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Recap / Big Finish Doctor Who 159 The Emerald Tiger

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The Doctor and his companions Nyssa, Tegan and Turlough are in Calcutta, visiting for the Doctor's favourite pasttime. Cricket. But before they can see the match, a creature-that-was-once-a-man attacks the crowd, and bites Nyssa. Nyssa contracts what the Doctor thinks is rabies, and the TARDIS gets stolen onto a private train! A chase occurs, obviously.

But in the jungles of India, the undiscovered country, they find a literal beast with emerald eyes, it spreads darkness where it goes, and will mean the death of everybody it comes across.


The Emerald Tiger contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Big Damn Heroes: Tegan gets a particularly epic one, riding in on an elephant to scare off the monsters and save the day.
  • Body Horror: Nyssa's transformation is extremely painful and involuntary.
  • Call-Back: Nyssa mentions Terminus.
  • Call-Forward: Turlough mentions that he doesn't like caves.
  • Chase Scene: Between a train and a hot air balloon.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Giving Tegan the TARDIS key.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Disney Death: Nyssa. Having reintroduced the character at a point after her televised departure, Big Finish are clearly delighting in teasing the very real possibility that they could permanently kill off an original series companion.
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  • Distinction Without a Difference:
    Tegan: Your tiger is going to eat a friend of mine!
    Lady Forrester: No. Kill him, yes. Eat him? No.
  • Drives Like Crazy: The Doctor is not the world's best driver.
  • Easy Amnesia: Professor Narayan
  • Fountain of Youth: As a side effect of the healing energy given to Nyssa at the end of the story. Not only is she cured of the werebeast virus, she is de-aged several decades. Tegan notes she looks exactly as she did when they parted company in "Terminus".
  • Friendship Moment: The Doctor is overjoyed to find out Tegan isn't dead, and tells her that the universe just wouldn't be as interesting without her in it. Naturally, she agrees.
  • Go-to Alias: The Doctor introduces himself as "Dr. Smith" to a hot air balloon pilot.
  • Gratuitous French: Tegan employs some.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Major Haggard.
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  • Hungry Jungle: Thanks to an alien entity controlling most of the flora and fauna.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Turlough averts it for once, swapping out his school uniform (something he never did in the series) in trade for a three piece suit in order to better fit in during the time period.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Killing off Tegan fools no one.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Jahn is actually Jonathan, Lady Adela's son whom she thought died in the jungle as a toddler.
  • MacGuffin: The Emerald Tiger.
  • Mauve Shirt: Edgar.
  • Mega Manning: Djahnn devours Dawon and Narayan in order to add their power to him.
  • Mega Neko:
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The substance the Emerald Tiger is made of functions as a medical adhesive, which rearranges biological makeup to make healthier ones. Accidentally creating ruby-beetles, and flying frogs and the such.
  • Nubile Savage: Jonathan is a male version, running around the jungle in a loincloth, and Tegan describes him as having a "surfer's build".
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Dawon spends some time pretending to be just a dumb animal, if an extremely exotic one.
  • Older Than They Look: Professor Narayan. Hugely.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The Doctor is distraught enough over Tegan's demise that he rounds on Turlough in a blunt fury when he suggests not putting themselves into more danger, and goes so far as to tell him to leave the TARDIS if he doesn't follow orders.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: Victims of the Emerald Tiger can turn themselves into giant tigers, but with each transformation returning to human form becomes more and more difficult.
  • Quintessential British Gentleman: The Doctor brings the TARDIS team to India, 1908 ... for a cricket match.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Turlough.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Talking Animal: Dawon.
  • Third-Person Person: Jonathan, functioning as a Tarzan homage.
  • Unobtanium: The Tiger Emerald is a substance called Hemogonite which can alter genetic makeup in order to heal wounds better. It crash landed onto Earth millennia ago.
  • Up Through the Ranks: Major Cyril Haggard.
  • Vindicated by History: The inverted of this, really. Darwin gets invoked, and it's pointed out how peers view him as a madman.
  • The Virus: The tiger transformation functions in this way.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Tegan and Turlough, even when one has just come back from apparently certain death.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Major Haggard.

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