Recap: A bunch of stupid things happen. There’s bad dialogue. There’s a count who’s trying to steal the Mona Lisa from the Louvre. He already has six, but wants the seventh – and they’re not copies.

The Doctor goes back in time to speak to Leonardo da Vinci, only to find the count there, too.

Episode 3:

Romana and Duggan slip into the Louvre, finding the alarm systems down, and a guard knocked out. They see the Mona Lisa is already gone. Duggan triggers the alarm system, like a moron. Then he leaps through a window to make an exit.

Kerensky has awoken and finds the secret room with the six Mona Lisas. He finds the count unconscious on the floor, who begins to stir. The count murmurs, as if he’s talking to The Doctor – it seems he’s in both times simultaneously?

The Doctor prevaricates, saying he doens’t know how he got back in time to Florence. The count tells The Doctor his story – he is the last of the Jagaroth, and their saviour. The Doctor seems to know the name of the Jagaroth. He says they destroyed themselves 400 million years ago.

The count, er, the captain, er Scaroth? Whomever you want to call him, he explains that some escaped the war and came to Earth in its primeval time. They declared it uninhabitable. He explains that the ship disintegrated when they tried to lift off, leaving him fractured – “splinters of my being are scattered in time, all identical… none complete.”

The Doctor deduces Tancredi’s plan – he encouraged Leonardo to make six more Mona Lisa paintings for his future self to find. The captain goes to get some interrogation tools, leaving The Doctor guarded. The guard reveals that they work for the Borgias, much to The Doctor’s distress.

The Doctor pulls out a Polaroid camera and distracts the guard, overpowering him. On the blanks of the extra Mona Lisa painting, he writes THIS IS A FAKE and then leaves Leonardo a note, but before he can leave, Tancredi returns.

In modern day, the count wakens, asking where he is. He speaks of a dream, while Kerensky asks who he is – the count tells him he is his employer. While they argue (Kerensky begins to realise he’s not being employed to solve world hunger), the count starts hearing voices calling his true name.

Romana (having split up from Duggan) uses a sonic screwdriver to enter a cafe, where they agreed to meet. Duggan breaks glass on the door to get in, and then breaks open a wine bottle. This is supposed to be funny, I guess. He’s a rough and tumble guy, so he breaks everything. Like I said, supposed.

They discuss how the count knew where to get the extra Mona Lisa paintings.

The count gives Kerensky some new diagrams. The professor says this is the opposite of what he has been working on. He protests, saying it is monstrous. He points out that not even the count could afford the costs to build and power the machinery.

Hermann bursts in, carrying the Mona Lisa from the Louvre. They tell Kerensky that with the seven paintings, they can fetch about $100,000,000, so there is no worry about financing the project. He tells Kerensky to proceed or he will be killed.

In the past, The Doctor’s thumbs are placed under thumbscrews. The co…captain wants to know how The Doctor travels through time. He explains that he is a Time Lord.

The count laughs at the countess for going on about the wealth and the achievement of stealing the Mona Lisa. The count talks about teaching mankind how to use fire, build the pyramids and more. He dismisses the countess, once he starts hearing the cries of his people.

In the past, the captain begins to hear the voices and becomes disoriented. The Doctor escapes into the TARDIS while the guard is distracted with his captain.

It’s not his people he hears, it’s himself, his Jagaroth self – apparently his human aspects are not necessarily always aware? Scaroth addresses his various selves (and we see a over-imposed montage of many faces, Egyptian and various historical ones), saying that soon, “the centuries that divide me shal be undone.”

The Doctor watches from the TARDIS, dematerialising. The count, in the modern day, suddenly understands that The Doctor has the secret… “The Doctor… and the girl!”

The Doctor returns to modern day and ONCE MORE, goes walking in Paris.

Duggan and Romana are in the cafe. The acting by Tom Chadbon is horrible. Romana leaves a note for The Doctor. She begins to speculate on how the count could time travel, trying to explain it to Duggan. Again, it’s supposed to be funny.

There are cut scenes with Duggan and Romana running (it is Doctor Who, after all) and The Doctor doing the same, through the city. He arrives at the Louvre, where he learns the Mona Lisa has been stolen. Then he leaves, running, of course. His next stop is the cafe, where he is given Romana’s note about going to Scarlioni’s chateau.

At the chateau, we see Duggan and Romana, arms raised, with Hermann holding a gun on them. The count invites Romana to sit down, saying she has some knowledge that could be of service to him. The count takes them down to the lab to see the equipment.

To show he is not messing around, the count turns the machine on Kerensky, who ages rapidly… and the credits roll.

Oh, only one more episode…

Episode 4:

Kerensky becomes a skeleton in front of their eyes. The count says that if Romana doesn’t show him how to stabilise the time field, he’ll do what he did to Kerensky to all of Paris. Duggan calls him inhuman and the count agrees.

Romana tries to bluff that she doesn’t care about Paris but when the count tells Hermann to kill Duggan, she foolishly shows that she does care – I mean, what’s the point of trying to bluff if you’re not going to follow through with it?

