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Doctor Who embraces coolness with 'Dinosaurs On a Spaceship'

Doctor Who (2005) poster

Written by : published Sunday 9th September 2012

Doctor Who embraces coolness with 'Dinosaurs On a Spaceship' main image

While I enjoyed the heck out of the Russell T. Davies years of Doctor Who, I enjoy the Steven Moffat years just a skosh more (although I still prefer Tenant though this series in particular has made Smith the frontrunner here by episode five’s end). The second episode of the seventh season (or series for those being particular) of Doctor Who titled “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” is about a cool concept of dinosaurs. Not just dinosaurs, but dinosaurs on a spaceship.

Now Nick, you’re going, dinosaurs are cool. Yes, you’re right. If dinosaurs are coolness confined to a cup, the fact that they are on a spaceship, well by crackey my cup overfloweth with cool.

This episode (written by Chris Chibnall) at the end of the day seems like an episode written by someone who did a lot of acid years ago and really piled together a lot of random ideas and put them into an episode of Doctor Who. And while on the surface if I told you about dinosaurs on a spaceship, or the said spaceship being powered by waves generated by an artificial ocean, or Queen Nefertiti as one of the Doctor’s companions, Two bickering but equally deadly as they are meandering robots, well your first thought is definitely ‘that’s cool’. But to see them pieced together to tell a coherent story is amazing.

While the Daleks in “Asylum of the Daleks” collected the Doctor (Matt Smith) and his companions Rory (Arthur Darvill) and Amy (Karen Gillan), this time around it is the Doctor who is doing the collecting. The Good Doctor picks up Amy and Rory, who seem a bit peeved that it has been ten months since the Doctor has been seen, plus to make matters worse, the Doctor has  not only teleported them, but has also included Rory’s father Brian Williams (Harry Potter’s Mark Williams) along for the ride. And then there are the other two companions that are along for the ride: Queen Nefertiti (Riann Steele) and Big Game Hunter Riddell (Sherlock’s Rupert Graves) who both have a past history with the good Doctor, but as an audience are left to guess the blanks.

So what about the dinosaurs? The sinister man who not only wishes to collect a bounty on the poor dinos named Solomon (David Bradley) is quite a cruel villain who wiped out an entire ship of beings for his prize. For an episode that seemed all about the cool-factor of dinosaurs on a spaceship, what I wasn’t expecting was how well-grounded this episode was. It had everything: tons of great lines and bits of humor, action, drama and a well-told character story between the Doctor, Amy, Rory and his father Brian. There was a real sense of sadness when Amy and The Doctor shared their moment towards the climax of their escape from imminent danger of being blown up.

One of the great things about this episode though was also it’s weakness. Graves and Steele as Nefertiti and Riddell respectively are so demanding in their roles when they share the screen together or with other characters, that you feel cheated that we’ve not seen any more adventures of The Doctor with them. Particularly Riddell. While I’m sure Queen Nefertiti’s story is quite interesting, with a simple exchange between Smith and Graves, the entire relationship between them is given to the audience and the further interaction makes me want to beg for more.

The Doctor and his companions witness something very cool...

Beyond that, Doctor Who’s “Dinosaurs On a Spaceship” was a fantastic episode, and dare I say it, was a bit better than “Asylum of The Daleks”. And I say that absolutely loving the hell out of that series/season 7 premiere episode. The whole episode honestly reminded me of an hour long condensed version of Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, which is my personal favorite of the Indy films, and it continues to have me as a Doctor Who fan here in the states froth at the mouth for more adventures of the time traveling time-lord.

About the author goodbadgeeky


Nick ‘Nitro’ Arganbright has an extreme love for a good story, whether it be in film, tv, video games, comic books, music or more and it shows in each article and podcast he produced. The titular podcast he produces is called The Good The Bad & The Geeky with co-hosts Jon Bettin and Nathan ‘DJ Meat’ Haley. The podcast has helped him make a few contacts within in the industry which he hopes to use to entertain and inform readers of his reviews on Examiner.com and The TV King, offering an average joe opinion that is often overlooked in major print and online publications. If you’d like to e-mail him, please do so at [email protected] or you can tweet him on twitter at @goodbadgeeky.

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