1)This story is credited to "David Agnew".  This time out, "David Agnew" stands for "David Fisher, almost completely re-written by Douglas Adams and Graham Williams".  One can certainly sense Adams' input to this, particularly in the dialogue. Supposedly, this was heavily influenced by the Bulldog Drummond stories, but since I've never read any of them, I couldn't say.

 

2)The "prehistoric Earth" was kind of obviously a model, but it wasn't too bad. I thought the Jagaroth ship was an interesting design.

 

3)Ah, Romana's "schoolgirl" outfit....

 

4)I quite liked the music in this.

 

5)I liked Julian Glover as Scarlioni/Tancredi/Scaroth - very smooth and urbane. One does wonder how Scaroth fit his real head under that maks. Maybe it was one of them compression things like the Slitheen use.

 

6)I thought David Graham was a little too overdoen as Kerensky - too much the "wacky foreigner".

 

7)Apparently the story was a little short, which is why there are so many scenes of them walking around Paris. Plus, I suspect a certain amount of the "We're filming in Paris, we're going to show Paris" mentality.

 

8)Tom Chadbon was good as Duggan - even if he was out of his depth with all the "cosmic" stuff, I liked that he was shown to be smart about the "crime" end of things, having him be the one who figured out why Scarlioni needed seven paintings.

 

9)The Countess was played by Catherine Schell, who played Maya in the more-or-less lamentable second series of Space: 1999. She did OK, although it does seem that the Countess is a little bit dim to have been with Scarlioni for years and not figured out that there was something odd about him. Perhaps he had an SEP field. 

 

10)No appearance by K-9 in this.  I wonder if it took them awhile to cast Davis Brierley?

 

11)I gather they had worries about showing the Doctor being tortured, so they subverted it having him cave in immediately in a  comedic fashion.

 

12)Why do the cops suddenly start telling the Doctor everything outside the Louvre? Did he flash his UNIT badge at them, or something?

 

13)Gotta love the little bit with John Cleese and Eleanor Bron.  "Exquisite. Absolutely exquisite."

 

14)Some fun quotes:

  • "It's the only place in the universe where one can relax entirely." Brant Rock?
  • "Shall we take the lift or fly?" "Let's not be ostentatious." "Alright, let's fly, then." "That would look silly. We'll take the lift. Come on."  Suddenly he's worried about looking silly?
  • "Where are we going?" "Are you talking philosophically or geographically?" "Philosophically." "Then we're going to lunch."  Yeah, Douglas Adams wrote this.
  • "Why hasn't she got any eyebrows?"
  • "Do you mean an alien's trying to steal the Mona Lisa?"  "It is a very pretty painting."
  • "I say, what a wonderful butler. He's so violent."
  • "Well, you're a beautiful woman, probably.."
  • "My dear, I don't think he's as stupid as he seems." "My dear, nobody's as stupis as he seems."
  • "I just reversed the polarity."
  • "I wouldn't make a very good criminal, would I?" "No, good criminals don't get caught."
  • "Duggan, why is it that every time I try to talk to someone, you knock him unconscious?"
  • "How old are you, anyway?" "125." Now she's started lying about her age.
  • "400 million years ago." That can't be right, there was already life by then.
  • "When you work for the Borgias, you beleive anything." I like how the Doctor just accepts that.
  • "I am who I am, Kerensky."  Scarlioni is Popeye?
  • "It's the Jagaroth who need all the chickens, is it?"
  • "You know what I don't understand?" "I expect so."  It's sort of like a look at what it would be like if we had a female Doctor with a moronic male companion.
  • "I shall keep him as an insurance policy, since it is unfortunately not possible to kill him twice."  Love that line.
  • "Doctor, I'm quite convinced that you're perfectly mad." "Oh, nobody's perfect."
  • "I think that was possibly the most important punch in history."  That strikes me as an Adams touch - the whole complicated runaround solved by someone hitting someone else.

 

15)Cliffhangers:

  • Part One: Scarlioni is a Jagaroth!
  • Part Two: Captain Tancredi is Count Scarlioni!
  • Part Three: Scarlioni kills Kerensky!
  • Part Four: The Doctor and Romana wave to Duggan!

 

Overall:

Possibly my favorite story of the Baker/Ward era.  I like how with everyone chasing around after the painting, the Doctor is the only one who seems to enjoy art for art's sake.

 

[Part of list of Doctor Who episodes here.]

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Have you noticed almost every story in Season 17 had one character who talked in a funny accent or acted completely "over-the-top", as if they thought they were on BATMAN and refused to take it seriously?  David Graham did a LOT of voices for Gerry Anderson shows.

