Scaroth.jpg

Scaroth is the main antagonist of the Doctor Who story "City of Death".

He was portrayed by Julian Glover, who also played Aris Kristatos in For Your Eyes Only, Walter Donovan in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Aragog in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Kayn in Blake's 7.

History

Scaroth was a member of the Jagaroth race, the pilot of a ship carrying the last survivors of a war. They made planetfall on Earth in ancient times but found the planet uninhabitable. Against Scaroth's advice, with the ship damaged, the order was given to take off on warp drive. The result was the ship exploding, killing everyone on board and splintering Scaroth throughout Earth's history.

The various splinters were in telepathic communication and all adopted similar human disguises. They decided to push ahead humanity's development in order to make the greatest technology available for the latest splinter, who existed in 1979 where he had adopted the identity of Count Scarlioni. Scaroth claimed to have caused the pyramids to be built and the heavens to be mapped, invented the wheel and shown the true use of fire. In addition, the splinters hid various antiques for Scarlioni to find and sell to fund the time travel experiments of Professor Kerensky. Kerensky was hoping to accelerate the life span of livestock in order to alleviate famine, but Scaroth actually planned to use his experiments to travel back in time and prevent the explosion.

Scaroth in his guise of Count Scarlioni

Scaroth's final fundraising scheme was to steal the Mona Lisa from the Louvre. To this end, he had his wife, Countess Scarlioni, scan the security systems with an alien bracelet. This was spotted by the Doctor, who stole it from her. Scaroth's men stole it back but Scaroth was unimpressed by them drawing attention and had the minions killed. He then had the Doctor, Romana and detective Duggan taken prisoner. The Doctor began to realise Scaroth's plan and travelled back to 1505 where he found another of Scaroth's splinters, Captain Tancredi, getting Leonardo to paint six more Mona Lisas. Having stolen the real one, Scarlioni would be able to sell all seven to different collectors who would believe they were buying the original.

Having discovered the Doctor and Romana were Time Lords, Scaroth disposed of Kerensky by aging him to death with his own machine and then forced Romana to construct a time bubble that would allow him to travel back in time. The Doctor however had realised what Scaroth already knew: It was the explosion of the Jagaroth ship that had caused the reaction that began life on Earth, and if Scaroth succeeded then the human race would be erased from history. Scaroth killed the Countess when she realised his true nature and made the time jump backwards.

The Doctor, Romana and Duggan followed and, when the Doctor failed to reason with him, Duggan knocked Scaroth out, causing him to be sent back to the future. There, he was seen by Scarlioni's henchman Hermann. Shocked by the sight of his master's true appearance, Hermann threw a vat of chemicals at him, causing the time machine to explode and killing them both.

Trivia

  • Julian Glover played Scaroth's human forms and provided the voice for his Jagaroth form. Although he wore the mask for a few scenes, most of the sequences involving Scaroth's true form were played by a double, Richard Sheekey.

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