CITY OF DEATH
September – October 1979
“My dear, nobody could be as stupid as he seems!”
Tom as the Doctor confronted by Leonardo's guards in City of Death.
Picture © BBC
The Doctor and Romana arrive in Paris, 1979. Here a reclusive aristocrat, Count Scarlioni, is engaged on a massive art fraud to help finance his time travel experiments. Beneath his mask Scarlioni is one of the worm-faced manifestations of Scaroth. Aided by his other selves in the past, Scaroth has been helping mankind develop from primitive apes to a point when they can create a time machine. Scarlioni wants to go back in time and prevent the explosion that killed his people. Only the Doctor knows this event was also the nuclear spark that began life on Earth. Scarlioni's wish to rewrite history will delete the future existence of the entire human race.
Threatened with seeing Paris destroyed, Romana is cajoled into helping the Count perfect his time travel mechanism and he departs for primeval Earth. Following him, the Doctor delays the Count just long enough for him not to be able to prevent the ship’s fatal lift-off.
Humanity has been saved, and the only loose end to be tied is ensuring that only one genuine edition of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa exists to hang in the Louvre.