The Doctor intends to take Rose to a 1979 pop concert, but instead they arrive in Balmoral, Scotland in 1879. They have a chance meeting with Queen Victoria who is traveling with her entourage to the Torchwood estate, home of Lord Robert and his wife, Lady Isobel. Adopting the alias of Dr. James McCrimmon, the Doctor convinces the Queen that they are friends of the crown and are invited as guests of her majesty. But little do they know that a brotherhood of monks have turned from god and are now worshiping an alien consciousness that fell to Earth centuries ago. It takes the form of a werewolf and has been passed down the centuries from person to person. It wants to take the royal throne and It's next intended host is Queen Victoria herself. Can the Doctor and Rose prevent the rise of the Empire of the Wolf?Written by
Russell T. Davies initially planned for the Doctor to give his name to Queen Victoria as a Scottish equivalent of his usual "John Smith" alias. He had difficulty finding something suitable, however, and quickly came up with idea of using the pseudonym James Robert McCrimmon. See more »
At dinner, Captain Reynolds speculates that the disappearances of local children have been blamed on wolves. Wolves had been extinct in the British Isles for more than a century by 1879. See more »
I have rewarded you, Sir Doctor, and now you are exiled from this empire never to return. I don't know who you are, the two of you, or where you're from but I know that you consort with stars and magic and think it fun. But your world is steeped in terror and blasphemy and death, and I will not allow it. You will leave these shores and you will reflect, I hope, on how you came to stray so far from all that is good and how much longer you may survive this terrible life. Now, leave my world and ...
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"Tooth and Claw" is simply put, one of the finest episodes of Doctor Who in either of its incarnations. It is a spectacular feast for the eyes, featuring excellent production values and oft inventive direction and cinematography, for television anyhow. I realize I am in a distinct minority when saying this, but "Tooth and Claw" to me was an example of just how exhilarating and utterly captivating Doctor Who can be at its absolute best. The '12' rating bestowed upon this by the BBFC will give you an idea of the oft risqué content, especially for a program that should be 'family-oriented'. In many ways, this is a traditional Doctor Who tale, creepy and well-written with sharp, witty dialogue to boot.
Another thing is, I never found Werewolves creepy or scary at all, with a couple of notable exceptions (An American Werewolf in London), but this episode makes it work with very little violence at all. It's one of the creepiest Doctor Who episodes I've ever seen. Kudos to Euros Lyn for this stunning visual feast. His direction is often inventive and quite surprisingly excellent by the standards often expected from television, and his pacing is also excellent. He would go on to direct "The Girl in the Fireplace" and "The Idiot's Lantern", both of which were also superb visually.
Letter Grade: A+
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