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134b 'Loups-Garoux'

CD adventure released May 2001, 4 episodes

Writer: Marc Platt
Director: Nicholas Pegg

Roots: Angela Carter's The Company of Wolves The book Moondance, by S.P. Somtow (European werewolves come to the United States with the aim of colonising it, not reckoning on the Native American Werewolf population already there. There is a Lycanthrope aristocrat and entourage who travel the prairies and deserts in a private train, (complete with family crest on the side), and a disturbed werewolf child torn between his human and animal natures who escapes his human caregiver). Marc Platt's werewolf short story 'Loop the Loup' in the Doctor Who Yearbook 1994. Little Red Riding Hood (various plays on 'what big...' and 'all the better' throughout, Stubbe says 'I had my fill of grandmothers long ago'), Werewolf of London (Oriental doctor attending a lycanthrope), The Wolf Man (werewolf vulnerability to silver, 'Mr Talbot' - itself a pun in the film as this was a common name for domestic dogs in Mediaeval England), The Howling (lupine behaviour manifest in werewolf populations). The Doctor quotes from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner part the first and part the sixth, and name-checks 'Alice's White Rabbit', and in addressing the loups-garoux paraphrases Brutus ('Stubbe is an honourable wolf'). The real Pieter Stubbe terrorised the Cologne - Bedbury region until 1589 whereupon he was brought to trial and executed in the manner described in episode one. The Simpsons ('I'm Rosa Caiman, who the hell are you?'). Peter Pan (The Doctor tells Turlough to think wonderful thoughts while he gets the hovertruck to fly).

Goofs: If the train missed the TARDIS, why is there the sound of it hitting something?

The train, returning to Rio is presumably moving backwards, making the back/baggage carriage at the front. Yet Ileana detaches this and leaves it for the Doctor.

Ileana has to restrain Victor from attacking Hayashi when the latter goes to inject him, because Victor 'doesn't like strangers'. Yet Hayashi would have been attending Victor for a while and wouldn't be a stranger [Ileana's obviously not telling the whole story].

Double Entendres: 'I wonder how on Earth that stays up?' '-skill, Doctor...'

Dialogue Disasters: 'One wrong move and he's capybara curry!'

'You're bowling on a sticky wicket.'

Dialogue Triumphs: 'Nasty thoughts are like buses - you don't get one for ages and then a whole army arrive at once.'

The Doctor: 'Where's Rosa? Always the same with companions...'

'What kind of Doctor?' 'Parapatetic. I travel a lot. Permanently on call, you might say.'

'Is that what the TARDIS runs on, Doctor? Imagination?'

Continuity: By 2020 Rio de Janeiro boasts a monorail train system and space port, and although ID implants are regulation, passports are still required for external travel and are checked by robots, which Turlough likens to 'shopping trolleys'. The Doctor speculates that most of its population spend their day 'hunched over computer screens'. Various aerial transport feature, including hover-limos, jeeps and trains - traffic lanes in the city are usually 30 feet above ground level, although Rosa's jeep can fly up to 120 feet. The Amazon forest no longer exists and is now a dustbowl (see: 'Future History'). Displaced Amazon Indians roam the city, and Rosa, an Amazon Indian, uses a 'pers-com' to record her spoken thoughts. Under Amazonian state law, it is an offence not to display your id implant within your city boundaries. Failure to do so may result in a fine (not less that 5,000 credits) or imprisonment (no less than six months). A credit rating of nil is also an offence within city central boundaries. Assaulting a city officer is a punishable offence.

Loups-garoux, or werewolves, are one of the oldest races on Earth (Stubbe claims he was around during the Earth's formation). Unlike natives of Lupana ('The Greatest Show in the Galaxy'), they appear to be able to transform at will rather than on a full moon, although silver, the 'moon's metal', is fatal to them. Other weaknesses identified by Ileana and the Doctor are air (or a fear of heights) and fire. The process of becoming a werewolf isn't explained specifically, though Ileana's story of cannibalism concurs with traditional folklore. Their connection to the Earth is both spiritual and physiological - when Stubbe is removed from the planet he weakens and dies. They are able to make themselves "invisible" to people via 'the mirror trick', or psychological means - the Doctor can see them, but Turlough has more trouble.

Werewolves refer to normal humans as cutclaws. They think the Doctor smells ancient, like stillness, like coming snow, like breaking ice on the rivers in spring, the scent after the lightening before the thunder, or fields after rain, and the oldest forests under the dark fur trees, almost unearthly. Other werewolve legendary figures include Ianst Boxhill of Morebarch and Selena of Glyphstaff (who is old by now), the Misters Moregrim and Torbut and Billy Redtooth of the Cherokee. Peter Stubbe is, according to the stories, the master of shapes and illusions. They claim that most werewolf habits are overblown hype of movies. They have their own stories about Winter and Spring changes (treating them as wolves).

Rosa carries around the forest of her people in her head, complete with spirits and dancing and drums. She can take other beings into her forest. add to trains: trains (which can be programmed) that reach an average speed of 402.35 kilometres per hour.

The Doctor is looking for something, and was told he would know it when he saw it. He looks for possibilities, for things he could never imagine. He wants to know how they work, maybe help them work better. He shares this with his companions. Some people call this 'meddling', some 'helping' and thank him for it. The Doctor keeps a magnifying glass, and can see great distances. He claims nasty thoughts are like buses, you don't get one for ages then a whole army come along together. He is getting better at short hops in the TARDIS. He calls himself a peripatetic doctor. Time is one of his businesses. He would prefer to fly a Spitfire to the hovertruck.

Turlough describes the forests of his world as three times the height of Earth's, with plate-like thick mauve and purple leaves growing in spirals up blood-red trunks. Moths with wings like sapphires live there. When Turlough first meets Peter Stubbe he thinks Peter is wearing a werewolf mask, and claims to have seen better werewolf masks in third rate horror films. Turlough has a dark side that always comes out and hurts others, he doesn't even trust himself. He prefers the dark where no-one can see him, so no-one knows who or what he is.

Links: The Doctor uses K9's whistle, and surprises Turlough with his ability to see at a great distance [cf 'Frontios' - this may suggest that he is long-sighted, needing his spectacles for fine work]. He vocally recalls almost every single previous female companion... Planet of Fire (Turlough mentions his home world, though not by name), the Doctor's meeting Cleopatra may have been at the same time implied during The Masque of Mandragora

Untelevised Adventures: The Doctor implies that he met Cleopatra ('the succour and grace of a carpet flea', and last visited Rio de Janeiro in 1700. He may have flown a Spitfire.

Future History: Circa 2060 the Amazon rainforest, 'the lungs of the world', finally die as its ecosystem collapses. As a result, global war almost breaks out until the Earth's government turns its attention to the Moon and asteroid belt for resources.

Location: 1589, Cologne, Germany; 1812, Russia; 2080 Rio de Janeiro and the Amazon basin.

The Bottom Line: Imaginative and horrific. The werewolf story JN-T always wanted to make, is made here, arguably better than it could have ever been on television and is a great character story. To Platt's credit both Doctor and companion get a great deal to do, but don't squander airtime from the superb guest cast. It does, however, get wearying hearing how terrible humans are and how everyone else is superior to them! Another triumph.

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