Production Code: 5H
1 - 29/09/1979 18:00
2 - 06/10/1979 18:15
3 - 13/10/1979 18:00
4 - 20/10/1979 18:15
The Doctor and Romana are enjoying a holiday in Paris, 1979, when they become aware of a fracture in time. During a visit to the Louvre to see da Vinci's Mona Lisa, the Doctor purloins from a stranger, Countess Scarlioni, a bracelet that is actually an alien scanner device.
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 additional Mona Lisas - all of them originals! The Count is revealed as an alien called Scaroth, last of the Jagaroth race. He was splintered in time when his ship exploded above primeval Earth, and in his twelve different aspects has since been guiding mankind's development to a point where time travel is possible.
His intention is to go back and prevent the destruction of his ship. To finance the final stages of this project, overseen by the misguided scientist Kerensky, he plans to steal the Mona Lisa from the Louvre and then secretly sell the multiple copies that one of his earlier splinters has forced da Vinci to paint.
The Doctor realises that the Count must be prevented from carrying out his plan as the explosion of the Jagaroth ship provided the energy that initiated life on Earth. Following Scaroth's trail in the TARDIS, he travels back to primeval Earth. Duggan fells Scaroth with a punch, thereby ensuring that history stays on its proper course.
Countess Scarlioni goes to Kerensky's laboratory to try to speak to her husband, but he has locked the door. Inside, the Count pulls off a mask to reveal beneath his human features the cyclopean alien face of Scaroth.
Investigating the mystery of the additional Mona Lisas, the Doctor travels back in time to Leonardo's workshop to talk to the painter. There he is caught by a soldier and introduced to Captain Tancredi - who looks identical to Count Scarlioni, and knows who the Doctor is.
The Count invites Kerensky to examine the field generator of the time travel equipment. When he does so, the Count operates the machine and Kerensky ages to a skeleton before the eyes of the startled Romana and Duggan.
The Doctor and Romana say farewell to Duggan at the top of the Eiffel Tower. A few moments later they wave up to him from the ground below, and run off into the distance.
Caper movies such as The Pink Panther.
Bob Shaw's The Giaconda Caper.
The Maltese Falcon.
The Doctor : "I say, what a wonderful butler! He's so violent!"
Countess : [Speaking of the Doctor.] "My dear, I don't think he's as stupid as he seems."
Count : "My dear, nobody could be as stupid as he seems!"
Duggan : "You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs"
Romana : "If you made an omelette, I'd expect to find a pile of broken crockery, a cooker in flames and an unconscious chef!"
Count : "I am Scaroth. Me, together in one. The Jagaroth shall live through me. Together we have pushed this puny race of Humans, shaped their paltry destiny to meet our ends. Soon we shall be. The centuries that divide me shall be undone."
Romana : "Shall we take the lift or fly?"
The Doctor : "Let's not be ostentatious."
Romana : "All right... let's fly, then."
The Doctor : "That would look silly... we'll take the lift."
Duggan : "You know what I don't understand?"
Romana : "I expect so."
Kerensky : "It's the Jagaroth who need all the chickens, is it?"
The Doctor can mirror write, carries an Instant Picture camera, felt-tip pen, hammer, and torch. He can recognise Leonardo's brushwork and pigment, and has heard of the Jagaroth. He seems to be able to speed read (see An Unearthly Child, Shada). He and Romana like red wine, and have crossed the time fields so often that they're sensitive to time disturbances (see The Evil of the Daleks). He overrides the Randomizer in order to make precise journeys.
Romana can solve puzzle boxes in moments, calculate accurate lengths from sight, and has a sonic screwdriver of her own (see The Horns of Nimon). She states that she's 125 [and appears therefore to have picked up the Doctor's vain habit of lying about her age: see The Ribos Operation].
The TARDIS can track the path of another time traveller (see The Chase).
On Gallifrey, painting is done by computer. Notable museums include the Academius Stolaris on Sirius 5 (see Frontier in Space), the Solarium Panatica on Stricium, and the Braxiatel Collection.
The Jagaroth, apart from Scaroth's shipful, were destroyed in a war 4 million years ago. They are warlike and callous, with knowledge of scanning, warp and holographic technology. Scaroth, attempting to take his ship into warp from Earth's surface, was thrown into the time vortex, and split into twelve splinters [all in telepathic communication]. The twelve all landed in different times, led individual lives, and eventually died.
Scaroth is recorded as an Egyptian god, and his lives include the Borgia serving Captain Tancredi, Count Carlos Scarlioni, a Norman soldier and an ancient Greek. He claims to have caused or encouraged the progress of the pyramids [see Pyramids of Mars: there were a lot of pyramids built for different reasons, and perhaps Scaroth thought that humans should emulate the Osirans and set them to this technological task], the wheel, fire, and stellar mapping.
All his selves have the same human face, a mask that can be ripped open down the middle and then instantly re created [The Jagaroth gift for holography (items in the recreation of the Louvre can be touched) suggests that this is a holographic, if touchable, mask, which can be instantly reassembled, and has a lifelike, mobile, appearance. Perhaps the earliest of the Scaroth splinters created it, and left it for the others to find. Unless the technology's really great it would seem that Scarlioni and his wife have never had sex.
Life on Earth was caused by the explosion of the Jagaroth spaceship. The Doctor states that Scaroth can't change history [but he's talking philosophically, saying that he should be content with his fate: if Scaroth really couldn't change history then the Doctor wouldn't need to stop him (see Carnival of Monsters]. Scarlioni's treasures include: A Gainsborough painting, several Gutenburg Bibles, a Ming vase, and the first draft of Hamlet.
Paris in autumn/winter 1979.
Florence in 1505.
The Mid Atlantic, 4 million years ago.
Some time after The Masque of Mandragora, the Doctor met Leonardo Da Vinci and the model for the Mona Lisa, who 'wouldn't sit still'. He knew Shakespeare (a taciturn boy) and advised him on metaphor, writing out some of Hamlet when Shakespeare sprained his wrist writing sonnets.
Kerensky's computer makes the same sound as WOTAN from the story The War Machines.
John Cleese and Eleanor Bron make a cameo appearance as eccentric art dealers in part four.
In episode one, the wrist of Scaroth's monster glove flaps about.
The sketch of Romana is different when it's seen outside the café from the one seen inside (and just who's doing the sketch, and why?)
In episode four Romana wires up a British three pin plug in order to connect Scaroth's time equipment to the (French) mains.
The prehistoric atmosphere seems quite breathable [the Doctor extended the TARDIS atmosphere] and there's land to stand on, too.
Life had already started 400 million years ago.
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Tom Baker
Romana - Lalla Ward
Art Gallery Visitor - Eleanor Bron
Art Gallery Visitor - John Cleese
Count - Julian Glover
Countess - Catherine Schell
Duggan - Tom Chadbon
Hermann - Kevin Flood
Kerensky - David Graham
Louvre Guide - Pamela Stirling
Soldier - Peter Halliday
Director - Michael Hayes