Tooth and Claw
plain 3-episode volume
|(Doctor Who Story No. 173, starring David Tennant)
- written by Russell T. Davies
- directed by Euros Lyn
- produced by Phil Collinson
- music by Murray Gold
- 1 episode @ 45 minutes
Story: The Doctor and Rose find themselves
accompanying Queen Victoria to an estate in Scotland
named Torchwood House, which has secretly been taken
over violently by a band of local monks. Traps hide
within traps as a mysterious creature grows in strength
in the cellar.....
DVD Extras (box sets only) include:
- Audio commentary by writer Russell T. Davies,
visual effects supervisor Dave Houghton,
and supervising art director Steve Nicholas.
- Doctor Who Confidential featurette: Fear Factor (12 min.) with
David Tennant (The Doctor),
Ron Donachie (Steward),
director Euros Lyn,
fight co-ordinator David Forman,
visual effects producer Will Cohen,
animation supervisor Jean-Claude Deguara,
fearmonger Steven Moffat, and
DW Magazine editor Clayton Hickman.
- Deleted Scenes
In-Depth Analysis Review
by Martin Izsak
WARNING: This review contains "SPOILERS", and is intended
for those who have already seen the program.
To avoid the spoilers, read the
Buyers' Guide version instead.
Although the setting and subject matter of this tale don't particularly
interest me, it can be proudly held up as an example of how to make such
things appeal to a wide audience. Skilful story structure and plotting,
and the inclusion of elements of humour and subplots all help make this
rather standard outing into a modest success.
"Tooth and Claw" won't win huge points for its setting. After taking
us to a place that barely qualifies as an alien planet, writer Russell
T. Davies brings us right back to Earth, in the past, and wallows in the
importance of the ruling British hierarchy once more. Ho-Hum. At least
the production puts a mysterious cultural twist on it, with the opening
shots and music evoking a strong Celtic feel, and a bit of fast-action
wirework evoking the style of a
Matrix / Kung-Fu movie. Nice.
The Doctor and Rose don't get a great intro, with their scene in the
TARDIS interior coming off as a bit silly. Although attempting an
interesting dramatic moment as they step out of the doors, the story
sorely lacks the reaction that the Queen's caravan must have had upon
witnessing the materialization of the TARDIS. And the audience misses
out on the satisfaction of seeing the effect themselves. Considering the
low quality of the goings on in the interior, the camera would have been
better placed outside during materialization. The Doctor and Rose's
subsequent exchange with the Queen's guard is successfully entertaining
Older fans will remember Pauline Collins as spunky Samantha Briggs in
"The Faceless Ones" (story no. 35, 1967),
where she turned down the offer to have her character join the
TARDIS crew and become a regular on the show. Now some 39 years later,
Collins is sporting a new look, and completely immerses herself in the
role of Queen Victoria. She is thoroughly believable and enjoyable,
and still knows how to run along corridors and deal with the unknown.
Those who appreciate a good creature to terrorize folks get a doubly
excellent helping here, as the CGI crew deliver one of their best works
yet. This adversary of tooth and claw has similar appeal and style to those
in the popular video game series "Doom", and is another major element of
this adventure's success.
Where some of the later action goes through some predictable dynamics,
the outcomes are not quite as easy to predict, and the story maintains its
surprise twists and turns and its mysteries that need solving. The body
count is a bit too high for my tastes; I think Davies could have cut back
and still have had both an equally successful story and equally successful
building block in the season's larger arc.
Murray Gold delivers some wonderfully rich & fast rhythms to get one's
blood pumping during the action scenes, with the opening monk section being
one of the highlights. Later sections for the creature courageously attempt
this rhythm with a grand, bombastic melodic theme, which doesn't turn out
anywhere near well enough to justify the number of times it is repeated,
both on screen and in the track later put on CD. Luckily these sections
are still carried by the rhythm. Not to be overlooked are all the other
wonderful cues in the story, such as during Queen Victoria's introduction,
or the sequence with the kitchen preparations and Rose looking for a
good dinner outfit, or the delightful bits as mysteries are solved, and
solutions are discovered. A very entertaining score.
Music by Murray Gold
A suite of 3:51 duration
is available on:
"Tooth and Claw" comes to a very satisfying conclusion, being both
clever and emotional, and giving the Doctor all due heroics. David
Tennant's score in this department at this point in his run is now three
for three, all from Russell T. Davies scripts. Excellent. A subplot
for Rose comes to a humorous payoff, the TARDIS makes a satisfying
dematerialization, and another piece of the season's larger story arc
comes into play. Nice.
"Tooth and Claw" may not quite rank as a great or classic story,
but it is definitely a solid one with much to recommend it, and it is
a good example of the growing quality of Season 28. Enjoy.
This story has become available on DVD.
Click on the Amazon symbol for the location nearest you
for pricing and availability:
14-episode boxed set
for the North American market:
14-episode box set
for the U.K.
plain 3-episode volume
U.K. format only
Note: The full season sets
contain commentaries, behind-the-scenes
featurettes, and other extras.
The smaller volumes only feature the plain episodes.
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