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TME > Video > Commercial Releases

City of Death


Whilst on holiday in Paris, the Doctor and Romana discover that something is amiss with time. Who is conducting the secret time experiments, and what connects them to the Mona Lisa? The answers lead them to discover a secret that has been hidden for four hundred million years.

-- from the DVD release, 2005

Widely considered the pinnacle of Tom Baker's time on Doctor Who, this story took a surprising amount of time to be released both in the VHS and DVD ranges...

Episode timings on DVD: 24'27", 24'34", 25'27", 25'29"
Episode timings on PasC: 24'25", 24'33", 25'24", 25'08"

 

VHS releases



02/04/1991: UK - BBC Enterprises Ltd - BBCV4492 [Deleted 14/08/1995, not pictured]
01/09/1991: Aus/NZ - PolyGram - BBC44922 [Not pictured]
??/??/1994: US - CBS/Fox - 8102 [renumbered by WHV in 2000 to E1259, not pictured]
15/07/1996: Aus/NZ - Roadshow Entertainment Ltd - B00081/Z00081 [not pictured]
??/??/1999: US - CBS/Fox - 8102
08/05/2001: UK - BBC Worldwide Ltd - BBCV7132

The US 1999 release was part of the 'Gateway Collection' - low-cost Tom Baker stories bundled together. Pyramids of Mars, The Talons of Weng-Chiang and The Stones of Blood were also included.

Original coverart by Andrew Skilletter, 2001 art by Black Sheep.

DVD releases



07/11/2005: UK - BBC Worldwide - BBCDVD1664
08/11/2005: US - Warner Home Video - E2399
11/10/2004: Aus/NZ - Roadshow Entertainment - Cat# Unknown

Cover by Clayton Hickman for UK/Aus.

Due to concerns over the language in the main bonus feature, an early cover featured a 12 certificate (right).

DVD Bonus features

 
Information Text
By Martin Wiggins.

Commentary
By Julian Glover, Tom Chadbon and Michael Hayes
 
Paris in the Springtime (44'03")
A somewhat tongue-in-cheek making of documentary. Amongst the gags, most of the original contributors are interviewed..:
  • Douglas Adams (in an interview conducted in 1985) explains who "David Agnew" was, and Anthony Read speaks of his use of it.
  • David Fisher and Read talk about the former's history with the show, leading into The Gamble with Time and the plot that would eventually become City of Death.
  • In illustrated form, The Gamble with Time is synopsised and some of the parallels drawn.
  • Adams tells us why Fisher struggled with the story and their solution.
  • Michael Hayes remembers watching the script rewrites and Fisher tells us why he refused to accept credit.
  • Steven Moffat refers to Adams as a genius while Robert Shearman refer to him as untidy.
  • In 1992 Adams remembers his introduction to Who through The Pirate Planet - Read offers his thoughts also. Pennant Roberts remembers his initial reactions to the script.
  • Read, Fisher and Pennant criticise Adams' ability to handle narrative and his script editing. Even Moffat is surprised he was given the job. Shearman sympathises with the workload he must have had while in the 1992 interview he explains juggling Doctor Who and Hitchhikers.
  • Catherine Schell shares her memories of Scarlioni revealing himself, Tom Chadbon recalls his character's motivations (Shearman revels in Duggan's bottle-opening) and Julian Glover talks about his character's relationship with Schell's.
  • 1985-Adams discusses with us a joke he added in and Fisher tells us he didn't feel he deserved the 75% fee he got.
  • Improvisation is covered by Glover, Chadbon and Hayes.
  • Chadbon remembers with glee the overseas filming, and Glover and Schell with jealousy. Hayes admits they'd forgotten about a public holiday, which caused filming problems at the art gallery, and the inappropriateness of the gates chosen to represent the château. He also praises John Walker, giving him credit for the "polished look" the cameraman gave the show.
  • Hayes prides himself on the casting, Moffat and Chadbon enthuse about Glover in particular. Glover himself gives credit to the writer's creation of the character.
  • The cameo by John Cleese and Eleanor Bron comes under discussion (it was Adams who wrote to Cleese to suggest his appearance).
  • Moffat and Shearman explain why they loves City of Death so, while Glover and Hayes express their pride in their contributions.
  • Moffat enthuses over Tom Baker's performance and Adams (1992) and Shearman explain how to handle humour in Who.
  • Roberts finishes by remembering Shada and Moffat wonders what new Who would have been like with Adam's involvement.

