Doctor Who (1963–1989): Season 14, Episode 21 - The Talons of Weng-Chiang: Part One - full transcript

In Victorian London, the Doctor and Leela are on their way to a performance by Chinese magician Li H'Sen Chiang when they come across a gang carrying away a body. At the police station, they learn that young girls have been going missing. They also meet the magician who has come to free one of his men. The man bears a tattoo of the a black scorpion, one of the greatest criminal organizations of all time. When the Doctor finds a tuft of rat hair on the dead man, he and Leela explore the sewers. At the theater, the doorman Casey and the manager Jago see what is going on in the cellar.


Mr Chang, wonderful!
Words fail me, sir! Words quite fail me!

You are most generous.

Have I ever, in my thirty years in the halls,

seen such a dazzling display
of lustrous legerdemain?

So many feats of superlative,
supernatural skill -

the answer must be never, sir! Never!

Honourable master is kind to bestow praise

on humble Chang's miserable, unworthy head!

Dashed clever,
the way you work the little fellow!

Wires in the sleeves, I daresay!
But I'll not pry, Mr Chang,

the secrets of the artistes
are sacrosanct!

- Hey! You!
- What the deuce?

- Where's my Emma?
- You're not allowed in here!

- Out of my way. It's him I want!
- Your Emma?

She come in here and ain't been seen since!

- What's happened to her?
- Call the stage hands!

It's all right, Mr Jago.

Please, come with me.

Courteous coves, these Chinese!

I'd have propelled him onto the pavement
with a punt up the posterior!

- Your wife?
- Emma Buller.

Don't deny she was here,
'cause I saw her with my own eyes!

Many ladies come to theatre.
Why should...?

Not round the side door, they don't!

Now, look, I was passing in my cab
and I saw her plain,

and I know it was you she was calling on!

She's been acting queer
ever since you put the 'fluence on her,

so don't come the innocent!
Tell me where she is or I'm calling the law!

- Your wife came on stage?
- Last week! Levitated her, you did.

It's done something to her reason,
I shouldn't wonder,

- and she was here last night!
- Not to see me.

Don't come the cod! She's disappeared!

Nobody's seen her since she come here
last night, so what about it?!

In my country we have saying,

''Man who goes too quickly
may step in bear trap.''

Right, I'm getting the peelers!

These clothes are ridiculous!
Why must I wear them?

If you walk
around Victorian London in skins,

you'll frighten the horses.

Anyway, we don't want
to be conspicuous, do we?

A swamp creature!
That was its attack cry!

No, it was a ship on the river.
We can't be far away.

- From where?
- From where we're going.

You make me wear strange clothes,
you tell me nothing -

- you are trying to annoy me!
- I'm trying to teach you, Leela.

Surely you'd like to see how your ancestors
enjoyed themselves? Splendid.

That's why I'm taking you to the theatre.

Li H'sen Chang... Hmm, pity.
I'd rather hoped we'd catch Little Tich!

Never mind. If we hurry,
we'll just catch the second house.

Get your tail pinned on!
Linens up in five minutes.

Casey! Have you got
the oopizootics coming on?

Mr Jago, I've seen it!

- I've seen it again!
- Be quiet! I told you before!

Horrible, horrible, it was! A great skull
coming at me out of the dark!

Quiet! Threadbare in Carey Street I'll be,

if people think there's anything
wrong with this theatre!

- Chains clanking!
- You've been drinking!

- Not a drop, sir!
- Well, it's time you started!

Now, pull yourself together, man!

I ain't never going down that cellar again!

There I was, fixing the trap,

when this apparition rose up in front of me!

- Hideous, it was, hideous!
- That's enough!

- It's your imagination!
- Never!

A cat must be trapped down there
making noises.

Tell you what I'll do, Casey,
I'll come down with you this evening,

and we'll have a good look round.
How's that?

It was no cat, Mr Jago! I seen it!

Please, Casey, remember, mum's the word!

- This is a big village!
- Yes.

- What's the name of the tribe here?
- Cockneys.

