Named after a line in Lord Tennison's poem In Memoriam A. H. H. (a favourite of Queen Victoria) which says: "Nature, red in tooth and claw" this episode was clearly meant to tackle the mythology of werewolves and the fascination with life after death. Unfortunately, problems crop up within the first three minutes when a group of monks commandeer the Torchwood Estate for some (doubtlessly nefarious) purpose.
Everybody was kung fu fighting, those kids were fast as lightning!
Oops, sorry, wrong piece of media. But seriously, less than two minutes into the episode the gothic-horror mood is completely ruined by the rejects of Mortal Kombat. So they beat up the household staff and lock everyone (including the landlord's wife) in the basement, but not before bringing the Wooden Crate of Doom in and unveiling it with a flourish. Cue horrified screams from the prisoners as something unseen breaths heavily from within its constraints.
So there are some things I genuinely love about this episode. I love the mythological theme and the dark, horror-inspired tone. The scenery is amazing too, both exterior and interior. The historical characters are played and feel like real people. There is an excellent set-up to the mystery and a wonderful climax. But, unfortunately, the bad parts of the episode are the parts with our two heroes: The Doctor and Rose. I can't bear all of the smug giggling particularly when it is put in extremely inappropriate places. This episode is very important because it sets up the Torchwood Institute and I do appreciate that the Series 2 arc word was set up earlier than 'Bad Wolf' in Series 1. In light of these observations, I give Tooth and Claw a 7/10. It was quite good, but could have been better.
Tooth and Claw was a perfect episode of Doctor Who and I really enjoyed watching. There was a lot of character development and the story was very well written. The actors were amazing and fit their parts, the dialogues were great, the special effects were awesome and the over all production was top quality. I enjoyed seeing Queen Victoria and how The Doctor and Rose interacted with her. Every thing played out awesomely and I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
There are a lot of little details in "Tooth and Claw" that ought to have been cut somewhere. Too much of the author's personal politics and too much pop culture knowledge projected onto the Doctor really grate, as no doubt they're intended to.
In other words, I think Mr. Davies and some of the other writers enjoy taking jabs at the fans. The Doctor seems less like a mysterious alien and more like a teenager be-bopping around Earth's history, listening to pop music and indulging in movies. These little asides never really come across as authentic character moments for the Doctor that we've been watching for 40 years now.
However, regardless of that, the episode itself is quite good overall. Despite the fact that I'm tired of RTD's writing style, and despite the fact that this is his sixth episode in a row, for the most part he's done a good job this time around and deserves credit for it.
"Tooth and Claw" is in many ways a very traditional monster tale with many familiar elements. There's the old mansion out on the lonely moors, with the local legend of a monster that turns out to actually exist. True to form the monster is nearly indestructible, unaffected by bullets but allergic to a certain herb. The monster is of course is given the typical Doctor Who treatment in that it is not supernatural, but is an alien life form that crashed on Earth hundreds of years before the story takes place. The book that the Doctor finds in the library details the arrival, and the host in the cage tells Rose that he's "so far from home".
The idea of an alien werewolf isn't actually new. The Eighth Doctor novel "Kursaal" introduced the Jax, a virus that migrates from host to host, and appears early on as a werewolf. The werewolf in "Tooth and Claw" could just as easily be one of the same creatures, though it's been awhile since I read Kursaal so some of the fine details escape me. Regardless of the recycled idea, the CGI werewolf is excellently realized. It's far more convincing than a man in a suit would have been, and is made very effective by being largely kept in the shadows of a dark house and by only being seen for brief moments. And it's not just a mindless killer, but an intelligent alien with a plan to take over the British Empire by migrating into Queen Victoria. Presumably the monks are all for the wolf taking over, or else they'd just have killed Victoria on sight rather than set a trap. Perhaps they think that they will be able to exercise the same amount of control over the wolf once it possesses Victoria as they do over the current human host, and thereby rule the British empire.
The monks are effective villains, but the martial arts are silly. Since when do Scottish monks in the 18th century know kung-fu? Their disappearance at the end of the episode ought to have been at least addressed, although it's easy enough to surmise that with Father Angelo and the wolf dead, the jig was up and they figured that they had better leg it out of Dodge. I expect Victoria had them hunted down later and punished for their crimes. Father Angelo is only around for half the episode, but he's a creepy villain with his quick reflexes and glaring eyes.
Queen Victoria is treated quite well by the script, and well acted by Pauline Collins. It's not unusual for someone to play multiple roles over time in Doctor Who, but isn't it enjoyable to have someone return after almost forty years? How many programs are still around after that length of time? It speaks well of the Doctor Who formula that it allows such longevity. Victoria is a well-rounded character, displaying good humor, wit, grief and a good measure of determination and spirit. I was cheering her on when she shot Father Angelo dead. Her grief over Albert's death is touching, and seemed to resonate with the Doctor as well, given his silence and facial expressions during that conversation. Victoria is also used well in the story, being not only the 'guest historical celebrity' of the week, but also essential to the plot. The actions of the monks are motivated by their desire to assassinate Victoria and take the throne. Victoria is the voice of incredulity as well, questioning the Doctor and his lifestyle, and outright condemning it in the end. She rewards the Doctor and Rose for their actions and bravery, and then banishes them for their cavalier attitude to life and danger. Brilliant. She also is open minded enough not to rationalize away the werewolf attack, but to found Torchwood as an institute to investigate and defend Great Britain from paranormal dangers. It's an altogether satisfying use of the character, thoroughly justifying her inclusion in the story.
