It’s Doctor Who Series 7 and there is the most literal title ever- Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. Join me as I discuss the episode and show off with various factlets on the episode. There’ll be spoilers so if you haven’t seen the episode yet you probably want to avoid this post- basically, run!
So the episode opens with the Doctor assembling the cast. Queen Nefertiti of Egypt forces herself on the Doctor and then he’s speaking with what appears to be an Indian version of Torchwood who are going to blow up a spaceship which is heading towards Earth. The Doctor goes to investigate but first picks up Edwardian hunter Riddell and the Pond’s, complete with Rory’s Dad Brian.
It then leads into an adventure where a creepy old man called Soloman has taken over the spaceship and plans to sell the dinosaurs. The Doctor and the gang have to stop him and prevent the pressure cargo from being blown up by that Indian agency. Simples.
This is a really uncomplicated episode and it works well because of that. But this post is no-where near as simple because I’m going to shift all over the place and go on about various things. Keep up.
Chris Chibnall, writer of this episode, is clearly the man in charge of the Silurian's. He brought them back in Series 5 and the dinosaurs were on the ship because the Silurian's were trying to save them, until Soloman came along and massacred all the Homo Reptilia. It was a complete surprise to see a Silurian on the screen but a great one. Great work Chibnall!
So fairly soon after their arrival on the spaceship the Doctor, Rory and Brian are transported to a beach which is also on the spaceship apparently. The beach is the only beach that Doctor Who has access to film on apparently. It was Bad Wolf Bay a couple of times AND appeared in the Time of the Angels two-parter. Brian Williams is a fantastic character what with always carrying a trowel and golf balls, brilliantly played by Mark Williams (you know him as Arthur Weasley). It was interesting to see what Rory’s dad is like and it kind of explains a lot. He refused to be called a Pond (the Doctor assumes anyone related to Amy is a Pond) and the scene at the end where he had a packed lunch sat on the edge of the TARDIS looking at the Earth was perfect. There’ll be more of Brian later in the series too!
The other characters introduced are quite interesting. Queen Nefertiti is a strong, independent woman which is something you don’t tend to see from historical women. And played by a very attractive actress I might add. Riddell on the other hand is a game hunter who is really sexist. He should be a character the Doctor hates but his heart is in the right place and he is a genuinely great character. I kind of want to meet him. The pair of them get on rather well and at the end we see them both back with the Edwardian tents. That even works historically as Nefertiti disappears from the records for no apparent reason. It works for me.
There’s two very camp robots in this episode voiced by famous comedy double-act David Mitchell and Robert Webb. They’re not the villains really though, just servants of Soloman, playing by David Bradley (who you know as Argus Filch). Soloman is creepy, especially when he wants to take Queen Nefertiti as his prize. And all the kids of the world hated him when he shot the triceratops. Not to mention the fact he wiped out thousands of Silurian's. But still, the Doctor killed him. Put the missile target in Soloman’s ship and sent the ship flying into space. That was a very un-Doctory thing to do. Suddenly the Doctor is becoming very dark again, which we haven’t really seen since David Tennant’s time. In the next episode he is supposed to do something really un-Doctory. This is all part of the series arc and it’ll be interesting to see where it goes.
There was a touching scene, or rather a scary one, where Amy is talking to the Doctor saying she is always listening out for the TARDIS sound (aren’t we all?). The Doctor says he does still care and that the Ponds will probably be with him until the end of him. Then Amy says it’ll be the other way round and there’s an awkward silence. Is Amy going to die? I really doubt it but I think to the Doctor she’ll effectively be dead, in a similar way to Rose and Donna are both living their lives but “died” at the end of a series all the same.
All in all a fun episode. It felt very much like Classic Who at times but with good CGI and prosthetics (top marks to the team for that, it looked incredible). Dinosaurs last appeared in Doctor Who properly in a Third Doctor story called “Invasion of the Dinosaurs” where toy dinosaurs were super-imposed onto London. It’s not supposed to be very good. Chris Chibnall wrote the episode after next as well which is great, though it’ll be very different to this one!
Next Time: The Stetson is back! It’s Doctor Who meets the wild west in A Town Called Mercy! See you then!