No 4: City Of Death
Each week, Miles Hamer will be getting shit-faced in the name of Doctor Who. Why not join in his fun?
The task: Watch randomly-chosen adventures from the show's history whilst observing the rules set out below.
Take a gulp when:
The TARDIS takes off/lands
Doctor and/or crew's identity queried
Psychic paper used
Sonic Screwdriver used
Historical figure introduced
Catchphrase (eg. Exterminate)
Self-sacrifice saves the day
Title of the adventure is mentioned
The Doctor uses a pithy putdown
Oops! Continuity, prop or dialogue malfunction
Soliloquy of the villainy
Mention of Gallifrey and/or Doctor's family (except Susan)
Finish your drink when:
The baddies are defeated
A companion is introduced
A companion leaves/dies
The Doctor regenerates
Opening titles. "How come Tom Baker looks so Scouse?" queries my wife. My mind throbs with inappropriate replies. Half of her family are Liverpool-born and I've yet to touch any alcohol so I'm – unusually for me - keeping my mouth shut and leaving this question hanging.
"But what is it?" Bloody hell. "Curly hair?" I offer feebly. God, I need a drink.
A spaceships explodes! Yay, let's start this shit. Not that this is shit you understand.
Paris! A sneaky sup for the locale. Hang on, the titular "City of Death" is "city of love" Paris, right? Wow, one mouthful of beautiful beer and already my concentration is sharpened.
A woman on the Metro looks directly into the camera. I assume no one asked, "Do you 'ave ze licence for zees feelming?" Regardless, it's a mistake so it's a swig.
Count Scarlioni says "time" three times in a row. I think this story's about time you know.
"Time Professor. It is all a matter of time." OK, I'm biting – that word is a catchphrase. I'm necking two for those mentions and a further three retrospectively.
Now the Doctor's at it. Three times "times".
Gulp for Gallifrey.
Two times more times, if you see. Screw this, I'm abandoning it already. I'll be unconscious before we get to the first cliffhanger.
The Mona Lisa! My grandparents had a Mona Lisa in their downstairs toilet. As a kid I: a) Thought it was the real one and b) Had difficulty relieving myself under her smirky gaze. Ironically, these days I find it almost impossible to get my wang out without being watched by someone with no eyebrows (hence the picture of Matt Lucas I pin to the wall whenever I'm getting jiggy with it).
Note to self: never use the phrase, "getting jiggy with it" again, or you will almost certainly never get "jiggy with it" in yours, or anyone else's, lifetime.
A café-dweller in a beret! Yeah, now we're in France. The Eiffel Tower and Louvre are mere set dressing compared to him. No string of onions mind.
The villainess is smoking. Don't see that so often these days.
She also looks fairly uncomfortable though, like she's discretely trying to poo a ball of wool (and you don't see that EVER).
Scarlioni's that spaghetti-headed sucker from earlier! Oh, I knew this. I've seen it loads of times. Part one and just a half pint down.
The "wonderful butler" line still makes me grin like a dick.
Do dicks grin? Not really. If anything, they cry and vomit, but certainly not grin.
The whole gang is incarcerated.
The sonic screwdriver! Let's drink to that.
It doesn't work. Boo, I'm drinking to that.
Yes it does. Hurrah! I'm drinking to that!
This egg-chicken plot point is pure technobabble.
Blah blah blah "cellular". I don't know what's being said but I'm finally a pint down.
"Reverse the polarity." Yay! As a catchphrase of technobull it's getting a double gulp.
Urgh. I've gone from lovely Carlsberg to bloody horrible Carling. No wonder those who guzzle it always seem so pissed off and aggressive.
Duggan smashes Kerensky. For once, violence breeds alcohol consumption, rather than the other way round.
"The prismatic field deflects the beams". I may have only got D's in GCSE science but even I can tell that this is cobblers.
Duggan charges some concrete. I bloody love Duggan.
The Doctor answers "oh" twice in quick succession followed by a swift "no." I bloody love The Doctor.
A smack in Scarlioni's mouth means some more beer in mine.
