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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 12 September 2012
A very sharp & enjoyable episode, with witty dialogues and memorable moments. But the sequences of Doctor, Romana and Duggan running in & around Paris went on & on, and the story could have been told in just 2 episodes quite comfortably. Nevertheless, recommended for the dialogues (ably supported by acting), and the Tardis-vanishing sequence inside Louvre (it is quite impossible to remain straight-faced during that sequence, and how the actors managed to do it would remain a mystery to me).
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on 1 October 2014
The second best Doctor Who story ever after Pyramids Of Mars.

Superb complex storyline, Tom Baker on staggering acting form, and great performances from Lalla Ward, Tom Chadbon, Catherine Schell and fan favourite baddy Julian Glover as Scaroth, Last Of The Jagaroth.

The on location filming in Paris gives this story something extra, and the incidental music is sublime.

A highly recommended must buy! Superb!
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on 27 October 2013
The story is good, the action is good. The baddies are bad. The Paris location was inspired. This was a brilliant episode that took doctor who out of it normal quarry and studio environments and put him in a decent location. There is a certain amount of charm in the fact that this was done on a shoestring budget, so you can see locals wondering what was going on as the filming wasn't set-up as such. The scene when they are on the underground was evidence of this, especially when one of the ladies on the train was staring at the camera whn they disembarked from it. This was great ....with warts and all
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on 7 February 2014
Tom Baker and Lalla Ward are on top form as the Fourth Doctor and (2nd) Romana, whilst the supporting cast includes both Julian Glover and a cameo by John Cleese. The Paris scenes are very effective and the basic time travel story is well written, enabling the viewer to follow the complexities with ease. There is a lot of humour but Baker does not overdo it and the dramatic quality of the story shines through. The denouement is hilarious on the one hand, and powerful on the other. An absolute classic
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on 30 September 2013
The original broadcast of City of Death received the highest number of viewers of any Doctor Who episode ever, 16 million. Written by the highly celebrated and respected Douglas Adams, this is a very clever and amusing sci-fi drama filmed in beautiful Paris. With a first rate cast including James Bond villain Julian Glover and a music score so memorable that it was performed at the 2013 BBC Proms, this thrilling adventure also features terrific characters and dialogue. I'm not exaggerating when I state that i've seen it over 20 times and, on each repeat viewing, I notice jokes and social commentary that I have previously overlooked.
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on 6 January 2013
There is no point in me rambling and repeating the points of other reviewers on this site. Just purchase City of Death right now!

Production values feel higher than usual with location filming in Paris giving the episode a great sense of scale; Tom Baker is on top form as is Lalla Ward; Douglas Adam's witty dialogue pours from every line and the plot (without revealing too much) wouldn't be out of place in a 2012 episode - it's fast paced, takes us to very interesting locations and all flows wonderfully.

Extras seemed to be standard fare, an interesting watch but nothing mind blowing, still the 2Disk set has plenty of content and well worth the asking price.

When I think about classic Who's ability to tell stories I'd herald Caves of Androzani. When I think about classic Who's ability to create entire words I'd herald Planet of Evil. When I think about classic Who's ability to just simply entertain me - I'd herald City of Death.

A superb story and a must buy!
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on 7 March 2013
Now, this was a Doctor Who I got around to pretty late. I'd heard repeatedly great things about this story and I thought I would give it a try. The only time when I've been disappointed by a Doctor Who classic story which everyone praised, was The Three Doctors, so I figured I'd give it a chance. I wasn't disappointed.

This story is excellent. It's pacing is fantastic and the humour is top-notch throughout what could be perceived as a dark story, otherwise, but a dang clever one. All of the cliff-hangers had me say 'what?!' and wanting to watch the next episode, something that surprisingly few Doctor Who stories do, for me. Without giving any plot away, it's just plain nice to see a clever story across several time locations, as well as some great location work to set a brilliant scene throughout. Just a shame about the generic title, which was the reason I never looked into it, before.

