View Poll Results: How would you rate The Talons of Weng-Chiang?

Voters
13. You may not vote on this poll
  • 10: That's very magnanimous of you, Magnus

    9 69.23%
  • 9: I think even the great Li H'sen Chang would approve of that

    4 30.77%
  • 8: As solid as the Rock of Gibraltar

    0 0%
  • 7: Just wanna put me plates up and 'ave a cuppa rosie

    0 0%
  • 6: Fresh as dew and twice as beautiful

    0 0%
  • 5: Oh corks!

    0 0%
  • 4: The brightest thing about 'em is their buttons

    0 0%
  • 3: Have you been drinking?

    0 0%
  • 2: Let the talons of Weng-Chinag shred your fleeeeeeesh!

    0 0%
  • 1: Make and 'orse sick, that would

    0 0%
Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
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    Default Rate and Discuss: The Talons of Weng-Chiang



    The Doctor takes Leela to meet her ancestors, and encounters the 51st century war criminal Magnus Greel posing as the great God Weng-Chiang, the murderous Peking Homunculus and the delighful double act of Jago and Lighfoot.

    It's one of the classics of Doctor Who, but what do you think of it?

  2. #2
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    Dire. Woeful acting, total lack of atmosphere, rubbish sets and costumes. Doctor Who would never sink this low again!

    I gave it a ten.

  3. #3
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    It's the only Doctor Who story I've watched where I've rewound the tape and watched it again straight away because it's so good.

  4. #4
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    There

    just

    aren't

    the

    words.


    10/10

  5. #5
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    Someone gave it a nine?

  6. #6
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    I gave it a 9 because it's not City of Death. Very few Doctor Who stories are worthy of a perfect score IMO.

  7. #7
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    Admittedly at the time, we didn't have that many Who videos - but nevertheless, back in the day this is the story I watched the most. It's extraordinary, IMHO, that a story which had a legitimate claim as the best ever (ie, Robots of Death) should be trumped by the very next story. Talons is just so watchable, it looks fantastic, it's by turns funny and scary and exhilarating, the characters feel like 'real' people, the setting feels like a 'real' setting, and there's also (fairly unusually for Who) a sense of time passing - we have evenings, and breakfasts, and evenings again.

    Just gorgeous - the only thing I could ever really criticise it for is that by overspending to make this so good, the incoming Graham Williams was really forced to stick to budget, so the apparent switch in quality from this to the next season is a sad fallout.

    The Talons of Weng-Chiang was a success, a glorious success!!!!!

  8. #8
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    It was a glorified failure!

    Although admittedly, you won't find many people who's say such a thing. Like the best comfort viewing, Talons sucks you in from the very first scene. Even if you happen to start with a scene somewhere in the middle.

    It's notable that the two stories where Robert Holmes came closest to offering a straight re-write of 'Phantom of The Opera' are the two most popular in most fan polls. This story features a masked villain getting up to sinister goings-on involving young women, working from behind the scenes at a Victorian-style theatre, run by a hapless buffoon.

    Li H'sen Chang: "In sleep, he sang to me Mr Sin. In dreams, he came. That voice that called to me, that spoke my name."

    But then there's Sherlock Holmes and Fu Manchu as well. Never mind Daleks Vs Cybermen, this is the real fanboy team-up that everyone had been waiting for!

  9. #9
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    One of my favourite stories.

  10. #10
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    It has always been, and probably always will be, my favourite ever DW story - one of the few I would give 10/10 for, the one I always reach for if I'm feeling down, the one DVD I would grab if the house were burning down.

    I could wax on forever about why I love it so, and why I think it's so great. Yes, as an adult I'm not blind to its flaws, but since seeing it on transmission at 9 years old my memories of Mr Sin, and the Tong, and the magic tricks, and Mr Sin, and the giant rats, and the masked man in the cellar , and Mr Sin, and a giant laser shooting dragon and.... well, you get the idea.

    You could add another 30 voting categories with yet more quotes and you still wouldn't have covered but a fraction.If Bob Holmes had never written a story before or since, he would still go down in history as one of the best DW writers ever. I wish I'd had chance to meet him and tell him so.
    Bazinga !

  11. #11
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    If it wasn't for the giant rat this would have got a perfect 10. So it's a 9 from me.
    Iím being extremely clever up here and thereís no one to stand around looking impressed! Whatís the point in having you all?

  12. #12
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    I was one of the miserable sods who gave it a 9/10.

    Why?

    Well, the problem lies in that I didn't actually see this story until it's initial DVD release in 2003. By that time, I'd been a fan for 10 years. For six years of that, I'd had my father telling me how good a story it was. For the next two years, I'd had DWM telling me how good it was. For the final two, I'd been online and getting involved in fandom there - and everyone had been telling me how amazing Talons was.

    So by the time I actually saw it, I was expecting it to be the best story ever. And while many people will argue that, I didn't find it to be so, having found it over hyped. If I'd seen it without anyone telling me how amazingly good it was, like I did with Caves or Fenric, I may have had a different view.

    While many may not see this as a valid reason for knocking a point off what is undoubtedly an excellent production and story - bear in mind that it affected my enjoyment of it. And to an extent, it still does today.

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  13. #13
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    Just watched it. It's fabulous isn't it?

  14. #14
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    Yes. Stuff the giant rat (ah, my apologies, someone already has!), even that doesn't spoil my enjoyment of this story. 10/10, and anyone who gives it less is indeed (Ant's words) a miserable sod. One of the absolute pinnacles of the show's history, when everything goes right Well, except couldn't they cast a proper oriental acor to play Chang, but the performance was outstanding all the same.

  15. #15
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    except couldn't they cast a proper oriental acor to play Chang
    When Zel first saw this one in around 2000, knowing nothing about the story at all, that was pretty much the first thing she said - having seen it as a kid, I'd never given it any thought, but to her it stuck out like a sore thumb as quite a 'questionable' thing.

    However, although no question that you wouldn't cast a white caucasian actor nowadays and then 'oriental' him up, back then... It was a similar thing with Michael Bates in Ain't Alf Hot Mum. I'm not even sure there would have been any oriental actors in the UK at that time with good enough English to handle all the dialogue would there? Chang is a very wordy part, it needs to be well-spoken I think.

  16. #16
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    Well it was "respectable in the '70s", to coin a phrase; from our modern viewpoint, not only would it not be done for the obvious reasons, it just seems silly to cast an actor who obviously isn't oriental to be playing a Chinese person. Far worse was happening in the portrayal of Jews and "friends of Mr. Humphries" in entertainment at the time though, it has to be said.

  17. #17

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    The Talons of Weng-Chiang is one of the greats of Doctor Who. It is written by the legend that is Robert Holmes and takes on Sherlock Holmes, Fu Manchu and many other highly regarded Victorian fictional figures which makes it the classic it is today.

    10/10

  18. #18

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    Never seen it. Never even read the Target. Sorry. Not quite sure what the point of this post was.

  19. #19
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    There's always one!