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Doctor Who: The Talons of Weng-Chiang []



As a Doctor Who nerd and an admirer of several of the lead actors in this long running science-fiction series, it is difficult to come up with a favorite episode or story. One finds much of what is discussed on various websites, television programs, magazines, blogs… or real life conversations for that matter tend to fall under the categorizing or ranking of books, films, music, athletes, politicians, restaurants, etc. Is this need for placement really all that necessary? Must our filing cabinets extend throughout all of space and time?

Let’s just say, that the The Talons of Weng-Chiang from the Tom Baker era is a story that I really, really enjoy.

Robert Holmes, who was one of the more prolific and humorous writers of the Doctor Who enterprise, scripts an exciting adventure taking place in Victorian London. Our time traveling protagonist called “the Doctor” and his assistant Leela find themselves mixed up an other worldly, underground cult, battling a giant sewer rat and dealing with a scary looking puppet (I know, right?!!). The episode has a Sherlock Holmes motife: the vested Doctor is fully equipped with a long herringbone overcoat, a deerstalker hat and cravat. Furthermore, Holmes (this time I’m talking about Robert) playfully throws in several references to Conan Doyle’s writings.

The Talons of Weng-Chiang is an excellent introduction to Doctor Who if you’re unfamiliar with the series. The script is dynamite, there are memorable, comedic supporting roles and it ABSOLUTELY STARS THE GREATEST ACTOR TO PLAY THE DOCTOR. Busted… caught ranking, categorizing and picking favorites. I guess it’s just what we do.

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