Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S02E02 – Tooth and Claw

In the second episode of the second series of Doctor Who, the Doctor accidentally sends the TARDIS to Scotland in 1879, where they team up with Queen Victoria to fight a werewolf. And honestly, the episode is so much better than it sounds. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Doctor Who.

I think it will be fun to see if we can find an episode of this revival of the show where there isn’t a gigantic plot hole. It’s almost a plus to Doctor Who that most of the plots are wrapped in ways that leave me scratching my head. It’s like part of its charm. I did think, while watching “Tooth and Claw,” that this might have been the first episode where every part of the story fit perfectly with another, until the last five minutes. BUT WE WILL GET TO THAT!

This episode is simultaneously one of the funniest and creepiest so far and it manages to do so with probably the least amount of character development on the part of Rose and the Doctor. This episode is all about Queen Victoria, played masterfully by Pauline Collins, facing the supernatural. I’ve never been much of a fan of the werewolf story (and Twilight certainly did not help at all), so I was hesitant when I realized that’s what this episode was going to be about. What really works for me is that Davies takes a familiar horror trope and applies it to the world of the Doctor. Somehow, the idea that an alien life form uses lyncathropy to keep itself alive is NOT the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

“Tooth and Claw” is more of a short horror movie than anything else, as I didn’t really pick up on any overarching themes or social commentaries that I usually find in these episodes, and that’s entirely ok. Not only is it a great story, but it is also building up this “Torchwood” mythology thing. So now we know how Torchwood was formed (and that the Doctor inadvertently inspired its creation), but we don’t know how else it has or will affect him. Interesting.

I’m feeling very, very listy today. We like lists. They are fun.

THOUGHTS

  • I cried laughing during the scene when Rose tries to pretend to have a Scottish accent. “No, no, don’t do that.”
  • I have never heard of mistletoe being a method to fight a werewolf attack. Did Davies invent that specifically for this episode or is it based on some sort of myth or legend I’ve never heard?
  • How many times do I get to say this? A billion: I love alternate histories and I love the way the show manages to weave in Prince Albert and the mysterious blood disease Queen Victoria had.
  • Quite possibly the most disturbing order of monks on the face of the fucking planet. Something about their bald-headed homogeny was simply too much for me. However, there was only one moment that I laughed at them: When they somehow turned into goddamn ninjas during the opening scene. REALLY. REALLY. They were creepy enough as-is.
  • The idea that the house was a trap built in advance, as if this was all some sort of long con to trap the werewolf, is a bit of a stretch, but I found myself not caring at all, until one moment: when the Doctor threw the Koh-i-Noor diamond under the moonlight and it perfectly refracted to hit the werewolf. WE WERE SO CLOSE TO A NON-PLOT-HOLE-FILLED EPISODE. Like, what are the odds that the diamond would roll to a stop in the perfect position to refract light onto the werewolf? UGH. So close!
  • I will probably change my mind at some point, but Sir Robert’s death might be the worst in the show. I clung to the notion that he would somehow survive and be reunited again with his wife, but listening to his screams as the wolf tore him apart…wow, seriously goddamn awful.
  • I had a feeling that when the Queen knighted Rose and the Doctor, we would see the seeds planted of them working together again in the future. Perhaps it was just a stray thought that I felt would be fun to see, but I had the sensation that this episode wasn’t truly a one-off, monster-of-the-week story. I was right, but I was completely taken by surprise when she banished them both from the British Empire. Even while she was doing the banishment, I thought she would reveal she was joking, but nope. Completely serious. Dag, yo.
  • The wolf saw “something of the wolf” in Rose. Creepy. πŸ™
  • “Oh, I’m dazed and confused. I’ve been chasing this wee naked child over hill and over dale. Isn’t that right, you… tim’rous beastie?”
  • The “I am not amused!” running joke was WONDERFUL.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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350 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S02E02 – Tooth and Claw

  1. Wahlee says:

    And isn't David's native accent just lovely? *sigh*

    • Araniapriime says:

      Yes! I don't know whether Mark knows it, but the Scottish accent is Tennant's REAL voice and the Estuary accent is put on for the show!

    • exbestfriend says:

      Sooo lovely. Although I think he hammed it up a bit more for the role. It makes me wonder if he would feel uncomfortable using his own voice, that the accent is part of his costume.

      • Wahlee says:

        Yeah, it's not exact, but it's close enough for me. πŸ™‚

        It makes me wonder if he would feel uncomfortable using his own voice, that the accent is part of his costume.

        The accent is certainly part of the Doctor's character to David. I remember in one of the Confidentials, when he came back for filming after a long break, he mentions that he had trouble remembering how the Doctor speaks. And when you listen to the audiobooks he narrates, it's so much fun to listen to him switch on the fly from his natural accent to his Doctor accent (and then maybe to an American one, or to Donna's, or to Rose's). Talented man.

        • elethiel says:

          Another sign that David considers the accent as part of the character: some time ago he was in a Doctor Who radio parody and (jokingly) refused to do the Doctor voice because the production “didn’t deserve it”.

      • Megan says:

        Me too! I wondered if he felt like he was playing himself instead of the Doctor.

    • knut_knut says:

      I wish he could have kept his accent and we would have had a Scottish Doctor!

      • JSpawn says:

        Davies was against this because he didn’t want to have the Doctor be an accent tour of the UK (not his exact words, but he said something similar). And after having Eccleston’s Doctor from “The North” they didn’t want a scottish Doctor.

    • cdnstar says:

      I much prefer him with his native accent.

    • I replayed that first scene with the Scottish accent a dozen times BECAUSE OHMYGOD, EARGASM.

  2. Stephen_M says:

    If you're waiting for a non-plot-hole episode you may not have TOO much longer to wait… that's all I'm saying. And that nod to Bad Wolf from a proper Bad Wolf (groan) was sorta nice but, really, didn't add much and I know more than a few people who took it the wrong way and expected Rose to fang out.

    Always liked this episode despite it being made of nonsense at times. The ninja monks in particular come totally out of left field and then get sorta forgotten about when one of them confronts the Queen. But that's okay, not everything has to make sense in this sort of Who romp and the rest is pretty good fun. It's also a good intro to the time travel for those that are just joining the show, although I do wonder if it had come later in the series if they'd have let Tennant keep his natural scottish accent. Could see why they didn't want to do that just two episodes in for fear of people expecting him to change accents every time.

    But, yes, well done episode, the Wolf was a good effect (most of the time anyway) and the setup of the Torchwood Institute was well done. Plus happy bouncy Ten is always nice to see so overall it's a good 'un! Oddly though I think this marked the point where Rose started to loose my interest as a character, her 'you're not amused huh? wink wink' routine never sat quite right for me somehow, bit too arogant I think, show a little respect under the circumstances. Too cocky, too wrapped up in her own importance and WAY too unconcerned about the situation for someone that's seen what she's seen.

    Also, yay, first post under a proper commenting account!

    • Hanah says:

      Mm, I agree somewhat on the 'we are not amused' thing. I've never been particularly enthralled by that particular legend anyway, and it struck a funny chord to have them joking about it inbetween trying to save them all from deadly werewolf danger. I did love her dungaree shorts though. Not that her clothes have anything to do with anything, but it redeemed her a little. πŸ˜›

      • Stephen_M says:

        Hey, I get e-mail notification of replies now! Cool!

        Umm, sorry, yes… It certainly didn't help that it was a bit of a weak joke and it REALLY didn't help that they kept breaking the Horror mood with it. Ho hum.

    • Matthew says:

      I don't think the Ninja-ness of the monks is forgotten in the Queen scene. He deals with the Captain really easily but it's played to show that he underestimates her completely – he's not expecting her to shoot.

      Also remember that they needed to keep her alive.

      I agree that their martial arts abilties are pretty left field.

      The bigger plot hole is why didn't they just drug everyone in the household?

      Because there wouldn't be a story otherwise – which is pretty common in a lot of adventure stories, you have to suspend disbelief about the ineptitude of the vilains,

      Retroactive explanation: the drug would have interfered with the transfer to the Queen.

      By the way, Russell T Davies wrote this one in a week, when the commissioned script wasn't suitable and another episode was moved out of this series to become the next Christmas special (which was only commissioned as they were writing the series). All in all I'd say that's pretty impressive.

      • NB2000 says:

        I thought it was the upcoming "Fear Her" that was written to replace another episode that was thrown out.

        • Matthew says:

          That as well. This was earlier in the production process. The original Queen Victoria script had been rejected, but then the need for a Christmas special meant that Davies decided to move what was penciled in as episode six to become the Christmas special and then resurrected the Queen Victoria idea and wrote a script in a week, to plug the gap.

          The "Fear Her" script was already being worked on but probably would have been considered for the next series, the script it replaced was too expensive to film – so it was brought forward.