The humor works sometimes. The bumpy landing in the highlands one hundred years off target is amusing, as is the Doctor's sudden switch to a Scottish accent (Tennant's real accent) and adoption of "James McCrimmon" as his alias. Rose's attempts to get Victoria to say "we are not amused" grow old rather quickly though. The unavoidable gay joke is highly offensive, as well as quite honestly being a pitiful excuse for not noticing problems with the household staff. "Your wife's away, your servants are bald and athletic. I just thought you were happy." The wife's away, forget marital fidelity, gay orgies everyone. It's smut, and it's not funny, it's disgusting. I'm not British, but the mockery of the Royal Family at the end also disgusted me, as did the smug dismissal of Margaret Thatcher. No respect for anyone, eh Russell?
The Doctor and Rose are gelling as a team, though I think Rose worked better with the 9th Doctor than the 10th. Piper and Tennant seem like a couple of kids on a lark, laughing and irreverently mocking anything they feel like (rather like RTD), and it gets old fast. Rose in particular is becoming an annoyance. I don't know what's happened to her since last year, when she was such a great character. Much has been said about her attempts to get Victoria to say 'we are not amused' and so I won't belabor the point, but if I were traveling in time and met a famous historical figure, I'd be trying to get to know them, not poking fun at them. It does make Rose look quite foolish, which may be the point. However she does display quite a bit more character and moral fiber when she is talking to the host and learning about the werewolf. She also shows some initiative and leadership when she leads the chained prisoners to pull free of the wall and escape the cellar as the wolf transforms.
I'm hesitant to compare David Tennant to either Tom Baker or Patrick Troughton, because I don't think he's anywhere near the level of those two actors, but his character seems to draw attributes from both. He's energetic, enthusiastic and suitably eccentric. Whereas the anti-establishment attitude of the Doctor goes back all the way to Hartnell, it's far too overt coming from the word processor of RTD and the mouth of David Tennant. Subtlety is the key. The Doctor's rapid intellect is demonstrated in the library when he works out the trap inside a trap that Albert set up years earlier. His energy is apparent when he's running down hallways and trying to spring the trap for the wolf. He's sombre when listening to Victoria speak of her grief over her dead husband. He displays wonderful wide-eyed wonder at the werewolf when he gets his first view of it. It's an excellent performance.
In short, "Tooth and Claw" is a rather traditional monster story adapted to the Doctor Who framework. It is very enjoyable, and I wish all of Russell Davies' efforts were at this level. A good solid episode.
There's the nothing wrong with Tooth and Claw, and it's a good episode, but that's all. It's a not a series classic, it's just a well made, well acted, but sadly forgettable entry to series two. The werewolf is well realised, and David Tennant is brilliant, especially in the TARDIS scene and the 'hair pulling, oh my head' scene where he figures everything out.
I found this episode very spooky. It kinda creeped me out. Those monks were very strange and I am glad The Doctor and Rose defeated them ,along with the Were-wolf. Queen Victoria makes an appearance, as I thought somebody like that would. In every series The Doctor and his companion travel back in time and meet someone famous.
In the first series, it was Charles Dickens.
This series, it was Queen Victoria.
The third series is rumoured to have William Shakespeare in it.
Landing in 1879 Scotland, Doctor and Rose meet Queen Victoria, and travel with her to the Torchwood Estate. However, a group of warrior monks have sinister plans for the monarch, and the full moon is about to summon a creature out of legend...
