Saturday, 8 September 2012

Skaro's: Doctor Who Dinosaurs on a Spaceship Review the words of PCJ "This writer must of been of been on drugs while writing" Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. It is truly a unique episode, one which I don't feel we will ever have anything like again. I must say however it doesn't rate in my top 10 episodes of Doctor Who, never-the less it's a good episode to watch.

The episode starts off simularly to episode 1 - collecting companions. With episode 1 the Daleks did it, episode 2, the Doctor has done it...but this time there is more than just the Ponds! They are joined by the beautiful and wonderful Queen Nefertiti of Egypt and Riddell, a bounty hunter. It adds a sense of adventure, like we are seeing something new from a new persons eyes but yet at the same time we have the Ponds (and Brian!).

The Story itself is a good one, it ticks all the boxes needed for a great episode; great actors, great sets, great villan(s), great humor and most of all...Dinosaurs! Honestly, didn't you think they looked great? I couldn't tell myself when they was CGI and actual dinosaurs without actually going to all the stress of going frame-by-frame looking to see if it was CGI. I think the Mill deserve a genuine applaude for their fantastic work on these dinosaurs. They are a signifcant improval on the previous Dinosaur episode of Doctor Who - but the less said of that episode the better!

Murray Gold's music wasn't as noticable in this episode, it did mainly focus on the aspects of 'I am the Doctor' which I must say is starting to get irritable to my ears! Other than that there was a few great music tracks within the episode to which I can officially say I have fallen in love with (which will follow later in the week as unreleased music). Also the SFX in the episode was good, the aspect to detail was amazing (they got the same Silurian Voice announcer to do the computer voice if you noticed). Thumbs up to Murray and the BBC Orchestra for this episodes music.

Honestly though the best thing of the episode had to be the humor. It came from the left, the right and centre. Brian and his golf balls couldn't go unmentioned in this review! Me, PCJ and TGT haven't stopped referencing it since we saw the episode. BALLS! BALLS! BALLS! Now that my random outburst about Brian's Balls has finished I can talk about the other bit of humor. The Robots, they are a brilliant idea to keep the ball rolling (if you'llpardon the pun), voiced by Mitchell and Webb (and in a very camp fashion) who are well known in the UK for their comedy. The idea of old robots that have gone rusty is an old one, but it works well!

Overall though I cut this review short, it was much longer originally but I babbled and I cut it down to this...which I will the funny review of all my reviews, as overall that is the word describes the episode, "funny". I'd give it 7/10.

Oh...and to repeat, what ever Chibnall takes, I want some!


Ann Rtist said...

As much as I loved this episode, but then I love all of them, so no one can judge by my "loveness", the one thing that that I was left with at the end was the "preemptive" comment about "or vice versa" from Amy Pond in reply to the Doctor's remark "You'll be there to end of me" (paraphrasing because I can't remember the exact line and I've only watched it once) and then his "don't" in reply, and his exquisite face acting at that moment. Thus already setting us up for the Ponds departure. Sad. I hope they don't do this every episode until they are gone.

Matthew Bagnall said...

Spoiler/Review of 'Dinosaurs on a spaceship'
(Warning Spoilers)

In terms of continuity and being an episode that fits together this episode does not meet any of the categories we would want for a Doctor who episode. The military are reduced to such a small presence that they felt really pointless in this episode and i would have much preferred if they just kept with the idea that the spaceship was going to crash into the earth.

Anyway, other than that the episode features some rather nice new characters with the two robots taking center stage. The rather sexist remarks and 'ball' jokes are not normal for Doctor who and are rather rude in occasions with many just added for the sake of showing the divide between the different characters. The jokes in this episode were definitely not aimed for younger viewers to understand.

Queen Nefertiti does not return home at the end making a huge continuity problem considering she is now in the 1900's and also signalling that perhaps a return is likely in future.

The lack of rage shown by the Doctor is another example of why i am beginning to dislike Moffat. The Doctor is rather out of character during this episode, not showing anger at the death of the dinosaur, not offering mercy to the villain, not being as inquisitive as usual. However this does show the Doctor's downfall and his slow gradual change into what will eventually split his soul into two with one half becoming the Valeyard - something that has been set in motion since series 1 - especially during season 4 and the specials. Unlike any other times... the Doctor actually commits murder by locking the villain on his ship.

Overall this episode was not the filler episode i expected it to be. The villain is rather underdeveloped in terms of characterization and all three of the new characters are very stereotypical with Rory's dad being a reclusive old man who only goes out to play golf, Queen Nefertiti being her normal self and Ridell being a sexist pig for more than half the episode before he starts flirting with Nefertiti and even then it is still hard to tell its flirting and not him insulting her.

The Dinosaurs are perfect and i must actually congratulate them for not making a T-rex be the main Dinosaur however the Dinosaurs and the weapons shown are exactly the same as the ones from Primeval even down to the sound and look of the blasts from the 'stun guns'

Overall a good episode with a lot of problems that mostly are due to the rushed inclusion of new characters. A great idea which was poorly planned with plot points added solely to enable the 'murder' of the villain to happen which is pretty much ignored by most the main cast - though with the villain being 'pure evil' this is understandable.