          You can read about the production on all of Doctor Who here:
          http://www.shannonsullivan.com/drwho/tv.html

    • Albion says:

      Agree about Rose, though both of them were far too cavalier and disrespectful. People were getting brutally killed and they're having a giggle? urg. Queen Vic was right.

      • Stephen_M says:

        That's just about the only reason I don't have a major problem with it from a story point of view. For once, FOR ONCE, someone in-story calls them on the BS. It's treated as a bad thing by Vic of course (can't go criticising Ten or Rose now can we RTD, yes I'm still sore from the Harriet thing!) but at least there's a suggestion that they wern't exactly on their best behaviour.

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      >It's also a good intro to the time travel for those that are just joining the show,

      Yes, and it's interesting to note that in this respect, the David's first 3 episodes mirror those of his predecessor:

      Contemporary Earth: Rose/Christmas Invasion
      Future: End of the World/New Earth
      Past: Unquiet Dead/Tooth and Claw
      The third one is even more closely mirrored when you consider that in each case, the Doctor gets the year wrong.

      And I don't think it's too spoilerish this mirroring effect continues for the next episode, and it's not the last time we'll see this trend, either.

      After all, why tamper with what works?

      • Stephen_M says:

        Yep, and it is of course the great dilema facing Who. Because it's a family show you're going to get a new audience every year and a lot of them will be fairly young (plus their parental units who may not know the show) so you've got to keep reintroducing the core ideas without just repeating yourself. I do think that RTD did a better job of it here than in the previous series, most likely because he himself knew the show better, knew what would work and what wouldn't and they had a FAR better grip on the production side by this point.

    • arctic_hare says:

      Agreed 100% on Rose.

    • nextboy says:

      How do I sign up, I swear I've looked everywhere, I'm being dense aren't I?

  3. Matthew says:

    Random fact:

    The Mill, who do the CGI effects for Doctor Who are also one of the many effects houses who work on the Harry Potter movies. They did the werewolf in Azkaban and were not completely satisfied with it – this is their attempt to do it again, better. They're also massive Doctor Who fans, so the show probably gets more for their money than any other TV show would.

    This episode is also a good example of how much better they were at managing the budgets this time around. The CGI shots of the wolf are very carefully planned, with a Wolf's eye view filling in the rest.

    Also, the first two stories of this series show how visual a screenwriter Davies is – he thinks a lot about the action will look as it plays out. In commentaries to various he episodes he talks about how TV goes from side to side too much, so he tries to make the action go vertically more often. New Earth and this episode are both great examples of that.

    • knut_knut says:

      No wonder the wolf transformation looked familiar!

    • rys says:

      They do the effects for Merlin too, which has a fairly similar 'look' to Doctor Who.

    • ffyona says:

      You say 'The Mill', I think 'Pebble Mill'. Anyone else? Talk show of my childhood?

      • Matthew says:

        Named after the studio in Birmingham it was presented from.

        The original Doctor Who series had its studio scenes taped in London (in various studios in the early days and later in Television Centre, once it was built). But Television Centre was booked for "Horror of Fang Rock", so they ended up making that at Pebble Mill.

  4. Jo Robbins says:

    While I haven't usually seen mistletoe being used against werewolves, it is generally detrimental to Evil Things in folklore and crops up a fair amount in vampire lore. Yep, Christmas is hell for the undead.

    I heart this episode because of WEREWOLVES and VICTORIAN ENGLAND and SCOTTISH-ACCENTED TEN LICKING A WALL. All of my favourite things at once! I mean what. >.>

  5. NB2000 says:

    I'm conflicted about the monks. On the one hand the opening scene with them going all NINJA is really well shot, but it doesn't feel like a Doctor Who scene. They don't usually do that sort of over the top, slow motion type of sequence on this show so having it happen here sticks out like a sore thumb. On the other hand, the Buddhist-style robes stood out rather nicely against the grey tones of the rest of the episode. I'm easily distracted by this sort of production detail.

    I agree with the some of the other comments that Rose's attitude throughout the episode is a bit off but I can't really hold that against her here for the simple reason that she (and the Doctor) get called out on it at the end by Queen Victoria.

    I haven't yet seen any of Old Who (working on it) and yet I find the Doctor using the name of one of his former companion "James McCrimmon" as his fake identity really sweet.

    • Matthew says:

      I've mentioned this in another reply, I'll go into some more details here. The way that Russell commissioned scripts is often to give a "shopping list" of elements to a writer. For this one an unnamed writer got give Queen Victoria, werewolf, warrior monks. They came back with a script about Queen Victoria getting an alien insect in her eye and ignoring the other elements. The script was dropped. However, that wasn't a problem since they always commission more scripts than they need to fill a series.

      Later on, though, the BBC commissioned a second Christmas special and Davies realised that the script he was working for episode six would work better at Christmas, so he moved it there. That left a gap in the series, so he resurrected the Queen Victoria idea and wrote the script in a week.

      If he'd had a bit longer, he may have found a better way to incorporate the monks into the story.

      My idea, given those elements, would have been to set it in the Crystal Palace during the Great Exhibition and have properly Chinese warrior monks visiting.

      • NB2000 says:

        It wasn't so much the idea of monks that were ninjas that I have a problem with it's the way the sequence was filmed. With the wire work and the slow motion it's very different to the way the show is usually filmed that the sequence stands out and feels 'wrong'. I like it but it feels like it belongs to another show or movie.

        I have a similar problem with a sequence from an episode in series 5 (trying to hard to be vague here), the idea behind it was alright but the way it was done didn't sit well with the usual style of the show. But this sort of thing is subjective, what I think is filmed strangely may just be a nice change of pace to someone else.

      • sabra_n says:

        so he resurrected the Queen Victoria idea and wrote the script in a week.

        At last, all is explained.

    • Best thing about the Monks? Them ending up in the BBC ident thingy.

    • Matthew says:

      Trying that again with correct html tags:

      He's Jamie McCrimmon in Old Who. Here he is:

      <img src="http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/2013/jamie1.jpg"&gt;

      Jamie and the Doctor OTP:

      <img src="http://img823.imageshack.us/img823/5200/jamie2s.jpg"&gt;

      Time to register an account I think.

      • who cares says:

        LOL I think to register one as well not being able to edit is a major pain the in the gluteus maximus

    • swimmingtrunks says:

      Man, I STILL didn't catch the old companion reference, even after watching a couple of Two's serials! That is really sweet.

  6. echinodermata says:

    Yeah, I never particularly liked this episode. It's a little too over-the-top too often without it being awesome enough to earn acceptance of the cheese factor.

    But hearing Tennant's accent is nice, and his and Rose's antics redeem the episode from a failing grade to say a C, for me. Forgettable, but not outright bad.

    I did think effects-wise, the wolf wasn't bad.

    • Karen says:

      Haha. These are pretty much my exact feelings on the episode. The plot does nothing for me and there isn't any meaty character stuff either. The only things that make it enjoyable for me are the ninja monks because LOL WUT and Ten and Rose goofing around and being adorable.

  7. StarGirlAlice says:

    Listening to Sir Robert's death, almost as bad as listening to Bellatrix carve 'Mudblood' in to Hermione's arm. But not as bad, because I obviously care more about Hermione than Sir Robert. But it has a similar feel to it.
    I find David Tennant natural accent very sexy indeed. The best thing about this episode is that it's one that sticks in my memory, some of them I find I don't remember and some you could say to me, 'What happens in series 2' and and I'd be able to pick this one out.

  8. Treasure Cat says:

    I think this and The Christmas Invasion are tied for my favourite new!Who eps. I dont know why Im so attached to Tooth and Claw, I just am. It has some of my favourite dialogue, and we get to hear David be Scottish, which he naturally is, which is excellent. Favourite scene of the episode is when they're in the library, the whole thing is excellent: 'Tell you what though…werewolves!', 'I know!' -hugs- *and* the use of the phrase 'Monky-monk-monks' by the Doctor in a terribly serious situation XD PLUS…David in glasses om nom nom nom

  9. monkeybutter says:

    +10 for "tim'rous beastie"; -10 for blowing a perfect opportunity for "home James, and don't spare the horses." Even on the day, RTD.

    I think David Tennant's Scottish accent is my favorite part of the episode. Otherwise, it's just okay. The British division of Shaolin monks at the beginning killed it for me. And Victoria would have to hunt down her kids to pass on the lycanthropy/hemophilia, right? At least they set up Torchwood. It was a fun premise, but I'm not crazy about the way it was handled. Oh well. There are still plenty of great episodes to make up for it!

    • MowerOfLorn says:

      His accent it brilliant. The first time I watched it I didn't know he was Scottish, so I kept thinking "Wow, he's brilliant at that accent! He really switches between it and his real voice easily…" I was so naive. Although it is amazing how well his 'Doctor' accent keeps throughout all the episodes.

