Dinosaurs on a Spaceship (2012)

For only the second time in Doctor Who history we have Dinosaurs in a story title. The last time wasn’t  particularly great. Invasion of the Dinosaurs was let down by the dinosaurs which were quite frankly terrible. I was confident from the moment that I heard the title that the dinosaurs were going to be 100% better. The title pretty much tells you what need to know because there is a spaceship and there are some dinosaurs on it. However it turns out that there is slightly more to it than that as it turns out the ship is in fact a Silurian Ark. I didn’t see that coming. The Doctor has just six hours to try and get the spaceship/ark to not head towards Earth which sets up a nice pace to the episode.

I thought that it was good how this was completely different from Asylum of the Daleks. There was a danger that the comedy in this episode was going to overwhelm it but the tone of the episode was just right as when it was needed, the seriousness took centre stage and the action kicked in. My favourite line was when the Doctor says “How do you start a Triceratops?” It’s not a line that never got said in Jurrasic Park. The dinosaurs were superb and were realised very well which even on a budget like Doctor Who. It never looked dodgy or like it a CGI creation and that might have something to do that it wasn’t the low light that was used. It helped add to the feel of the story and made the dinosaurs look even more effective.

For me the best performance of the episode was from David Bradley who played Solomon. I thought that as the bad guy he did it very well and its almost a shame that he gets killed off at the end because it would be nice to see more of him though the great thing about Doctor Who is that there is room for him to return. The moment he really became a great baddie was when we discovered that all the Silurians has gone and not in a nice way. Other performances which I enjoyed included Mark Williams who played Rory’s dad Brian. He was absolutely spot on in his performance and I totally bought the fact that they were suppose to be father and son. He seemed to take the news that he was on a spaceship in exactly the same style that Rory did. I thought that the characters of Queen Nefertiti and Riddell were well played by Riann Steele and Rupert Graves respectively. I felt that they kind of got forgotten at times and Nefertiti only really came into relevance when Solomon took her onto his ship. The fact they were going to end up together was quite obvious. There was another surprise in casting when comedy duo David Mitchell and Robert Webb were the voices of the Robots. I really liked the robots as they were very funny and seemed to somehow suit Solomon’s Del-Boy like way of running a business.

I really liked this episode and felt that it continued the nice feel to this seventh/thirty-third series of Doctor Who and it seems that the complex storytelling style of the previous series is firmly a distant memory. It was action packed with a nice balance of seriousness and comedy with a nice group of characters where some worked better than others but there wasn’t any dead weight. Whilst it might not have been dark like in Asylum but it was good in different ways and after seeing the trailer for A Town Called Mercy I think this first half of the series is going to be great.

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