Something to Get Your Teeth Into

DW TC4

Doctor Who ‘Tooth and Claw’ – “You talkin’ to me?”

Russell T Davies has, up until now, concentrated his Doctor Who episodes on either contemporary Earth or the Earth of the far future, so it was going to be an interesting experience to see how he’d handle this Victorian drama.  “Tooth and Claw” bore all the hallmarks of being a spiritual successor to last year’s “Unquiet Dead”.  Then we were treated to Simon Callow’s take on Dickens and here we were blessed with Pauline Collins showing her talents as Queen Victoria.  The Doctor and Rose miss their appointment with Ian Dury by missing Sheffield by a few hundred miles and another hundred years and are soon embroiled in the court of her majesty that is under siege from gang of kung-fu monks and their pet werewolf, who are intent on infiltrating the royal bloodline.  Trapped in an old manor house after dark whilst being pursued is textbook Doctor Who, and this didn’t dissappoint.  Some of RTD’s now familiar hallmarks were here to see, a thinly veiled sideswipe at the establishment, a smattering of jokes that meet with varying degrees of success, and beautifully crafted script that gives the actors something very enjoyable to work with.
DW TC3  Before, and…. DW TC5 after.

However one may view these traits of “new” Doctor Who, no-one can deny the appeal of the what’s on offer.  A magnificently realised monster (I still can’t get used to that in this show), genuinely scary moments, a great cast and all in a watchable 45 minute bite-sized chunk.  Some purist fans may miss the stories unfolding over 4 or 6 weeks, or may think that we should be treated to longer episodes every week.  I think that they have probably not been watching the standard format get developed in the US in recent years from the peers of this show (Lost, 24, Trek, Babylon 5, Firefly, and most suitably, Buffy).  The recent sale to, and broadcast of, Chris Eccleston’s year on Sci-Fi channel has made Doctor Who a commercially viable product as well as a critical and ratings success.  This truly is a golden age of Who.

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