    • thecheapshot says:

      Thank you for saying Shaolin Monks – the ninja references flying around were bothering this minor martial arts geek somewhat *wanders off muttering about Wing Chun and trying to get a life*

    • echinodermata says:

      And Victoria would have to hunt down her kids to pass on the lycanthropy/hemophilia, right?

      Eh, I figure lycanthropy being transmissible by bite also makes it transmissible by blood, so I figure it can be passed down through natural means.

      But your way is cooler.

  10. carma_bee says:

    I don't have much to say about this episode, I just love David's Scottish accent and the Doctor's brainy specs and his more casual clothes.

    <img src="http://i54.tinypic.com/ifvfgg.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    • qwopisinthemailbox says:

      oh geez, how could i forget the Brainy Specs? fetish fuel abound, this episode….

    • FlameRaven says:

      Possibly my favorite Ten quirk- that he needs reading glasses. XD

      • Gembird says:

        Do you mean Ten or David Tennant? It's just that David really does need reading glasses but Ten wears them to look clever.

        I hope I don't come across as a smartarse if that's what you meant πŸ™‚

        • FlameRaven says:

          Ten. I wouldn't usually abbreviate Tennant's name, but now that we're into multiple doctors it's easier to refer to them by number.

        • _thirty2flavors says:

          LOL Ten and his vanity glasses. I'm pretty sure if you pay attention he can't seem to decide if he's near- or far-sighted, because he'll put them on but then take them off to look at something up close anyway.

    • Openattheclose says:

      YES!

  11. _thirty2flavors says:

    It’s almost a plus to Doctor Who that most of the plots are wrapped in ways that leave me scratching my head. It’s like part of its charm.

    LOL I am glad you feel this way or the show would probably be unbearable.

    I like this episode although it's not my favourite — pretty much the only thing that keeps it going for me is that the Doctor and Rose are cute, and David Tennant gets to be Scottish briefly.

    This epiosde is one that a lot of people use to criticize the Doctor and Rose for being too… smug, or having too much fun, or something, but I disagree with that. They're a bit giggly in this episode, yes, but in the Confidentials I think it is they basically describe this episode as being the Doctor and Rose's first real "date" after the regeneration, so I think their giggliness makes sense. Plus, they see some pretty miserable things in their travels and are constantly called upon to save the world, and that would be a pretty miserable life if you couldn't find some joy in the adrenaline rushes/etc.

    Anyway here is a gif:

    <img src=http://i.imgur.com/JDzwJ.gif>

    • Karen says:

      ILU FOR BREAKING OUT THE ARETHA HAT GIF.

    • Megan says:

      Rose does a Xander in this episode. I am fine with that, it is necessary when all you deal with is death and destruction.

      • _thirty2flavors says:

        I am not versed in Buffy so I am not entirely sure what doing a Xander entails, but based on context I think I agree with the sentiment.

        Plus, even if you don't like it, Queen Vic calls them out, so it's not like it goes unaddressed by the narrative.

        • mkjcaylor says:

          Xander makes jokes. He makes jokes in the middle of everything, all the time. Vampires, beasties, world gonna end (again) he's going to be making jokes. Giles (sort of the father-figure and officially the 'Watcher') calls him out on it on more than one occasion because sometimes it is rude or wrong or not respectful and that's because it's the way that Xander copes with the situation. After a while, some people can't deal with the funny, but Xander just keeps on going.

    • EofS says:

      I don't travel through time or save the world or anything, but my job does mean I'm constantly surrounded by death and destruction and misery. You make the most inappropriate jokes ever, ones you would never make in front of your friends or family, because it's just a way to cope. It stops the surrounding strife infringing on your own happiness.

      • _thirty2flavors says:

        I legitimately can't remember if I replied to this earlier and IntenseDebate ate it, or if I never replied at all, lol, but I will say that yeah, that's exactly what I mean.

      • arctic_hare says:

        What bothers me about it, though, is that they're laughing and joking in front of the people who are dying/losing loved ones and friends. That's more than a little insensitive, IMO. My mother is a hospice nurse and deals with dying people all day, and she would never, ever make inappropriate jokes in front of the patient's families. I don't see why Ten and Rose shouldn't be held to a similar standard of behavior.

        • _thirty2flavors says:

          I haven't rewatched this in a while, but isn't the most of their goofing off before shit got real? Most of the teasing and stuff is before the dinner and the werewolf appearance, isn't it? And then after that I can recall two instances where people might be offended, the "werewolf!" hug and the laughing when Queen Victoria says "I am not amused". Queen Victoria admonishes them for the "werewolf!" hug, but that to me sounds more like relieved "hey we're both still alive" laughter, and the laughter over the bet, well, if you don't like the bet you're not going to like that scene, but I guess I don't see that moment as super insensitive. It's possible I'm not remembering other joking/laughing during the "shit got real" half of the episode, but I think most of it is in the beginning.

    • Hotaru-hime says:

      OMG, THE HAT.

  12. Mitch says:

    Mistletoe was used as a werewolf repellent in the first few centuries C.E., apparently! I was confused by that too, but it's apparently based in reality (or at least real legends).

    Having read some other Doctor Who recappers who try to shoehorn overarching themes into every episode whether it's there or not, you have no idea how much I appreciate you not doing that. Its significance is entirely within-'verse, and that's awesome! I always love world-building, even when it's this world.

    Also, this series needed more of Tennant doing his real accent. Just sayin'.

    • Yay folklore nerds!

      If mistletoe wasn't about Rowan and Holly worked well. You could also use rose stems to repel vampires (back when they were terrifying revenants, or "masticating dead" as the monks put it).

  13. Karen says:

    This comment has be brought to you by the fact that I'm at LAX, waiting at my gate with over two hours until our departure time. So I was bored and go suckered into paying for wifi. lol.

    I'm really glad that you enjoyed this episode. It's not one of my favorites since I tend to favor the episodes that feature a lot more character development than this episode does, but it is enjoyable enough.

    I'm especially glad that you found the "we are not amused" thing funny. A lot of people look at that and say how ~callous~ the Doctor and Rose are. Some people complain that the Doctor and Rose are having too much fun in this episode. But I disagree. The fact of the matter is, this isn’t really an out of the ordinary day for them. I mean, this isn’t a lark, but a werewolf? Not exactly a legion of Daleks. So I find the betting and joking to be funny and I think it makes the episode more bearable in spite of the (in my opinion) slightly laborious plot.

    Also, I love that the episode is framed by Rose and the Doctor going to a musical festival in the 1970s. I love that they’re just traveling around enjoying themselves and space and time. Their passion for travel and seeing new things is so adorable to me. I LOVE that moment when Rose is like "omg. werewolf!?", all excited about seeing that new creature.

    “Tooth and Claw” also gives us a bit more of Ten being “rude and not ginger”. And I like how Rose is like the affectionate girlfriend who has to remind him how to behave in polite society, but she does it with a sense of bemusement.

    The Doctor: [about the telescope] It's a bit rubbish. How many prisms has it got? Way too many… the magnification's gone right over the top, that's a stupid kind of –
    [aside to ROSE]
    The Doctor: – am I being rude again?
    Rose Tyler: Yup.
    The Doctor: But it's pretty! Very… pretty!

    Sir Robert: Nevertheless, that creature won't give up, Doctor, and we still don't possess an actual weapon!
    The Doctor: Oh, your dad got all the brains, didn't he?
    Rose Tyler: Being rude again!
    The Doctor: Good, I meant that one. You want weapons? We're in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world! This room's the greatest arsenal we could have – arm yourselves!

    A quick note on Rose: I like that we’re starting to see her grow into a leadership role. When she’s chained up in the basement with the werewolf, away from the Doctor, she doesn’t freak out and panic. Nope. She rallies the other people down there to try and get free. Contrast that to the way she fumbled around when faced with the Sycorax. Our baby girl is growing up!

    Oh and LOL at David Tennant's facial expressions:
    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v17/GuyCrazy1017/Doctor%20Who%20screencaps/2x02doctorpullingsillyface.gif"&gt;
    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v17/GuyCrazy1017/Doctor%20Who%20screencaps/2x02doctoreyerub.gif"&gt;

    Also, glasses!
    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v17/GuyCrazy1017/Doctor%20Who%20screencaps/2x02puttingonspecs.gif"&gt;

    Some ninja monks for your pleasure:
    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v17/GuyCrazy1017/Doctor%20Who%20screencaps/2x02ninjamonks.jpg"&gt;

    • monkeybutter says:

      Those gifs are totally worth having to buy wifi. I also liked Rose and the Doctor's carefree, sometimes insolent attitude. It would seem out of character and pretty boring if they confined themselves to Victorian standards. Hell, they wouldn't have been able to talk to the queen. Boring.

      • MowerOfLorn says:

        Yeah, I agree so much. I mean, Rose and the Doctor have seen and done a lot of scary and brilliant things, and don't conform to Victorian standards. If fact, that might be why they appear so giggly in this episode; maybe its just at odds with the atmosphere.

