Some of the best Doctor Who production stories, apocryphal or not, are about the stories which either never happened or, more typically, about the ‘last-minute’ collapse which required a complete script written over the course of a weekend, that sort of thing. In the classic series realm, these stories included The Invasion of Time (a weekend miracle) and The War Games (painfully extended from 6 to 10 episodes). There’s a frighteningly long list of unmade Doctor Who stories over at Wikipedia which shows all of the never-were cul-de-sacs.
All of which brings the Tour to the latest entree’ in Modern Recap-itulation. Tooth and Claw, at least, has the reputation of being a last-minute fill-in script from RTD but overall, especially with the direction from Euros Lyn, and given that it was the first drop in the Torchwood mythos, it seems just too polished for that.
There’s a lot of style within Tooth and Claw and it all starts with Pauline Collins as Queen Victoria. One of the great never-were companions from the Troughton era, she was fierce and commanding but vulnerable when she had to be. The werewolf myth is underpinned nicely and the CGI is effectively realized. So what’s not to like about Tooth and Claw?
Well, it’s hardly an original thought but it’s the occasional interplay between the Doctor and Rose regarding Queen Victoria and the cavalier attitude about the danger which the Queen herself quite rightly called them on at the end of the story. It comes dangerously close to undercutting the drama. In fact, you could extrapolate this as a theme that got Clara killed in Face the Raven quite recently. Hopefully, that lesson will have been learned in the crafting of the yet-to-be-disclosed companion.