However, before I go too far, allow me to give just a bit of background information on the show for those of you who may be unfamiliar with it. "Doctor Who" is a science-fiction adventure show which debuted in 1963. The Doctor is a renegade member of an alien race known as The TimeLords. He has stolen a TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space), a time machine and space-ship which is disguised as a 1960's police-box, and goes around the universe (and through time) saving the world.
This particular serial features the Fourth incarnation of the Doctor. Each time a TimeLord faces death, they can change every cell in their body - leading to a new version of the Doctor. Tom Baker stars as the Fourth Doctor in this serial - which in 2003 was voted as the best "Doctor Who" story.
"The Talons of Weng-Chiang" find the Doctor and his travelling companion, Leela in Victorian London. What started out as a pleasant trip turns deadly when a man dies right before the Doctor's eyes, which leads the Doctor and Leela into a dangerous world of Chinese Tongs, disappearing women and a giant rat in the sewers of London.
|Tom Baker as The Doctor in "The Talons of Weng-Chiang"|
Tom Baker is quite marvelous as the Doctor. He is the longest-running Doctor in the series going from 1974 to 1981. He is a favourite of many fans of both the new series and the old. It looks as though Baker is having a great deal of fun in the role of the Doctor for this adventure, and his high-spirited nature spills over into the episode itself. Christopher Benjamin appears as Henry Gordon Jago, the owner of a small music hall who works alongside the Doctor and Litefoot and John Bennett is wonderful as the creepy music hall musician.
|Tom Baker as Sherlock Holmes in a 1982|
television serial of "The Hound of the Baskervilles"
"Doctor Who" continued on until 1989 at which point the show went off the air. It returned in 1996 with a made-for-television movie and didn't return to the BBC until 2005 under the helm of Russell T. Davies. In 2010, Steven Moffatt took over as the show-runner. Moffatt is also the co-creator of BBC's "Sherlock."
"The Talons of Weng-Chiang" is a very enjoyable television serial for fans of both "Doctor Who" and Sherlock Holmes. Seeing the great detective's alien equal is a great deal of fun, and the six-part serial is perhaps the epitome of entertainment. "The Talons of Weng-Chaing" deserves a worthy 4 out 5 stars.