        Okay, they were definitely giggly! But it was cute,and it properly showed off Ten.

      • sabra_n says:

        I don't care if Rose wears shorts around Queen Victoria or if she and the Doctor don't "confine themselves to Victorian standards". I mean, I like Nine, and that guy was rude – remember his gleeful teasing of Dickens? It'd just be nice if they took the fear and deadly danger that everyone else was experiencing as something more than a giggly lark made exclusively for their entertainment.

        • monkeybutter says:

          Good point. I think Rose is mostly in it for the fun anyway, but they should treat people better even if they're just passing through time. However, if it weren't for their irreverence, I would have totally zoned out during this episode.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Seriously, how amazing is David Tennant's face?

    • arctic_hare says:

      It may not be out of the ordinary for them, but it sure is for the people around them, especially the ones who are dying horribly. A bit more respect out of them would've been nice; I was glad Victoria banished them, they deserved it for their awful behavior.

    • fantasylover12001 says:

      I adore Tennant ninety percent because of all his wonderful facial expressions. So much variety and wonderful moments to choose from, as evidenced by these GIFs. I don't know about everyone else, but I cracked up at the monk!ninjas even though I probably wasn't supposed too.

    • bookling says:

      I love that line about books being the best weapons. FUCK YEAH BOOKS.

  14. Fusionman says:

    Welcome everyone to Fusion’s Random Facts! Let’s learn about the Tooth and Claw.

    A. This episode had a guest special effects artist. They knew that animal hair is hard to do in CGI so they hired a guy who can do CGI animal hair.
    B. The telescope may be a reference to The Wolf Man.
    C. Mistletoe is not indigenous to Scotland so the importance of mistletoe is supposed to show that Sir Robert’s father imported it to fight the wolf.
    D. The Doctor’s opinion of 1979 has changed. In City of Death he said it was a boring year but 10 finds it exciting.
    E. The actress who played Victoria was in a 2nd Doctor story and was almost a companion.
    F. The actor who played the Host went to drama school with Tennant.
    G. This was given a Fear Factor of 5 for terrifying.
    H. In one read-through the actors were gone so Tennant’s mom and dad did the reading. Tennant said this. “Because it’s set in Scotland they were delighted to be asked to read in. My Mum played Lady Isobel and my Dad played Captain Reynolds and they were in seventh heaven. And they were genuinely cheesed off when they didn’t get asked to play the parts for real! I was like ‘chill-out Mum and Dad, back in your box!'”
    I. RTD planned to set this at the home town of whoever would be 10. If Bill Nighy had played the Tenth Doctor it would have been set in the sewers of Caterham, Surrey, England. Had David Walliams played the role it would have still been set in the sewers of Surrey but a different part. Had the unknown (and unnamed by the BBC) actor who spoke in a cockney accent played the role it would have been set in the sewers of East London.

    Dear God this is getting encyclopedic! Did I miss anything though?

    • who cares says:

      The Doctor introduces himself as Dr James McCrimmon of the township of Balamory.

      Jamie McCrimmon was a Scottish Highlander who was a companion of the second Doctor in all his stories except the very first one.

      Balamory is a British kids tv show or something.

    • who cares says:

      Damn knew I'd forgotten something rumour has it the Queen really liked this episode.

      • agrinningfool says:

        Her Majesty watches Doctor Who?
        Queen Elizabeth II just got MAJOR props in my book (She had a ton before, but still…)

        • fusionman says:

          She also plays the Wii.

          • agrinningfool says:

            Her Majesty is officially awesome. An Outdated and Antiquated Relic, my American Butt. πŸ˜€ Long Live the Queen.

        • jennywildcat says:

          Oh yes. Back in the 80s, the guy who was the head of drama at the BBC was notorious for his disdain of "Doctor Who" and he was the one who ultimately cancelled the show in 1989. Up until that point, Queen Elizabeth had knighted all the BBC's previous heads of drama, but this particular individual was never knighted – it was never explicitly stated why, but we all can have a guess.

    • Karen says:

      David Tennant's parents are adorable. (Although I think his mom sadly passed away a couple of years ago, if memory serves.) In one of the Confidentials (or maybe it's David's video diaries for the DVD), his mom shows off a gift that a friend gave her. It's a framed cross stitch of David's face. LOL.

      • Megan says:

        It's the diaries for S2. I got sad when he quit doing diaries and S4 has very few.

        • _thirty2flavors says:

          I think he stopped doing them because his mother had just died though D:

          • mkjcaylor says:

            Is that why? Sad. πŸ™ His official excuse is that he didn't have anything more to say. But that is sad.

            • _thirty2flavors says:

              Oh I dunno I'm just parroting what I've heard elsewhere, but I know she died while they were filming VOTD, so it makes sense.

    • Matthew says:

      Sorry for being Mr Nitpicky about this:

      "I. RTD planned to set this at the home town of whoever would be 10. If Bill Nighy had played the Tenth Doctor it would have been set in the sewers of Caterham, Surrey, England. Had David Walliams played the role it would have still been set in the sewers of Surrey but a different part. Had the unknown (and unnamed by the BBC) actor who spoke in a cockney accent played the role it would have been set in the sewers of East London. "

      This can't possibly be true. The script was written after Tennant had been cast, as a last minute fill in, when episode six was moved to become the Christmas special.

      Even the original commission, which was dropped because the writer didn't follow the brief, didn't specify a location.

      And anyway, David Tennant isn't from the Highlands, he's from Paisley.

      I'm not convinced that anyone other than Tennant was considered for the role, either.

      Still, brilliant work on everything else!

      • fusionman says:

        No. RTD and the others have said that Bill Nighy AKA Scrimgeour in Harry Potter was considered for the Doctor. There also was going to be that unnamed cockney actor. The Cockney moved to Australia though so we got David. Sorry to nitpick your nitpick.

        • nyssaoftraken74 says:

          Are you sure about this? I thought Bill Nighy was considered for the Ninth Doctor. Certainly, a few newspapers reported that at the time. As I understand it, the Tenth Doctor was only ever offered to David.

          It's certainly true that Tooth and Claw was written as a late replacement – I just checked in the Doctor Who Magazine Series Two Companion, which says, "Early in 2005, the storyline was a commission from a new writer who developed a solid two-page Queen Victoria treatment (about the Queen getting an alien insect in her eye at Buckingham Palace), but ommitted both werewolf and warrior monks. Davies thus took on the commission himself, with the formal allocation make on Wednesday 15 June [2005].`

          This is 2 months after David was officially confrimed as the Doctor. It's difficult to see how RTD could have given someone else a script commission with such a wide variety of possible locations.

          • fusionman says:

            Nope Bill Nighy might have been 10. We were very close to not getting David at all. The unnamed Cockney was decided as the 10th Doctor. He moved to Australia with his family before it could be official though. I can't explain the possible locations thing however. I'm just going with what the TARDIS wiki says.

      • harriet says:

        Never apologise for being nitpicky. Especially not when it comes to Scotland having its own geography!

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      >C. Mistletoe is not indigenous to Scotland so the importance of mistletoe is supposed to show that Sir Robert's father imported it to fight the wolf.

      Either that, or he was planning on kissing a LOT of people, the saucy devil! πŸ˜‰

      Good list, as always, and following on from my comment on New Earth, the Tardisode for this episode went something like this:

      An object from space crashes into the Earth with a large explosion. Three hundred years later, an elderly man walks through a grassland. Suddenly, something in the grass starts chasing him. The man quickens his speed, and turns round just in time to see a werewolf jump at him…

      And this, dear readers, is a great example of why they didn't catch on: They were pointless. πŸ™‚

  15. Kaci says:

    Re: ninja!monks. I confess I've only seen this season once-through and it was years ago. While I love Ten, Rose is my least favorite thing on this entire show, so I really don't like going back and re-watching her episodes. As a result, I'd forgotten most of this episode. So when I hit play and there were monks and then they were ninjas, I kept hitting the "info" button on my TiVo to make absolutely sure that I was, indeed, watching Doctor Who. I kept being so sure that Netflix was playing the wrong thing. And then all the sudden the opening music came on and I was like, "NO, REALLY? THIS IS ACTUALLY DOCTOR WHO? THIS SHOW HAS NINJA!MONKS?" You'd think I'd have remembered something like that. This is why you're awesome, Mark. You get me to re-watch something I'd pretty much put behind me and gain a new appreciation for it. &hearts;

    P.S. Can I take it from the exchange on Twitter earlier today that you'll be at LeakyCon in July? If yes, will there be a Mark Reads/Watches meet up outside of your potential programming slot? Either way, I'm very excited that you'll be there and I hope I can attend your program!

    • NB2000 says:

      This was almost exactly my experience watching this episode for the first time. I think I had to skip ahead slightly just to be sure it was actually Doctor Who and then go back to the start.

