British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

City of Death. Part 4

Synopsis
British science fiction television serial. The Doctor and Romana are on holiday in Paris in 1979 when they sense that someone is tampering with time. He, Romana and a private detective named Duggan are then ‘invited’ to the chateau home of Count Scarlioni, where they find hidden in the cellar six versions of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’. In the fourth and final episode The Doctor, after having been caught by an armed man in the chateau, asks a maid to summon the Count for him. The Doctor takes a moment to compare the thug to a little boy he knew who never said a word when he didn’t need to - he goes on to say that this was Shakespeare. They enter the study and the Countess opens a secret door in the wall, revealing a cabinet in which lies the original manuscript of Hamlet which has been missing for centuries. The Doctor recognises the handwriting of ‘to take arms against a sea of troubles’ - it’s his own: his friend William sprained his wrist writing too many sonnets (the Doctor tried to warn him...). The Doctor finds a mixed metaphor in the text which he warned Shakespeare about but he took no heed. The Countess thinks the Doctor must be quite mad; he replies that nobody is perfect. He then explains about how her husband acquired the copy of Hamlet.
Series
Doctor Who
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Television
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Transmission details
20 Oct 1979 at 16:15 (Channel: BBC1)
Duration
25 mins

Credits

Director
Michael Hayes
Producer
Graham Williams
Writer
David Agnew
Cast
Catherine SchellCountess Scarlioni
Eleanor BronArt gallery visitor
John CleeseArt gallery visitor
Julian GloverCount Scarlioni
Lalla WardRomana
Tom BakerDoctor Who
Tom ChadbonDuggan

Additional Details

Production type
Television and Radio Drama
Plays
Hamlet
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616); Time Travel; Science fiction (television)

Notes

Notes
Detailed Wikipedia entry for the serial at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_Death
General
The story is set in Paris, and was the first Doctor Who serial to feature footage filmed on location outside the United Kingdom. Eleanor Bron and John Cleese make cameo appearances as art lovers.

Writing credit David Agnew is the pseudonym of co-writers Douglas Adams and Graham Williams.
History
Season 17

Production Company

Name

BBC

Notes
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

Distributor (Sale)

Name

Retail outlets

Record Stats

This record has been viewed 344 times.