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Doctor Who: The Talons of Weng-Chiang (Special Edition) (Story 91)

4.5 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Doctor Who: The Talons of Weng-Chiang - Special Edition

"Death stalks the fogbound streets of Victorian London. Young women are going missing. Horribly mutilated bodies are found floating in the Thames. And criminal gangs terrorize the innocent. At the heart of this tangled web sits the mysterious Li H'sen Chang, sorcerer and hypnotist, and his grotesque sidekick – the all-too-lifelike ventriloquist's dummy, Mister Sin. The Doctor dons deerstalker hat and cape to seek out the sinister force lurking in the shadows of the metropolis. For the talons of Weng-Chiang are reaching out to shred the human race. "


Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Baker, Louise Jameson, Christopher Benjamin, John Bennett, Trevor Baxter
  • Directors: David Maloney
  • Writers: Robert Holmes
  • Producers: Philip Hinchcliffe
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Special Edition
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 11, 2011
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0055ASXLI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,312 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Happy Reader TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 19, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm giving this five stars because "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" is one of the all-time spookiest of the Dr. Who stories, and Tom Baker is my favorite of the original run Doctors. As a point of interest, if you have an old VHS version, you may be missing some minor footage. When "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" was first issued on VHS, back in 1988, the producers wanted a British PG rating. In one scene, however, nunchuks are used by the Tong of the Black Scorpion. As nunchuks were then illegal in 1988, the VHS couldn't receive a PG rating with them shown. So the nunchuks use was edited out.

Primarily, I'm writing this review to let you know the differences between this (upcoming, as I write this) October 2011 Special Edition DVD set, and the first DVD set released back in 2003. I checked this out for my own purposes. I have the 2003 set, and I need to figure out if I "need" to purchase the Special Edition set when it comes out in four months. All information below is from British websites.

Here's the extras on the older 2003 two-disc DVD set (issued as part of the Dr. Who 40th anniversary year). This set includes an option for English subtitles, and is complete and unedited (you can see the nunchuks!):
1. Commentary by producer Philip Hinchcliffe, director David Maloney, actor Louise Jameson (Leela), actor John Bennett (Li H'Sen Chiang), and actor Christopher Benjamin (Jago)
2. "Whose Doctor Who", a 59 minute 1977 episode from the BBC2 TV series, "The Lively Arts". Hosted by Melvyn Bragg, this is a fun look at the psychological impact of the Doctor Who show over the years, and includes interviews with school-children. Part of the program has behind-the-scenes footage of "The Talons of Weng-Chiang".
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you went through the 26 years of Doctor Who, the longest running sci-fi show in history and you needed to pick the top 5 or maybe even the top 3 adventures, I feel comfortable saying that 99% of the fans would easily place The Talons of Weng-Chiang" in that group. The show comes from the pen of Robert Holmes and was the final show under the helm of producer Phillip Hinchcliffe, who had produced the greatest group of adventures ever for the Doctor. This, combined with the most popular Doctor of them all, Tom Baker and a wildly popular companion, Leela, makes for a grand adventure.
Taking place in Victorian London, this is one of the richest adventures in the history of the show and one of the most well written with some fantastic characterization. Magnus Greel and the Homonculous creature as well as Li Sen Chang are magnificent villains in this thriller. Yes, the giant rat is cheesy but it's all part of the fun of '70's Doctor Who. I can't recommend the adventure highly enough and there are a lot of great extras as well. I think it's also a great homage to Robert Holmes that, of the Who adventures that are out on DVD or are about to come out, there are quite a few Holmes stories amongst the few out so far, including "Carnival of Monsters", "Spearhead from Space", "The Power of Kroll", "The Ribos Operation", "The Ark in Space", "The Two Doctors", "The Talons of Weng Chiang" and "The Caves of Andozani". So, in essence, of the 158 adventures in 26 years, so far, 23 have come out on DVD. Of those 23, 8 have been written by Robert Holmes! And I believe Pyramids of Mars is coming out next, also from Holmes. Can there be any doubt that this man has done some of if not THE best "Who"?
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By A Customer on October 30, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There are those who consider Doctor Who to be at its very best when the errant Time Lord is visiting Earth and dealing with alien threats that are Earthbound. Doctor #3 himself, the late Jon Pertwee, often stated this story genre to be his favorite, and judging by the number of Earthbound stories from the show's lengthy history, many agreed. The latest two releases on DVD from the BBC archives are united in their "Earth invasion" theme, but both have taken an interesting and indeed unique slant on the alien invasion of London twist.
The "Dalek invasion of Earth" was the last adventure made in the first season production block, way back in 1964, albeit held over and broadcast as the second story in season two. The adventure is significant for many reasons, mainly because it featured the departure of one of the original Tardis crew, and also because it was the first "sequel" to feature in the show, featuring the return of the enormously popular Daleks, created by Terry Nation. Set almost 200 years in the future, the adventure mainly takes place in central London, allowing for much location filming around familiar sights, which adds to the realism of the story. It was the first real use of extensive location filming in the show's history and was well worth the effort to take the show out of the studio and bring a more epic quality to the production. The closing sequence featuring the Doctor (as played by William Hartnell) bidding farewell to his granddaughter Susan, played by Carole Ann Ford, may also be one of the entire series most poignant scenes.
All six of the original black and white episodes have been painstakingly restored to almost their original broadcast quality, with many enhancements to some of the laughable special effects added as an option.
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