Recap: Doctor Who S28 E2 "Tooth and Claw"
aka: Doctor Who NSS 2 E 2 Tooth And Claw
"Lupus magnus est, lupus fortis est, lupus deus est..."
("The wolf is great, the wolf is strong, the wolf is a god...")note
— Father Angelo
The Doctor and Rose were planning on finding themselves in Sheffield, 1979, but they end up in 1879. In Scotland
. And in the presence of Queen Victoria
. Rose is in trouble for wearing a mini-dress, but David Tennant
saves the day by speaking in a perfect Scottish accent
and introducing himself as one Doctor James McCrimmon
. The Queen commands them to attend her as she goes to spend a relaxing evening in Torchwood House, a Scottish manor beset by werewolves and kung fu monks
The Doctor and Rose make a bet whether she can get the Queen to say "we are not amused". Someone should get a handicap, though, because there isn't much at Torchwood
House to amuse anyone. The Laird of the Manor drops unsubtle hints that they should go away. All the servants are terrified. The lonely blood-curdling cry of a wolf echoes across the moors. Rose is chained up in the cellar with the household staff, where a cage contains a boy possessed by an alien werewolf: that is, an alien wolf... thing... which possesses human hosts. Its current plan is to possess Queen Victoria, thereby gaining the throne of Great Britain, and therefore THE WORLD!!! (This plan seems familiar, somehow...
The remaining humans take refuge in the library, which the previous Laird had fortified against werewolves by soaking the wood in mistletoe oil. Now that's Crazy-Prepared
. Speaking of which, the Queen has thought to bring along the Koh-i-Noor diamond, which as it turns out was always meant to slot neatly into a telescope that is not a telescope but a werewolf-melter (did we mention Crazy-Prepared
?). Also, the Queen suddenly has a cut on her hand after facing the wolf and refuses to show it to the Doctor. The Doctor realises with glee that the royal family's unexplained and mysterious "haemophilia" may just suddenly be a whole lot less unexplained and mysterious.
Queen Victoria knights both the Doctor and Rose, and then immediately banishes them for their knowledge of the stars (then being considered heresy) and tells them to "leave [her] world". After they leave, she announces the foundation of the Torchwood Institute
. The Doctor will rue this
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Played with at the end. Queen Victoria is injured by what she claims to be a splinter, but the Doctor is concerned it might be a bite from the werewolf. On the way back to the TARDIS, the Doctor and Rose joke about the modern-day Royal Family being werewolves — given the Doctor's flippancy to what he earlier claimed would be a catastrophe, obviously he doesn't really believe it to be true (and if you watch the werewolf's demise, it doesn't actually get near enough to the Queen to scratch her before getting killed). The reference book Doctor Who: Creatures and Demons makes the suggestion that "Pete's World" split off from the regular universe when Queen Victoria was killed (not scratched) by the werewolf.
- Better to Die Than Be Killed: Victoria expresses this sentiment. It's justified because the wolf intends to possess instead of killing her. And instead of allowing itself to be imprisoned, the wolf (or its host, it's not clarified) asks that the Doctor increase the moonlight so it's fully vaporized.
- Black Eyes of Evil: The werewolf's human form. This is why Rose knows that he's not really human.
- Catch Phrase: Throughout the whole episode Rose tries to get Queen Victoria to say "We are not amused". She succeeds.
- Changed My Jumper: Alluded to, as Rose (in a T-shirt and mini-skirt) is said to be "naked". She'd actually dressed quite appropriately — if not stylishly — for the intended destination. The TARDIS just had other plans that day...
- Continuity Nod:
- The Doctor gives his name as "Dr James McCrimmon", the full name of Jamie, companion to the Second Doctor.
- The wolf, pre-change, comments on how Rose has a "bit of the wolf" and a "bit of the sun" in her; both referencing the end of the previous series where she was "the bad wolf".
- Disproportionate Retribution: Queen Victoria banishes The Doctor and Rose not only from England, but planet Earth itself for, having too much fun while saving her life. Admittedly her values and theirs are a bit different due to the times (and a more technical knowledge of astronomy still considered heresy). So while still unjustified it's understandable, however, her creating Torchwood to fight both alien monsters "and" The Doctor himself squarely puts her in the Ungrateful Bitch category.
- Evil Plan: The alien wolf parasite thing wants to create "the empire of the wolf" on Earth and the monks want to help him/it accomplish it because they worship it instead of God.
- "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: When Sir Robert is staring down the werewolf armed with nothing but an ornamental sword, he says this line.
Sir Robert: I committed treason for you. Now my wife will remember me with HONOR!
- Fingertip Drug Analysis: The Doctor confirms that the library's walls have been soaked in mistletoe by licking them.
- Fully-Clothed Nudity: Rose, by the standards of that time era, is said to be naked because she's not wearing a full dress. The contemporary characters keep commenting on this.
