Queen Victoria

Make The End Sing

‘Tooth and Claw’ provides an excellent story, packed full of excitement, energy and classic elements aplenty. Heroism and deceit, violence and innovation, fear and elation. We know that Queen Victoria can’t die, mustn’t die, and yet we see the peril she faces and the people who give up their lives in her name.

However, the incredible episode really shines in the conclusion. If you want to have a model for your adventures, look here for how to handle your ending. Yes, you want resolution, the chance to set the world right again and put an end to the plans of the villain – and yet… There should be more. The ending of an adventure should provide threads to continue on beyond the bounds of the current story.

In ‘Tooth and Claw’, we have the obvious introduction of the Torchwood Institute and the implications of a British Empire aware of aliens threat. Also, Queen Victoria suffers an injury at the hands of the Lupine Wavelength Haemavariform, leading to the possibility that down through time the cells of the werewolf might surface again within the Royal bloodline. Further, what repercussions might Victoria’s banishing of the Doctor have. While we know that Torchwood will later seek him out, what impact might it have on later adventures – as any time spent in Victorian England after 1879 might attract the attention of people aware of Victoria’s edict.

Less obvious perhaps, but we also have the thread that Prince Albert and Sir Robert’s father clearly had their own understanding and theories about the werewolf. Given Prince Albert’s meticulous preparation of the Koh-i-Noor diamond it would not be too much of a stretch to suggest something like an occult gentlemen’s club might exist, patronised by the Prince. Similar to the London-based Ghost Club, of which Charles Darwin was a member, such an organisation might seek to gather knowledge about matters of the Unknown and look to arm itself against it.

It’s a great episode – and by following it’s example you can create adventures that provide a great gateway to future encounters.

Tooth and Claw: First Glance

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Tooth and Claw‘ at the weekend – even though a time disfunction (i.e. my kitchen clock running slow) led to my missing the first 10 minutes or so of the episode. Luckily, the story proved simple enough to pick up. I could ascertain something was amiss in the house without seeing the monks initial attack and imprisonment of the staff and the lord’s wife.

Bad timing aside, I enjoyed the story, the CGI effects, the Doctor’s ‘real’ accent, Rose’s desperate efforts to get Queen Victoria to utter her classic line concerning not being amused and the revelations at the end of the episode. It all added up to a brilliant story – and I have to say (having watched Underworld last night) that the BBC really excelled in rendering the wolf at the heart of the story.

Brilliant – and, at times, actually pretty hide-behind-the-sofa scary.