The Talons of Weng-Chiang


The Talons of Weng-Chiang

] [cite web
url= http://www.shannonsullivan.com/drwho/serials/4s.html
title= The Talons of Weng-Chiang
publisher = A Brief History of Time Travel
last = Sullivan
first = Shannon
date = 2007-08-07
accessdate = 2008-08-30
]

*Working titles for this story included "The Talons of Greel".
*This was the final "Doctor Who" story produced by Philip Hinchcliffe, who went on to further television successes. Hinchcliffe was succeeded by Graham Williams as the series producer, who sat in on this story's production.
*This story featured the first "Doctor Who" work by John Nathan-Turner as series production unit manager. Nathan-Turner would eventually succeed Williams as the show's producer from 1980 to 1989.
*A large pile of straw seen in one scene was placed there to cover a modern car that had not been moved off the street.
*The production team briefly considered giving Jago and Litefoot their own spin-off series.

Outside references

*There are a number of references to the Sherlock Holmes novels by Arthur Conan Doyle. The Doctor is dressed in a similar way as the stereotype Sherlock Holmes caricature (although the Holmes of Doyle's stories would never have worn a deerstalker and Inverness cape in town) and uses sayings and mannerisms similar to Holmes'. The era and location which the episode is set is late Victorian London. Professor Litefoot is a similar character to Sherlock Holmes' colleague Dr Watson and he has a housekeeper called Mrs Hudson (who is the housekeeper at 221b Baker Street in the Sherlock Holmes novels). At one point the Doctor says to him "...elementary my dear Litefoot".
*When Chang calls the Doctor to the stage, there is a short musical excerpt from Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado".
*The story is referenced in the first issue of the comic book "Albion". In the flashback to Janus Stark's capture, part of a poster for Li H'Sen Chang's stage show is visible beneath one for Stark's own.

Criticism and praise

*This story has aroused some controversy because of its alleged racism. Some of the English characters display racist attitudes towards the Chinese characters, while the Chinese immigrants themselves are portrayed in a stereotypical fashion — other than Li H'sen Chang (a major villain who is himself akin to Fu Manchu, but portrayed by a white actor (another source of criticism)), all of the Chinese characters are coolies or members of Tong gangs. As a result of a complaint to TVOntario following the initial broadcast of the story the Canadian channel chose not to rebroadcast it when that year's season was rerun. A number of other stations across North America refused to screen the serial.
*This story was voted the best Doctor Who story ever in the 2003 Outpost Gallifrey poll to mark the series' 40th anniversary. [ [http://www.gallifreyone.com/article.php?id=pollres2003 Outpost Gallifrey 2003 Reader Poll] ]
*Russell T. Davies, writer/producer for "Doctor Who"'s 21st-century revival, praised this serial, saying "Take "The Talons of Weng Chiang", for example. Watch episode one. It's the best dialogue ever written. It's up there with Dennis Potter. By a man called Robert Holmes. When the history of television drama comes to be written, Robert Holmes won't be remembered at all because he only wrote genre stuff. And that, I reckon, is a real tragedy." [cite news |first=Richard |last=Johnson |title=Master of the universe |url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2007/03/11/svdrwho11.xml&page=1 |work=The Sunday Telegraph |date=2007-03-11 | page=1| accessdate=2007-03-12 ]

In print

Doctorwhobook
title=Doctor Who and the Talons of Weng-Chiang
series=Target novelisations
number=61
featuring=


writer=Terrance Dicks
publisher=Target Books
coverartist=Jeff Cummins
isbn=0 426 11973 8
set_between=
pages=
date=15 November 1977
preceding=Doctor Who and the Deadly Assassin
following=Doctor Who and the Masque of Mandragora|

*A novelisation of this serial, written by Terrance Dicks, was published by Target Books in November 1977, entitled "Doctor Who and The Talons of Weng-Chiang".
*The story was published into a script, written by John McElroy, was published by Titan Books in November 1989, entitled "Doctor Who The Scripts The Talons of Weng-Chiang".

Broadcast, VHS and DVD and releases

*The serial was released as a compilation on VHS in the UK in 1988. In order to obtain a "PG" rating from the BBFC, shots involving the use of nunchukas – which were then classed as illegal weapons and unable to be shown on-screen – were removed from the fight scene involving the Doctor and the Tong of the Black Scorpion. (Over the next decade and a half the BBFC's guidelines were relaxed).
*This story was one of three stories released on VHS as a compilation that never had an episodic VHS re-release. (The other two being "The Seeds of Death" and "The Time Warrior").
*The story was released complete and unedited on DVD in April 2003 in a two-disc set as part of the "Doctor Who" 40th Anniversary Celebration releases, representing the Tom Baker years.
*On September 2, 2008, this serial was released for sale on iTunes.

References

External links

*BBCCDW|id=talonswengchiang|title=The Talons of Weng-Chiang
*Brief |id=4s | title=The Talons of Weng-Chiang
*Doctor Who RG | id=who_4s | title=The Talons of Weng-Chiang

Reviews

*OG review | id=4s | title=The Talons of Weng-Chiang
*DWRG | id=talo | title=The Talons of Weng-Chiang

Target novelisation

*DWRG | id=talonov | title=Doctor Who and the Talons of Weng-Chiang
* [http://www.personal.leeds.ac.uk/~ecl6nb/OnTarget/1977/talons/77talons.htm On Target — "Doctor Who and the Talons of Weng-Chiang"]


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