Tuesday 14 February 2012

449 The Talons of Weng-Chiang Part Two

EPISODE: The Talons of Weng-Chiang Part Two
TRANSMITTED: 05 March 1977
WRITER: Robert Holmes
DIRECTOR: David Maloney
SCRIPT EDITOR: Robert Holmes
PRODUCER: Philip Hinchcliffe
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: Revisitations Box Set - Volume 1 (The Caves Of Androzani / The Talons Of Weng-Chiang / Doctor Who - The Movie)

Escaping the rat they return to Professor Litefoot. Jago's assistant Casey reports seeing a ghost in the cellar, and while investigating Jago finds a ladies glove. However Chang hypnotises him ordering him to forget the cellar & missing woman. Chang then reports to his master in the theatre cellar. He is seeking his missing Time Cabinet and, dying, needs Chang to bring him young women to feed on. A policeman reports, after speaking to the deceased's mother in law, that he'd been to the Theatre. The Doctor goes there and meets Jago, who he discovers has been hypnotised by Chang. Breaking the hold the Doctor discovers that the cab driver was there searching for his wife and they search the cellar where they encounter a "ghost", which the Doctor identifies as a holographic projection. Chang & his master take to the streets in a cab using a high tech device to seek the Time Cabinet. Returning to the theatre The Doctor & Jago encounter Chang's master who has returned. Litefoot has taken Leela to his hone but the house is attacked by Mister Sin who has come for the Time Cabinet.

Once again Holmes' Magpie like approach to other people's work is seen here with Pygmallion (Leela's manners at table), The Importance of Being Ernest (Litefoot's "a hatbox?") and most obviously The Phantom of the Opera being used at liberty through the episode. But for some odd reason it didn't really hold my attention like the first part did.

Talons of Weng Chiang features plenty of location filming, mainly in London. Of note is the Wapping Pier Head location where, despite requests not to, one of the residents left their car in full view. The production team threw a tarpaulin over it and covered it in hay to disguise it (if you click the link you can see it in the top screen shot). There was also an away trip to Northampton for certain locations. The theatre scenes are filmed on location with the auditorium being filmed in The Royal Theatre while backstage & the mortuary were recorded at St Crispin's Hospital, where visible electrical sockets had to be taped over (look carefully and you can still spot them!) and the police station interiors were filmed at the City Buildings. Finally one for those who were at RUTC with me: nearby Cambridge Park (next to Marble Hill Park) is the location for Litefoot's House.

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