I’ve mentioned it before, but in case you haven’t read every single article on my home site, Needless Things like you so totally should, City of Death is my favorite Doctor Who story. It stars Tom Baker – who will always be My Doctor – and Lalla Ward as Romana – who is high on my “Hottest Companions” list. The story was written by Douglas Adams (yes, that Douglas Adams) and it features a good bit of his signature humor.
While the episode itself has great pacing, an exciting story, and very strong acting from the entire cast; the very best thing about it is this:
That is Scaroth of the Jaggaroth and he is one of the best villains ever, both in design and in the story.
Scaroth is the last of his people to have survived a crash landing on prehistoric Earth. In a scheme that Cobra Commander would call convoluted and ridiculous, he is coordinating with past versions of himself to commit art fraud. Seriously.
First Glance: Good lord, Scaroth looks great.
Sculpt: CO’s figures just keep getting better and better.
Scaroth comes with a Julian Glover head and a Jaggaroth head. The human head looks amazing – one of the best from this line. The likeness is spot-on and the hair has some of the best detailing I’ve seen from the Classics line.
The alien head is also fantastic. Tons of detail in the weird, noodle-looking skin. Both heads are fairly easy to remove and replace.
Scaroth’s body is a new suit sculpt. He sports the old CO articulation – the weird ball-joint analog hips that Mattel uses, pivots at the elbows and knees, swivels at the waist, wrists, neck, and thighs. I say this is old because now we have some Doctor Who figures with better shoulder articulation. He’s wearing a fancy, three-piece suit with enough little detail to make it stand out, such as his ascot with the little clip and the thing in his pocket. What is that called, anyway? A handkerchief? Pocket-accent? I own one and I don’t know. Of course, Scaroth’s probably isn’t a pre-folded cloth stapled to a piece of cardboard.
He also has the big, gaudy jeweled ring on his right hand.
Design: Scaroth is pretty basic, but those nice little details I mentioned above are painted well and tightly. The heads both look very good. The alien head is that hideous green color, but it also has some very nice shading that brings the detail of the wrinkles and folds out. The human head is clean and all the parts stay inside the lines.
Accessories: Scaroth comes with a human head, his pistol, and a framed Mona Lisa. Not to mention a Tom Baker.
I discussed the head above. The pistol is a great sculpt and his a bit of detail. The Mona Lisa is just a sticker on a frame, but I didn’t even know it was in the set, so it was a great little surprise. The Tom Baker is perfectly fine. If you like that sort of thing. I’ll get to him later.
Packaging: I love the window boxes these sets come in.
Overall: As with all of the Classic Doctor Who toys the set is overpriced, but strangely worth it. To me, anyway. I would have preferred it if Romana had been in the set rather than the Doctor, but at least it was a significantly altered Doctor #4. And it was well worth it just for Scaroth.
4 out of 5
I don’t know how useful my reviews of these Doctor Who toys really are. They’re so pricey that only people who really want them are going to buy them, and if people really want them, they’re not going to be as concerned about how great they are. Fortunately, most of them are pretty great. I docked this one a point just because of the arm articulation, which is becoming less of an issue as the line goes on.