Sunday, 2 September 2012

Doctor Who: Dinosaurs On A Spaceship - Spoiler-Free Preview

Series 7, Episode 2:
Dinosaurs On A Spaceship
Guest Starring: Mark Williams, David Bradley, Riann Steele and Rupert Graves.

Written by: Chris Chibnall.
Directed by: Saul Metzstein.
Produced by: Marcus Wilson.
Executive Producers: Steven Moffat and Caroline Skinner.

Broadcast date: Saturday 8th September 2012 at 7:35pm on BBC One.

Reviewed by Tom for The Gallifrey Times.

The Gallifrey Times have seen Series 7, Episode 2: Dinosaurs On A Spaceship and have put our spoiler-free preview together:

Dinosaurs On A Spaceship starts off in Egypt - 1334 B.C. when The Doctor is just about to leave but is stopped and made to feel quite uncomfortable by the very famous Queen Nefertiti! Luckily, he is saved from this 'awkward' moment when he receives a notification from his temporal news feed. The Doctor and 'Nefi' then head to Earth 2367 A.D where they find out that there is a spaceship the size of Canada heading towards Earth and all communication with the mystery ship has failed. However, Indira (Sunetra Sarker) from the Indian Space Agency reveals that if the ship comes in within 10,000km of Earth then missiles will be fired which means that The Doctor has just 6 hours and 19 minutes to save the spaceship! He then travels to the African Plains of 1902 A.D. where he picks up game hunter, John Riddell (who is 'interesting' to say the least) to assist him in venturing out to the spaceship and to find out what exactly is on it!

Finally, The Doctor, Queen Nefertiti and John Riddell head to the Pond household to pick up Amy and Rory but also Brian Williams (Rory's dad) accidentally ends up in the TARDIS! They then take a 'short trip' off to this mystery spaceship! A total of 5 companions along with The Doctor venture out into the 'unknown' but Rory has some explaining to do to his dad who of course still believes that Amy and Rory went travelling to Thailand! Then the 'gang' as the Doctor now calls them, go and have good nosey around. This is when we learn that this adventure is taking place 10 months after the events of Asylum Of The Daleks, which gives us the idea that Amy and Rory don't want to be with The Doctor as much anymore, which of course could have something to do with when they depart the show in Episode 5. After a while they feel the ground rumble and then I think you'll be able to guess what happens next! The cool thing is, all of this happens before the title sequence!

On this adventure, The Doctor
has a total of five companions in
his 'gang'!
The gang don't spend much time together before they are split up after The Doctor accidentally gets Rory, Brian and himself teleported to what is the engine room (It's a weird looking one, to say the least) Which means that Amy, Queen Nefertiti and John Riddell are separated from the genius that is of course The Doctor. But this doesn't stop Amy being the detective that she can turn into! She starts looking into the onboard computer and finds out more about who the ship actually belongs to. She's doing this while Queen Nefertiti and John Riddell are having an 'interesting' conversation which includes the words 'spank' and 'neck'... (You'll find out more about this conversation when you watch the episode!)

The acting in this episode is fantastic, Mark Williams (Harry Potter) plays the very stereotypical father (Brian) who was never supposed to be on the spaceship in the first place. Rupert Graves (Sherlock) who of course plays John Riddell portrays an 'upper class' and flirtatious game hunter and Riann Steele plays the very well known Queen Nefertiti extremely well. Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill are superb in this episode as always.

On the villain's side, David Bradley (Harry Potter) plays a very stern and grumpy 'space pirate' named Solomon who has hijacked the ship (which we know is an ark which was built and owned by a species we've seen before on Doctor Who) along with its precious cargo of Dinosaurs. Aiding Solomon are two large robots, who are voiced by David Mitchell and Robert Webb (Peep Show). These robots are very funny and actually find The Doctor, Rory and Brian after they have just escaped from what Brian first thought were Kestrels.

The CGI is brilliant and  makes
the dinosaurs appear very
realistic.
Onto the actual dinosaurs and CGI, they do look very real and the team behind them (The Mill) deserve a big pat on the back because the interaction between the cast and the dinosaurs is seamless. The dinosaurs will not let you down and I'm sure you will enjoy how realistic they actually look.

And finally onto the script, I can guarantee that in this episode you will laugh, because there is a 'balls' joke along with a fair few other innuendos. I don't know what the writer, Chris Chibnall, was thinking about when writing this episode but it really paid off! There's jokes and humorous dialogue placed all over until we reach the last third of the episode when The Doctor turns serious and does something that he doesn't usually do (spoilers). But my question is, are we getting to see The Doctor in a whole new light? Let us know when you watch the episode on Saturday.

There's not many bad things I can say about this episode, in my opinion there doesn't really need to be 5 companions but having so many does add to the fun! (Especially when we find out Riddell's naughty side and we get a 'balls' joke!)

As Steven Moffat has said already, each episode this series will be like a blockbuster and this episode definitely has that blockbuster feel except it's just 45 minutes long!

All in all, I can guarantee that Dinosaurs On A Spaceship will not disappoint and you're in for a well written, quirky and very humorous episode. Oh and don't forget the amazingly realistic dinosaurs.

The Gallifrey Times Rating 8/10
Thanks to BBC Pictures for the images.