Originally posted Brontoforumus, 2009-12-05.
The Talons of Weng-Chiang is commonly referenced as a fan-favorite episode, so I gave it a look. It probably didn't live up to the hype, but it was still pretty good. It's a Fourth Doctor/Leela story in Victorian England, where they face off against the eponymous villain, who's a gestalt of Fu Manchu, Jack the Ripper, Dracula, and the Phantom of the Opera. The Doctor plays a Sherlock Holmes-y role.
It's got a great setting, sets, and costumes, good characters, and fantastic Fourth Doctor dialogue. The main thing working against it is its stereotypical portrayal of the Chinese -- some of this, like comments made by the English characters, is simply an accurate portrayal of the time the story's set in, but the character of Li H'sen Chang, played by an Anglo in heavy makeup, is damned awkward.
Those blemishes aside, it's a great story, with nice visuals and writing, and one of the Fourth Doctor's best, which is to say one of the series' best.
The special edition is currently $25 at Amazon, while the non-special edition has inexplicably shot up from $15 to $28.14. $25 seems a bit much; I'd suggest waiting for a sale or for it to become available for streaming.
Aaaand I think that's the last of my old Who reviews. Guess I'll have to find something else for my phoned-in posts when I can't come up with anything new to write. Course, I've written plenty else over at the forums over the years that I'm sure I can plunder.