4S. The Talons Of Weng-Chiang

Season Fourteen - 1976/1977

Script Editor: Robert Holmes
Writer: Robert Holmes
Produced by: Philip Hinchcliffe
Director: David Maloney
Designer: Roger Murray-Leach
Incidental Music: Dudley Simpson
Medical Advisors: Ali Bongo and Larry Barnes (both 1,4 - uncredited)
Fight Arranger: Stuart Fell (1,3,6)


The Doctor and Leela visit Earth at the end of the nineteenth century. A series of murders have been committed by a Chinese Tong of the Black Scorpion led by Weng-Chiang.

The Doctor makes friends with a police pathologist, Professor George Litefoot. A hair sample taken from one of the dead bodies appears to have come from a giant rat. Investigations by the Doctor in the sewer show there are indeed giant rats.

The trail leads to the Palace Theatre where the Doctor finds Li H'Sen Chang, who has been procuring young women for his master, Weng-Chiang. Weng-Chiang is in fact Magnus Greel, a war criminal from the 51st century. The journey back through time had weakened his molecular structure and he needed the life-force of the young women to stay alive.

Greel had returned to London to obtain his time cabinet which was in the possession of Litefoot, using the Peking Homunculus to infiltrate Litefoot's house and retrieve the Time Cabinet. The Doctor manages to trap Greel, who falls back into the life-force extraction machine and disintegrates.

Regular Cast

  • Leela: Louise Jameson

Guest Cast

  • Henry Gordon Jago: Christopher Benjamin
  • Professor George Litefoot: Trevor Baxter
  • Mr. Sin (The Peking Homunculus): Deep Roy
  • Li H'Sen Chang: John Bennett (1-5)
  • Casey: Chris Gannon (1-4)
  • Ho: Vincent Wong (1 (uncredited),5,6)
  • Sergeant Kyle: David McKail (1-2)
  • PC Quick: Conrad Asquith (1-2)
  • Lee: Tony Then (1)
  • Joseph Buller: Alan Butler (1)
  • Coolie: John Wu (1)
  • Ghoul: Patsy Smart (1)
  • Weng Chaing (Magnus Greel): Michael Spice (2-6)
  • Teresa Hart: Judith Lloyd (3)
  • Cleaner: Vanue Craig-Raymond (3)
  • Singer (Lottie Randall): Penny Lister (4)
  • Conductor: Dudley Simpson (1,4)
  • Double for the Doctor: Terry Walsh (3)
  • Giant Rat: Stuart Fell (1-4)
  • Young Girls: (all 5-6) Debbie Cumming, Helen Simnet
  • Coolies: Jimmy Ang (5-6), Dennis Chin (1, 5-6), Sabu Kimura (5-6), Arnold Lee (5-6), Fred Leown (1, 5-6)
  • Exras: (all 1) Marie Anthony, Lisa Bergmayer, John Cannon, Chris Carrington, Jean Channon, David J. Graham, Charles Adey Gray, James Haswell, Bill Hughes. James Lloyd, Mary Maxtead, Ronald Musgrove, Bernard Price, Tony Randall, Richard Sheekey, Kevin Sullivan, Bob Williams, Hentley Young
  • Stuntmen: Alan Chuntz (1), Max Faulkner (1, 2, 4), Stuart Fell (4-6)

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 448. Part One Saturday, February 26, 1977 6:30 PM - 6:55 PM 11.2M
BBC 1 449. Part Two Saturday, March 5, 1977 6:35 PM - 7:00 PM 9.8M
BBC 1 450. Part Three Saturday, March 12, 1977 6:30 PM - 6:55 PM 10.2M
BBC 1 451. Part Four Saturday, March 19, 1977 6:30 PM - 6:55 PM 11.4M 60th
BBC 1 452. Part Five Saturday, March 26, 1977 6:30 PM - 6:55 PM 10.1M
BBC 1 453. Part Six Saturday, April 2, 1977 6:30 PM - 6:55 PM 9.3M 58%


  • Television Centre Studio 1

Outside Locations

  • St. Chaplain's Hospital, Northampton
  • The Royal Theatre, Northampton

Working Titles

The Talons of Greel