The sound of death!

You stay here.

Excuse me, can I help you?

Hold you there!

- What's all this?
- Touch me and I'll break your arm!

- Don't be foolish, miss.
- Keep back, Doctor! Blue guards!

- Good evening, constable.
- You know this young female, sir?

Yes, we were attacked by this little man
and four other little men.

When I got here, he was being
strangled with his own pigtail, sir.

Really? Girlish enthusiasm, officer?

You might call it that, sir.
I call it making an affray.

I must ask you to come
down the station with me.

You see, ladies and gentlemen,

subject now in state of deep hypnosis.

She asleep!

She not asleep, Mr Sin!

She been slugging type of toddy!

I will prove young lady not asleep!

She's lying on metal bar!

Not lying on metal bar!

I've seen it done before!

I will prove young lady
not lying on metal bar!

- She's held up by wires!
- Enough!

- You can't fool me!
- Silence!

Don't touch me! Help! Police! Murder!

You see? No wires, Mr Sin!

I will now demonstrate art of levitation,

raising most beautiful lady
high above own topknot!

Name, sir?


- Place of residency?
- We've only just arrived.

- We're on our way to the theatre.
- Your home address will do, sir.

- You DO have a permanent address?
- No, we're travellers.

I see. Persons of no fixed abode.

No, no, no, we DO have an abode.
It's called a Tardis...


..but it's not fixed!

I can give you and the young lady
a fixed abode, sir.

- What an imbecile!
- What was that, sir?

Get on with it, Sergeant!

Look, sir. We've got our hands full here -
all these girls going missing -

so if you'd answer any questions,
we'll get on a lot better!

Sergeant, all this is irrelevant!

- I've come here to lay evidence.
- We'll come to that in good time.

We prevented a kidnapping,
a robbery or a murder.

My friend caught one of the attackers.

- Let's come to it now.
- We've only your word as to what he did.

- Tell him!
- The man they were carrying was dead.

He had been stabbed through the heart.

Really? How can you be sure of that?

I am a warrior of the Sevateem.
I know the different sounds of death.

Now, put our prisoner to the torture!

If that don't take the biscuit (!)

Torture, eh?
This isn't the Dark Ages, you know!

Make him talk!

He's a Chinese, if you hadn't noticed.

We get a lot of those in here,
Limehouse being so close.

Him jaw-jaw plenty by and by, eh, Johnny?

- I've sent for an interpreter.
- That won't be necessary.

I speak Mandarin, Cantonese, all the dialects.

- Oh, yes?
- Yes.

Very remarkable, I'm sure, Doctor,

but since you're a party
to the case, it isn't proper.

Now what? That come from the river.

There it is, guv, see? Look!

Hurry with that boat hook!

It's a floater, all right!

You've got it, guv!

On my oath! You wouldn't want
that served with onions!

Never seen anything like it in all my puff!
It'd make an 'orse sick, that would!

Good of you to come so prompt, sir.

Not at all, Sergeant. I'm always
happy to be of service to the police.

- What can I do for you this time?
- A complaint against this man, sir.

This lady and gentleman
swear they saw him, with others,

carrying a body, sir.

- Indeed?
- A European body, as I understand.

- What happened to the others?
- They got away.

- I caught this one.
- YOU caught him? Remarkable!

- Don't I know you?
- I think not.

- I've seen you somewhere before!
- I understand. We all look the same.

Are you Chinese? Yes, that's it.

We must have... No, I haven't been
in China for 400 years.

Are you taking this matter seriously,

We are, sir.
Will you question the man, sir?

Very well.

Can I have paper and pencil, please, Sergeant?

Certainly, sir.

Got it! Li H'sen Chang,

the Master of Magic and Mesmerism!
Show us a trick!


Very good! Very good!

I think he's dead, sir.

- How did you do it?
- I did nothing.

What are you suggesting?

- Scorpion venom.
- Scorpion venom?

Highly concentrated scorpion venom.
It killed him almost instantly.

- The Tong of the Black Scorpion.
- Don't know it, sir.