Narrator: Toby Longworth
Interviewers: Simon Cogan, Stephen La Riviere
Camera: Una Herzer, Andrew Swann
Sound: Angus Anderson, Thomas Cock
Colourist: Dave Hawley
With thanks to Kevin Davies
Illustrations: Jason Lythgoe-Hay
Consultant: Andrew Pixley
Producer: Ed Stradling
BBC Worldwide
(C) BBC MMV

 

Paris, W12 (22'05")
A compilation of the best studio footage from three reels of poor quality Shibaden tapes loaned by Jan Vincent-Rudzki.

Archive Consultant: Jan Vincent-Rudzki
Video Restoration: SVS
BBC Worldwide
(C) BBC MMV

 
Prehistoric Landscapes (2'25")
The complete original model footage, with sound effects added.
Visual Effects Designer: Ian Scoones
Camera: Harry Oakes
Thanks to Richard Bignell, Mick Hall, Jan Vincent-Rudzki
BBC Worldwide
(C) BBC MMV

 
Chicken Wrangler (6'49")
The complete original footage of Ian Scoones attempting to film a footage, with the Grange Hill theme dubbed over.
Visual Effects Designer: Ian Scoones
Camera: Harry Oakes
Thanks to Richard Bignell, Mick Hall
BBC Worldwide
(C) BBC MMV

Photo Gallery
(8'40")
81 colour photos from the making of this story, plus seven design sketches and set models.
With thanks to BBC Photograph Library, Jan Vincent-Rudzki, Derek Handley
BBC Worldwide
(C) BBC MMV
 
Eye On... Blatchford
A spoof documentary looking at the life of Sardoth, second-to-last of the Jagaroth.
Narrator: Stuart Flanagan (MD, DJ)
Sardoth: Brooklands Greene
Voice of Sardoth: Kevin Stayner
Dr Amaedus Gowel: Gabriel Woolf
Ice-Cream Children: Beth & Jessica Robert
Young Thief: Jake Trussler
Tourists: Sal Trussler Pen Manuel, Richard Johnson, Ped Hammond, Rosie Manuel, Colin Fletcher, Kev Hammond, Vicky Short, Kent Istowne, Jen Whittingham
Thanks: John & Meldoy Van Deventer, The Maxillo-Facial Laboratory, Steve Roberts, Mike Tucker, Susan Robert, Anita Sheppard, Lura Donn & Luke Nathan, Alex & Sarah at the Star, Kath O'Neill, Jo Mayne, Dame Felicity Lott, Stephen Shillito, Julian Knott, Gavin French, Ed Stradling, Robin Prichard, Vicky West, Mike Allbright
Special Thanks: Joanna West, Kelly Mayne
Runner: Ben Hammond
CG and Props: The Pepper Mill
Musicality: Marc Du Pan
Production Asst: Agnieszka Frost
Duck Procurement: Nicola Start
Cybermen Created by Dr Kit Pedlar & Gerry Davis
Written by Robert Hammond
Produced by Matt West
Directed by Mark Frost
A montobronto films Production for BBC Worldwide
(C) BBC MMV

 
 
Doctor Who Annual
A pdf of the 1980 Annual.
 
Easter Egg: Jagaroth Advert (2'01")
Move left from the "Paris in the Springtime" option. A short CG animation advertising the Jagaroth Battle Cruiser.
Graphics: www.robhammond.net
Producer: Matt West
A Miwk Production for BBC Worldwide
(C) BBC MMV
Easter Egg: Douglas Adams Interview (6'33")
Move left from the "Prehistoric Landscapes" option. The writer speaks about being denied a trip to France, so going anyway (with Ken Grieve) and getting very very drunk (from the 1985 interview session that was used in Paris in the Springtime).
With thanks to Kevin Davies
Easter Egg: Bad Woolfe (1'43")
Move left from the "Photo Gallery" option. Footage of Gabriel Woolfe recording his part for Eye On... Blatchford in this scripted 'outtake'.
Easter Egg: Blind Fan (0'17")
Move left from the "Doctor Who Annual" option. A short sketch recorded on the set of City of Death by Tom Baker and John Cleese for the annual BBC internal Christmas tape.

Restoration Notes

As normal, the 90s D3 copies of the original 2" quads were dubbed using the Transform PAL decoder and a general regrading performed by Jonathan Wood. Instability throughout the film inserts was fixed using Furnace, and then the episodes were run through DVNR and an ARC-100 for flicker removal. Mark Ayres performed general noise removal and also tidied up two poor cuts in episode two, at 14:25 and 22:20.

Classifications

13/03/1991 - Passed as 'U' by the BBC for the UK
17/05/1991 - Passed as 'G' by the OFLC for Aus/NZ
15/09/2005 - Bonuses passed as 'PG' by the BBFC for the UK
24/10/2005 - Bassed as 'PG' [Mild Course Language] by the OFLC for Aus/NZ


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