Duggan smashes a vase over the Countess's head. I take a dubious sip for this somewhat contentious action.
The TARDIS takes off.
The TARDIS lands. Exactly where he wants it to. I thought he had a randomiser fitted? That I'm thinking about this shows how little I've drunk thus far. The second episode's coming to a close and I'm not even that many drinks down.
Scarlioni gives his "Last of the Jagaroth" speech, which earns me the final gulp of my second drink.
The Doctor renders some dude unconscious, but it's not exactly clear how he's done it. I'll assume brute force, mainly 'cos that gets me drunker quicker.
Scarlioni is what can only be described as "jibbing out a bit."
From his fluttering eyes and heavy breathing, it looks like Scarlioni's getting a pretty bloody good blowjob.
"I'm coming" he burbles. Yep, definitely a blowjob.
Mmm, I'd love a blowjob right now.
Damn, my wife's fallen asleep.
TARDIS takes off. Actually, given that I've just scribbled the words, "TARDIS takes off," I think my hopes for a lip-smacking nosh-off were optimistic at best.
TARDIS lands. Getting very slightly tipsy now.
Romana's talking technobabble. Both her acting and expansive forehead convince me that she knows what she's talking about.
Tom Baker is being FUCKING AMAZING in this. Perhaps he is my favourite Doctor…
Poor Prof Kerensky is turned into Calista Flockheart somehow, only deader. It's the end of part 3 and that's the first on-screen kill. That's my third drink down.
The recap, which mean I get to toast Professor Foreign Features' death again, the poor sod.
Take a sip to Scarlioni/Scaroth/Him-Off've-For-Your-Eyes-Only waxing lyrical about his plans of racial purity and genocide again. It's like a BNP party political broadcast, only marginally more moderate.
Just kidding BNP voters, good luck to you, yeah? Frankly, I'm astonished you know how to work a crayon.
The Shakespeare reference gets a swift knock back. Why not, eh?
Bloody hell, Tom Baker's "jaunty to serious" face is exactly the sort of thesp' brilliance we'll all be praising Eccleston for many years later. Giving it a sneaky nod by way of alcohol.
Death of the Countess. She can finally let that wool go.
Incarceration! Erm, again.
Duggan: "I need a drink." I would love to go drinking with Duggan. This is the nearest I will ever get.
Idly wondering if Tom Chadbon is on Facebook…
No time for stalking, it's John Cleese and her off've Revelation of the Daleks! I'm drinking to that. It's not strictly in the rules, but Cleese feels like a historical figure he's been around for so bleeding long.
TARDIS takes off. NB: You probably say "dematerialises." I say "takes off" ok?. I also call rectangles "oblongs."
Duggan slugs Scaroth straight in his spaggy bowl. Yeah, let him have it you mad bastard!
TARDIS takes off.
Another explosion! All the best stories end on an explosion. If only Driving Miss Daisy had ended on an explosion à la Speed, then it might have been watchable, rather than the dusty and condescending load of old crap it clearly is.
Bye bye Count! A final explosion and a downing of drinks now he's well and truly screwed.
Bye bye Duggan!
I wonder if he's still up the Eiffel Tower? Hmm, exactly how much is Eurostar these days? And where's my wife's credit card?
U.N.I.Ts consumed: 8.8
Verdit: As a whimsical tale of time travel, silliness and sparkling dialogue, City of Death is an absolute blast. However, due to its dialogue-heavy, inventive script and aversion to Who lore cliché, you may find it somewhat lacking if viewed purely as an exercise in getting bladdered. But simply to revel in its sheer joie de vivre whilst gradually succumbing to intoxication is such a pleasurable experience that even mentioning that feels downright churlish and positively ungrateful. City of Death may just be Doctor Who's finest 100 minutes, and should be toasted as such at every available opportunity. And preferably with a decent 1979 table wine, rather than a can of bloody Carling.
Disclaimer: We here at The Fan Can recommend only moderate consumption of alcohol and do not endorse binge drinking. Basically, Matthew Waterhouse will never convince, no matter how pissed you get.
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