"Doctor Who" Tooth and Claw (TV Episode 2006) Poster

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An Alien Werewolf in Scotland
Max_cinefilo8919 December 2010
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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A taste of things to come?
movieman_kev25 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Wishing to use the TARDIS to travel to 1979 for a bit of fun, instead Rose and the Doctor find themselves in 1879, where they have to deal with protecting Queen Victoria from warrior monks, and werewolves. David Tennet gets to use his normal Scottish accent which is enjoyable, and the episode on a whole is immensely watchable and thrilling. I didn't really fancy Rose's constant attempts to get the Queen to say "we are not amused", but that's just one little nitpick in a otherwise brilliant episode. One that I believe will have some repercussions on further episodes (well and the Doctor Who spin-off "Torchwood" obviously). Next week it seems we'll finally see the (and some would say,long overdue) return of previous Doctor companions, Sarah Jane and the canine K-9. I, for one, can't wait.

My Grade: A
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Absolutely phenomenal
ametaphysicalshark20 June 2007
"Tooth and Claw" is simply put, one of the finest episodes of Doctor Who in either of its incarnations. It is a spectacular feast for the eyes, featuring excellent production values and oft inventive direction and cinematography, for television anyhow. I realize I am in a distinct minority when saying this, but "Tooth and Claw" to me was an example of just how exhilarating and utterly captivating Doctor Who can be at its absolute best. The '12' rating bestowed upon this by the BBFC will give you an idea of the oft risqué content, especially for a program that should be 'family-oriented'. In many ways, this is a traditional Doctor Who tale, creepy and well-written with sharp, witty dialogue to boot.

Another thing is, I never found Werewolves creepy or scary at all, with a couple of notable exceptions (An American Werewolf in London), but this episode makes it work with very little violence at all. It's one of the creepiest Doctor Who episodes I've ever seen. Kudos to Euros Lyn for this stunning visual feast. His direction is often inventive and quite surprisingly excellent by the standards often expected from television, and his pacing is also excellent. He would go on to direct "The Girl in the Fireplace" and "The Idiot's Lantern", both of which were also superb visually.

Letter Grade: A+
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Effective But Flawed Traditional Story
Theo Robertson30 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
DOCTOR WHO is a show perceived to be something similar to a horror movie . We can all look back over the decades and talk about the stories that gave us nightmares . The Pertwee era really terrified me with stories that featured inanimate objects coming to life in stories like Spearhead From Space , Terror Of The Autons and The Deamons . It should be remembered however that the show's creator didn't envisage this and concepts like human beings being killed one by one by creepy monsters didn't really start until the early Troughton era . Still monsters that caused generations of children to go running behind the sofa is probably what the show should be remembered for and it's this type of story that can be described as " traditional " and Tooth And Claw is a good example

The episode gets off to a great start as a bunch of monks turn up at a Scottish estate demanding the use of the house . When the staff refuse their request WHALLOP they show off their martial art skills in a scene borrowed from THE MATRIX . Say what you like about RTD but he knows how to draw the audience in to a story and this is a very good example of a story hook . Director Euros Lynn also deserves great credit for making a very atmospheric story work , especially in the scenes where the werewolf stalks the humans . Unfortunately there's one very obvious flaw to the story and that's down to the script - The kung-fu monks disappear without any mention what so ever as to how and why and this is a fundamental problem with RTD scripts . I also disliked the ending which is resolved far too easily which is yet another problem of the writing

Not too be totally negative however this is a highly enjoyable piece of television and no doubt many children who saw it will remember it for years to come . If the writing had been a little more thought out then this would have been an instant classic . As it stands it's merely a very good example of a traditional DOCTOR WHO story
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Visually stunning with a solid story
Paul Evans13 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Well they managed to cram a lot into 45 minutes, it's nice to get a Scottish theme, Terror of the Zygons seems a long time ago.

It races into the action within a minute, and the opening scenes are beautifully done, the fight scenes are tremendous, but it's not all style over substance. The story is a very clever one, very imaginative.

