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Doctor Who: The Talons of Weng-Chiang, Part One

The Doctor and Leela arrive in 19th century London and are soon swept up into a shadowy mystery of Tong warriors, animated ventriloquist dolls, serial killings, and bizarre animal attacks.

Episode Info

Episode number: 14x21
Production Number: 4S
Airdate: Saturday February 26th, 1977

Director: David Maloney
Writer: Robert Holmes

Alternate Airdates:

France Feb 26, 1977
Ireland Feb 26, 1977

  • Currently 9/10
9/10 (1 Vote cast)
Guest Stars
John Bennett
As Li H'sen Chang
Christopher Benjamin
As Henry Gordon Jago
Chris Gannon
As Casey
Trevor Baxter
As Professor Litefoot
Deep Roy
As Mr Sin
David McKail
As Sergeant Kyle
Conrad Asquith
As P.C. Quick
Tony Then
As Lee
Alan Butler
As Buller
Patsy Smart
As Ghoul
John Wu (2)
As Coolie

Dudley Simpson
As Orchestra Conductor
Main Cast
Tom Baker
As The Fourth Doctor


At a late 19th century theatre in London, magician and ventriloquist Li H'sen Chang finishes his performance. The owner, Henry Jago, congratulates Chang on his performance Chang has his ventriloquist dummy, Mr. Sin, accept his accolades. A cab-driver, Buller, storms in and demands that Chang tell him what happened to his wife Emma, who was present at the theatre the other night. Chang agrees to see the man in his dressing room. Buller insists that since Chang used her as a volunteer in his hypnosis act. Unsatisfied, Buller goes to get the police. As he departs, Chang looks over at Mr. Sin… who nods back with no one touching it...

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Episode Notes
This is the only story of the Tom Baker era in which the Doctor does not wear his trademark scarf.

This episode attracted 11.3 million viewers on initial broadcast.

Episode Quotes
Henry Gordon Jago: Courteous coves, these Chinese. I’d have propelled him onto the pavement with a punt up the posterior.

Li H'sen Chang: In my country, we have saying. "Man who go too quickly may step in bear trap."

Leela: Doctor, you make me wear strange clothes, you tell me nothing. You are trying to annoy me!

Casey: Chains clanking, 9' tall.
Henry Gordon Jago: You've been drinking.
Casey: Not a drop, sir.
Henry Gordon Jago: Well, it's time you start.

Leela: This is a big village?
The Doctor: Yes.
Leela: What's the name of the tribe here?
The Doctor: Cockneys.

The Doctor: We were attacked by this little man and four other little man.
Sergeant Kyle: When I got here, sir, he was being strangled with his own pigtails, sir.
The Doctor: Really? Girlish enthusiasm, officer?
Sergeant Kyle: You might call it that, sir. I call it making an affray.

Sergeant Kyle: You do have a permanent address, don’t you?
The Doctor: No, sergeant, we’re travelers.
Sergeant Kyle: I see, persons of no fixed abode.
The Doctor: No no no, we do have an abode. It’s called a TARDIS.
Sergeant Kyle: A... TARDIS.
The Doctor: But it’s not fixed.

Casey: Are we going to look down the cellar, Mr. Jago?
Henry Gordon Jago: Of course, Casey, of course! When I promise to do something, determination, character... after you.

The Doctor: What's this?
Leela: A janus thorn.
The Doctor: Yes, I thought I told you not to carry...
Leela: He was trying to kill you!
The Doctor: Oh. Oh, well in that case, you'd better come along.

Episode Goofs
Li H'Sen Chang remarks "You seem very well informed, Doctor." However up to that point, the Doctor was never referred to as such in Chang's presence. Sgt. Kyle refers to him only as "the gentleman."

Other Episode Crew

ProducerPhilip Hinchcliffe
Costume DesignerJohn Bloomfield
Production AssistantRos Anderson
Main Title ThemeRon Grainer
Film EditorDavid Lee (6)
Studio LightingMike Jefferies (1)
Studio SoundClive Gifford
Incidental MusicDudley Simpson
Special SoundDick Mills (1)
Film CameramanFred Hamilton
Visual Effects DesignerMichael John Harris (1)
DesignerRoger Murray-Leach
OB LightingJohn Mason (3)
OB SoundVic Godrich
Film RecordistJohn Gatland
Makeup ArtistHeather Stewart (2)
Fight ArrangerStuart Fell
Title SequenceBernard Lodge
Production Unit ManagrChris Doyly John
Warning: Doctor Who season 14 episode 21 guide may contain spoilers
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