Doctor Doctor Who Guide

Two stories into the new season with the promise of Sarah Jane Smith and K9 to come, Tooth & Claw sees mention of another former companion as the Doctor assumes the identity of "Dr James Mcrimmon" of the lands of Balamory ("What's the story in . . . ??"). Yes - some typical RTD contemporary jokes come into this rather untypical RTD script - The Muppet Movie, Ian Dury and the Blockheads and Margaret Thatcher also get a mention in the first 10 minutes! This is a very dark story contrasting with the season opener "New Earth". The very classy looking opening daylight shots of the slow motion fighting monks and the Doctor and Rose's introduction to Queen Victoria leads into mainly night and dark interior shots - ideal settings for the werewolf!

This is a tight story fitting quite nicely into its 45 minute format with a small but convincing cast and, in true Doctor Who tradition, lots of corridor chases. A slightly less than usual invasion concept - the monks plan to take the monarchy from Queen Victoria and a suitable trap is laid with the Doctor and Rose becoming unwittingly involved. DT is totally centre stage again, commanding a fine performance - especially his curiosity and fascination in the werewolf. A slightly more casual look too with no tie and an open necked blue shirt under the suit.

The comedy is there - Rose is determined to win her £10 bet with the Doctor that Queen Vic will say her infamous catchphrase - but is pleasantly restrained to allow the action to take place. And the action is convincing with some good morph scenes for the werewolf and some good fight scenes. This is adult DW at is best and, as writer Steven Moffat DW Confidential later alluded to' the fear factor very close to a later screening time, The late Mary Whitehouse will no doubt be turning in her grave!!! Unlike many others, I love the incidental music - I think it is so far more effective than the very repetitive electronic background of the 1980s.

There is much for everyone in this story - because the plot is not too complicated it leaves for the suspence to take lead. And then, just as the references to Torchwood have been building up, a revelation at the end that Queen Victoria herself set up the organisation that will play an important part for Captain Jack and indeed the Doctor in coming months.

One week to go to K9 - am I enjoying this run so far? Affirmative master!!

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