This episode starts with a group of hooded monks traveling across the Scottish moors, entering the Torchwood Estate belonging to Sir Robert MacLeish. There, Father Angelo demands possession of the house and when the Steward refuses, beats him into submission with a quarterstaff. The monks remove their cassocks, revealing red robes, and exhibiting incredible martial skill they make short work of the rest of the men. The music reflects this powerfully. They take over the house, chaining everyone they find in the cellar, including Lady Isobel MacLeish. The monks then carry a covered cage into the cellar. Father Angelo says, "May God forgive me," and unveils the cage. Lady Isobel sees its contents and screams... After the opening credits, presenting the name TOOTH AND CLAW, in the TARDIS, the Doctor offers to take Rose to Sheffield in 1979 to see Ian Dury in concert. However, they exit the police box to find themselves surrounded by armed soldiers on horseback. From their accents and attire, the Doctor realises that they have arrived in 1879 Scotland instead. Captain Reynolds amuses us when he asks the Doctor, "You will explain your presence, and the nakedness of this girl." (Meaning Rose). And then the Doctor says, "(Scottish accent) Are we in Scotland?" Then Reynolds asks, "How can you be ignorant of that?" then the Doctor replies, "Och, I'm dazed and confused... I been chasing this wee naked child over hill and over dale..." The Doctor then uses the psychic paper, convincing Captain Reynolds that he is a Scottish doctor. An authoritative voice issues from the carriage the soldiers are escorting, asking the Doctor and Rose to approach. When they see who is within, the Doctor introduces Rose to Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, who is on her way to Balmoral Castle. When Victoria sees the psychic paper, she notes that it says that the Lord Provost has appointed the Doctor as her protector. The royal carriage is travelling by road because a fallen tree had blocked the train line to Aberdeen. The two travellers accompany the carriage on to the Torchwood Estate, where the Queen plans to spend the night. Sir Robert watches from the window, with Father Angelo (disguised as a servant) behind him. Things start to get a bit tense at this point. Sir Robert goes to receive Queen Victoria, but despite hinting that all is not right, the Queen insists on staying, as the estate was a favourite place of her late consort, Prince Albert, who used to visit Sir Robert's father. They go into the manor, with Reynolds deploying his men to guard the estate. He also carries a small leather box inside, which he locks in a safe. Sir Robert shows Queen Victoria, the Doctor and Rose the Observatory, which contains a telescope his father designed. Examining the telescope, the Doctor notices that it has too many prisms, causing too much magnification for simple stargazing. Sir Robert says that he knows little of his father's rather eccentric work. Queen Victoria mentions that Sir Robert's father was a polymath, equally versed in science and folklore, and that Albert was fascinated by local stories of a wolf. While Rose searches through the wardrobes for more appropriate attire, the disguised monks serve the soldiers drugged drinks, which knock them unconscious. Rose discovers a frightened servant girl, Flora, hidden in one of the cupboards, and Flora tells Rose what has happened. However, when they leave the room to find the Doctor, they are captured, taken to the cellar and are chained with the others. At the dinner table, Sir Robert tells them the story of how, for the past 300 years, livestock would be found ripped apart every full moon. Once a generation, a boy would also vanish, and there would be sightings of a werewolf. In the cellar, Rose notices the caged man's alien-looking eyes, and asks him what planet he is from. Amused that he has actually encountered intelligence, he tells Rose that the human body he possesses was born ten miles away, a boy stolen by the Brethren, but he comes from a much longer distance. Rose offers to take the alien intelligence back home, but he does not wish to leave, instead intending to bite Queen Victoria, migrate into her body and begin the Empire of the Wolf. He notes that Rose has "something of the wolf" about her, but while she has burned like the sun, all he requires is the Moon. Things get more tense at this point. Upstairs, Sir Robert relates that his father believed the story as fact, and even claimed to have communicated with the beast and learned its purpose. Sir Robert asks, what if the monks had turned from God and started worshipping the wolf? The Doctor sees Father Angelo face the full moon through the window, chanting in Latin, "Lupus magnus est, Lupus fortis est, Lupus deus est," which translates as, "The wolf is great, the wolf is strong, the wolf is God," — and realises that the enemy is here. The monks throw open the cellar doors, and moonlight streams into the cage, triggering a horrifying transformation. Rose rallies the other prisoners, telling them not to look at the cage but to pull on the chains. Sir Robert apologises to the Queen for his betrayal, explaining that they were holding his wife. The Doctor demands to know where Rose is, but Father Angelo ignores him, continuing his chanting. The Doctor and Sir Robert rush down to the cellar, leaving the Queen while Reynolds trains his pistol on Father Angelo, asking him what his goal is. Father Angelo replies, "the throne", and swiftly disarms Reynolds. The Doctor and Sir Robert reach the cellar just as Rose and the other prisoners manage to break their chains, but the Host has finished his transformation, and is breaking out of the cage. The others run out of the cellar, with the Doctor transfixed at the werewolf saying, "That's beautiful!" until the wolf breaks free of the cage. The Doctor seals the door with his sonic screwdriver as the werewolf howls at the moon. Upstairs, Victoria surmises correctly that the monks had sabotaged the train tracks to bring her to the estate. However, she is not unprepared, and threatens Father Angelo with her own revolver. He sneers at her sceptically, calling her a "woman". Queen Victoria retorts, "The correct form of address is 'Your Majesty'!" and fires. The women are told to leave the house through the kitchen, while the Steward organises his men. The werewolf has broken through the sealed door, but is driven back momentarily by rifle fire. The women find the kitchen door locked, and the courtyard beyond guarded by monks with rifles. The Doctor tells the men they should retreat upstairs. The Steward says that nothing could have lived through the rifle barrage — and is promptly grabbed and killed by the werewolf after the Doctor sharply tells him, "Bullets can't stop it!". Sir Robert, Rose and the Doctor then run upstairs. It gets even more tense at this