[[caption-width-right:350:[[Series/DoctorWho Who]][[Series/{{Sherlock}} Lock]]: The Early Years[[note]]([[Recap/DoctorWhoS8E5TheDaemons never gets old...]])[[/note]]]]
->''"Doctor, you make me wear strange clothes, you tell me nothing: you are trying to annoy me." ''
-->-- '''Leela'''

Doctor Who goes all ''Literature/SherlockHolmes''[[XMeetsY -Meets-]] Film/HammerHorror in this tale set in VictorianLondon. Police pathologist Professor George Litefoot is investigating a body found floating in the Thames, and, with help from the Doctor, determines that hairs found on the body come from a giant rat. Also, Leela has to wear period clothing and learn table manners.

Moving into the sewers to investigate, the Doctor, Leela and Litefoot discover giant rats on the loose and follow the trail to the Palace Theatre. Stage magician Li H'sen Chang has been kidnapping young "[[GettingCrapPastTheRadar wretched girls]]" for his master, the ancient Chinese god Weng-Chiang. In reality, "Weng-Chiang" is the 51st century war criminal Mangus Greel (Upon hearing about the Doctor's presence in Victorian England, Greel worries about the presence of "Time Agents" - he clearly comes from the same 51st century as a certain conman we meet [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E9TheEmptyChild many years later in the Revival Series]]). Greel feeds on the kidnapped girls' lifeforce to stabilise his molecular structure, which was ravaged by the trip through time. The theatre's owner, Mr. Jago, teams up with the Doctor to try and stop his former employee.

Greel's "Time Cabinet" was lost in London and has been found by Litefoot, so Greel sends Chang's ventriloquist's doll, "Mr. Sin" (a computerised homonculus with a pig's brain... well, [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E9TheEmptyChild the 51st century]] is a bit weird like that) to infiltrate Litefoot's house and retrieve it. Mr. Sin succeeds, but the Doctor and friends manage to intervene before Greel can escape. He falls into his own lifeforce-extracting machine and is disintegrated, before the Doctor manages to deactivate Mr. Sin. The Doctor buys everyone muffins to celebrate.


Another episode by Creator/RobertHolmes, this episode is markedly DarkerAndEdgier, HotterAndSexier, as well as BloodierAndGorier than most of classic ''Series/DoctorWho''.

The characters of Jago and Litefoot became quite popular with fans, and for years rumours was abound about a planned spin-off centred around the duo solving crimes in Victorian London, and it was even seriously considered by the BBC a couple of times. While the spin-off never made it to TV, Jago and Litefoot, along with PC Quick, eventually ended up getting their own AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho [[http://www.bigfinish.com/Jago-and-Litefoot spinoff range.]] It also occasionally features the Fourth and Sixth Doctors, as well as Leela.

Christopher Eccleston watched this serial to [[http://www.whoviannet.co.uk/info/didyouknow.php prepare for his role as the Ninth Doctor]].