    • nanceoir says:

      Not just ninja monks, though; Scottish ninja monks. I mean, come on!

  16. qwopisinthemailbox says:

    Yaaaayyyy! You got to hear David's incredibly lovely natural accent! i do love me a Scottish man <3 Rose made me laugh pretty hard with her fail at a Scottish accent, though i might not be able to do much better….and David got close-ups of licking things, which is always a plus~

  17. Matthew says:

    They ran out of budget on a story in this series and the Mill did them some CGI as a training exercise for their younger staff.

    I'll try and remember to post about it when the episode comes along.

    • Stephen_M says:

      Ta for that, I know a fair bit about the behind the scenes stuff from… oh, around the mid-point of Series 3 onwards thanks to the writers tale book but info is a little harder to come by on the earlier series without (I assume) getting the DVD's + commentaries which I… just can't quite bring myself to do!

      • Matthew says:

        This site summarises the production information from the various Doctor Who Magazine specials:
        http://www.shannonsullivan.com/drwho/tv.html

        Also, I got a lot of information from the online commentaries, especially the ones with RTD on them. They're still available on the BBC site. For example, here's the "Tooth and Claw" one:
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/s4/episodes/S2_02

        (link on the right, under "sounds")

        The commentaries on the DVD are different, but I haven't listened to any of them.

        • Stephen_M says:

          You are a star! I thought they'd pulled all those down permanently! Right, must go on a download binge tomorrow when using the Mac. Although you HAD to give me the link to the web site when I'm in the middle of the Babylon 5 episode guide… me poor brain's going to explode at this rate!

        • Megan says:

          OH, 'Not Available in Your Area' I hate you.

          • Matthew says:

            Oh, sorry. I thought it might be OK because it's audio – it's the flash player that does it. There doesn't seem to be an mp3 download link either (there is for the other sounds).

            I'll see if I can work it out.

            • Matthew says:

              I gave it a go, but it looks like the .mp3 files are off somewhere where only the BBC iPlayer can get at them.

              They used to be available for download, but sadly no more. So: the commentaries are only available in the UK.

            • Matthew says:

              I did reply to this, but it got swallowed.

              I had a look at the code on the site and played around a bit. There is an mp3 file which the flash player accesses, but it's somewhere where you can't download it directly. So it looks like the commentaries are now UK only. Sorry.

  18. azurefalls says:

    On the mistletoe-to-repel-werewolves thing – that isn't in the myth per se. It was actually explained in the episode, the monks had kind of 'trained' the wolf to be afraid of it, probably using simple psychological conditioning techniques. Like how you could train a cat to be afraid of… idk, grass or something, by spraying it with water whenever it went near it. (Though that's a pretty crap example :P)
    LOVE this episode, great writing and DT is awesome in it. πŸ™‚ As he is in every episode of everything, EVER.

  19. Tallie says:

    I'm not getting why the diamond is a plot hole? I haven't seen this episode in a while (and it's one of my least favourites), but I thought it was explained? That Prince Albert had visited the house, and spoken with the dude that made the telescope, and then from that, kept "editing" the diamond until it was perfect… Perfect to refract the moonlight down the telescope-that-wasn't-really-a-telescope to kill a werewolf? I could be completely wrong, like I said, I haven't watched it in forever and I quite often skip over it if I'm re-watching the series.

    • Hanah says:

      It's not so much the diamond itself, more the fact that the Doctor slides along the floor and essentially just chucks it across the floor and somehow it *perfectly* lands in the moonbeam at *just* the right angle to get the perfect refraction into the werewolf. It's more credulity-stretching than plot-hole really.

      • Tallie says:

        HA, OHHH, thanks. I guess this is why actually rewatching the episode at the same time as Mark is sensible =P Had forgotten entirely that that was how the scene played out. XX

        • exbestfriend says:

          I rewatched this episode last weekend, so I could play along with what has/not happened, and that was what blew my mind. Not that the diamond is a prism cut to work with a moon laser, but when Ten slides the diamond across the floor it stops perfectly with no need to adjust.

      • I…just put it down to the Doctor being incredibly dexterous. And lucky. Yes.

      • Megan says:

        Yea, I would not have called that a plot hole.

        I don't get why they didn't do the old trope of putting the diamond in a special slot in the telescope/smelloscope/moonrefracty-thingie. I actually thought that's what happened at first, and it took me a few watchings to get that it was just lying on the floor.

      • Matthew says:

        But the Doctor has a brain that works out exactly where he should be putting the diamond for it to have the desired effect.

        Actually you don't even need to fanwank it that much: the're a beam of light shining exactly where he needs to put it.

        If anything, it's a problem with the way that bit is directed, rather than the way it's written.

        The thing that confused me for ages was the idea that Albert and Robert's father would cook up a trap that involved Victoria being in the middle and having no clue what was going on. Then I realised that they probably expected one or both of them to be alive and still there with her when the Werewolf attacked.

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      I think Mark is more pointing out the fact that when the Doctor throws it, it stops dead on just the right spot on the floor.

      Mind you, Mark hasn't seen what Five could do with a cricket ball! πŸ™‚

      Still, I have to admit, as gigantic plot holes go, this episode had a great big howler right in the middle of it!

      (I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.)

  20. Albion says:

    The monks in the beginning were similar to a BBC indent at the time. I can't find it on Youtube…Anyone remember it?

  21. Tauriel says:

    I quite like this episode (hearing David's native Scottish accent was a joy), but Rose's lame attempts at getting Queen Victoria say "We are not amused" made me cringe every time… πŸ™ Not the best DW episode, but watchable and enjoyable.

  22. Tallie says:

    Aretha*

  23. who cares says:

    Ninja-Monks can I just say BIG LIPPED ALLIGATOR MOMENT.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJRBPlnBg24

  24. Karen says:

    THE NINJA MONKS ARE HILARIOUS AND AWESOME. HDU. HOW VERY DARE YOU.

  25. who cares says:

    Obligatory picture of James "Jamie" McCrimmon and the Second Doctor (aka Frizer Hines and Patrick Troughton) since the Doctor referenced him in this episode.

    <img src="http://oi53.tinypic.com/2enrbj4.jpg&gt;

  26. arctic_hare says:

    Eurgh, not a fan of this one either, for multiple reasons.

    1. Not really a fan of werewolf stuff either (aside from our beloved Lupin, that is!), and the diamond rolling to JUST EXACTLY THE PERFECT SPOT was indeed stupid. (As someone who was heavily into studying gems and minerals as a kid, though, I DID geek out a bit over the Koh-i-noor's inclusion.)

    2. I didn't find Queen Victoria a particularly fun historical figure to hang out with for an episode.

    3. The Torchwood reveal was done with about as much subtlety and finesse as an ACME anvil falling onto Wile E. Coyote.

    4. Ten and especially Rose were insufferable. I didn't find the "we are not amused" running joke to be funny at all, it grated on my every. last. nerve. And I'm just NOT a fan, as I mentioned yesterday, of the shippy stuff. It's not that I hate love stories, I just happen to not like this one. To each their own and all that.

    On the plus side, I did like seeing the Koh-i-Noor as I mentioned before, and hearing Tennant's natural accent. RTD really should've let him use it all the time, it's more fun to listen to. But then, I just love Scottish accents, period.

    • fusionman says:

      To prove my encyclopedic knowledge again I can say why they didn't. Tennant WAS going to speak in his natural accent. They decided though that the show shouldn't be "A tour of England accent wise".

      • arctic_hare says:

        Oh I know, I just wish they hadn't decided that. XD

      • sabra_n says:

        RTD called it a "tour of the regions". And it ranks up with his talk of the Planet Zod on the list of stupidest RTD rationalizations, which is really saying something. πŸ˜› Whatever happened to the guy who was all proud of having a Doctor who with a Manc accent because it was different and new? Oh, well.

    • Re: Queen Victoria

      Don't think I've ever seen her be fun really though or at least, especially at this period of her life, so mostly I think she's there because the time period was cool and she's pretty recognisable for most people watching. I kind of want to see or read something where Queen Victoria has a crime fighting alter ego now though.

      Re: Ten and Rose.

      Hell yes. First time, it was a little funny. Every time after that? It was a bit "Rose, have you been at the gin? Is that why you think this is amusing to pursue?" Although bizarrely, looking back at it now the whole annoying schtick feels kind of in-character for them.

      • arctic_hare says:

        Probably, yeah.

        And it does, doesn't it?

      • arctic_hare says:

        Probably, yeah.

        And it does, doesn't it?

        (Where'd my reply go? I wonder if the weirdness hitting Mark Reads this morning is happening over here too…)

        • Matthew says:

          It's there now. My replies have apparently disappeared before, but then shown up.

          Best to wait a bit, refresh and check to see if they appear. Otherwise you end up with a double post.