The first 3 stories this season were filmed out-of-sequence because of Terry Nation's availability.  So, oddly enough, David Brierly was in the 1st one they did ("THE CREATURE FROM THE PIT"), then not in this one. I hate to say it, but I think he did a terrible job.  I mean, John Leeson is so identifiable as K-9, and for crying out loud, I can "do" a better impersonation of him that Brierly, it's obvous he wasn't even trying.  (It reminds me of the 3rd season of STAR BLAZERS.  Because they used non-union actors to dub the first 2 seasons, a few years later, when they imported season 3, they couldn't get ahold of the original voice actors. So, apart from "Derek Wildstar", EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER on the show sounds COMPLETELY wrong!!! They used the same team of actors who'd done SPEED RACER, and a ton of other shows, including, and I can really recognize them from there, THUNDERBIRDS 2086.  You'd have thought if they were using different actors, the least they could do was TRY to imitate or approximate what the "real" voices are supposed to sound like.)

Julian Glover & Catherine Schell were in 2 of my favorite 007 films, but not together-- ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE and FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.  He's my 2nd-favorite Bond movie villain, right after Telly Savalas.

I keep reading that "Duggan" was inspired by Tintin-- except, stupid.

This last time around, I found myself wondering how it might have been if they'd gotten John Cleese to play Eleanor Bron's sidekick in REVELATION OF THE DALEKS.  (Instead, they got "Runcible the Fatuous".) Sort of like how Donald Pickering & Wanda Ventham appeared together in 2 different stories, years apart.

Have you noticed almost every story in Season 17 had one character who talked in a funny accent or acted completely "over-the-top", as if they thought they were on BATMAN and refused to take it seriously?

 

I suppose that that's some of the "excessive humor" for which the Williams/Adams era is frequently criticized.

 

 

This last time around, I found myself wondering how it might have been if they'd gotten John Cleese to play Eleanor Bron's sidekick in REVELATION OF THE DALEKS

 

I gather Cleese was available as there was a work stoppage in the filming of Fawlty Towers.  That would have been funny, if he'd done it in character as Basil...

.  (It reminds me of the 3rd season of STAR BLAZERS.  Because they used non-union actors to dub the first 2 seasons, a few years later, when they imported season 3, they couldn't get ahold of the original voice actors. So, apart from "Derek Wildstar", EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER on the show sounds COMPLETELY wrong!!! They used the same team of actors who'd done SPEED RACER, and a ton of other shows, including, and I can really recognize them from there, THUNDERBIRDS 2086.  You'd have thought if they were using different actors, the least they could do was TRY to imitate or approximate what the "real" voices are supposed to sound like.)

 

I've seen an interview with Peter Fernandez in which he says that he was unfamiliar with StarBlazers when he came to do that third season, and that if he'd of known that different actors had been used for the previous seasons, he would of tried to get them.  That strikesme as a bit odd, but that - as best I recall - is what he said.

I've only seen the 3rd season twice (and unfortunately, I'm missing the ending of it). But it was only recently I watched THUNDERBIRDS 2086 again (seen the entire run 4 or 5 times by now) which is why I suddenly recognized, for example, that the Commander of Earth's defense on SB is the same voice as Commander Simpson on TB 2086.  It's so strange. The art is the same, ther music is the same, yet every single voice is different.  In several cases, VERY different. They didn't necessarily need to have gotten the same actors, but somebody should have had the earlier episodes to watch to they coujld at least try to match the voices.  Mark Venture's voice is too high, Nova, Sandor and Desslok's voices were all to deep (Desslok especially, as he originally sounded quite effeminite). Derek seems to be the only one who sounds about right, though I imagine it's probably still 2 different actors.

I don't see how anyone could not realize there had been earlier episodes, since so much about the story refers back to earlier events (including, briefly, events that took place in between seasons 2 & 3, in a pair of movies that never made it to America at the time).

"I suppose that that's some of the "excessive humor" for which the Williams/Adams era is frequently criticized."

And yet, it's these other actors who are a "problem". I think The Doctor can be as eccentric (or silly) as he wants, provided everyone else acts more believable. The same situation exists in Leslie Charteris' SAINT stories regarding Simon Templar. The stories tend to be mostly straight-forward, the characters as well, the villains often totally lacking in humor (which is often a characteristic of villains). And into that mix steps this "lunatic" who says and does whatever he wants. I often think it's ironic that on the 60's TV series, Roger Moore (who could never bring himself to take James Bond seriously), sometimes plays Templar TOO seriously, if compared with the books.

From what I've heard on the extras for these DVDs, Baker himself tried to crack down on "guest actors" who didn't seem to take the show seriously enough.

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Let's see, you had "Kerensky" in CITY OF DEATH, "Lady Adrasta" in CREATURE, "Tryst" in NIGHTMARE OF EDEN, and then both "The Pilot" and-- notoriously-- "Soldeed"-- in THE HORNS OF NIMON.

I guess it wouldn't be right if Tom Baker wound up as the "straight man" on the show.

It's funny, though, over the years I've come to enjoy these stories more than just about anything in seasons 19-23.

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