point. Meanwhile, Victoria retrieves the mysterious box from the safe, and meets up with Sir Robert, Rose and the Doctor. However, as they try to escape through the windows, the monks outside open fire. The four run upstairs, pursued by the werewolf. They meet Reynolds, who after confirming that Victoria has the contents of the box, says he will buy them time until they can get away. He fires at the werewolf, but is quickly torn apart as the others enter the Library and barricade the doors - but the werewolf does not try to break through. Queen Victoria demands to know what the creature is, and why the Doctor has lost his Scottish accent. The Doctor tries to explain, but she will have none of it, declaring angrily that this is not her world. In the kitchen, Lady Isobel notices that the monks are wearing mistletoe around their necks, a charm against werewolves. She then notices sprigs of mistletoe scattered on the kitchen floor, and orders the other women to gather the scraps up. In the Library, the Doctor notices wooden decorations on the doors carved into the shape of mistletoe. He then realises that the walls are varnished with viscum album — oil of mistletoe. The werewolf is allergic to it, or the monks had trained it to be to control it, and Sir Robert's father knew this. Sir Robert laments that they do not have an actual weapon against it, but the Doctor points out they have the greatest weaponary available: the Library itself. The books speak of an account of something falling to Earth in 1540, near the monastery. The Doctor theorises that perhaps only a single cell survived, passing itself from host to host while it grew stronger with each generation. Now it wants to establish an empire, advancing technology and building starships and missiles fuelled by coal and driven by steam, laying waste to history. Queen Victoria breaks in at this point, telling Sir Robert that she would rather die than let herself be infected, but asks him to find a place of safekeeping for something more precious. She reveals what was in the box: the Koh-i-Noor diamond. The Queen had been transporting it to the royal jewellers at Hazlehead for it to be recut. The Doctor remembers that Prince Albert kept insisting on having the diamond cut down and was never satisfied with the shape or size and how it used to be 40% bigger than the size it is now. Suddenly, the Doctor has a brainstorm. The diamond, the telescope, Prince Albert and Sir Robert's father are all connected. Just then, the werewolf crashes through the skylight, forcing the others to escqpe the Library. The werewolf nearly catches up with Rose, but Lady Isobel appears, throwing the mistletoe broth in the werewolf's face and forcing it away. Sir Robert kisses his wife and tells her to take the women back downstairs, while he and the others head for the Observatory. The Doctor needs time, however, as the doors to the Observatory are not barred against the werewolf — Sir Robert's father intended the wolf to come in. Sir Robert offers to place himself between them and the werewolf, willing to die with honour to make up for his betrayal. It gets VERY tense at this point. He holds the werewolf off with a sword, and as his screams are heard through the door, the Doctor and Rose manoeuvre the telescope so that it is aligned with the full moon. The telescope is not just a telescope: it is a light chamber, magnifying the Moon's rays. The werewolf may thrive on moonlight, but it can still drown in it. It gets EXTREMELY tense at this point. The werewolf crashes through the door and prepares to slash at Victoria, but the Doctor tosses the diamond on the floor and it catches the light beam, which intercepts the werewolf and suspends it in mid-air. The werewolf reverts to human form and asks the Doctor, "Make it brighter. Let me go." The Doctor obliges, and the werewolf form reasserts itself, howls and fades away in the moonbeam. The Doctor notices Queen Victoria's wrist is bleeding, and wonders if the werewolf managed to bite her after all, but the Queen defensively dismisses his concern, saying it was just a splinter from the door. The following morning, Queen Victoria dubs the two travellers Sir Doctor of TARDIS and Dame Rose of the Powell Estate. Having rewarded them, however, she banishes them from the Empire. Queen Victoria says that she does not know who or what they are, but observes that their world is steeped in terror and yet they consider it fun. She will not allow this in her world, and warns them to consider how long they might survive such a dangerous lifestyle. The two make their way back to the TARDIS, where the Doctor reflects that it was always a mystery where Victoria (and from her to her children) contracted haemophilia from, and perhaps that was just a Victorian euphemism for lycanthropy. Back at the Torchwood Estate, Victoria tells Lady Isobel that her husband's sacrifice and the ingenuity of his father will live on. Queen Victoria saus that she has seen that Britain has enemies beyond imagination, and proposes to establish an institute to research and fight these enemies: the Torchwood Institute. And if the Doctor returns, Torchwood will be waiting... that is how Torchwood began. The preview for the following episode SCHOOL REUNION, is very interesting indeed. Like Rose as a dinner lady and the return of two of the Doctor's previous companions - Sarah Jane Smith and K9. Tension builds again at the end of the preview: Mr. Finch telling the other Krillitanes, "The time has come my brothers. Today we shall become gods."
This was great fun to watch. Even more delightfully creepy than last year's Dickensian Christmas episode! I'm afraid it raised a few more questions than it answered, however. For instance: what did the Werewolf mean when he sensed a bit of the wolf in Rose? A reference to all the "Bad Wolf" clues retro-sprinkled throughout time, by her, during her brief link-up with the A.I. of the TARDIS? And, what extra-terrestrial species did that disembodied entity use as a host, when it first came to Earth in the 1500's? Sontaran? Rutan? Or, some alien race yet to be introduced? Last, but not least; how did 19th-century Catholic monks come to learn kung fu? And, is the style they employed the real-life one known as dog-style? Seriously, though: the only reason I don't give this a perfect ten? Queen Victoria's hypocrisy. It's no wonder that Victorianism and prudishness are considered one-and-the-same thing. Who does that ungrateful cow think she is? Banishing the Doctor, indeed! Not only did he return, more-than-once, to Great Britain's Victorian shores. He proved himself one of the U.K.'s greatest allies in the century that followed. And, if the Torchwood Institute really has close (if clandestine) ties to British UNIT, then their modern owner/operators should already know this. Especially if the Wikipedia spoiler about Capt.Jack is true!