Hints of the ending of the series run deep in this episode with Rory and Amy still harboring feelings for one another with Rory's dad not knowing the truth about their wrecked marriage. A line from Amy about the Doctor outliving her and the Doctors response perfectly mirrored Rose Tyler's thoughts on her own demise.

Although we will not likely see Rory's dad again it would make sense for a mention in later episodes and it would be great to see more 'many companions from time and space' stories preferably with some more aliens - similar to the battle of demons run.

Due to the basis for next time's episode being about the Doctor's rage and mercy i am becoming even more certain that this is setting up for a potential Valeyard introduction after the 'fall of the eleventh' which is likely due to his own hand at this stage.

5/10 for the new series
4.5/5 in terms of a Dinosaur story
Hope you enjoyed my spoiler/review.

Matthew Bagnall said...

Glad you spotted this. For me it felt the same way 'Rose Tyler' mentioned the Doctor outliving her and the Doctors response is the same as the 10th Doctors when he is angry/upset.

So far they have not done it in every episode and given the focus of the next episode is on the Doctor they will likely mention he 'shouldn't be alone'

Lucille7777 said...

I really liked this episode, and so far 2 for 2 Moffat!

Gene Fender said...

I appreciate the content on this site, and at the risk of being pedantic, let me offer a little advice. Please edit your reviews for grammar and spelling. This review was a little difficult to read. Also, there is no such word as "improval."

DS_1975 said...

Matthew, I agree with the general tone of what you're saying about the episode. However, 2 major disagreements:

1) The Doctor didn't show enough "anger". Hello, are you kidding me? You just watched an episode where the Doctor DIRECTLY SENT THE VILLAIN TO A CERTAIN DEATH! That's one step below pulling the trigger himself! I would argue he shows CONSIDERABLE anger in getting pushed to this point, which was made understandable because he just watched Solomon:

a) shoot his friend's Dad
b) threaten to rape Nefertiti (another friend), with the thinly veiled "I'm going to break you in"
c) kill an innocent creature he was attached to (the Triceratops)

Isn't it obvious that BECAUSE the Doctor was so disturbed by this maniac that he DID allow anger to basically murder with full malicious intent? When's the last time you saw that, really? The Colin Baker years?

2) the whole "Valeyard" thing. Please, give it up. There is not going to be a Valeyard continuation; at least not in the sense of the classic series. In New Who they've made it clear they feel NO compulsion whatsoever to stick to flimsy "rules" the original writers came up with...rather short-sightedly I might add. The whole "13 regenerations" thing was easy to write about in the 70's because ~10 more regens seemed a lifetime away. The new series already debunked the "13 regenerations" rule; hence, no need for the Valeyard. And, as most everyone felt, the Valeyard was a rather boring villain to begin with, and the original storyline one of the lamest. I'd rather see them bring back the plastic dinosaurs from "Invasion of the Dinosaurs". How on earth did you come up with a "Valeyard storyline being set in motion since Series 1"?? It will never happen.

Matthew Bagnall said...

1) I meant where was the anger of the timelord, him shouting at the villain? I know he might have contained it as the last time he showed his anger in front of Amy it upset her - however he does not shout at the villain.

2) They have not debunked the 13 regenerations rule. The Sarah Jane Adventures episodes is considered non-canon and to further it not being considered canon Moffat stated the doctor was lying to give Clide hope.

Moffat has also stated that the 13 lives rule is so tightly wound into the fandom that he would not wish to change that fact - he also supports the 13 lives rule.

As for the Valeyard being established since the new 'series 1' that is more to do with the emotional range of the doctor being increasing since the start of the 9th doctor's years. Given that each series of Doctor who under RTD emphasized the fact of the Doctors emotional side and how far he can be pushed before he breaks, to the point where he is tempted to kill in the finale of the specials. This shows the direction RTD wanted the Doctor to go and gives a clear idea of the villains he would be facing - e.g. villains from his past who have had a huge effect on him emotionally; Daleks, Master, Davros, Timelords. This would have likely led on to future enemies including but not limited to - Omega and The Valeyard. Both of whom have been hinted in the new series (Valeyard in the form of the Dreamlord and the Doctors anger - Omega in the form of the Omega symbol)

In terms of RTD era they stuck strong to the old series even throwing in hints of the time war, the fate of certain characters, even the childhood and life of the doctor before everything we have known. In Moffat i agree they don't bother sticking to any rules other than what will make the episode interesting or prolong the plot.

The Valeyard was a boring villain because the situations he was put in would not allow him to be anything more. He was introduced during a time of weakening scripts "Several problems occurred during production, including the death of scriptwriter Robert Holmes, and the resignation of script editor Eric Saward" and his first appearance was at the Doctors trial - an episode where it was mostly flashbacks.

In terms of his old version, the Valeyard has no chance of returning however, in terms of a new version shown much more as a parallel to the Doctor - similar to the Master but at the same time exactly the same as the Doctor. It would be an awesome way to explore the Doctor more, his personality and emotions. It is literally everything fans could possibly want in terms of character back story and an insight into the mind of the Doctor since he would essentially be fighting himself - a scenario shown in the dream lord episode and in a doctor who novel