The Doctor and Rose land in 1879 and encounter a Werewolf in Scotland. A group of fighter monks overrun the household of Sir Robert and imprison the staff in an outhouse with 'someone.' Whilst the Doctor, Rose, Victoria and guards turn up to stay at the house. The someone turns out to be a werewolf wanting to transform mankind by overtaking the throne by biting Queen Victoria.

The Special effects are possibly the series best so far, the hosts transformation into a werewolf is amazingly done. The CGI effects work far better then those used say with the Slitheen.

Pauline Collins returns to Doctor Who to play Queen Victoria 39 years after playing Samantha Briggs in Patrick Troughton's The Faceless ones. She does a super job in the role, with enough charisma to hold the story up. Tom Smith in the short time that he plays the host is utterly brilliant, he plays it with such bleakness.

All in all a very good episode, which has tremendous pace, great effects, some real scares and again it feels unique. The solution is a particularly satisfying one.
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Tooth and Bore
cybermansec25 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Tooth And Claw was an intelligent idea. It had Queen Victoria, historical facts and a computer-generated werewolf. What went wrong? Throughout this review I shall tell you why. Are you sitting comfortably? Good, then we'll begin… The werewolf was an obvious idea that probably took the Mill months of gruelling work to make, but it was overly used. Too many shots of that werewolf were used in this episode, including that POV shot where it killed people. Meanwhile the doctor and Rose are yet again in the past. This time they meet Queen Victoria, played wonderfully by Pauline Collins. A great booming voice and excellent costume design, that was the character that really was the most believable. The new doctor, David Tennant, is still not a good strong character. He is too over the top, one minute in this he is talking about the Koh-I-Noor diamond and the next he is shouting and messing up his hair. Billie Piper, what a wonderful actress, tries to stay as her usual self in this episode but eventually isn't. She is boring at times, useless at times and moody at times in this episode.

Of course out of 100 the story takes up about 75% so did that Russell write really good? Did he write horribly like he sometimes has in the past? Well this was one of the very few weak stories of Doctor Who. If you have purchased The Shooting Scripts lately then you will read Rose and probably enjoy it more on paper then on screen. It certainly worked with The End Of The World. So not only was this bad on screen it was also bad on paper. It's not like the doctor to kill a villain especially with something so simple as a telescope. The dialogue was mediocre at best and the monks were not used. That was very disappointing as the monks were actually better than the Host itself. That beginning was so brilliant. This story went nowhere at all, mistletoe destroys werewolf. That's something new.

Tooth and Claw was below average.
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Falls under its own weight. Too much going on for just 45 minutes.
Dr Moo9 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
It's Doctor Who with a werewolf as the primary villain! It's going to be awesome! Or maybe not. It's actually going to be a forgettable 45 minutes with too much going on so that it fails to do justice by any of its plot strands and falls under its own weight.

You get a cult of monks that want to unleash a werewolf to kill Queen Victoria. You have the owner of a manor house under threat from them with his wife captured. You have a story in the past being told about Prince Albert and the landowner's father preparing for events they could not have possibly known would ever occur. None of these stories really has the time needed to develop properly, especially as they all take place against the backdrop of a monster chasing people through corridors. You get the feeling watching this that it should have maybe slowed down a bit and done things as a two-parter. It would be a classic then, as it is in reality it is a forgettable disposable filler episode good for nothing more than just making up the numbers.

The 10th is still a good Doctor at this point, probably Rose hasn't yet fully developed into the bi}c4 she'd turn into later, as such David Tennant and Billie Piper are great in this. Pauline Collins is good as the Queen. Heck, everyone is good in this episode, a rarity for any TV show! Shame that the script (RTD has begun his decent into bad writing now) doesn't reach its potential, RTD doesn't hit the right mark with it, biting off more than he can chew with too many plot elements going on that don't stand up to scrutiny or repeat viewings. Wasted opportunity for awesomeness that just fails. Shame. 3/10
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