Awesome and funny, I do love the new Doctor, I was aprehensive at first, because I liked the old one so much. But I'm happy to see that the remake is following closely to the premise of the original. I love the adventurous spirit of this episode and the werewolf was remarkably lifelike. I had never heard of using mistletoe to ward off a werewolf. Perhaps it's an old wivestale that's fallen off to the wayside, I heard some references to silver bullets though. Actually, I was thinking that the Queen would at one point state that of COURSE she has silver bullets, only the best for the Queen. But alas, I didn't write the dialogue. :) Well written eppy and very very fun!!!
After the utter disappointment of the first episode, this was just pure enjoyment. To create a greater tension and atmosphere, the whole "sound" of each episode has been greatly improved upon. Has it not? I actually was scared.
The starting sequence, I believe, was one of the greatest ever for a Doctor Who episode and it was so sophisicated in its execution. It looked funky, stylish and could easily be compared to a Hollywood movie for its execution.
For those who believe that the episodes lack story, all I can say to that is "have a little faith." Doctor Who is a classic home grown British drama and no matter what, there will always been an interest in it.
Here\'s my second of hopefully thirteen reviews of the second series of Doctor Who. Now rather than making a review that doesn\'t make any sense and contradicts itself, this is going to be a short and sweet review of Tooth and Claw.
Right from the beginning this episode was different. And different is not what I like. The setting - in Scotland - was an odd one but the storyline was well enough written to explain everything. Rose and The Doctor were having a nice cuppa with Queen Vic when all things went wrong. A werewolf. Werewolves are probably the least inventive but the most likely monsters in Doctor Who. Anyway, moving on, the episodes filming and storyline were so different and so fast it was hard to keep up. This episode was average...so not that bad really!
The only problem was the end of the episode was just an advertisement for Torchwood...so watch this space... By the way, did I say short review...?
coming now to the second installment of season 2, david tennant has taken his spot in the row of time lords, though he is marvellous and the humour that he brings is amazing, to me this story lacks any point and with that i did not enjoy it.
scotland: in the darkness comes a roaming werewolf that is really an alien who wants to get into the royal blood line,,,dose this sound like a good story line or not? in my opion it dose,,,but when the reality of seeing it came to me, i was shocked at how boring it was in most parts, and the sillyness of it was not amusing.
but still my hats of to david tennant in taking the role as his own, we will see great things from him as time flows ever one.
It has begun...
The preview for this installment really intrigued me. It sort of reminded me of "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and the wild moors which that particular beast terrorised. The Doctor and Rose as a kind of Holmes and Watson, the Doctor does have a bit of the same engimatic charm as Holmes - which has been explored before in the episode "Talons of Weing-Chiang". I'm not convinced that there are any solid links, but I couldn\'t stop thinking about it while I was watching.
Though I seriously believe the production values of this show are spot on, I questioned the choice of bright red robes for the priests. It seemed out of place and they looked more like ninjas than monks - not really the right era or location for that.
I though the support cast were fanstastic, I epecially loved the Queen. Sometimes you see her protrayed over-the-top but she was more earthy and real and even "despatched" one of the bad guys! The stereotypying was played a little by Rose and she made constant attempts to bait Victoria into saying her catch phrase which quickly became annoying and childish. I found it a bit odd that Rose had no respect for the Queen.
There was one moment which I wanted the story to expand on, but it never dd. While Rose was in the stable cellar with the beast it told her there was "wolf" inside her. I understand the references to "Bad Wolf" and last seasons story, but I wanted to know if there was any further mystery in this area.
As for the mechanism and the plan to save the Queen from the Werewolf seemed a bit fantastic. If there had been some proof rather than just hearsay and rumours that this beast wanted the Queen I might have swallowed it a bit easier. Plus, I also found it difficult to understand why the Doctor was unconcerned about the scratch the Queen received when they had been fighting the whole episode to save her from being touched by this evil...?
Apart from getting a bit puzzled over some plot points, I enjoyed this episode and I continue to enjoy David Tennant as the Doctor.
If there’s nothing more I love than vampires, then its werewolves. You don’t have to worry; I’m not talking about some weird fetish, just merely a pop culture I enjoy seeing on TV and movies (with the exception of Underworld). So isn’t it great that episode two of the new season features a werewolf then? I would mostly say yes as while this episode had some brilliant moments, it wasn’t entire perfection either.
This week, The Doctor and Rose decide to go on a fun, no danger filled trip, only to find themselves transported to the Scottish Highlands in 1879 and stopped by a coach holding one Queen Victoria, who is on the way to dine with old friend Sir Robert and his family, unaware of the dangers that wait them but seeing as The Doctor and his psychic paper tell Victoria that he’s her protector, she should be in safe hands, shouldn’t she?
Well there is a case of some nefarious Monk Ninjas who open the episode by taking over Sir Robert’s estate in a scene complete with Matrix style fight sequences and locking most of the staff and Robert’s wife, Lady Isobel in the basement along with a menacing lad in a cage who happens to be a werewolf. It doesn’t take long for Rose (who is trying to cover herself after her “nudity” incident with the Queen) to get captured and locked up with the enslaved staff and The Host.