    • Starsea28 says:

      Ha, just posted something similar below, I also found the running joke infuriating, not to mention Ten and Rose's general attitude.

  27. rys says:

    I really like this episode, and I think a large part of that is because you can see how much fun Billie Piper and David Tennant (and the Doctor and Rose) are having. Their chemistry is wonderful, they're having a ball and in some ways it feels like that is the real plot/story of this episode.

  28. Radagast says:

    Yes! We're into a good run here; I've always had a soft spot for T&C (the Torchwood origin especially) and this has provided excellent memories.

  29. Megan says:

    I do like this episode, though it is not my favorite of the series. To me, it is still better than much of S1.

    Regarding the Rose 'I am not amused' joke:
    I find Rose's humor in this to be slightly jarring, and she seems to see herself as above the situation and the people there and doesn't really respect them. But I think that changes, later, when she actually gets involved. Still, I find it very much like Xander does– sometimes Giles would have to yell at him and tell him that the situation was serious and making jokes was not appropriate. But, he did it because it was his way of coping with just how serious everything was. I see that here, too.

    The werewolf:
    I LOVED this werewolf. This is how werewolves are supposed to look. I am glad to hear in a previous comment that these people regretted how the werewolf looked in Harry Potter, because I found it completely screwed up what was otherwise my favorite book/movie. When someone tells me 'werewolf', this is what I picture. If you're going to create some sort of monstery-thing, don't call it a werewolf! But I also think that the werewolf is one of the reasons I like this episode so much. It has so much animal in it that I am just enamored with it whenever it's on screen. So pretty!

    The plot:
    This plot is still pretty cohesive, despite the last 5 minutes. I actually thought you were going to mention the 'Queen Victoria's family are werewolves' part, which I would consider more a plot hole than the diamond thing. I get that the diamond should have probably been part of the workings of the telescope instead of just something on the ground, but I don't think it's a plot hole. But, hemophilia: lots more people than the royal family had hemophilia. It's not as though they had a unique disease. And while it's interesting if Queen Victoria's dad did not have hemophilia, his mom could have had one copy of the gene (I think it's X-linked). Honestly, I highly doubt her dad was her dad if he did not have hemophilia also.

    I love David's real accent, though it makes me wonder if he was comfortable doing that. I feel like the accent is the character, and when he's in his Scottish accent he is David. Now that I've seen so much of him speaking with the Scottish accent, to me it feels like he's playing David as the Doctor and it just is a little weird. But neat! The first time I saw this I didn't know and it didn't stick out at all.

    I wonder if the "No, no, don't do that." was also a reference to Cassandra attempting to (badly) play Rose? It might be a bit creepy to him that she's sort of 'doing it again' despite the fact that Cassandra is gone. Or not. It's a funny joke.

    And yes, the monk wire-fighting scene seems very out of place. But it's 'cool' so it's one of those things that children like. I do know I have noticed a lot of 'cool' things that are added for the benefit of children that sort of detract from the episode. This is one of them. Ridiculous explosions are another.

  30. buyn says:

    The royal family of england are werewolves… BUMBUMBUM. Also, this episode came in at 5 for scariness.

    Best part of the episode?
    <img src=http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y38/Buyn/docklink.gif>

  31. Megan says:

    Did anyone else note the fact that the Doctor says something like, "Well, they're bald and handsome, and his wife was away, so I thought he was just having a bit of fun," when asked why he didn't question the servants being monks.

    • Hypatia_ says:

      I LOVED that bit. And how it apparently went whooshing over the heads of everyone present.

      • mkjcaylor says:

        This is my third watch and the first time I caught that line, actually. I reached out to pause the DVD for something it was RIGHT after he said that. My brain did a 'double listen' and I just went "Wait, what?" and laughed a lot.

        And this is Megan only in new real account form.

    • _thirty2flavors says:

      LOL YES. Ilu, RTD.

    • MowerOfLorn says:

      Oh, yes. The Doctor and his infinite wisdom. XD

  32. kytten says:

    The werewold scared me a little but I normally find this episode forgettable. Nothing stands out to me about the plot and while some of the acting is good none of it is stellar.

  33. nextboy says:

    In general this series doesn't do much for me (with a few exceptions) This is quite fun though. And Scottish Tennant is great, but confusing. I remember watching this for the first time last year and having to think back to what his accent was in the last two episodes and figure out what it was supposed to be (Anyone else think David Tennant bases his Doctor on Richard Hammond? The accent and mannerisms are often uncanny)

  34. Karen says:

    Also, sorry RTD. I am not convinced that the royal family has werewolf in them. I think that if that were true, Charles and William would have more hair on their heads.

  35. Hotaru-hime says:

    I actually didn't like this episode. The monks just pissed me off.
    It gets a "meh" vote from me, but it's not as hated (by me) as another episode in the new series…

    • FlameRaven says:

      #10 perhaps? If so I agree with you- that is my least favorite episode of all.

      • Hotaru-hime says:

        Yeah. Ugh. Gonna skip that one with rewatches.

      • mkjcaylor says:

        Haha, wow. That is my one of my favorite episodes out of the entirety of Doctor Who. It is so well written and constructed as a story, and … well, there are so many good things I can say about it. I can't wait to see what Mark thinks– but I know that it was at episode #10 that I realized that this show was something way above. Wayway above.

        It shall be discussed why you do not like it when we reach it, I think. Also prepare for a big long essay from me about how much I do. πŸ™‚

  36. Minish says:

    I don't really think this episode is particularly great or horrible. I just think it's "so Doctor Who."

  37. empath_eia says:

    The moment in this episode where they pause in the middle of running for their lives to squee about werewolves and hug is one of my favourites in the entire series. I rewatch this episode a lot.

    I usually skip over or stop before the part where the refracted light somehow has enough physical force to lift the werewolf off the ground and pin him to the wall with its sheer lightyness, because my dad is an astrophysicist and while light does technically have force (see: solar wind) it certainly doesn't work like that. >_>

  38. sdempster1016 says:

    All I have to say is that if Scottish Ninja Monks is not the name of a band by tomorrow, I will be very disappointed.

  39. who cares says:

    So no new reviews until Monday then? Good gives me plenty time to make some gifs and stuff. You are not prepared.

  40. Hypatia_ says:

    Not a fan of the ninja monks. It's so out of nowhere. The beating people up with staffs I will buy. But why in hell are they wearing uniforms that make them look like Shaolin monks? In 19th century Scotland? What.

    The Doctor says Queen Victoria had hemophilia. She didn't, it's not possible for a woman to actually suffer from hemophilia. She was a carrier of the gene that causes it. That part annoys me. But the bit at the end where they decide the Royal Family are werewolves is hilarious.

    Love the Doctor going on about books being the best weapons. It's like porn for geeky librarians! Hey, we get our kicks where we can find them DON'T JUDGE.

    David Tennant's natural accent (or close enough)…this is SO GREAT WHY IS THE DOCTOR NOT SCOTTISH ALWAYS?? Also, stealth-quoting Robbie Burns FTW!

    I'm glad the Doctor and Rose got called out for being really pretty callous during the whole thing. Seriously, a whole bunch of people just died, and you're acting like it was a good time? It may be Tuesday for you two, but it's a big deal for everyone else. Not cool. Though I do love how absolutely delighted the Doctor is upon seeing the werewolf. The look on his face screams "I'm probably about to die! But this is AWESOME!" Which…is pretty much how the Doctor reacts to the majority of threats, really.

    • who cares says:

      "Love the Doctor going on about books being the best weapons. It's like porn for geeky librarians! Hey, we get our kicks where we can find them DON'T JUDGE. "

      Speaking of which

      <img src="http://oi54.tinypic.com/11l6815.jpg"&gt;

    • Penquin47 says:

      It is possible for a woman to suffer hemophilia, it's just not likely. Barring mutation, her father would have to be hemophiliac and her mother would have to be a carrier, and even then she'd have a 50-50 chance of being a carrier instead of afflicted.

      • Hypatia_ says:

        I didn't know that, interesting!

        The fact remains, though, that Victoria was a carrier, not a hemophiliac. The Doctor should know that! ::is overthinking this::

    • Hotaru-hime says:

      You know, while she wouldn't have full-blown hemophilia, she probably could have exhibited a tendency to bleed more proficiently, although certainly not to the extent of a man who inherited the gene.
      The fact that the monks were wearing bright orange, looking like Shaolin monks really pissed me off. I just didn't understand why that was.

    • Maya says:

      It is actually possible for a woman to have hemophilia in rare cases. There is also something called Von Willebrand disease, which mimics hemophilia as thos with it lack a clotting factor.

      What bothered me more about that is that she got bitten by the werewolf AFTER she had children. She would have had to bite all of them to pass it on.

      • Hanah says:

        They did mention that though, something like saying 'perhaps she gave them a quick bite' (or scratch, one of the two). It's quite easy to miss in-amongst the general insulting of the Royal Family though.

