City of Death part 2

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Bluesqueakpip 8 years, 9 months ago.

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    Craig @craig

    The Doctor, Romana and Duggan are questioned by the Count and Countess about the theft of the bracelet. Locked up in the cellar, they start to discover the Count’s plan, which seems to involve some timey-wimeyness and Leonardo Da Vinci.

    Tom Baker is mischievously brilliant with Douglas Adams’ lines.

    “What a wonderful butler… he’s so violent”

    “You’re a beautiful woman… probably.”

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Sonic screwdriver does wood?

    ‘Would you like to stay on as my scientific adviser?’

    A sonic knife. And a cool hologram.

    It’s a game of cat and mouse as Duggan surprisingly knocks the Count out for the count…

    The Doctor has to meet a middle-aged Italian. I suppose he’s switched off the Randomiser to get there (beware the Black Guardian).

    Come the (delicious) cliffhanger, the Doctor’s in peril. Will K-9 come to the rescue like he usually does? Or is the metal mutt sulking because he didn’t get to tour Paris?

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    That’s the joy of opening a thread – you can always get the best lines in first!

    In these retrospectives, I’ve tried to explain the joy of seeing various incarnations of the Doctor goad enemies in different ways. I think this highlights this era of the Fourth Doctors “wilful offensive insouciance”, and isn’t it a weapon of mass destruction?

    This Doctor is so cool in that meeting, he doesn’t only know where his towel is, he knows where everybody else’s is as well. Taking over the drinks, organising the seating as he does the introductions, grinning like a loon. It’s guaranteed to get your goat, and is a massive weapon in his armoury.

    “You’re a beautiful woman… probably.”

    Always quoted by the Keep Doctor Asexual Society as evidence of the Doctors ambivalence towards attraction, I see this as another offence. The Countess knows she’s good looking, and the Doctor is talking (to me) about the physical v. mental. She’s cruel and venal mentally.

    I love the early attempt to pair Duggan with Romana. That’s germ warfare isn’t it?

    The Chicken or the egg question? Simple. If you are a creationist – you think the chicken came first (God created the animals, etc). If you are anyone else, and follow Darwin, the egg came first, being laid by a flightless bird that was similar, but not genetically exact to a Chicken.

    Did you know that effect of the egg/chicken regression (and the sound effect) was mirrored in the Red Dwarf ep “DNA” when Arnold Rimmer was condensed to Chicken form?

    Duggan really is a thick ape isn’t he.? He’s clearly a hardman, kicking a cheap wall in still makes him look a bit mental. Then the Doctor ticking him off. Before he disables the countess with a Ming Vase. (How do you know it’s Ming ? you flick it with your finger and it goes “Miiiiiiiiiiiing”).

    So back to visit Leonardo and a bit of unexpected colour. It’s the Count! My theory, after seeing series 7 was that he jumped into the Doctors grave at Trenzilore and was splintered through time!

    What about yours?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    The Chicken or the egg question? Simple. If you are a creationist – you think the chicken came first (God created the animals, etc). If you are anyone else, and follow Darwin, the egg came first, being laid by a flightless bird that was similar, but not genetically exact to a Chicken.

    Actually, no, because if you are a Hindu creationist, you would argue that the state of pure consciousness came first, if you’re a Progressive creationist you’d argue that God might have directly intervened to create the chicken in the middle of the evolutionary process and if you are a Buddhist you’d argue that both chicken and egg are, in fact, an illusion.

    And if you are a certain type of philosopher, you would discuss very seriously how exactly to define the terms ‘chicken’ and ‘egg’ before you could make any decisions whatsoever. 😈

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    That’s the point about theology – always changing the goalposts.

    Would you care for a drink? You’re a beautiful poster. Probably.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @phaseshift – Oy! Are you calling me cruel and venal? 😉

    Arbutus @arbutus

    The first time around, many years ago, I tuned in part way through this episode and met the Doctor for the first time. He and his friends were in trouble with the Count in Paris. There were a lot of Mona Lisas inexplicably bricked up behind a five-hundred-year-old wall. The Doctor snuck into the Louvre, entered a phone booth, and then showed up in the Renaissance! The Count showed up in the Renaissance!! What the heck was going on???

