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TME > Video > Commercial Releases

The Talons of Weng-Chiang

Women of Victorian London fall prey to an unknown menace, while monstrous terrors lurk in the sewers under the city. Chinese gangs scurry in the dank fog, and a sinister stage magician seeks to serve his mysterious master. The Doctor and Leela arrive, only to find themselves plunged into a series of macabre horrors.

-- from the DVD release, 2003

Often considered the pinnacle of Philip-Hinchcliffe-produced Doctor Who, this was a clear contender for release in the early days of VHS, and took the form of a lavish 2-disc set for DVD.

Episode timings on DVD: 24'45", 24'30", 21'58", 24'32", 24'50", 23'30"
Episode timings on PasB: 24'43", 24'28", 21'56", 24'30", 25'44". 23'46"


VHS releases

01/04/1987: Aus - PolyGram - BBC20272 [reissued 1/4/1992, deleted 21/12/1994]
??/??/1988: US - Playhouse - 5094
??/07/1988: NZ - PolyGram - BBC20272
4/11/1988: UK - BBC Enterprises - BBC4187
??/?/1999: US - CBS/Fox - 5094 [renumbered by WHV in 2000 to E1153]

The UK release followed after the Australian one (hence having a different cover), and was a compilation edition with a number of cuts to the fight sequences in the first episode. It was never released uncut on a UK VHS.

The US 1999 release was part of the 'Gateway Collection' - low-cost Tom Baker stories released at the same time. Pyramids of Mars, The Stones of Blood and City of Death were also included.

DVD releases

28/04/2003: UK - BBC Worldwide - BBCDVD1152
30/06/2003: Aus - Roadshow - B0003519
07/10/2003: US - Warner Home Video - E1814

As standard for 2003 releases, the UK edition had a sticker added to the front, and the Australian version included a whole new logo, and was housed in a silver slipcase.

Cover by Clayton Hickman for UK/Aus - an early version featured a different image on the right hand side (below).

Also available, although few details are known about it, is a 24ct gold version of the disc, with artwork signed by Tom Baker and (somewhat bizarrrely) Nicholas Courtney (right).

DVD Bonus features

With Louise Jameson, Christopher Benjamin, John Bennett, David Maloney (Director) and Philip Hinchcliffe (Producer) - recorded 5/1/2003 in Dubbing Theatre 3 at TVC.
Information Text
By Martin Wiggins.
Behind The Scenes (25'15")
A compilation of footage from a Shibadan recording of the studio taping.
Archive Consultant: Jan Vincent-Rudzki
(C) BBC Worldwide 2003

Blue Peter Theatre
A compilation made up of this, this, this and this.

Philip Hinchcliffe Interview

Trails and Continuity
Tardis-Cam No 6 (1'42")
The last of the TARDIS-Cam features that had originally premiered on BBCi.
3D Modelling & Animation: Nick Sainton-Clark
Digital Compositing: Ian Simpson
Audio Design: Mark Ayres
For BBC Fictionlab
Editor: Jamie Cason
Commissioning Editor: Martin Trickey
Producer: James Goss
Executive Producer: Richard Fell
(C) BBC Fictionlab 2003.

Photo Gallery ('3'22")
39 colour and b/w photos.
Howard Da Silva Episode Intros
The American Region One release of this story also features a featurette on Howard Da Silva, the actor who provided introductory narration to the episodes themselves during their initial run in the States.

Easter Eggs: After the final episode has played, a caption describes the trailer that immediately followed. Click left from 'Trails and Continuity' for the opening credits without captions.

Restoration Notes

Jonathan Wood performed a regrading and deblobbing, leaving Mark Ayres to remaster the soundtrack. The prints were in good enough quality that only minor work was required all round.


14/10/1988 - Passed as 'U' by the BBFC for the UK, following 10 seconds of cuts
17/01/2003 - Continuity featurette, and a 39' Easter Egg, passed as 'U' by the BBFC for the UK. Remainder of bonuses passed as 'PG'
27/03/2003 - Passed as 'PG' by the BBFC for the UK
09/04/2003 - One episode passed as 'G' by the OFLC for Aus/NZ
16/04/2003 - Passed as 'PG' (for 'Low Level Violence') by the OFLC for Aus/NZ

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