Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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City of Death: Part Four 

Scaroth, the last of the Jagaroth, forces Romana to build a field interface stabilizer for his time machine. Romana reluctantly does so, not knowing that the full extent her action will ... See full summary »



(by) (as David Agnew), (by) (as David Agnew) | 1 more credit »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Kerensky (archive footage)
Kevin Flood ...


Scaroth, the last of the Jagaroth, forces Romana to build a field interface stabilizer for his time machine. Romana reluctantly does so, not knowing that the full extent her action will lead to the total non-existence of all life on Earth. Humans will never have existed. Written by statmanjeff

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TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 October 1979 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode contains possibly the largest number of Bond actors for a Doctor Who episode. Of the nine credited cast members, four have appeared in Bond films - Catherine Schell appeared (under the name Catherina von Schell) in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Julian Glover played Kristatos in For Your Eyes Only (1981), John Cleese played R, subsequently Q, in The World Is Not Enough (1999) and Die Another Day (2002), and Tom Chadbon appears in Casino Royale (2006). See more »


Earth's oxygen atmosphere was a byproduct of early lifeforms emitting oxygen as a waste product, so Duggan and Scaroth shouldn't be able to breathe while outside on the then-lifeless primordial Earth. See more »


Doctor Who: I can't let you fool about with time.
Count Scarlioni: What else do YOU ever do?
Doctor Who: Ah, well, I'm a professional. I know what I'm doing.
See more »


Featured in Paris in the Springtime (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

S17: City of Death: Enjoyable and engaging, with good pace and tone throughout
30 July 2017 | by See all my reviews

City of Death features a comedy cameo by a famous comedian, the creation of mankind by an alien race, a companion in an overtly sexy but playful outfit, location shoots highlighting that we're in Paris, and several actors giving it a good slice of ham – all in a serial where the plot involves the theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre. Oh, and we also skip back to try to hook up with Leonardo Da Vinci. One could be forgiven for assuming that I was talking about a Matt Smith Doctor Who episode here, but actually we're still back with Tom Baker.

The truth is though, and Theo Robertson will probably not appreciate this too much; but this serial does rather fall into the "all a bit of fun, isn't it" mold of the newest seasons. That is not to say that it drives things to excess, or has lots of political agenda items rammed in there, but more that it has that playful lack of respect and sense of tomfoolery, while still managing to deliver a decent enough plot. Much like the new Doctor Who series though, it manages to be worth watching but at the same time it's not quite as good as it could have been. The serial does have fun energy though, starting with the death of an alien and then jumping to a vacation in Paris, then into a heist plot, then back into something more alien. It has plenty of nice ideas in there, and it benefits from having a nice dash of silliness across it.

The cast pick up on this. Baker is on good form. Glover manages to have fun but without making his character a joke. The supporting characters are less strong though. I found Ward to be a bit aloof and not getting the tone right; meanwhile Chadbon is solid enough but always seems a little lacking material. The location shoots are fun (despite feeling a bit obvious in their constant placement), and the special effects are good enough to do the job. While I didn't find it to be the tremendous romp or classic that it appears some others did, I did find it enjoyable and engaging, with good pace and tone throughout.

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