    But the dialogue was just perfect, and the Doctor, oh, the Doctor, with his disingenuous grin, wide-eyed enthusiasm, lunatic remarks, and outrageous cheekiness. His interactions with just about everyone are spot on. The flow of dialogue between him and anyone he speaks is perfectly pitched and timed. I adored it.

    I like it that Duggan, for all his goonery, does get to explain to the Doctor the point of stealing the Mona Lisa when you already have six of them. He does know his own business, that Duggan!

    @phaseshift, yes, “You’re a beautiful woman… probably… by some people’s standards, not by mine, of course!”  Definitely a bit of a poke.  🙂

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Incidentally, is this episode the source of the famous ‘wobbly sets’ meme? Given that over 14 million people saw Tom Chadbon nearly shake the set apart as he tried to shoulder the door open.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Definitely a bit of a poke.

    It’s a kind of joy to see it in action. All the Doctors have that ability to poke their enemies but some like the Fourth and Fifth just do it so elegantly that you have to bow down.


    All I can say is that you are adorably bluesqueakpipy and if we could mine your intellect we would be a richer nation. Is that enough crawling?!

    The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman

    Clearly Duggan is meant to be a substitute for Harry Sullivan in this, but there are no substitutes! Ever!!!!
    I’m just kidding, but seriously though why didn’t Duggan become a companion. We need more dim-witted male companions. Not like Rory though, he was a wimp. Harry and Duggan wouldn’t have put up with any of Amy’s nonsense.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Anyway, now that @phaseshift and I have finished our verbal jousting (crawling accepted 😉 ), some comments on the actual episode.

    @wolfweed – It is quite funny that the sonic has a bit of a moment when trying to tackle the wooden door – before Duggan thumps it and it goes for the metal lock instead. And that randomiser seems to be switched on at random moments, never mind taking them to random places. Though I have always noticed that the TARDIS seems to develop a pin-point accuracy when she knows she really, really needs to.

    Romana’s expression as she gets assigned ‘babysit Duggan’ is a joy. Just a flick of the eyes from Lalla Ward, but it’s enough. And yeah, Duggan does rather give the impression that he got fired from the Met for being too violent.

    I remember watching this on first broadcast and thinking ‘Huh? How did he get here?’ My incipient bonkers theorising led me to think at the time that Kerensky had succeeded in his time travel experiments.

    @thekrynoidman – Rory wasn’t dim. Rory was merely the ‘only sane man’ in Team TARDIS. His life up to the point he met the Doctor hadn’t really prepared him for pretending to be a gondolier in Sixteenth Century Venice so that he could get his fiancee into a boarding school for trainee vampires who turned out to be alien fish people with mad fencing skillz.

    Since this turned out to be a normal day in the TARDIS, he was at somewhat of a disadvantage…

    Whisht @whisht

    Am really enjoying seeing this for the first time (must have missed seeing it as a kid).

    Completely agree about the dialogue etc though must say that I think Duggan is being played as though this is a ‘farce’.

    Its all a bit too much for me – while trying to figure out how to describe what I meant I read a description of farce:

    a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and typically including crude characterization and ludicrously improbable situations.

    Now, I’d agree that you can read that and think yep, this is comic, the Doctor is using buffoonery to baffle the villains and its ludicrously improbable, but I wouldn’t say that the Doctor is a crude characterization. Larger-than-life but not crude.
    But Duggan’s upturned gaberdine collar and Sam Spade delivery just feel a little out of place, though he has a role to fill and is playing the detective in what could be a farce. Maybe its seeing him with Lalla who’s undercutting everyone else’s acting with her own brilliance that does him a disservice from me.

    anyway, just an opinion and loving it generally (especially comparing it to Hitchhikers where a similar dialogue exchange is apparent).

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @whisht, – it’s just occurred to me – perhaps Duggan, while obviously being played for comedy, is supposed to be obvious?

    That is, if Count Scarlioni is known to be about to steal the Mona Lisa, but is too important to arrest – perhaps Duggan’s real job was to make the Count aware that the Louvre knows exactly what’s going on and has detectives on the case?

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