EPISODE: The Talons of Weng-Chiang Part Five
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 452
STORY NUMBER: 091
TRANSMITTED: 26 March 1977
WRITER: Robert Holmes
DIRECTOR: David Maloney
SCRIPT EDITOR: Robert Holmes
PRODUCER: Philip Hinchcliffe
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: Revisitations Box Set - Volume 1 (The Caves Of Androzani / The Talons Of Weng-Chiang / Doctor Who - The Movie)
Returning to Litefoot's house, the Doctor & Leela find that the time cabinet has gone. Finding the empty laundry basket the Doctor works out that it was Chang's "dummy" that let the Chinese men in and that is actually a device called the Peking Homunculus from the 51st century. "Weng Chiang" is pleased to have regained the cabinet but becomes furious when he realises his servants have forgotten the bag containing the key when they moved him from the theatre! The Doctor attempts to trace the cabinet back to the laundry, fearing it's use will cause a massive explosion. Jago finds the missing bag and goes to find the Doctor at Litefoot's house. In the laundry the Doctor & Leela discover the dying Chang, missing his leg and high on opium. He tells them that Weng Chiang can be found at "The House of the Dragon". Jago & Litefoot follow Chinese men searching the Palace Theatre but are taken prisoner by them, revealing to "Weng Chiang" that the bag is at Litefoot's house. The Doctor returns to find them gone and a note left for them. In the bag he finds a Trionic Lattice, the key to the Time Cabinet. They wait in the house for Weng Chiang to collect the key. Jago & Litefoot attempt escape but are recaptured. "Weng Chiang" breaks into Litefoot's house, but is unmasked by Leela revealing a hideously deformed face.
We haven't had an episode like this for quite a while: pure filler. Decent, good looking filler. But still filler. The thing that makes it obvious is the sequence in the middle where Litefoot & Jago plan their escape, spend some time executing it and then promptly get recaptured!
Playing the character still known as "Weng Chiang" is actor Michael Spice who previously voiced Morbius in The Brain of Morbius.
Robert Holmes had originally planned that Robert Banks-Stewart, writer of Terror of the Zygons & Seeds of Doom, would write the final story of this season which was commissioned under the title "The Foe From The Future". Banks-Stewart was then offered the Script editor's job on Thames' series Armchair Thriller which meant he was unable to script this story leaving Holmes to write his second story of the season. By this point it became known that Philip Hinchcliffe would be leaving the programme, so he encouraged Holmes to write whatever he wanted and then directed the departments involved in making the story to ignore the usual budgetary restraints. Consequently although the story went over budget it produced something that looks superior to many of the tales produced at the same time.