Doctor Doctor Who Guide

This episode oozed sheer quality. The opening teaser was perhaps one of the best since the show has returned to our screens; anyone who turned over after seeing it needs their pulse checked. From then on, Tooth and Claw demonstrated what a superb writer Russell T Davies really is. The script crackled with wit and energy, and the all of the performances were up to the task.

Pauline Collins was brilliant as Queen Victoria, and her exile of the Doctor was a neat twist at the end of the show, as opposed to a somewhat cheesy back slapping sequence which could easily have taken place. I never fail to be surprised at the twists RTD's scripts take; what can seem a light and fluffy piece - such as New Earth - can suddenly take a serious and moving turn. Victoria's influence in regards to Torchwood was well done and I'm quite intrigued by the possible "anti-Doctor" stance the organisation may well take.

Billie Piper as Rose didn't really have much to do here, though the mention of "the wolf in her" is interesting; is the Bad Wolf storyline truly over? Despite this, as usual she displays

Of course, then there is the Doctor himself. David Tennant really seems to have found his feet by this story, even though the Doctor himself is still feeling out the elements of his new personality ("am I rude?"). His mercurial performance as our favourite Time Lord builds on what was shown in last week's New Earth, and surely must cement him as one of the best actors to take on the role (and yes, I love them all!). There seems to be general complaint that the Tenth Doctor is too flawless and perfect. The theory seems to be that this is deliberate on the part of the writers, and that he Doctor is being set up for a fall. Whether it's true or not, David Tennant's interpretation of the character seems far less vulnerable and more "Doctorish" than his immediate predecessor. I'll be eager to see how his version of the Doctor develops as the series goes on.

The werewolf itself was an incredible piece of work by The Mill; it easily rivals anything seen in similar genre films or television shows. Not once did I recall thinking "that's a good piece of CGI", but rather "look at the werewolf!". The saying that if a special effect is good, you won't even realise it's a special effect, really came into effect here; I thought of the werewolf as a character, not as a collection of pixels - the suspension of disbelief was quite easy to accomplish in this episode.

Speaking of which, Tooth and Claw really pushed the boundary in what has been seen so far in terms of actual horror in the series; the transformation sequence in particular seemed quite disturbing (but in a good way!), and scenes with Rose and the other prisoners trapped with the "host" also had an unsettling quality. I found it interesting that we had the sound effects of victims being ripped apart by the wolf, yet last year a similar such sound effect in The Empty Child (when Richard Wilson's character succumbed to the nanogenes, and his face deformed into a gas mask) was cut from the transmitted show.

Frightening, thrilling, funny, stylish and moving; only in our dreams did we believe that Doctor Who could have returned in such an amazing way. Any minor plot holes really aren't worth thinking about; the Doctor is back! Tooth and Claw demonstrated everything that's right about the new series and I have a feeling the best is yet to come.

Filters: Television Series 2/28 Tenth Doctor