Thursday, March 15, 2012

Doctor Who 2-3: Tooth and Claw

In episode 3 of season 2 of Doctor Who, "Tooth and Claw," Rose and the Doctor visit 19th century Scotland and meet Queen Victoria.

Here we get the Doctor Who trope that some creature that has been relegated to folklore and mythology in the world is actually some advanced alien species.  In this case, the werewolf is actually an alien that is passed on through a bite.  None of the werewolf rules really change, but they are now explained through alien technology (although the technology is not explained).

We get another interesting connection between what is relegated to fantasy and what is relegated to science in this episode.  At one point Queen Victoria mentions that to be a learned person means to have knowledge of both Astronomy (the hard sciences) and folklore.  To truly have learning one needs to understand science and literature.

The episode is a fairly typical werewolf story line.  Werewolf attacks, humans run, the Doctor finds the way to defeat the werewolf using technology.  All is well with the world, except the fact that even though the Doctor saved the day, Queen Victoria is not amused.  After knighting the Doctor and Rose, she declares the Doctor and enemies of the state and banishes them from the kingdom.

Interestingly, the episode takes place in Scotland, at the house of a Scottish Lord called the Torchwood Estate. This is now our second reference to Torchwood this season.  At the end of the episode, Queen Victoria vows to set up an institute to study alien life and learn to protect England from its threats.

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