(ISBN 1-903654-29-7)





 townspeople of

 Cologne pronounce

 the death sentence on

 a mass-murderer

 who has stalked the

 countryside in the

 guise of a ferocious



 Russia, 1812:

 retreating from

 Napoleon's invading

 forces, a merchant's

 daughter is rescued

 from bandits by a

 handsome partisan

 with a ravenous



 Brazil, 2080: the

 Doctor and Turlough

 arrive for the Rio de

 Janeiro carnival.

 Wealthy heiress

 Ileana de Santos is

 not all she seems -

 and what sinister

 ailment afflicts her

 invalid son, tended by

 the mysterious Dr

 Hayashi? And who

 exactly is Rosa,

 engaged on a secret

 quest to fulfil the

 destiny of her extinct



 Time is running out

 for Rosa, Ileana and

 the Doctor, as the

 fearsome shadow of

 an ancient werewolf

 moves ever closer...


 PREVIOUS                                                                                  NEXT




june 2001







“The wolf that ate Rio…”


After twenty-six years of aliens and monsters on television it is easy to assume that the Doctor at some point did battle with werewolves. Well he did not. Not on television, at least. However, with its twentieth release Big Finish returns from the world of the eighth Doctor to take us back somewhere between the televised stories “Resurrection of the Daleks” and “Planet of Fire”, to tell us about the time the Doctor and Turlough did meet the werewolves…


Marc Platt’s script is soaked in the mythology of werewolves. He tackles the subject with all the zest and enthusiasm that he does ancient Gallifrey, cutting away the fat of Hollywood’s embellishments on the legend and leaving us with a chilling, mystical, and at times really quite moving tale.


The opening of the play evokes vivid images in the mind of the listener, and as the Doctor and Turlough made their way through the Carnival I was reminded how well the unusual pairing work together. In “Phantasmagoria”, Davison and Strickson both sounded as if

they had stepped straight out of season twenty-one, but without a proper female companion the story felt like it was lacking something. With “Loups-Garoux,” however, Platt turns the problem on its head and makes Turlough in particular more ‘laddish.’ Early on at the carnival a woman tries to tempt the Doctor to dance, and it is quite funny to hear Turlough laddishly trying to pressure him into it. The events of the play even lead to an amusing scene near the end where the two friends discuss women, of whom the Doctor claims to know nothing, then proceeds to reel off a list of all his female travelling companions!


Were Platt to have written a traditional “Doctor Who and the Werewolves” story and recorded it with a good director and a decent cast chances are it would have been a great story. However, the man who revealed to us the Doctor’s mysterious origins and his wacky family is not one to do things the traditional way. As it turned out, “Loups-Garoux” had a

great director in Nicholas Pegg and probably the best cast assembled so far under Big Finish. Most importantly of all though, Platt shifted the emphasis of his story away from the obvious – rather than the Doctor ‘doing battle with the evil werewolves’, the alien Doctor and the alien Turlough land on Earth – Brazil, as opposed to home counties England –  and free from bias they eventually end up sympathising with both the werewolves and the humans.


It is interesting how Platt depicts all the characters (be they humans or theranthropic metamorphs) as shades of grey. Even Turlough is given the opportunity to once again explore his darker side. Eleanor Bron (“City of Death”, “Revelation of the Daleks”) heads the supporting cast as Ileana de Santos. Bron’s character is fascinating as for a long while we are left guessing just who the enemy is – is it her? Is it Hayashi, the suspicious man she has hired to look after her werewolf son? Is it this mysterious werewolf, Stubbe? As the play progresses it is revealed that Stubbe (hauntingly played by Nicky Henson) wants to lead all the Loups-Garoux and have them cull humanity for their food, which of course the Doctor will not allow. Moreover, Stubbe is in love with Ileana (who is also revealed as a werewolf) and has pursued her for hundreds of years, never letting up. Unfortunately for him she is opposed to his advances, and so once again the Doctor must intervene. However, Platt manages to keep the Doctor and Turlough on the sidelines for a great deal of the play which creates a lot of tension as the audience guesses which side (if any) our heroes will take.


In the final episode Platt masterfully brings all these strands together, as Ileana falls in love with the Doctor and Turlough faces his own darker, more primordial side, his adventure with Rosa helping him put his “shadow” behind him forever, building towards his upcoming departure in “Planet of Fire.” However, after a story as good as deep and as interesting as this, I hope this does not prove to be Turlough’s final, I mean er, penultimate adventure in the TARDIS!


Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2006


E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

Unless otherwise stated, all images on this site are copyrighted to the BBC and are used solely for promotional purposes.

Doctor Who is copyright © by the BBC. No copyright infringement is intended.