Doctor Doctor Who Guide

Tooth and Claw' was an episode of two halves. The first half was, on the whole, a chilling, beautifully filmed & nicely paced horror story. The colours, in particular, were absolutely gorgeous! I loved the two carriages at the beginning each carrying boxes with secrets, and the build up to the monster reveal was masterfully handled & extremely scary. The scene where chained Rose talked to the being in the cage was a lovely partial inverse of the scene from 'Dalek'.

Victoria (Pauline Collins) was reasonably well characterised throughout the first half. Her speech about the dead was both moving & apposite, and I loved her robust response to Rose's state of dress, though I can't see why she didn't have her shut up in a cupboard for impertinence *long* before the end.

The second half, on the other hand, was at best a mildly entertaining run-about-corridors-screaming romp. I was very amused (if one can use that word) that the 'Confidential' episode quoted someone saying that monsters are scarier in the imagination -- when will they learn that cgi creations lolloping around corridors just don't cut it? All that "bullets won't stop it" dashing up & down stairs felt far too close to 'Dalek' & 'The Parting of the Ways', while the Monster Repellant^TM mistletoe was reminiscent of the Vinegar Is Your Ally trick they pulled on the Slovene (though I did appreciate that Isobel got to do a bit more than scream). And surely they could have cut just one of the "we are not amused" jokes [pretty please?] to shoe-horn in a bit of "Our Werewolf From Outer Space is unique because..." at some point.

And then the final minutes -- simply naff in so many ways. The big & clunky engineering solution was great fun, but, like Rose, I'm a little at a loss as to quite why it worked (let alone how Sir Robert's father & Albert figured it all out). The Christian imagery of the dying alien left me a bit bewildered. And let's not even mention the knighthoods, Victoria's sudden mindswitch, the tasteless royal family jokes & that And We Shall Advertise Our Forthcoming Series scene.

I've not yet adjusted to Tennant's Doctor. He feels much more old school than Eccleston's potrayal, which should be reassuring but actually feels retrograde. Meanwhile, Rose was reduced to traditional Companion fare: info dump catalyst, character in jeopardy & atrocious comic relief.

Putting both halves together, one of the better RTD episodes (not saying much) but a bit too much of a 'Batman Begins'/'Hound of the Baskervilles'/last year's Dalek episodes/'Buffy' mishmash for my taste. (And just *where* did the Scottish monks learn those moves?)

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