Watch it [[http://www.dailymotion.com/playlist/xytum_tardismedia_talons-of-weng-chiang/1 here]]
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: As many of Jago's lines as he can possibly manage.
* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer
* AffablyEvil: Li H'sen Chang. He makes a HeelFaceTurn eventually.
* AIIsACrapshoot: Mister Sin.
* AlmostDeadGuy: Li H'sen Chang.
* AsianSpeekeeEngrish: Used by Chang in his act, seeing as how if he spoke normally, his Victorian audience would doubt that he is actually from China.
* BadGuysDoTheDirtyWork: Sin kills off the Tong of the Black Scorpion when he goes out of control.
* BatmanGrabsAGun: He even actively asks for it. Not that he would use it on a human, but the Doctor does shoot a giant rat with it.
* {{BFG}}: Lightfoot's elephant gun is the period equivalent.
* BlackComedy: On being introduced to Li H'sen Chang the Doctor asks to see a trick. The Tong member promptly drops dead from the suicide pill. The Doctor applauds.
* BodyHorror: We get a very brief look at Greel's face. We see that ''half of his face is melting!!!''
* BoundAndGagged: Leela in Episode 6 as she is put in Greel's machine.
* BreakoutCharacter: Jago and Litefoot, who got their own ''extremely'' successful audio spinoff.
* TheButcher (of Brisbane): Magnus Greel.
* CallForward: While it's likely only a coincidence, Jago's distraction in order to distract Mr. Sin is remarkably similar to a "strategy" the Eleventh Doctor attempts, [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E12ThePandoricaOpens over 900 years later]]. Perhaps Mr. Jago was The Doctor's inspiration.
* CallBack: A rather sneaky one: The Doctor mentions he hasn't been to China for [[Recap/DoctorWhoS1E4MarcoPolo about 400 years.]]
** Though that would actually be about 600 years ago. Of course, the Doctor could be referring to another adventure.
* ChangedMyJumper: When the TARDIS first materializes, Leela steps out complaining about having to wear appropriate clothes. The Doctor's voice from inside the TARDIS tells her, "You can't go around VictorianLondon in skins, you'd frighten the horses." Then [[HypocriticalHumor he himself emerges in the stereotypical Sherlock Holmes outfit -- only more colorful --]] and says, "We don't want to be conspicuous, do we?"
* ChineseLaunderer
* ConcealmentEqualsCover: A flimsy wooden table is enough to shield the protagonists from FrickingLaserBeams. The laser beams at least start punching holes through the table, though
* CyanidePill: Li H'sen Chang slips a scorpion venom pill to a member of the Black Scorpion Tong who has been captured by the police, who then commits suicide to avoid revealing anything under interrogation. Later on, a bumbling minion is forced to take a pill too.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Heavily implied underage prostitutes. Leela in completely soaked clothes. A guy getting his leg ripped off and dragged through the water, and subsequently smoking opium ''on screen'' to dull the pain before he dies in the Doctor's arms. Producer Philip Hinchcliffe had been axed for excessive horrific content and in this, his final serial, had nothing to lose.
* DemonicDummy: Mister Sin is presumed to be one at the beginning of the serial.
* DisappearingBox: Li H'sen Chang uses this in his act.
* DisposableSexWorker[=/=]DisposableVagrant: Greel identifies his victims as "a few contemptible slatterns who will never be missed"; Chang protests that they ''are'' being missed and it's getting people's attention.
* EvilLaugh: Greel gets an amazing one in the episode 4 cliffhanger.
* {{Expy}}: The original draft of the serial actually had the Master as the villain, but he was vetoed. Magnus Greel is also a black-cloaked, physically-decayed villain with a time machine trying to stave off his own death, as the Master was in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS14E3TheDeadlyAssassin "The Deadly Assassin".]] As "Minister of Justice" for the Supreme Alliance and a mad scientist who experiments on humans Greel also combines traits of Heinrich Himmler and Josef Mengele.
* FacingTheBulletsOneLiner: Leela's response to an imminent and agonizing death at the hands of Magnus Greel shows a marked difference in attitude to that of previous female companions.
--> "[[SeeYouInHell When we are both in the Great Hereafter]], I will hunt you down, Bent-Face! And put you through my agonies a thousand times!"
* UsefulNotes/FilipinosWithFirearms: Apparently the Philippines in the 51st century, as the Doctor mentions marching with the Filipino Army as they advanced on a Supreme Alliance stronghold of Reykjavík. This is endlessly amusing to the few Filipinos who've heard about this episode (or this show, for that matter). Icelandic viewers are similarly amused by the idea of their capital being of vital geostrategic importance.
* FishOutOfTemporalWater: Leela doesn't adapt well to Victorian values.
* ForTheEvulz: Sin seems to end up like this, killing for the sake of it. He even shoots the Mooks.
* ForScience: When the Doctor says a 100,000 deaths can be laid at Greel's door, Greel says they were used for science.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** The "wretched girls" who are taken from the streets wear layers of makeup and red clothing, and it's remarked that they can't be older than 16.
** Leela has a SexySoakedShirt moment just after the giant rat sequence that apparently has not been edited out in over 30 years.
* GlowingEyesOfDoom: Li H'sen Chang's eyes glow whenever he hypnotises someone.
* GodGuise: Magnus Greel posing as Weng-Chiang, though he doesn't try to hide his identify from Chang to whom it makes no difference anyway, as [[FromNobodyToNightmare Greel has raised him up from his humble life as a peasant to a man who performs before royalty]].
-->'''Doctor:''' "You know he's not a God, don't you?"
-->'''Chang:''' "He came to me like a God, in his cabinet of fire!"
* HisNameIs: Chang survives the giant rat enough to tell the Doctor that Weng-Chiang is in the "House of the Dragon", but not long enough to actually tell where it is.
