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:
Sax Rohmer meets Dr Who 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?

Voted best story by The Doctor Who appreciation Society in their Season Poll.See more »
Continuity: Four men are seen carrying Buller's body, but five run away when the policeman blows his whistle.See more »
Leela:These clothes are ridiculous. Why must I wear them?
The Doctor:Because you can't go walking around Victorian London in skins. You'd frighten the horses. Anyway, we don't want to be conspicuous, do we?
See more »
Movie Connections:


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Sax Rohmer meets Dr Who, 7 August 2015
Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom

Review of the Complete Story:

THE TALONS OF WENG CHIANG is a well-remembered serial from the Tom Baker era of DR WHO, and for good reason: in the long history of the show, this one is completely unique. It's a wonderfully Gothic pulp adventure that feels like something Sax Rohmer would have scripted for the show: the Doctor and Leela are up against the most sinister kind of Yellow Peril in the dimly-lit streets of East End London...

What's extraordinary about this story is how well they manage to evoke Victorian London on what would have been a very low budget. The streets are wonderfully atmospheric and the settings range from dank sewers to cobwebby alleyways and run-down music halls. You can almost see Jack the Ripper creeping around in the background!

Baker adopts a Sherlock Holmes-style personality in this one and even wears a deerstalker to hammer home the similarities. The story has lots of fantastic elements and if the special effects aren't up to scratch, then that's part of the charm. John Bennett is a delight, yellowed-up as the sinister Chang, but it's the creepy homunculus (played by dwarf actor Deep Roy) who everybody remembers as one of the most sinister life-size dolls put on film or TV. Watch out for a delightfully hammy Christopher Benjamin as the proprietor who becomes drawn into the mystery. My only real complaint is that the final identity of the masked villain turns out to be so ordinary and familiar from other DR WHO stories - something more uniquely horrific would have been more appropriate, I feel...

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