Played by Tom Rob Smith, the werewolf or host, depending on your stance is something of a menacing but perceptive presence as he scares everyone but Rose into submission and plays on Miss Tyler’s plucky curiosity and attempts to get him help. He’s also got one hell of an ambitious master-plan too – to infect Queen Victoria and create a nation of his kind and his efforts to meet his goals are impressive. This is after all, a guy on one interesting mission to preserve his species.
With Ninja Monks led by Father Angelo ensuring that everyone is barricaded inside the estate, Rose’s capture by them and her sort of rescue by The Doctor happens so fast, I’m kind of surprised that even The Doctor actually registered that she was missing in the first place. He was after all overeager to chat with Victoria before noting something suspicious about his environment.
Which as a viewer wasn’t hard to spot as Sir Robert acted a little too obviously cagey for his own good and despite the threat of death to his beloved wife by Angelo; he almost wasted no time in confessing to everyone that a trap had been set for the Queen. I don’t think The Doctor even confronted him before he started spilling the beans as even the history about Robert’s astrologist father and the werewolf folk tales confirmed things for the Time Lord a little too quickly.
Also we had Father Angelo advance those Ninjas pretty darn quickly to attack and confine everyone as our host/werewolf started gunning for the Queen. It’s a pity for Angelo that he wasn’t smart enough to avoid getting shot by Victoria herself after all his careful planning to trap her.
Another classic British iconic figure, Pauline Collins delivered something of a hit and miss performance as the infamous Monarch in question. At the start of and most definitely at the end of the episode, there was something rather pantomime about Collins, it felt like she was parodying Miranda Richardson as Queenie from the Blackadder series.
I’m not being derogatory here as in the middle of the werewolf attack and prior to it, we got a nice and cryptic moment where Victoria was talking about the death of her husband and there was something so foreshadowing to future events when she revealed her thoughts about the essence of ghost stories that we actually get a little pay off of sorts to it in the end.
As for the wolf himself, despite his quest (and okayish CGI from the props department for him), we are once again presented with the notion of victim within the villain as we learn about the host being a young boy who was made the way he was because of a corrupt Brethren (has to be those Ninja Monks).How many of the bad guys can we feel sorry for, Russell?
Even after he slaughtered both Reynolds and Robert, both of whom had no problem in sacrificing themselves for their Monarch (although I was a little surprised that both of them got killed off. I at least thought that Robert would survive) and got close enough to Victoria, he then does nothing and encourages The Doctor to put him out of his misery, when we get a connection between Robert’s dad and Prince Albert as an oversized telescope like weapon and an invaluable gem ends up toasting this werewolf to kingdom come.
It’s a cool enough ending for a pretty interesting but not exactly overly complex guest baddie this week. I found the malicious Father Angelo far more effective and to be honest a little more scary too.
However as for Queen Victoria, the debate of liking or detesting her was a little intense (her being a werewolf is not because I believe she is). I liked the self awareness of her to carry a weapon after so many attempts on her life (six to be exact). I liked how she didn’t lose it when she learned that Robert was forced to betray her and I quite liked most of her scenes with The Doctor and Rose. Those were a lot of good things to like about someone who’s been dead for over a hundred years, right?
I even liked how she knighted both The Doctor and Rose as a result for their bravery and wit during the latest attempt on her life but I did find it hilarious that then she would then banish them from her kingdom and the lack of a protest from either member of our TARDIS team. You think one of them would have at least really objected this or tried to question why she decided to deal with them like this.
Still though being banished and accused of blasphemy at least had one advantage for Rose as the Queen finally gave in and uttered her catchphrase about not being amused. Rose spent a good portion of the episode trying to get Victoria to say that and once she did, Rose behaved like anyone else would when they win a bet, no matter how minor it is – she totally revelled in it. Yeah, very mature Rose but funny.
While Victoria may have been happy to throw various accusations around the place, she wasted absolutely no time in setting up an institution called “Torchwood” to investigate otherworldly activities along with issuing a warning about how to deal with The Doctor should he interfere. Talk about sheer hypocrisy but I welcome any reference about the forthcoming spin off with Captain Jack and this final scene was ultimately my favourite part of the episode.
Also in “Tooth And Claw”
This is the second episode in a row not to feature a “Previously On” bit, though Russell really didn’t reference anything that happened in last week’s opener either.
Rose (in a bad Scottish accent): “I’ve been out and about”
The Doctor: “Don’t do that”.
Original Destination: 1979 at an Ian Dury concert. This is the second time in this series that TARDIS mistook a journey and second time we met a historical figure as a result. The first being in “The Unquiet Dead” of course.
The Doctor (re machine): “Am I being rude again?”
The Doctor (to Robert): “It’s very pretty”.
Queen Victoria (to Captain Reynolds): “I shall contain my wit in case of doing you further damage”.
We got a sly reference to a former assistant when The Doctor aliased himself as Jamie McCrimmon and Rose got called a “timorous beastie” by Victoria.
The Host (to Rose): “You bark like the sun but all I require is the moon”.
Was that exchange between these two meant to signal future consequences or unfinished business with the whole “Bad Wolf” scenario of last season? This episode had a recurring theme of unfinished business.
Rose: “Where the hell have you been?”
The Doctor (re werewolf): “That’s beautiful”.
