Doctor Who Re-Review: Season 7 Episode 2 — Dinosaurs On A Spaceship



After my first watch­ing of Dinosaurs on a Space­ship my review could be summed up as fun but shal­low and crazily fast paced. I don’t think my opin­ion has actu­ally changed very much with a second view­ing. But perhaps I can go into a bit more detail.

Dinosaurs On A Space­ship is prob­a­bly the best exam­ple of the mini-movies feel that Doctor Who seemed to be aiming for during season 7. I mean it’s an action packed block­buster with… well… dinosaurs… on a space­ship. Oh, and robots! And missiles! And Egypt­ian Queens!

It’s absolutely stuffed to the gills with high concept ideas. None of which really get explored. They’re just thrown on screen for the wow factor. And then the whole thing is wrapped up in a layer of broad comedy. It’s funny, it’s excit­ing to watch, but there really aren’t any hidden depths to this one.

We don’t really get much in the way of moti­va­tions for the secondary char­ac­ters. Or indeed back­grounds for some of them. And that certainly limits it’s re-watch­a­bil­ity.

What saves it really is the perfor­mances from the actors.Mat Smith’s 11th Doctor is in an almost Tom Baker like mode here. And of course the Ponds act like we ant them to. The inter­ac­tion between those three has always been a strong point as far as I’m concerned. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

They’re given some solid backup here too from Rupert Graves (Sher­lock), Riann Steele, Mark Williams (Harry Potter, The Fast Show) and David Bradley (Harry Potter, Broad­church, An Adven­ture In Space And Time) all of whom take pretty shal­low arche­types and do every­thing they can to give them life. It’s quite a cast actu­ally. Even the robots are voiced by comedy duo Mitchell and Webb.

Writer Chris Chibnall’s contri­bu­tions to Doctor Who have been mixed in qual­ity but the lack of char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion here is perhaps partic­u­larly notice­able to me given his writ­ing of Broad­church which showed a far greater subtlety.

I should prob­a­bly say some­thing about the special effects. The dinosaurs them­selves are impres­sive. We’ve come a long way since the old series Doctor Who. We’ve even come a fair way since Primeval first aired on ITV.

So Dinosaurs on a Space­ship is never going to be ha.iled as a Doctor Who clas­sic but it’s a perfectly accept­able episode

About Eoghann Irving

Overly opinionated owner and author of You can get updated on his posts directly on the blog here or through the usual social networking suspects. What? You expected me to say something interesting here? That's what the blog posts are for. Eoghann has often wondered if people read these little bio things we have to fill out everywhere on the internet and, assuming they do, why?