Doctor Who: Season 2, Episode 3: Tooth and Claw  » TV  »
3.5
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  • I don't know if it's coincidence or intentional, but I noticed it regardless
  • We're talking about a show that prominently features a phone booth that travels through time and space, I don't think having stories that feature ghosts or werewolves are going to break suspension of disbelief
  • It could work well, but I think the writers tipped their hand too early
  • You know, I like kung-fu fighting monks as much as the next guy, and I'm not averse to them in a Dr. Who story, but they really didn't work here


    • by David Finniss

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      The teaser for this from the previous episode really had me hyped up. Doctor Who battling a werewolf in 19th Century Scotland alongside Queen Victoria seems like one of those cracktastic plots that are hard to screw up. I figured it would act as a spiritual successor to “The Unquiet Dead”. Speaking of which, I can’t help but notice a parallel between the early episodes this season and the corresponding episodes last season. I don’t know if it’s coincidence or intentional, but I noticed it regardless.

      I don’t know why, but this episode lacked that certain je ne sais quois that sets some episodes apart from the others. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t work as well as the premise would allow.

      I’m torn on the fact that Rose and the Doctor were geeking out over meeting Queen Victoria. On the one hand, at this point, you’d think that both characters would be used to this sort of thing, but on the other hand, it shows that even after all this time, the lifestyle


      still excites them.

      Just as the ghosts were really aliens, so too is the werewolf. I don’t get why the writers insist on doing this. The being function in exactly the same way as the actual creatures, just have them be the creatures. We’re talking about a show that prominently features a phone booth that travels through time and space, I don’t think having stories that feature ghosts or werewolves are going to break suspension of disbelief.

      This episode went a long way towards explaining the origins of Torchwood. Sadly, much like Iron Man 2 went too far in trying to set up the Avengers, so too does this really go out of its way to hammer in the idea of the organization. The Queen’s closing speech was rather heavy handed when they could’ve easily just had her make general statements with the “Torchwood” sign looming behind her.

      It seems like the conflict between the Doctor and the organization will be the focus of this season’s arc (if there is one).


      • It could work well, but I think the writers tipped their hand too early. Look at the first two seasons of JLU, where the Justice League faced off against Cadmus, a shadowy organization with similar motives. It worked because there was an air of mystery to it before Waller gave her big speech about how they’re trying to protect the country. Here, we go right to the big dramatic speech with very little build up and it doesn’t work as well.

        Speaking of arcs, there was a quick nod to Rose’s “bad wolf” arc. It was a nice touch, though considering Rose spread the hints through time, this could’ve easily become another instance of that (barring the obvious fact that she already experienced it all).

        You know, I like kung-fu fighting monks as much as the next guy, and I’m not averse to them in a Dr. Who story, but they really didn’t work here. The fact that it’s never mentioned or brought up again doesn’t help.

        On the plus side, the episode is pretty well

        paced. The werewolf effects were actually pretty good (and shots of the wolf were kept brief to add to the effect). Considering the show has a fifty/fifty chance of showing its budget limitations in stories like this, it’s good to see that they were able to pull it off as the episode wouldn’t have worked otherwise.

        While the show usually works best with healthy dose of humor, this time the jokes fell flat. As other reviews have pointed out, Rose’s attempts to get Victoria to say that she isn’t amused weren’t enough to make a good running joke, but alas the episode doesn’t know that.

        I did like the final revelation that the house was built as a trap for the wolf. It achieved that fine balance between surprising while not coming completely out of left field.

        All in all, it’s an OK episode, but the show certainly can, and has, done better. It’s especially disappointing as this is the sort of story that seems tailor made for Doctor Who, but they can’t all be home runs.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in July, 2011. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 1020071512770631/k2311a0720/7.20.11
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