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Dinosaurs On A Spaceship

ShowDoctor Who / Series VII / Episode 2
First Broadcast2012/09/15 - 19:30 (Link: ABC Details)
Related LinksDoctor Who Wiki Wikipedia
Previous EpisodeAsylum Of The Daleks
Next EpisodeA Town Called Mercy

A very ordinary episode built around a frankly absurd title. It had the feel of "designed by committee". As if they tried to come up with a cool idea, fill it with lots of amusing characters and mash it all together. The end result was very disappointing.

The Doctor has just saved Egypt from giant locusts but is unable to escape the clutches of Nefertiti so he takes her with him. He has received a distress call on the psychic paper. The Indian Space Agency is monitoring an unknown ship approaching Earth which they'll destroy once it gets too close. The Doctor gathers up a small gang: John Riddell (explorer) and the Ponds (including Rory's father) and takes them all to the ship.

It turns out to be a Silurian ark with dinosaurs and all sorts of precious flora and fauna. But there's a problem. Solomon, a trader in artefacts, has killed all the Silurians, but is unable to fly the ship. There's lots of the usual shenanigans, involving dinosaurs, comical robots and difficult choices. But the Doctor saves the day as usual. Chillingly though, he actively caused the death of Solomon. Most unusual.

Overall though the story was weak and crammed full of things that didn't really hang together. Must try harder.

A few interesting bits:

  • The logo in the opening credits was coloured to look like dinosaur skin.
  • The beach looked familiar - Bad Wolf Bay and possibly Alfava Metraxis.
  • There's a strong hint that the Doctor is aware of bad things in store for Amy and Rory.
  • Solomon's scanner could not identify the Doctor, suggesting he's still dead to the universe.
  • Nefertiti chose not to return to her own time which aligns quite nicely with her actual sudden disappearance from the historical record.

A few quibbles:

  • Why did we need Nefertiti and Riddell? They did little and we probably won't see them again.
  • Why did the Doctor actively play a part in Solomon's death? He didn't seem to get the usual choice.