Doctor Doctor Who Guide

Wonderful. What a terrific episode. Rather than begin at the beginning, I'd like to highlight one particular scene.

The Doctor, Queen Victoria, Sir Robert and Rose are trapped in a room with a ferocious werewolf sniffing around outside, temporarily by the intelligence of a dead man, Sir Robert's late father. Robert himself is despairing; they have no weapons, he fears for his wife and feels that he has betrayed his Queen. The Doctor does not despair. They are, after all, trapped in a library. They have weapons. Donning his reading glasses, he attacks the shelves and throws a book at Rose. "Arm yourself," he says.

I loved that scene. It was one of those 'goosebump' moments that excellent 'Doctor Who' can provide...and I believe 'Tooth and Claw' to be excellent 'Doctor Who'.

I'd say this was Russell T's best script to date, surpassing last year's concluding two-parter. The Host scenes were particularly chilling, with Tom Smith giving a brilliantly scary performance. An effective contrast to the earlier scenes with the Doctor and Rose that were full of humour and zest. Some great dialogue as we discover that the Doctor is fond of Ian Dury and 'The Muppet Movie' , but clearly not fond of M Thatcher. (my kind of hero!)

I laughed out loud at Roses awful scottish accent ("oot and aboot" indeed) and there was obviously another level to the humour from the scottish David Tennant's pained reaction. ("Don't do that...no, really.") There is a lot going on in these 45-minutes, and my admiration only grew on second viewing. (First time around, because of all the sound and fury, I'd missed a few things. For example, the "70% water...can still drown" line.)

Due to the general high standard, direction doesn't get mentioned all that often, but I'd like to commend Euros Lyn for his brilliant work on this story. As for the acting, it was pretty faultless. Pauline Collins gave us a prickly, brave and not particularly sympathetic Quuen Victoria. The presence of the Doctor and Rose clearly disturbs her, and I found this subtext surprising and spot on. I don't want 'the establishment' to be comfortable with the Doctor, and vice versa, so I thought his 'banishment' worked very well...I certainly didn't see it coming. The Doctor and the 'status quo' do not go together...and so the Doctor is instrumental in the instigation of Torchwood; terrific.

David and Billie have developed into a very good team; she'll let him know when he's "being rude" , for example. I liked the way he called the 'telescope' "...a bit rubbish" and Roses' fixed grin in response! Tennant is terrific throughout, highlights being the aforementioned library scene and his awed response to the werewolf. ("That's beautiful...") He can be funny, manic, sarky, rude, warm, wide-eyed, off-hand, intense, kindly...but in the scene where the Queen laments the inability of the dead to get in touch, you see brooding sadness. He is, after all, still the Last Timelord. (For now, anyway?)

Great effects work, not overdone; running down corridors, dark shadows; the Doctor's ingenuity saving the day; a hint of 'Ghostlight'....what the heck, this gets a Ten from me!

To conclude; the Royal Family....secretive...love bloodsports....WEREWOLVES!! I'll buy it, Russell, you cheeky so and so. (I can just picture it; kids seeing the royal family on telly, and shouting "Werewolves!" Wonderful.)

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