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Doctor Who
by yo go re

Doctor Who has never really been that popular in the United States. Sure, the supernerds enjoyed the adventures of the Fourth Doctor (the one with the scarf) on PBS in the '70s and '80s, but even the original Battlestar Galactica - sci-fi's own red-headed step-child - had more mainstream cachet than Doctor Who. But that changed when the BBC mounted a new version of Doctor Who in 2005, and the series was imported by the SciFi Channel. Suddenly, the Doctor was wildly popular - even among casual nerds! So popular, in fact, that he got something that hadn't been seen since the '70s. No, not ratings... toys!

Werewolf Landing in 1879 Scotland, the Doctor and Rose meet Queen Victoria, travelling with her to spend the night at the Torchwood Estate. However, a group of warrior monks have sinister plans for the monarch, and the full moon is about to summon a creature out of legend.

One of the Ninth Doctor's adventures had him facing a classic monster alongside a historical figure in Victorian England - in that case, it was ghosts and Charles Dickens. "The Unquiet Dead" was so popular that they repeated the formula again with the Tenth Doctor in the episode "Tooth and Claw," though this time the monster was a werewolf, and the historical figure was Queen Victoria.

Okay, so it isn't really a werewolf. It's a "lupine wavelength hemovariform," which basically means... it's a werewolf. It's something in the blood that makes you change into a humanoid wolf under moonlight. Sounds like a werewolf to me (a Curt Siodmak werewolf, at any rate).

The werewolf lupine wavelength hemovariform wandering eye has a very classical look: completely nude brown body, covered with thick fur in various places, and standing on crooked dog legs. He even has a droopy little tail. His hands are still fairly human, what with the having of thumbs and all. He stands 7" tall (give or take), which makes him one of the biggest figures in this 5"-scale line. His articulation includes hinged toes, ankles and knees, balljointed hips and torso, hinged wrists, hinged elbows, balljointed shoulders, and both a hinge and a balljoint for the neck. Nice stuff, though the fact that his wrists are just pin joints means their poseability is really limited. He looks more like he's playing piano than threatening anyone.

[editor's note: and what song would the werewolf be playing? "Moonlight Sonata," of course. Ha!]

The sculpted fur is handled well - when the wolf howls in the moonlight, you know it's go-time; really, really go-time. possibly even better than it was on the show. Hair is very hard to animate, you know. If something seems just slightly "off" about the face, it is. His eyes are noticably uneven; it's like someone sculpted the head without ever looking at it directly from the front. The rest of the head is good - the ears, the nose, the fangs in the mouth - it's just that wandering eye that makes our poor werewolf lupine wavelength hemovariform look silly. On the plus side, the use of two joints for the neck means that he can tilt his head back and howl at the moon.

lookit his little tail! Paint apps don't need to be very complex on a werewolf lupine wavelength hemovariform, but what we get works fine. The body is tan, with darker brown for the thickest bits of fur down his spine. His nails are nearly yellow, and his tongue is bright red. There are even a few veins visible on his legs. His eyes may be off-center, but they're painted crisply, and overall, this is a well-done wolf.

Doctor Who packaging The Doctor Who toys come in really nice packaging. An orange card backs a blister designed to look like an angle view of a police box - in other words, the Doctor's famous TARDIS. There's even a blue spot right behind the figure, to help sell the connection. Since most of the figures in this line are 5" tall, the werewolf lupine wavelength hemovariform really fills out the space. As imports, these toys are expensive, but at least a big guy like this will make you feel like you're getting your money's worth.

If Doctor Who's werewolf lupine wavelength hemovariform reminds slightly you of the one in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, there's a good reason for that: they were both created by the same digital effects house. Thankfully, they'd come a long way by the time "Tooth and Claw" came along, since Harry Potter's werewolf was fairly crap. In any case, the Doctor Who team remembered the first rule of horror: it's scarier if you don't show it on screen, which is why we got a lot of first-person perspective. Well, that and it was cheaper. Even if you haven't been hooked by the new Doctor Who, this is a decent lupine wavelength hemovariform werewolf toy, despite the wonky hands.


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