Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Talons of Weng-Chiang: Part One 

The Doctor and Leela land in Victorian London, and find themselves in the middle of missing girls, mutilated bodies, and vicious Chinese gangs. The Palace theater, presenting hypnotist Li H'sen Chang seems to be at the center of it all.

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Professor Litefoot
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Mr. Sin
David McKail ...
Conrad Asquith ...
P.C. Quick
Alan Butler ...
Buller
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Ghoul
Tony Then ...
Lee
John Wu ...
Coolie
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Storyline

In Victorian London, the Doctor and Leela are on their way to a performance by Chinese magician Li H'Sen Chiang when they come across a gang carrying away a body. At the police station, they learn that young girls have been going missing. They also meet the magician who has come to free one of his men. The man bears a tattoo of the a black scorpion, one of the greatest criminal organizations of all time. When the Doctor finds a tuft of rat hair on the dead man, he and Leela explore the sewers. At the theater, the doorman Casey and the manager Jago see what is going on in the cellar. Written by garykmcd

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TV-Y | See all certifications »
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26 February 1977 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tom Baker once said of this serial: "The BBC is very good at period drama but not very good at giant rats." See more »

Goofs

When Leela is attacked, the words "Clink Wharf" can be seen painted on a warehouse door. Clink wharf was on the other side of the Thames to the Palace theatre. See more »

Quotes

Jago: You been drinkin'.
Casey: Not a drop, sir.
Jago: Then it's time you started.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Foe from the Future (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Incredible and atmospheric adventure in Victorian London - one of the greats!
10 December 2014 | by See all my reviews

Review of all 6 episodes:

The Doctor and Leela arrive in the 'pea-soup' thick fog of Victorian London and the perfectly realised atmosphere of that period with echoes of Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes makes this one of the great adventures.

Girls have been going missing in the squalid streets around a theatre run by Henry Gordon Jago. Chinese performer Li H'sen Chang and his creepy dummy Mr. Sin are secretly serving Weng-Chiang, considered to be an ancient Chinese God. The Doctor and Leela team up with Professor Litefoot, a pathologist, and try to solve the mystery and stop Weng-Chiang from getting his hands on an item in Litefoot's possession which has powers unknown to its owner and dangerous to them all.

As well as capturing the Victorian setting perfectly there is a host of colourful and truly inspired characters all acted magnificently well. Jago, Litefooot, Chang, Weng-Chiang, Casey and even all of the small cameo parts are extraordinarily good. The dialogue throughout is also terrific and every aspect of the production and the exciting story is of the highest standard with the exception of the giant rats which guard the sewer. These rats are poorly realised and if this story was re-released with new computer generated effects re- creating the rats it would stop this one distraction from an otherwise near flawless production.

The horror and thrills of this story are simply superb and although perhaps a couple of scenes are slightly imperfect, due to limitations of the time, this whole story is sheer magic from start to finish and one of the all-time greats.


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