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< The Robots of Death
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The Talons of Weng-Chiang

Rating Votes
10
67%
82
9
11%
14
8
10%
12
7
5%
6
6
2%
3
5
2%
3
4
2%
3
3
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Average Rating
9.2
Votes
123
Director:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: MercuryReview Date: 11/30/18 2:10 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

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. This is yet another classic from brilliant writer Robert Holmes and director David Maloney. Tom Baker is at his magnificent best and Leela is a feisty companion.

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 fine when they use an enlarged image of a real rat but not so good when using models. 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. If you accept the effects of the day as a charming and unimportant aspect like I do then this adventure is as good as it gets.

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. 10/10
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: TCar96Review Date: 7/26/16 2:41 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Stupefyingly spectacular!

Talons of Weng-Chiang is exemplary to a standard that makes it hard to see it fitting in with quality of Doctor Who in general - hard to see it fitting in with the standards of season 12/13 and 14 too, and that's truly saying something!
Talons is dripping in Victoriana, or to be true to Bob Holmes, dripping blood, guts, gore and gaffes into some rancid pool of horrors. Stellar location work; inspired casting; a breakneck pace; incredible lighting and a laugh-a-minute / skin-crawl-a-minute script all create this gorgeous masterpiece. In its cinematic production-values, I would not hesitate to claim that episodes 1-3 provide a moody Victorian landscape easily steaming ahead of BBC Victorian dramas produced today (i.e. Sherlock Special & Dickensian) and even Hollywood blockbusters (the RDJ Sherlock pictures).

Complaints about 'that rat' only illustrate the unscrupulous nature of Talons' detractors, with the frankly average 70's effect appearing on screen for a matter of seconds. Furthermore, allegations of racism only go to show why Doctor Who will likely never again reach the dizzying heights of TOWC. Victorian London is painted vividly not just through direction and design, but witticisms and characterisation - a morbid Victoriana pastiche complete with lexis inappropriate over one century later (who'd have kerthunk it?). Not only is the warts-and-all interpretation of the 19th century essential for the tone of Talons', but John Bennett delivers the definitive villainous performance. That Michael Wisher's only competition can be denied his awesome performance by lazy claims of 'racism' is a real disservice to Mr. Bennett.

Rant aside, from character development to gags and grizzly deaths, TOWC is a blank cheque to Robert Holmes and a cheque to be banked by us Doctor Who fans. Throughout, there's a sense that this is not business as usual, rather a letter of love to those who don't wish to be pandered to and demand a higher calibre of work to be spent on the show. This is as good as it gets, and I doubt we'll ever see the likes of it again. Talons of Weng-Chiang is simply a fantastic Doctor Who story to be praised and preached from every rooftop.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: Lord NiiiimonReview Date: 5/21/16 8:16 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A killer vent doll, giant rats, Victorian settings, a laser-shooting dragon, Jago & Litefoot, Robert Holmes, Philip Hinchcliffe and David Maloney. A recipe for brilliance, and it delivers just that.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: doctorwhomoffReview Date: 2/2/16 6:37 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

I love Talons of weng-chiang, it's one of my favourite Tom Baker stories and it has an excleent supporting cast and atmosphere, the fact that two of the characters in this story have their own spin off speaks for it's self.

I would give it a ten out of ten but I can't do that for one reason: The racism is so blatant and offensive that it does cost it a mark.