Serial: 4S Episode Nos. 448, 449. 450, 451, 452, and 453. Title: The Talons of Weng-Chiang
The Doctor plans a night at a Victorian East End theater for Leela, but instead they stumble upon
a murder, one among a series being carried out at the behest of the great magician Li H'Sen Chang
for his god Weng-Chiang. The Doctor's suspicions lead him to the Palace Theater, the sewers of
starring Tom Baker as Doctor Who and Louise Jameson as Leela.
Written by Robert Holmes, Produced by Philip Hinchcliffe, and Directed by David Maloney.
This DVD was originally released in 2003. That version has now been withdrawn from sale.
It has now been re-released as The Talons of Weng-Chiang Special Edition.
The features listed below are for the Special Edition. Differences from the original version
On Disc 1:
- All 4 episodes of the story as originally broadcast, but digitally remastered and restored.
The restoration has been completely redone from scratch for this Special Edition.
- Graphical menus, episode and scene selection features, and subtitles for
the hearing impaired.
- Optional commentary track by actors Louise Jameson (Leela), John Bennett (Li H’Sen
Chang), and Christopher Benjamin (Henry Gordon Jago), producer Philip Hinchcliffe,
and director David Maloney. (This is the same commentary as in the earlier release.)
- Information Text subtitles option. Displays pop-up production trivia throughout
On Disc 2:
All of the content on this disc is new. None of it appeared in the earlier release.
- “The Last Hurrah” A 32-minute conversation between Tom Baker and Philip Hinchcliffe
at Tom’s home where they discuss how this was their last story together. Also features
actors Louise Jameson, Christopher Benjamin, Trevor Baxter (Prof. Litefoot), costume
designer John Bloomfield, designer Roger Murray-Leach, and director David Maloney.
- “Moving On” A 5-minute look by Philip Hinchcliffe at the ideas he had for the next
season had he remained in charge.
- “The Foe From the Future” A 7-minute look at the original unmade story concept by
writer Robert Banks Stewart and producer Philip Hinchcliffe that was then completely
changed and rewritten into The Talons of Weng-Chiang.
- “Now and Then” An 11-minute look at the locations the story was shot at and how
they look today.
- “Look East” A 4-minute feature a 1977 news program did on the making of this story
on location, including an interview with Tom Baker.
- “Victoriana and Chinoiserie” An 8-minute discussion of the literary influences in this
story between producer Philip Hinchcliffe and Dr. Anne Witchard, an expert in literature.
- “Music Hall” A 22-minute documentary about the history of the real music hall theaters.
- “Limehouse: A Victorian Chinatown” A 19-minute documentary about the Limehouse area
and its uses in this story and in other stories in English literature.
On Disc 3
This contains all of the bonus content that was on Disc
2 of the original
It is missing two features that were on the original North American edition (because they
weren’t on the
“Who’s Who” biography text and the Howard DaSilva introduction narration featurette.
- “Whose Doctor Who” – a 1977 BBC2 documentary running 1 hour that examined the
program’s history, how it affects children, and went behind-the-scenes on the making of
The Talons of Weng-Chiang.
- Philip Hinchcliffe Interview – a 1977 BBC TV interview with producer Philip Hinchcliffe,
running 11 minutes.
- Behind-the-Scenes – 24 minutes of poor quality “wild” video footage of the final
Talons studio session.
- Blue Peter – 26 minutes of segments from 1970s episodes of the children’s series
Blue Peter that taught children at home how to build their own Doctor Who
theater from items found around the house.
- 40th Anniversary Celebration – a 3 minute “music video” of clips from the entire series
set to a reedited version of the theme music as recorded by dance club music group Orbital.
- Subtitles option. All featurettes can be played with caption subtitles for the
- Trails and Continuity. A little more than 2 minutes of the BBC announcers trailers
for The Talons of Weng-Chiang and the Whose Doctor Who documentary.
- Tardis Cam No. 6. A new 1-minute special effects featurette showing the TARDIS
travelling in space, originally made for the BBCi Doctor Who website.
- Photo Gallery