Fashion wise this week, you gotta love a bespectacled Doctor and a rather 80’s dressed Rose. It was fun that Rose didn’t conform to this period for once. Oh and we got the Sir Doctor of TARDIS and Dame Rose Of The Power Estate titles too.
The Doctor (to Robert/Queen Victoria/Rose): “You want weapons? We’re in a library. Books are the best weapons in the world”.
Was it me or did we get a lot of liberal overtones in this episode? The Doctor openly disapproved of Margaret Thatcher and him and Rose mocked the Royal Family at the end of the episode. I wonder how “complaints” will ofcom receive after this episode aired?
Rose (re the gem): “My Mum would fight that wolf with her bare hands for that thing”
The Doctor: “She’d win”.
Queen Victoria: “You may also think on this that I am not amused”
Standout Music: “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick” by Ian Dury and the Blockheads and I’ve noticed that there seems to be a new mix on the end credits towards the end funnily enough.
“Tooth And Claw” was certainly an episode that didn’t lack bite and just like last year, a reference to forthcoming events seems to be thrown our way at every opportunity. David Tennant wasn’t as good as he was last week but he certainly is making the role quite his own. Though I have to be honest and admit that the pacing could’ve been a little better but this was still a decent episode.
Doctor who is slowly getting better and better, each episode is brilliant but they somehow manage to make the next one even better, the actual storyline was great with all chrators really acting and showing what they can do in the roles. Also at the end a fantastic way to introduce torchwood, weve heard a few refrences to it in the last few episodes and its really building it up to be a great show when it hopefully is shown in sept 2006, again great computer aniaamtion with excellent scenes with the ware wolf in, all in all very goood.
Why oh why oh why do people on here rate episodes before they are even bloody shown, that we just have a crap episode with a really high score! Look at Boom town, it was crap but seeing as somany people rated in highly before they saw it the score is stuck at around 8, this is not how things are supposed to work!
Now on to the average episode which I noticed had a score of around 9 before it was aired and has only gone down to about 8.6.
The story is possibly the most solid, traditional horror (exclude the ninja monks) we've seen since either the unquiet dead or anything in the classic series. From what I'd heard it sounded brilliant (but notice how I didn't go straight on here and give it 10) but Russel T Davies seems to be going in a different way to the first series.
He seems to be relying a little too much on humour to gain a good review from viewers, no good can come of this!
We have a decent fifteen minutes of a chase through the house involving a brilliant performance from whoever played the werewolf before he transformed.
But other than that the first horror episode of the season seems to be more humour than anything. And even though we have a good plot, the script doesn't seem to be fluid enough and by the end of it you might be pissing yourself in laughter, but also thinking that this episode lacked something...
I watched New Earth and thought that was pretty good. I was extremely looking forward to this episode, as it had The Vickmeister in it, and I was enjoying until the opening credits came up and said \"Tooth and Claw By Russell. T. Davies\" and I thought bugger.
I was actually quite surprised that I enjoyed the episode though I saw no real storyline there. A couple of monks wanting the throne and using a werewolf does not sound like a 45 minute episode.
I noticed a reference when Rose was talking to the human form of the wolf and it did say about her seeing the wolf (Bad Wolf maybe?). She did say in the Parting of Ways she had spread the word across time and space and you can still see it in New Earth written in chalk on the floor.
Pauline Collins was superb as the Vickmeister, and I loved it when Rose was trying to get her to see I AM NOT AMUSED. Was shocked with the banishment of the Doctor and look forward to see what develops with Torchwood. I saw pictures that Torchwood are in the final two episodes at least.
Firstly, the special effects in this episode were excellent, but the story was lacking and without a good story special effects are useless. Why were there some Scottish monks who just so happened to be martial-arts experts? And they wear orange suits! This was totally not the reality in the 1870's.
As this is the first episode (I missed the last one) I've watched staring David Tennant I was happy that he played the Doctor well. I like the bits of humour put in but I feel that sometimes this makes light of the situation.
I think this was a below average episode as it didn't really hold my interest as it was slightly repetitive at times.
The episode starts with a lot of action, when the monks attack. Well I was remembered at all those Asian action movies. That was a bit inappropriate for a 19th century scene. The camera handling is perfect as the special effects are.
The travelling queen is very nice played.
I also liked the Werewolf, the animation is perfect: Its moves and the transformation are better than I saw in a lot of expensive Hollywood productions.
Then the lamest part of this episode starts. The time till the wolf attacks.
But then the action starts again. That is quite well done.
The scene and especially the special effects when they kill the wolf are perfect.
The end were the queen honours them, is really cheesy, but then it turns out to be interesting and funny. She banns them! It’s so funny, but I was surprised a bit.
I really start to like the new doctor. He’s doing a great job. Billie Piper was dressed a bit too trashy for this time.
The beginning of the Torchwood is well done. I can’t wait till this series starts as well.
Wow - matrix style monks and state of the art CGI - the BEEB are certainly squeezing the licence fee for this series, nice to see some \"Proper\" actors make an appearance - gives the show a more real feeling, the new Doc is starting to grow on us, and Rose just gets better.. Nice intro to Torchwood too, it\'s quite clever how things are now falling into place.. My only real concern with this and the previos series is we have no cliffhangers - in DRW of old it was a 3 hour mystery over 5/6 episodes with a cliffhanger every 30 mins - so far we\'ve had 15 episodes and 3 cliffhangers.. It would be nice to end a saturday night in suspense!!