Duggan is taken away, while the count explains about the destruction of his ship 400 million years ago. He explains that he has been split into twelve different parts, which “have led independent but connected lives.” He wants to go back in time and stop himself from being split.

It seems that his selves have worked, throughout history, to advance mankind, so that the technology would be available for him to use in 1979. But he needs Romana’s help in building a field stabiliser.

The Doctor is at the chateau, brought by gunpoint into the count’s sitting room, where the countess awaits. They talk of Shakespeare and she pulls out the first draft of Hamlet. The Doctor claims that the handwriting is his – Shakespeare had sprained his wrist and needed a transcriber.

The Doctor tries to impress upon her that she knows far less about her husband than she imagines. There’s banter, The Doctor even tells her the count is a green skinned alien with one eye, but she thinks he’s a bit mad. Hermann arrives to escort him to see the count in the cellar.

However, once they’ve left, the countess stops laughing, as if The Doctor’s words had a delayed reaction. She pulls out a hollow book from the case and unfolds some maps and papers – layouts of a pyramid and a scroll showing a Jagaroth.

The Doctor is brought down to the cellar. There’s more banter. The Doctor tells the count to forget trying to go back in time. The count tells him that if The Doctor doesn’t help, it would be bad for him, Romana and many thousands in Paris. The Doctor tells Romana to put down the device she’s working on, but she argues, saying the count just wants to get back to his spaceship and reunite his selves. As they argue, it seems that Romana has done all the work and he doesn’t need The Doctor. The Doctor asks if he knows what will happen if he goes back before history, and the count, quite seriously, says that he does and it doesn’t matter to him.

The count instructs Hermann to lock them up until he leaves, at which point he can kill them “in whichever way takes your fancy.”

The count goes to say his farewells to the countess (which strikes me as curious – if he doesn’t care for any of humanity, why would he do this?) He finds her in the sitting room, where she points a gun at him, demanding to know what he is, where he is from, and what he wants.

He tells her he is “Scaroth, last of the Jagaroth.” He explains that the Jagaroth are “an infinitely old race, and infinitely superior.” He takes off his makes and reveals his true face. Seeing she is still wearing the bracelet, he triggers a switch on his ring and she falls to the ground, dead.

In the cell, Romana is distressed to learn she’s helped the Jagaroth – she knows of them as well, it seems. They discuss his plan – apparently, he wants to put the whole Earth in the time bubble to rewind time 400 million years. (Reminds me of the plot from INVASION OF THE DINOSAURS.)

Duggan smashes them out of the cell (so, if he could just break through at any point, why was he still in there?) They find Scaroth in the lab; he points a gun at them and waxes megalomaniacal about the efforts of his lives and his plan.

Scaroth activates the device and is beamed back in time. The Doctor leads them out of the house, rushing to where the TARDIS is. This, of course means… you guessed it… another scene of them running through Paris. Oh, look, there’s the Arc de Triomphe.

ARRRRRGH, this is maddeningly crappy.

Okay, this is cool. John Cleese and Eleanor Bron (notable for many roles over the years, including Patsy’s mother in AbFab) are in the art gallery where the TARDIS is located. They are critiquing it as the Time Lords and Duggan rush in, enter. After the TARDIS dematerialises, they shake their heads approvingly, Bron’s character saying, “Exquisite, absolutely exquisite.”

That’s about the closest bit to funny we’ve had yet.

400 million years ago, the TARDIS arrives. Duggan demands to know where they are, still not believing or grasping what is going on. Through a spyglass, they see the Jagaroth ship.

They approach the ship, evaluating the damage to the ship. The Doctor explains that the explosion from the ship irradiates the local amino “soup”, giving birth to all life on Earth, including the human race.

As The Doctor pontificates, Romana points out that Scaroth has arrived. He demands to be allowed to go to the ship. The Doctor tells him no, but doesn’t try to stop him, but backs away. Duggan, completely out of character, backs away, too, as Scaroth and The Doctor argue, debate.

Finally, Duggan slips back into character and punches Scaroth, knocking him out. The Doctor praises him, saying that was likely the most important punch in all of history. The time on the stabiliser ends and Scaroth is taken back to 1979.

The ship seems ready to take off, so they run back to the TARDIS. It dematerialises moments before the Jagaroth ship rises into the air and explodes.

In the chateau, Hermann is in the lab, dealing with diagrams and papers. Scaroth reappears in the time machine and Hermann, not recognising his master without the mask on, throws something at him. The machine explodes and starts a fire.

Later, The Doctor explains that one of the paintings survived (but one with THIS IS A FAKE under the paint), and this latter bit of info offends Duggan. The Time Lords try to explain that it isn’t a fake it was painted by Leonardo.

When Duggan asks where they’re from, they’re vague and silly in their answer. Again, supposed to be funny, I guess. The Doctor and Romana leave, and Duggan stays, buying souvenirs.

The Doctor and Romana run off as Duggan watches… and the credits roll.

Wow, that was just horrible. Somehow it’s been voted as the seventh best serial by fans. I don’t know what they’re smoking.

Thank god it’s over.  

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