Doctor Who – Tooth and Claw

Last night saw the second episode in the second series of the revived Doctor Who, and what a fine episode it was!

The story opens with a group of monks led by the distinctly sinister Father Angelo arriving at a remote Scottish country house and announcing their intention to take it over. When met with some resistance by the staff, the monks turn out to be the rather violent martial arts kind of monks, who proceed to overpower the household.

We then cut to the Doctor and Rose, who are about to land the Tardis in 1979 for an Ian Dury and the Blockheads concert[1]. As so often happens, the time and place aren’t quite right, and they land in 1879. In Scotland. They are confronted by soldiers escorting Queen Victoria’s coach, which is taking her to a country house[2] for the night, the Royal train having been stopped by a fallen tree on the line.

The Doctor introduces himself as Doctor James McCrimmon[3], adopting a suitable Scottish accent[4]. Rose, on being introduced to Her Majesty starts a running routine of trying to get her to say “We are not amused”[5]. Everyone heads for the house, where they are greeted by Sir Robert, who makes a half-hearted attempt to persuade them to go elsewhere.

Rose goes to find some more suitable clothing, but is captured by some of the monks, who are posing as the household staff. She’s taken to the cellar where she is chained up with the real staff and the lady of the house. The monks bring in a covered cage, which is soon uncovered to reveal a strange looking monk.

And then things start to get interesting. There’s a really nice[6] werewolf, lots of terror, death, destruction and peril, not to mention a plot to take over the monarchy and start the Empire of the Wolf. The solution turns out to be some delightfully unlikely Victorian technology, and some creative use of a gemstone.[7]

After all the excitement, Queen Victoria makes the Doctor a Knight and Rose a Dame, then, telling them that she is definitely not amused, banishes them. She recognises that the Doctor can’t be human, and doesn’t want him around. Inspired by the device that dealt with the werewolf, she determines to set up an Institute to prepare for any future return of the Doctor. She decides to name it after the house – Torchwood[8]

It was all great fun – lots of scary stuff, some nicely silly stuff, some hints of what’s to come, and all fitting together nicely.

And next week, we have the episode a lot of fans have been waiting for: the one with Sarah Jane Smith and K9! :bouncy: :bouncy: :bouncy:

[1] Rose concludes that the Doctor is, in fact, a punk. :grin:
[2] Yes, of course it’s that one…
[3] Another nod in the direction of the original series – Jamie McCrimmon was a highlander who accompanied the second Doctor back in the 1960s.
[4] Not a major problem for David Tennant, who just stopped using the accent he normally puts on for the Doctor
[5] Which she is famous for saying, so almost certainly never really did
[6] Well, quite nasty, actually, but you know what I mean
[7] I like to give enough information to make you want to watch, but not enough to give it all away :laugh:
[8] Yes, Torchwood – which we’ll learn a lot more about as the year goes on. And if you watched The Christmas Invasion, you’ll be aware that Torchwood can do some clever stuff. And now we know where they got the idea from…

3 thoughts on “Doctor Who – Tooth and Claw

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