  41. nextboy1 says:

    I have an account! testing…

  42. Emmyloveswho says:

    Hee I love this episode.

    Also, have we discussed Bille's singing career yet? I feel we should

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  43. PeterRabid says:

    I squee'd when the Doctor called himself Dr. James McCrimmon. Jamie's one of my favorite old school companions.

    Pauline Collins is described by some fans as "the companion that never was." Her character in "The Faceless Ones," Sam Briggs, was being groomed as a companion, but she never actually made it onto Team TARDIS. Before Arthur Cox had an extremely brief cameo in Series 5, Pauline Collins held the record for the most time in between appearances on Doctor Who (39 years).

    As for the episode itself, one of my favorites from Series 2. The monks were kind of ludicrous, but I love werewolf stories, and throwing in Queen Victoria was a wonderful idea. I lol'd at Sir Doctor of TARDIS and Dame Rose of the Powell Estate. The moment when the Doctor just stares in awe at the werewolf, calling it beautiful while everyone else runs away in sheer panic was one of the contributing factors to my growing love of Ten.

  44. who_cares86 says:

    Random David Tennant in drag video to stave off the selfharm.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4dUQgIaXGg

  45. peacockdawson says:

    This is just such a cute Rose and Ten episode, which I think is a lot of what this season is about. Rose and the Doctor, beain' cute. They were just so carefree and excited. When they geeked out about the werewolf?? Hilarious and adorable.

    Heeheehee! Here's a very funny blog about it. XD http://www.flickfilosopher.com/blog/2007/10/docto

  46. celestineangel says:

    No more Intensedebate? But hey, without Intensedebate, I get my non-qualified-by-a-number-1 name back! Whee!

    NINJA MONKS… in… England….

    I’ve only seen this episode once, so I can’t really comment, except I remembered the ninja monks and being very WTF about it.

    • celestineangel1 says:

      Why is there now Intensedebate? What was going on before when it was just a normal comment form? I AM SO CONFUSED.

    • Matthew says:

      "NINJA MONKS… in… England…."

      Scotland, actually, and no Scot would thank you for not knowing the difference.

      Briefly:

      In the beginning there were four countries: England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

      The English conquered the Welsh and made Wales a principality, which is why the son of the Monarch is the Prince of Wales.

      The English then conquered the Irish, leading to many problems.

      The English never conquered the Scots but the two countries formed a union in 1707, creating the Kingdom of Great Britain, effectively ruled by England. Ireland was also under its control, but effectively a colony, before 1800 when it became part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

      Irish independence led to partition into The Republic of Ireland (Eire) and Northern Ireland and so, today, we have the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland which consists of three countries and part of a fourth.

      Only the south eastern part is England.

      Technically everyone in the country is British, but they prefer to be known as Welsh, Scottish, English or Irish (although the sectarian thing in the North adds further complications).

      No nation has a tradition of warrior monks, though, it must be said…

      • ffyona says:

        I think I will direct people to this explanation in future. Well put.

      • kaybee42 says:

        Could I copy and paste this into a word doc to use in the future whenever I think someone might need it? What would you like me to credit you as?

        • Matthew says:

          Yes, do what you like. No credit is necessary.

          The further complication in Northern Ireland, by the way, is that Republicans/Nationalists/Catholics would normally call themselves Irish and Unionists/Loyalists/Protestants would normally call themselves British (even though the rest of the UK would call them Irish as well).

          I checked the details against Wikipedia, which seems pretty good (from my limited knowledge). This is a good article to start with:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_of_Gr

          From there you can follow the links to the articles about the different countries and the changing make up of the UK.

      • Amy says:

        You forgot Cornwall.

  47. peacockdawson says:

    WHAT THE HELL MICHIGAN IS WRONG WITH THE COMMENT SYSTEM???? AAAAARRRRHHHHG!!!!

    • who_cares86 says:

      I don't know but it's been acting up all evening. Either that or someone around here really hates me.

  48. Kkruger says:

    Every time! Every time you manage to pull out my favorite lines of the episodes. Timorous beastie πŸ˜€ Makes me laugh just reading it.

  49. Starsea28 says:

    True fact: Queen Victoria never said "We are not amused". In fact, she was a vivacious young woman, who was known for her sense of humour. Albert was the love of her life, and she was depressed for many years after his premature death, but she did recover somewhat and did still enjoy parties and parlour games. So I found Rose and the Doctor's bet REALLY irritating and Rose's whole attitude to the thing really irritating.

    I really like 3/4 of this episode. Rose butchering the Scottish accent is quite funny, as the Doctor effortlessly switches back and forth (I do wish that David Tennant had done Ten in his native accent, I found the Mockney slightly irritating). Although the kung fu monks are pretty random, there are many effective scenes. I love Rose working out that the werewolf is an alien; I love Ten donning his Ravenclaw glasses for the first time and claiming books as weapons; most of all, I love Pauline Collins as Queen Victoria. It's a sensitive, thoughtful performance that really fleshes out the woman underneath the crown. Even though she is forced to run through her life and confront monsters, you never feel that the writer is making her do something ridiculous or out of character.

    "The correct term is 'your Majesty'!" *BANG* Oh yeah.

    I actually love the scene where Queen Victoria knights the Doctor and Rose and then immediately banishes them not just for being weird and esoterical but ENJOYING themselves when innocent people (including a devoted husband) have died. Again, it keeps Victoria in character and I'm glad the production team had the courage to have a main historical character disapprove of our protagonists.

    Oh, but then we hit the last scene. THIS SCENE. It almost spoils the whole episode for me. I have to blank it out of my mind in order to enjoy the episode. Comparing haemophilia to lycanthropy is bad enough, but making a joke out of it? And it doesn't even MAKE SENSE. This episoe is clearly set during Victoria's widowhood – several references made to her late husband, her clothing, her attitude. She is not going to have another child! So please explain to me how she would pass this 'curse' on?! It's a cheap joke in bad taste and I found the Doctor and Rose's attitude really irritating. So I tend to stop the DVD just before this scene starts and go onto the next episode.

    • arctic_hare says:

      Oh yeah, I was glad when she banished them, they totally deserved it. Horrible behavior.

    • Enthusiastic says:

      I just posted a comment trying to clarify some of the points in your last paragraph; I wanted to let you know jic you are signed up to be alerted for replies. If what I said makes sense to you and you get more enjoyment out of the episode, that's brilliant! If not, maybe I just misunderstood.

      I love your point about the Queen's BAMF moment ("The correct term is 'your Majesty'!" *BANG*). Definitely oh yeah, hell yeah, all the yeahs!

    • pica_scribit says:

      The Doctor does say something about Victoria maybe giving her kids "a bit of a nip", implying that she bites them rather than passing on the "wolf gene" through childbirth. It doesn't make much sense, but I still have a soft spot for supernatural explanations for mundane things in historical fiction.

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  51. swimmingtrunks says:

    Okay, first thing's first: The Doctor speculates that the Empire of the Wolf would lead to the "Victorian age accelerated… starships and missiles fueled by coal and driven by steam." LOL steampunk earth run by werewolves! That is an AU worth exploring, I think!

    Ninja monks were just weird and out of place. I think they would have been far more intimidating had they not been imported from a kung-fu movie. I get maybe the connection to the "oriental" fetish of the era, but it was too middling to work. The thing that bothered me most about the diamond thing is that Queen Victoria says at one point that Albert died before it could be refined to the way he wanted it. Somehow, that seemed like a key bit of information, and I thought the doctor would have to do something to it in order for it to work properly. Nope. The rest of that situation was just Rule of Cool, or crumbly RTD end-tying depending on your view. Also, was the Lady screaming into the title sequence for the reveal of a puny but creepy cloaked dude sitting in a cage? If so, I think that was a bit of an overreaction.

    Other than those few things, this episode for me is about the same as the previous– a fun romp, and a memorable episode for the establishment of Torchwood and, you know, being about Werewolves and Queen Victoria.

    • kaybee42 says:

      "Queen Victoria says at one point that Albert died before it could be refined to the way he wanted it. Somehow, that seemed like a key bit of information, and I thought the doctor would have to do something to it in order for it to work properly"
      I would have thought Albert had said that as an excuse to keep going on the journey/to keep Victoria going on the journey…
      (Forgive me, I haven't seen this ep in a while and could be COMPLETELY WRONG!)
      Edit: Also YES about that woman screaming when it was clearly daylight and at any rate probably not 4 whole weeks before Victoria arrived so wouldn't have been a werewolf! What was she screaming for?!

