The Fifth Doctor and Turlough visit Brazil in 2080, decades after the Amazon has turned to desert. But not everyone in Rio is dying a slow, lingering death brought about by environmental and economic collapse. Impossibly wealthy werewolf Ileana de Santos and her invalid son are taking a luxurious private train towards their family's private compound.
The Doctor wants to find out more about what's going on, especially once he and Turlough start being stalked by the father of all werewolves, Pieter Stubbe. Ileana, looking for a protector, latches on to the Doctor and confides in him.
The wolf band quickly realises that Turlough and the Doctor aren't human, and toy with them for a bit, ignoring Ileana's pleas. Turlough is driven mad and escapes into the forest, where he meets Rosa, a teenaged native American shaman who's the last of her tribe. She carries the spiritual remains of the entire forest (trees, animals and humans) in her mind. It's driving her a bit mad, but she's willing to bear it if it means she can kill Stubbe once and for all.
When the Doctor decides to be Ileana's new protector, it leads to an Accidental Proposal and a whole lot of angry werewolves. Fortunately, Turlough is carrying Rosa's silver blade when Stubbe swallows him whole, so he's spat back out again (although just slightly traumatised). Eventually, the Doctor saves the day by simply getting Stubbe inside the TARDIS and hovering far above the Earth for a bit. Since werewolves can't live without a connection to the soil, Stubbe is made to realise that he doesn't stand a chance, and that he's an old world artifact with no place in current human society. Instead of killing Stubbe, Rosa guides his spirit into her mind and tells him to enter her spiritual forest, as long as he doesn't stray from the path.
With Ileana's son safe, she hopes the Doctor will stay with her as her husband — but she can't leave the Earth, and he's not at all inclined to settle down (and just a bit embarrassed by the whole ordeal).
- Accidental Proposal: The Doctor promises to be Ileana's new champion (grand heroic speech and all), not realising that it would make him her husband. He decides to roll with it when he realises it's the only way to save her.
- Apocalyptic Log: Rosa's recordings to her dead grandfather are a framing device for the first couple of episodes until she becomes involved in the story proper.
- Belated Backstory: Turlough's home planet gets some beautiful-sounding description. Apparently, the trees on Trion have leaves big enough to walk on.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: "Loups-garoux" isn't proper French. The proper plural is "Loups-garous." (In fairness, French words ending in -ou can take either an x or an s in the plural almost arbitrarily.)
- Celibate Hero: Five claims that women just aren't his area. Turlough rather drily points out the existence of Susan.
- Considering the episode was written by Marc Platt, whose novels canon involves Time Lord reproducing asexually by using looms, it's safe to say that No Hugging, No Kissing is firmly in place.
- Crapsack World: Brazil in the 2080s.
- Darker and Edgier: We have decapitated heads and graphic descriptions of mangled corpses, Turlough encouraging The Doctor to "get in there" with an exotic dancer in a most salacious tone, the werewolves calling another character a "bitch" (though that last one was at least partially a pun). It's definitely not The '80s anymore.
- Deadpan Snarker: Turlough
- Dirty Coward: The Doctor notes Turlough's incredibly well-honed sense of self-preservation, though he shows a dash of the The So-Called Coward when he and Rosa are surrounded by Loups-Garoux.
- Enemy Without: Turlough is confronted with an illusion of his dark side that almost sends him into a "Frontios"-style catatonia.
- Flying Car: Hover-limos, even.
- Girl of the Week: Rosa for Turlough, though she is a bit more invested than he is. Ileana might also count for The Doctor, but since women are "not his area", it's even more ambiguous.
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: There's German, French, and Portuguese in this story.
- Green Aesop: Played completely straight.
- Historical Domain Character: Pieter Stubbe.
- Humans Are Flawed
- Ill Girl: An unusual gender flip with Ileana's son, an Ill Guy.
- Invisible to Normals: Turlough can't see the Wolf people on the Monorail, the Doctor can.
- It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: Justified as The Doctor brought Turlough to Brazil so that he could experience the carnival.
- Last of Her Kind: After the death of her elderly grandfather, Rosa is now the only member of her tribe left standing.
- Little Red Fighting Hood: Rosa is a dab hand with a silver knife.
- Magical Native American: With an entire forest inside her head, Rosa counts.
- Male Gaze: Five claims he's a Celibate Hero but Turlough catches him staring at an exotic dancer in the carnival. So does she.
- Meaningful Name: Rosa means "red". As in Little Red.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Dr. Hayashi.
- Mythology Gag: When he's name-checking all his previous female companions, The Doctor forgets to mention Leela, just as his memory scan didn't include her image in "Resurrection of the Daleks".
- Older Than They Look: The Doctor muses he looks younger than he used to be.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Rosa occasionally sounds more like she's from Newcastle-upon-Tyne than Rio.
- Our Werewolves Are Different
- Perception Filter: To stop people from seeing the werewolves, though it fails on The Doctor.
- Post-Modern Magik: All over the episode. The werewolves travel by monorail, the shaman Rosa has a wrist computer.
- Sexy Discretion Shot: Turlough and Rosa get one. Rosa calls him her boyfriend after that, although Turlough denies being involved with her when the Doctor asks him about it.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The planned execution for Pieter Stubbe.
- They Should Have Sent A Poet: Turlough's description of his home planet is gorgeous.
- Tomato in the Mirror: The werewolves delight in using the "mirror trick" to show people the wolf within as a reflection of their inner dark side. Turlough doesn't take it well.
- Warrior Poet: Five retains his sanity by reciting The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
- Whole Plot Reference: To Little Red Riding Hood, with a twist at the end — it's the wolf who enters the straight path of the forest and is told never to stray.
- Wolves Always Howl at the Moon: Really, always.