- How's Your British Accent?:
- Happily Married: If Sir Roberts was not this trope then he would not have committed treason to keep his wife safe. They kiss several times in this episode and his last thoughts are of her.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Both Captain Reynolds and Sir Robert attempt to hold off the Wolf, knowing full well that they don't stand a chance, but doing it anyway to buy the Queen time to escape.
- I Have Your Wife: Why Sir Robert goes along with the monks' Evil Plan.
- Life Will Kill You: When Victoria mentions the legend that whoever possesses the Koh-i-Noor must surely die, the Doctor points out that the same is true of anything if you wait long enough.
- Literary Allusion Title: To Tennyson's poem "In Memoriam A.H.H."
- Men Are the Expendable Gender: Lots of people are eaten by the werewolf and all of them are male. It passes over the lady of the house and her servants. The lower-ranking monks aren't seen to be killed, but it's not all that likely they'd have survived for long in Victorian Britain, which was only too happy to punish traitors by death.
- Mistaken for Gay:
Sir Robert: I'm sorry, Ma'am. It's all my fault. I should've sent you away. I tried to suggest something was wrong, I... thought you might notice. Did you think there was nothing strange about my household staff?
The Doctor: Well, they were bald, athletic, your wife's away... I just thought you were happy.
- Never Mess with Granny: Queen Victoria, having already had several attempts on her life, carries a gun.
- Nightmare Fetishist: See Admiring the Abomination. While the Doctor and Rose save her from the werewolf, their gleeful attitude to the whole thing doesn't sit well with Queen Victoria.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: In-universe. Lupus deus est...
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: An in-universe example; once the werewolf is unleashed, the resulting confusion causes the Doctor to forget that he's supposed to be using a Scottish accent, on which Victoria pulls him up. Considering that the Doctor had earlier introduced himself specifically as "Dr James McCrimmon", he's obviously not who he claimed to be.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: They're aliens, in fact.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Angelo doesn't think Victoria has it in her to kill him, and derisively calls her "woman".
The correct form of address is "your majesty
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: When all is said and done (and knighted), Queen Victoria banishes the Doctor and Rose for life from Great Britain, chewing them out for thinking that playing with forces that terrify and kill regular people is "fun".
- Redemption Equals Death: The master of the house pulls a You Shall Not Pass to make up for aiding the trouble currently brewing.
- Requisite Royal Regalia: The Koh-i-Noor diamond is a real Crown Jewel of Britain, though without any werewolf-melting properties (that we know about).
- Scotland: The story takes place here. Why else would The Doctor put on a Scottish accent?
- Shaky P.O.V. Cam: This is used for the werewolf chases to give its POV and for the thrills.
- Shout-Out: A couple of references to Robert Burns' poem To a Mouse.
- At the beginning of the episode, the Doctor tells Victoria's guard that he studied medicine with a Dr Bell at the University of Edinburgh. Dr Bell was one of Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle's teachers, and is likely the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes.
- He calls Rose a wee timorous beastie: "Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie, O, what a panic's in thy breastie!"
- The Doctor claims to be "from the township of Balamory".
- Skewed Priorities: When people are getting torn apart by a Werewolf, Rose's main concern seems to still be in trying to get Victoria to say she is not amused.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Sir Robert's wife is a Proper Lady in fashion and gentle demeanor. She also boils up a batch of anti-werewolf brew and personally splashes it on the thing, thereby doing more damage than the guys with their guns.
- This Is No Time for Knitting: The Doctor asks Rose to help him with a giant telescope as they're being chased by a werewolf. Rose comments that it's hardly the time for stargazing. The Doctor replies, "Yes it is!" and uses the telescope to defeat the werewolf.
- Underdressed for the Occasion: The Doctor and Rose land in 1879 at a house Queen Victoria will be staying at. Rose is wearing a denim miniskirt and a tight-fitting, low-cut shirt. Throughout the episode, she is described by the others as being naked.
- Vertical Kidnapping: "And I'm telling you, I'll sleep well tonight with that thing's hide upon my wall." (walks over, looks around) "Must have crawled away to diAAAARRRRGGGGHHH!!!"
- Victorian Britain: With Victoria herself.
- Warrior Monk: A cult of them take over Sir Robert's house with moves out of a wuxia film.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Directly addressed; when Rose wonders how a creature made up of moonlight can be destroyed by... too much moonlight, the Doctor quickly reminds her that she's made up mostly of water, but can still drown.
- Who You Gonna Call?: Queen Victoria establishes the Torchwood Institute at the end of this episode because she learned that her empire has enemies beyond other earthly countries.
- You Look Familiar: Queen Victoria was last seen on the show sporting a Liverpool accent and snogging Jamie.
- You Shall Not Pass: Twice.
- Captain Reynold uses a gun to keep the wolf occupied long enough for the queen to take shelter.
- Sir Robert brings out a sword to buy time for the Doctor to set up the Werewolf melter.