  52. Enthusiastic says:

    I'm posting this (first time, we'll see if it works) because it seems like some people might be confused by the hemophilia/lycanthropy lines, which are rather quick, and some other points, and I feel like I understand this part of the episode. May get TLDR because I'm trying to be careful. Please correct me or disagree where warranted. πŸ˜€

    If I remember correctly, Queen Victoria mentions having 5 daughters in the scene where Rose and the Doctor meet her, so she already has children. She isn't going to be having any more, but I don't think that's a problem for transmitting the disease. Again if I remember correctly (I own this series, watched the ep recently but not today), they said the Queen used hemophilia as a cover story for "the disease," which they acknowledge is not hemophilia but do not call lycanthropy–when talking about the Queen's prognosis–because it will take generations (~200 years?) to evolve into full lycanthropy. I think what they say is that she will transmit the disease by biting her existing children, who will in turn have to bite their children for the disease to continue. This creates something of a plot hole for me, because what about choice? Would every generation choose to infect their children? If someone refuses, does somebody else attack the child? Idk.

    Hope this helps clarify some of it to somebody, as I've seen a couple comments that people skip sections of the episode now because of some of these reasons. (I posted as a separate comment because I didn't want to be posting long-ass replies everywhere, but sorry if it seems out of place. Anyway….)

    Mark, thank you for all the delight you bring to my days! Everybody else, thanks for hilarious comments!

    • rys says:

      Thanks for clarifying! I think you're right. And with regards to the biting, maybe the infecting part would encourage/drive the person to bite — so I guess in that way it might not be a choice.

  53. PJG says:

    Was this episode broadcast around the time of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and everyone was getting into the slow-mo high wire scenes? That being said… I was ok with the outlandishness of it as Queen Victoria did rule an Empire that never had the sun set on it. Bringing the exotic and foreign and oriental back to jolly old England was all the rage, was it not? If some of that made its way north over Hadrians wall into the Scottish Highlands, well….. why not? If cats can be nursing sisters without being incredulous, is it so hard to accept scottish shaolin fighting monks?

    re the genetics of hemophilia– a female child of a carrier has a 50/50 chance of also being a carrier as it is X chromosome linked. A male child of a carrier has a 50/50 chance of also being a "carrier," though, if a male is a carrier, they also express the disease. I don't know if the male also has Klinefelter's Syndrome (XXY chromosome) if that would protect the male from expressing the disease

    • Penquin47 says:

      If they have one normal X and one afflicted X, they're just carriers. If they have two afflicted X chromosomes, they have the disease. Just like a girl's chances.

  54. Was anyone else having flashes of Aang when the monks went all ninja? Bald, wearing orange, carrying staffs… And the werewolf was so much better than the PoA one, at least the close-ups. That is now my Lupin mental image, THANK YOU BBC! πŸ˜€

    The "not amused" running gag kind of annoyed me, though. I just wanted Rose to shut up about it. I did like she and the Doctor betting on if Rose could get her to say it, though.

    And Pauline Collins was pure awesome.

    I'm still not very warmed up to Ten (though the audiophile in me wants to tie his Scottish accent down and do DIRTY, DIRTY THINGS to it), but I am liking him more as time goes on, so at least there's improvement.

  55. Penquin47 says:

    I hated the whole "not amused" bit. Not because I objected to the Doctor and Rose maintaining their sense of humor, but because… I guess I just wasn't amused by it. Hated the British Shaolin monks, too, because I'm not a big fan of the martial arts genre, and I didn't think they were necessary for the werewolf story that I was really into.

    Other than that, this episode was brilliant. Werewolf and Queen Victoria and cute Ten/Rose. I actually liked the fact that they were cracking jokes despite what was going on because it just felt in-character. Rose has seen her planet's death. The Doctor has seen the death of his entire race. A few people dying? They care, of course, but WEREWOLF! (Of course, I spent part of my grandfather's funeral trying to control giggling because of a hilarious choice on the part of my relatives, so I'm not exactly the standard bearer for Victorian taste in behavior.)

    My problem with werewolf movies? I've ALWAYS pictured werewolves as, literally, turning into wolves. As in, there may be a few telltale signs like pupil shape or something about the fur on their tail, but at a quick glance they should be indistinguishable from a real wolf. No werewolf movie ever does that, no matter how explicit it is in the work it's drawn from (as in those two examples being drawn from Harry Potter as signs distinguishing a real wolf from a werewolf. You'd think even Peter could remember "they're about four times as big and shaped like men and have twice as many teeth," wouldn't you?).

    • SporkyRat says:

      I always thought of werewolves as being pretty well indistinguishable except maybe a bit more massive. They're always painted as such terrible things so being a bit bigger would be quite nice. Adds to that whole 'MONSTER!' PR they've got.

  56. pica_scribit says:

    I like this one. I recognise that there is some stuff about it that's completely ridiculous, but I love the historical episodes and I love Scotland and I love this show, so I'm willing to let a fair amount slide.

    I was just watching the ep for tomorrow, and my disc committed suicide halfway through. Took it in to the local DVD store for repair, and they managed to fix it. Yay! So glad, because I love every episode on this disc.

  57. Openattheclose says:

    A room full of weapons!

    <img src=http://www.kyrina.org/images/ToothandClaw/animations/TC_HeadtoWall-smaller.gif>
    <img src=http://www.kyrina.org/images/ToothandClaw/animations/TC_BooksareWeapons2-small.gif>

    <img src=http://www.kyrina.org/images/ToothandClaw/animations/TC_LongerLick-small.gif>

    <img src=http://www.kyrina.org/images/ToothandClaw/animations/TC_HeadPetting-small.gif>

  58. jennywildcat says:

    The few negatives in this episode ("Crouching Tiger" monks in Scotland?? IDEK…) are nicely balanced out by the positives (the "if I gambled it'd be an abuse as my privilege as a traveler through time" line and HOLY COW DAVID TENNANT'S SCOTTISH ACCENT YESSSSS!!!) – so this ranks as an okay episode in my book.

  59. sabra_n says:

    Oh, I was totally on fusty old Victoria's side when she banished the TARDIS pair. IIRC, they were altogether too gleeful about the coolness of the werewolf when people were getting killed. This episode and the previous one really start showing them as a clique-of-two, and instead of feeling like I'm on the inside of their circle (like I did with the Doctor and Rose last season) I feel like I'm Mickey, on the outside looking in and just thinking how repellent they look.

    I do wish they'd just let Tennant speak with his natural accent all the time, though. He's so much looser that way and he garbles his words so much less, even when speaking quickly. RTD said some stupid thing about not wanting to go from a Mancunian accent to a Scottish one because it would be a "tour of the regions", but I think it would have freed Tennant up to do better acting. While I got adjusted to his Doctor over time, too much of his portrayal was just shiny surface to me for a really long time. The first time I watched Tom Baker as Four, it occurred to me that this was the Doctorly quirkiness that Tennant worked so hard to convey with yelling and gesticulation…except Baker seemed to come by it naturally.

    *watches as the downvotes come*

    The actor who played Sir Robert did do an awfully good job, though. And the CGI on the werewolf shows just how far the Mill came compared to last season, so…good on them. Oh, and pretty soon there are going to be some episodes I'm at least 50% happy about, so I won't be whining forever. πŸ˜›

    • prideofportree says:

      "IIRC, they were altogether too gleeful about the coolness of the werewolf when people were getting killed."

      But' they've experience a bunch of things that are just much much worse, so if I were them I'd find it cool, and not alarming, too.

  60. Mel says:

    I don't think I'd consider the diamond throwing a ~plot-hole~ per se. More a "probability hole."

    …Lol of course she wasn't joking. She's Queen Victoria. And she is Not Amused that you thought she was.

  61. prideofportree says:

    Sir Robert's wife is the actress who plays Charlotte Lucas in Lost in Austen. She's greaaat.

    • _thirty2flavors says:

      I watched that recently and was counting Doctor Who actors and I totally missed her! lolll that brings it up to 5 by my count.

  62. Andrew says:

    "they team up with Queen Victoria to fight a werewolf"

    How can the episode possibly be better than that description?!?!

  63. Sarah T says:

    Sorry if it's already been added and I missed it, but this is quite fun (Mark SPOILER WARNING) – Who movie mash-ups courtesy of Empire. http://www.empireonline.com/features/movie-poster

  64. Sierra says:

    Ah, one of my favorites. Victoriana, David's accent *swoon*, classic horror with a Who twist. I too was a little confused by the now-they're-ninjas-now-they're-not monks, but I enjoyed the Brotherhood of the Wolf (heh) feel of the fight scene and always kind of expect Mark Dacascos to show up in a greatcoat.

  65. Ale says:

    What I genuinely love about this episode is the closeness and openness between Rose and 10. From the casual clothes of the Doctor to the running "I am not amused" joke between them, you can tell their relationship is so much more than just Doctor/Companion. They are comfortable with each other and are a delight to see on screen.

  66. breanna says:

    okay so I just rewatched this episode and the thing that I dont get is the queen had obviously had all her children already so how does the werewolf thing get passed on? does she bite one of them or something?

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