IMDb > "Doctor Who" The Talons of Weng-Chiang: Part One (1977)

"Doctor Who" The Talons of Weng-Chiang: Part One (1977)

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Doctor Who: Season 14: Episode 21 -- The Doctor and LeelaÂ’s investigation into the existence of giant rats leads them to a war criminal who needs to feed on the life force of others until he can retrieve his time cabinet and return home.


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View company contact information for The Talons of Weng-Chiang: Part One on IMDbPro.
TV Series:
Original Air Date:
26 February 1977 (Season 14, Episode 21)
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Incredible and atmospheric adventure in Victorian London - one of the greats! See more (7 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Tom Baker ... Doctor Who

Louise Jameson ... Leela
John Bennett ... Li H'sen Chang

Christopher Benjamin ... Jago
Chris Gannon ... Casey
Trevor Baxter ... Professor Litefoot

Deep Roy ... Mr. Sin
David McKail ... Sergeant Kyle
Conrad Asquith ... P.C. Quick
Alan Butler ... Buller
Patsy Smart ... Ghoul
Tony Then ... Lee
John Wu ... Coolie
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charles Adey-Grey ... Theatre Doorkeeper (uncredited)
Lisa Bergmayr ... Riverside Ghouls (uncredited)
Jim Delaney ... Station Policeman (uncredited)
James Haswell ... Beat Policeman (uncredited)
Arnold Lee ... Chimney Sweep (uncredited)
Bernard Price ... (uncredited)
Richard Sheekey ... Beat Policeman (uncredited)
Kevin Sullivan ... Chimney Sweep (uncredited)
Colin Thomas ... Station Policeman (uncredited)
Vincent Wong ... Ho (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
David Maloney 
Writing credits
Robert Holmes (by)

Sydney Newman  creator (uncredited)

Produced by
Philip Hinchcliffe .... producer
Film Editing by
David Lee 
Production Design by
Roger Murray-Leach 
Costume Design by
John Bloomfield 
Makeup Department
Heather Stewart .... makeup artist
Production Management
Christopher D'Oyly John .... production unit manager (as Chris D'Oyly-John)
Sound Department
John Gatland .... film recordist
Clive Gifford .... studio sound
Vic Godrich .... o.b. sound
Dick Mills .... special sound
Visual Effects by
Michealjohn Harris .... visual effects designer
Bernard Lodge .... title sequence
Stuart Fell .... fight arranger
Camera and Electrical Department
Fred Hamilton .... film cameraman
Mike Jefferies .... studio lighting
John Mason .... o.b. lighting
Music Department
Ron Grainer .... composer: title music
Dudley Simpson .... composer: incidental music
Other crew
Ros Anderson .... production assistant
Linda Graeme .... assistant floor manager (uncredited)
Philip Hinchcliffe .... showrunner (uncredited)
Robert Holmes .... script editor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

25 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Christopher Eccleston watched The Talons of Weng-Chiang in preparation for being cast as The Doctor.See more »
Anachronisms: Though they tried to cover them up with white tape, the mortuary where the Doctor meets the Professor has a couple of power-points on the white tiled wall.See more »
Jago:Have I ever, in my thirty years in the halls, seen such a dazzling display of lustrous legerdemain, so many feats of superlative, supernatural skill? The answer must be never, sir, never!See more »
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Incredible and atmospheric adventure in Victorian London - one of the greats!, 10 December 2014
Author: Christopher Evans from South Wales, UK

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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See more (7 total) »

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