For the second week running, Doctor Who serves up an episode where the pitch is contained within the title (Dinosaurs on a Spaceship). But unlike Asylum of the Daleks, this one really does stick to the confines of that one-liner. There’s these dinosaurs, right, and they’re on a spaceship.
So it’s the sci-fi version of Snakes on a Plane. Watch on iPlayer to avoid spoilers, then continue reading to see how they did. Has to be better than that movie, at least?
Future Songs Of Rory And Brian Williams?
When they sing of this episode in the future (they probably won’t), they shall say “Yea, verily, it was alright, didn’t do anything special, but it was entertaining, the emotions worked and viewers were rarely bored”. Except they’ll probably make it rhyme.
So Dinosaurs on a Spaceship never comes together into a glorious rhapsody, but there are a lot of fun moments, such as the banter between the motley cast members, including Rory and his father.
In fact, bringing in Rory’s Dad is a good idea for a Pond storyline, because it hasn’t been done to death, whereas the “Rory thinks Amy doesn’t love him, but she proves otherwise” structure has been flogged with a horsewhip. Hopefully Brian will return in later episodes, because otherwise he was a little arbitrary, but good scenes either way.
Subsection Of Dark Foreshadowing
Of course, all Who episodes can’t be a heartbreaking tour-de-force, sometimes the Doctor needs to have a little adventure. You’ve got to give the kids a fun week sometimes, and with the quirky robots and surprisingly cool CGI dinosaurs, this was much better than last year’s high-concept “fun” effort, the ho-hum pirate episode.
I assume the Doctor’s harsher-than-usual punishment for the villain suggests travelling alone is making him more brutal? Because if not, seemed rather out of character.
Oh, and we get hints that the Ponds may cut ties with the Doctor soon, as his manic adventures become inconvenient for their domestic life. But will they succeed before something tragic happens to them? And why didn’t they intro this storyline last week, rather than shoehorning in a divorce which seems to have already been forgotten? All very good questions.
Still, the episode itself was decent enough, which puts it at the top end of writer Chris Chibnall’s Doctor Who work. It had charm and energy, even if it wasn’t a masterpiece. And next week, in yet another big themed episode, we do Westerns. Score.