If someone had said to you a couple of years back: "that Welsh bloke who writes all those innuendo-ridden TV shows is going to make a new series of Doctor Who, and the Doctor's assistant will be that singer who made the ginger bloke, and what's going to happen right is after the northern bloke has done a series a Scottish bloke will tkae over and there'll be this episode with evil monks who do all sorts of martial arts and a werewolf, which is actually an alien and Queen Victoria- who becomes a werewolf- will setup this organisation to defend the earth from aliens!" You'd have laughed at them and phoned the local institution to see where there were any free beds. However, it has been done, and what's more it's been done exceptionally well.
People may Hark on about there being too much CGI and how it's not like the old days, well quite frankly good. Tooth and Claw demonstrated that with superb writing, fantastic acting and clever use of special effects you can create something brilliant. Yes, the ending was a little bit of a shoe horn to launch the spin-off series, but we can forgive them for that, because for the first forty minutes we had action, humour (the repeated 'we are not amused' joke was beautifully realised and not overplayed) and we had twists that would leave Jack Bauer looking shocked - the queen banishing the Doctor and Rose at the end of the episode was superb.
This was also the first time we've seen Tennant be the Doctor for a whole episode and he played the character with aplomb, showing that his Doctor, while maintaining the eccentricity and childlike sense of fun of his predecessors, also has a darker side that will hopefully be brought out more as the series progresses. He also has excellent chemistry with Billie Piper who has matured as an actress and has given the character of Rose new dimensions. The supporting cast were also in fine form, none more so than Pauline Collins as Queen Victoria conveying a hostile naivity to the new horizons that were being thrown at her.
All in all, a highlight of the new Doctor Who, that for spectacle rates alongside The Christmas Invasion, and in the fear factor stakes was, at times, giving The Empty Child a run for its money.
Ok, we\\\'ve had the Christmas Invasion. Great, but Tennant appears for 15 minutes throughout. We\\\'ve had New Earth, but Tennant played dual roles throughout. So here we have Tennant as 100% the Doctor, for 100% the time. And he\\\'s great. What I love most about this interpretion is the way the man can flick from comedy one moment, to sheer horror the next. He may not have the \\\'strength\\\' of Eccleston\\\'s Doctor on screen (more geek than playground bully) but Tennant certainly flies on screen. And so does Piper. But we now that already.
Anyway, no doubt other reviews will talk about how great Queen Victoria was, or how cool the werewolf looked, so I\\\'ve decided to focus on one point of view here: Russell T Davies. The saviour of Doctor Who, and to some fans, its deathcall as well. His episodes are amongst the most funny, the most quotabvle of the entire series, and dare I say it, the most camp. But not Tooth and Claw. Here Russell has delivered a script on a par with the Empty Child for chills. Yes, there is many laugh out loud moments, but often these are far between. Most of all, for the first time, Russell has lost the camp, and the episode is all the better for it.
So, how\\\'s series two shaping up so far? Well, we\\\'ve had one slight filler episode, followed closely by this work of genius. Going off the intro to Tooth and Claw the show is now more action packed, and therefore exciting, than ever before. And storyline wise we\\\'ve got a great arc lined up - just what does Torchwood have planned for the Doctor. And more importantly, are they prepared for Captain Jack\\\'s innuendo. I\\\'ve a good feeling about this arc, and hopefully it will put the \\\"Torchwood-will-suck\\\" critics to bed.
Anyway, one quick observation: what\\\'s all the talk of the Sun and the Moon. It\\\'s clearly been established that Rose is the Sun (and the Doctor may be the moon?!?) so does these herald the start of a new arc on the series? Will we at last learn the fate of Rose Tyler? I guess we\\\'ll find out over the next 11 Saturdays. I can\\\'t wait.
Some nice effects, cool stunts, a towering performance from Pauline Collins as Queen Victoria and a light sprinkling of Doctor/Rose banter add up to a top episode, building on last week's "first season reminder/second season opener" status.
The pace of this episode is much better than "New Earth" and the tone is just dark enough to scare without being OTT for Saturday 7pm viewing.
En route to a punk concert, the Doctor and Rose take an unexpected detour to 1879 Scotland where they meet Queen Victoria. They travel to an isolated house for shelter for the evening. But a gang of sinister monks have a nasty surprise for her, in the shape of a werewolf. The inhabitants of the house are trapped within with the ravenous beast, leading a long dark terrifying night where not all of them will survive...
The show capitalises on the great start made last week and is absolutely excellent. There are moments of humour (especially Rose trying to get the queen to say she is not amused) but there are some quite creepy moments too- the host in the cage, the transformation to the wolf and a few of the attacks. Pauline Collins gives an incredibly strong and dignified performance as Queen Victoria, and there is a nice link to the spin-off series \'Torchwood\'. I wasn\'t too convinced by the pseudo-Matrix fight at the start of the episode, but the rest of it more than made up for that initial doubt. Absolutely great.
And next week looks as if it could be even better- the return of Sarah Jane and K9 AND Anthony Head playing a bad guy. I\'m in geek heaven!
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