One of the most dangerous
criminal organisations in the world.

- Do you agree, Li H'sen Chang?
- You seem remarkably well-informed, Doctor.

Alas, I know nothing of these matters.

Most regrettable incident.

- Goodnight, Sergeant.
- Thank you, sir.

- I'm sure we shall meet again.
- Yes.

Perhaps under more pleasant circumstances.

Well, I don't know what to do
about this lot!

Organise a post-mortem.

- I want an analysis of the organs.
- You want what, sir?

If the Tong of the Black Scorpion's
here in London,

- you need my help. Do as I say now!
- Yes, sir.

Faster, man! Faster!

Twinkle, twinkle, out in front!


- Gallery lights still burning.
- I'll see to them now.

- Everyone gone?
- Aye, just locked up.

- I hope those girls go straight home.
- That they will, sir.

- There are nine missing now.
- Some fella was blaming Chang

for some girl's disappearance!

They've fenced off the streets -
mostly in this area.

What do you think's happened to them?

Nothing good, Casey, that's a stone certainty!

The papers say it could be Jolly Jack again.

- Jolly Jack?
- The Ripper, Mr Jago.

The horrendous hyperbole of Grub Street, Casey.

- Eh?
- Newspaper gossip!

Cut along now. I'll wait for you here.

I was right. It was blood!
Blood all over the hand and wrist.

How did that get there?

Ready, Mr Jago!

Casey, don't ever do that to me again!

If the celestial Chang caught me
trying to pinch his tricks...

I had an idea that his dummy
was a midget dressed up,

but it's just an ordinary vent's doll.

Are we going to look down the cellar?

Of course, Casey, of course!

When I promise to do something,
determination, character... After you!

They're a dangerous bunch - followers
of an ancient Chinese god called Weng-Chiang.

- The Tong of the Black Scorpion?
- Yes.

They believe he'll come back
and rule the world.

- What's he like, this Weng-Chiang?
- Very pleasant company (!)

They say he blew poisonous fumes
from his mouth

and killed men with a white light
that shone from his eyes.

- Magic!
- Superstitious rubbish! Here we are.

He was taken from the river
not half an hour ago.

Professor Litefoot's conducting
his examination now.

- Our case is much more urgent.
- I wouldn't go in there, sir.

Don't you worry about it.
Don't you worry.

Thank you.

- Who the devil are you, sir?
- I'm the Doctor, come to help you.

When I need anyone's help
in pathology, I'll ask for it!

The constable suggested a drowning.

He was fished from the river,
but he wasn't drowned.

- Those marks suggest an animal.
- Exactly what I think,

but which animal leaves
mutilations like those?

Chisel-like incisors - a rodent?

That's impossible.
Look at the size of them.

Have you established the cause of death?

That's another curious thing -
all this happened after death.

He was killed by a knife blow
to the heart.

- Are those his clothes?
- Yes, sir.

- I'm taking them for examination.
- Hold that.

He was carrying no personal documents,

but this indicates he was a
licensed cab driver.

We can identify him by his number.

Doctor, those are the clothes
the man we saw was wearing!

- What do you think of these?
- Some sort of hair.

- Yes, I think they're rat hairs.
- Rat hairs?!

- Do you know what you're saying?
- Of course I know what I'm saying.

It's three inches long -
hairs on a rat are only a quarter of an inch.

Interesting, isn't it,

because I've just remembered
something else about Weng-Chiang -

he was the god of abundance.

Yes, he made things grow.
Can I borrow that?

- Thank you.
- Where are we going?

Stay there, Leela.

Were you trying to attract my attention?

What's this?

- A janus thorn.
- I told you not to carry...

He was trying to kill you!


Oh, well, in that case,
you'd better come along.

- What is it?
- The entrance to the sewers.


- Is there where they took the body?
- Yes.

- Where's it go?
- Into the Thames eventually.

All the sewers are connected.

- What are those creatures?
- Rats.

They don't look very dangerous!

No, they're not.

They're very cunning, though.