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: Greel thinks this has happened to him in the future when the Doctor refers to his crimes, saying the winning side writes the history. Considering he is a sadistic murderer who admits to killing 100,000 people for his experiments this seems unlikely.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Greel ends up killed by his own life-extraction chamber.
* HostageForMacguffin: The Doctor refuses to give the Time Key before Jago and Litefoot are freed. Later, he adds that he wants the girls that are to be Magnus's next meal freed, too. Too bad it doesn't work.
* HumanSacrifice: Jago thinks the Chinese will do this. Litefoot says he's thinking of the Druids.
* HypnoticEyes: Li H'sen Chang can hypnotise girls with just a look.
* IdenticalLookingAsians: Chang sarcastically says, "I understand we all look alike," when the Doctor asks if they've met before.
* INeedAFreakingDrink: Well, more of ''You'' Need A Freaking Drink, as Jago offers Casey a drink to help him calm down. Then Casey proceeds to drain the flask.
* InstantSedation: Possible subversion -- the title villain uses an unspecified knockout drug on a cloth to capture Leela, and she goes down fast... but she has enough time to [[NightmareFace tear the villain's mask off]].
** Given the time period, it was probably either chloroform or ether.
* InThePastEveryoneWillBeFamous: Not in the events of the story, but the Doctor mentions having shared a meal with the Venerable Bede.
* JackTheRipoff: The disappearances and murder of several women in Whitechapel? You guessed it. The original draft had the Doctor chasing Jack the Ripper.
** Casey, the theater stagehand, hangs a lampshade on this. Jago is immediately dismissive.
* LargeHam: MAGNUS GREEL!!!!!
** Henry Gordon Jago comes a fairly close second.
* LifeDrinker: Magnus Greel attempts to stay alive by draining the life essence out of young women. Leela only just avoids suffering this fate.
* MagiciansAreWizards: Li H'sen Chang is a StageMagician... and a bit more, with the technology given to him by his master.
* MindControl
* NiceHat: The Doctor, Leela, Chang's thugs, and Greel each have one; Chang has two.
* OpiumDen: Though Li H'sen actually only uses opium to numb the pain from his rat-chewed leg.
* PigMan: The Peking Homunculus is a murderous midget robot made from the cerebral cortex of a pig.
* RaisedByNatives: The Doctor's cover story for Leela.
* ReliablyUnreliableGuns: Litefoot worries that the Doctor's elephant gun (which hasn't been used in years) might go off in the Doctor's face. "Nonsense," the Doctor assures him, "it was made in Birmingham."
* RodentsOfUnusualSize: The rat.
* SeeYouInHell: Leela gets a CrowningMomentOfAwesome when she tells the villain she'll ''hunt him down in the next life''.
* ShoutOut:
** To ''TheImportanceOfBeingEarnest'' ("A hatbox?").
** Jago's alliterative speeches are a shout out to Leonard Sachs's turn as the compere in the BBC's music-hall revival show ''The Good Old Days''.
** And, of course, the idea of a [[ThePhantomOfTheOpera disfigured maniac hiding under a theatre]].
** Li H'Sen Chang is a villainous fictional version of the real-world ([[{{Yellowface}} fake]]) Chinese conjurer Chung Ling Soo.
** Litefoot's landlady is named [[Literature/SherlockHolmes Mrs. Hudson]].
* ShutUpHannibal: When Greel talks about how he is remembered as a villain due to the other side writing the history and how the people he killed helped his time travel experiments the Doctor tells him the people were slaughtered and that the experiments came to nothing.
* SkewedPriorities: Mr. Jago's first concern when he discovers his employee has been helping to murder many innocent young women is how he can make a profit with a guided tour of the villains lair.
* {{Slurpasaur}}: That giant rat is played, at least in part, by a perfectly normal rat in a model sewer.
* SmartPeoplePlayChess: The Doctor puts Greel into Checkmate. Greel [[SoreLoser knocks the pieces over]].
* {{Spinoff}}: Jago & Litefoot were so popular that a spinoff was briefly discussed; 30 years later, Creator/BigFinish gave them [[http://bigfinish.com/311-Doctor-Who-The-Companion-Chronicles-The-Mahogany-Murderers their own story]] and, in 2010, [[http://bigfinish.com/Jago-and-Litefoot their own series.]]
* SpotOfTea: Litefoot attempts to example the etiquette of tea to Leela, who gets very confused.
* SurroundedByIdiots: "Your opium-addicted scum are all bunglers, Chang!"
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Magnus Greel seems to be one for the Master. What with both being hammy mass murderers on the run, dying and desperately looking for a way to cheat death. Magnus even talks about ''regeneration'' a few times.
* TitleDrop: When Magnus is about to kill Leela, he drops the serial name.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Jago & Litefoot.
* TranslationConvention: The Doctor and Litefoot both get to show off their fluency in Chinese, but all conversation between Weng-Chiang and his Chinese henchmen is in (bad) English.
* TheTriadsAndTheTongs: Greel's mooks are members of the Tong of the Black Scorpion.
* VictorianLondon
* TheWatson: Interestingly enough, NOT Leela. As [[http://www.avclub.com/tvclub/doctor-who-classic-the-talons-of-weng-chiang-63742 the AV Club]] noted, Jago and Litefoot fulfill the role of Watson - Jago behaves as the traditional film depiction of Watson being a pompous, boisterous, easily puzzled sleaze while Litefoot behaves as literature's Watson being a quiet, calm, observant gentleman.
* WorldWarWhatever: Greel is described as having almost caused World War Six.
* TheXOfY: One of the over 100 Doctor Who episode titles to be this.
* {{Yellowface}}: A particularly noteworthy example, especially within the annals of Who.
* YellowPeril: Which along with the Yellowface led to the story being [[BannedInChina Banned In Canada]].
* YouHaveFailedMe: Averted. TheDragon is simply fired, and sets out to save face on his own.
** Later on, a Tong member who failed one time too many is forced to commit suicide.
* YouLookFamiliar: John "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS11E2InvasionOfTheDinosaurs General Finch]]" Bennett returns as Li H'sen Chang.
* YouRebelScum: Magnus Greel repeatedly refers to his Tong hatchetmen mooks as "opium-addicted scum".
''[[TheStinger Everybody have fun tonight!]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoXu6QmxpJE Everybody Weng-Chiang tonight!]]''