The Doctor intends to take Rose to a 1979 pop concert, but instead they arrive in Balmoral, Scotland in 1879. They have a chance meeting with Queen Victoria who is traveling with her entourage to the Torchwood estate, home of Lord Robert and his wife, Lady Isobel. Adopting the alias of Dr. James McCrimmon, the Doctor convinces the Queen that they are friends of the crown and are invited as guests of her majesty. But little do they know that a brotherhood of monks have turned from god and are now worshiping an alien consciousness that fell to Earth centuries ago. It takes the form of a werewolf and has been passed down the centuries from person to person. It wants to take the royal throne and It's next intended host is Queen Victoria herself. Can the Doctor and Rose prevent the rise of the Empire of the Wolf? Written by
The working title for this episode was Queen Victoria. See more »
After examining the telescope, Queen Victoria says that, her late husband, "Prince Albert himself was acquainted with many rural superstitions, coming as he did from Saxe-Coburg", to which the Doctor whispers Rose: "That's Bavaria". Actually Saxe-Coburg is located in Thuringia, though next to Bavaria. See more »
I'm Doctor James McCrimmon, from the township of... er... Balamory
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Having started in a not entirely satisfactory fashion with premiere episode New Earth, the second season of Doctor Who ups its game considerably with this second offering, another Russell T. Davies-penned adventure that ditches other planets in favor of a (sort of) historical adventure that deftly mixes the show's trademark humor with some genuine horror.
Having left New Earth, the Doctor's plan was to take Rose back to 1979, a year he likes for many reasons (one of them being the Muppet movie). However, due to a TARDIS mishap, they find themselves in 1879, more specifically in Scotland, where they run into a vacationing Queen Victoria (Pauline Collins). The Doctor poses as a Scottish physician to gain access to her entourage, and soon discovers something dangerous is in the working: a conspiracy involving deranged monks and an alien entity in the shape of a werewolf...
While there is a bit of mythology in the script (the name Torchwood is mentioned once again), Tooth and Claw works perfectly as a self-contained story with hints of John Landis, most explicitly in a wonderful scene where the Doctor and Rose, while hiding from the wolf, giddily express their excitement about the situation. The wolf itself is a credible threat, although a couple of shots are slightly let down by the visual effects. As for Collins, who continues the tradition of portraying real people in the series (following Simon Callow's class act as Dickens in The Unquiet Dead), her rendition of Victoria is suitably cold and amusing. Plus, the in-joke of the Doctor faking a Scottish accent (Tennant's own, in fact), followed Rose trying to do the same with appalling results, is one of the funniest moments in the series so far.
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