For the price, it's well worth your money for the story alone, let alone the extras.
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on 26 November 2005
I am delighted that this story has been released. It is without doubt one of the best stories that Doctor Who has produced. The story is intelligent and the dialogue witty and sophisticated. In fact, I am very pleased that this has run to a 2 disc set, with loads of special features to really give you the most out of the story as possible.
Once again, we have a Doctor Who annual on PDF file - good stuff. The commentary is very good with Julian Glover and Tom Chadbon being especially good. But, yet again Tom Baker has not done the commentary. I grow frustrated about his lack of participation. The making of feature is first class. It is essentially a feature on the magnificent Douglas Adams, which is a worthy pursuit. The behind the scenes footage has some very interesting moments also. The Chicken Wrangler feature is silly but nice to hear the Grange Hill theme again. I always find the model effects a bit dull but they are not too long, so you can live with it. The comedy sketch was on a par with the ones from The Green Death and Pyramids of Mars i.e. pointless but with occasional perks.
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on 20 June 2015
City of Death - from a season not known for it's high production values is ironically one where everything came together and is quite probably the best Tom Baker story ever.

It is hard to believe this story was cobbled together as a frantic re-write of a script by David Fisher over the weekend by (script editor) Douglas Adams, (producer) Graham Williams and (director) Michael Hayes.

As the extras reveal, so much of this story was impromptu in terms of filming too, and yet it just looks so superb.

Why is City of Death so fantastic?

- The cinematography and direction. It's simply wonderful - it's not like any other Doctor Who story in terms of composition or framing. It looks more like a French thriller on the streets of Paris, than a typical Doctor Who story. Michael Hayes was a very accomplished director, and it really shows here
- The score. Is this Dudley Simpson's finest score? Having visited Paris many times, I think this score just may have captured it's very essence and character. Based on Gershwin's "An American in Paris", you'll be humming it for days afterwards .... the saxophone, the French horn, the electric piano... o la la!
- The script. Douglas Adams has his mark all over it. It's extremely witty and amusing. I won't spoil it by revealing all the wonderful lines....
- Tom & Lalla are wonderful. Tom is taking it seriously for once towards the end of his tenure, but clearly also enjoying Paris and Lalla's company. They look wonderful together on screen. The chemistry is electric, and appropriate for Paris.
- Julian Glover. How often does such a high calibre actor grace Doctor Who? It's like a Bond villain joined the cast for one story.
- The John Cleese Cameo.... just when you think it couldn't get any more delirious, John Cleese turns up in a delightful cameo sending up modern art critics. The object of their praise? A police box.

Wit, glamour, humour, wonderful cinematography and music. City of Death is indeed a work of art.
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VINE VOICEon 25 October 2005
The first 3 years of the Tom Baker era are regarded by many fans as not just the highpoint of the 7 year run of the 4th Doctor, but also the golden period of the programme. In contrast Tom Baker's later years, as produced by Graham Williams, and then John Nathan Turner, are sometimes overlooked. Although few stories from this period can be said to be amongst the worst produced in the original 26 year run of the series, most are seen as average to good, and only one story from the Graham Williams is perceived as an all time classic to rival in popularity the early Tom Baker stories such as Pyramids Of Mars and Robots Of Death. That adventure is City Of Death. Written by the series then script editor, Douglas Adams, the story highlights the considerable talent of the late Adams, just a few months before he was to achieve world-wide fame with The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. As with his other work, City Of Death features a high level of sophisticated intelligent humour, mixed with superb dialogue, a good plot and detailed characterisation. City of Death is also blessed with some very good actors who help to really bring Adams vision to life. Julian Glover, best known for his roles as the villain in The James Bond film, For Your Eyes Only and Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, plays the main villain Scaroth. His banter with Tom Baker is excellent. Tom Baker and co-star Lalla Ward, as his companion Romana were a couple off screen at this point, and their genuine chemistry is very evident on screen. This story was also the first to feature filming abroad, in this case Paris, a city integral to the plot. The best Doctor Who DVD released this year, highly recommended.
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