character or his race the Jagaroth could somehow come back. The conclusion of the series pretty much eliminates that chance, but I’d like to see the Doctor go head to head with the Jagaroth again. Maybe they can improve the look of the Jagaroth which had typical Doctor Who goofiness.

Doctor Who: City of Death is a must for Doctor Who fans. It is a solid story, with a different look. Tom Baker’s time as Doctor is one of the best periods of the old series and this is one of his best episodes. Check out Doctor Who: City of Death for a fun time. Doctor Who: City of Death is followed by Doctor Who:  The Creature from the Pit.

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  Destiny of the Daleks (Story #104)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  The Creature from the Pit (Story #106)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response