Review: Doctor Who: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

I was pretty rough on last week’s episode “Asylum of the Daleks,” but when you have an episode like that, especially when you tout the return of every Dalek model ever seen on screen, then it should be continuity heavy and laden with tons of fanwank.  It fell woefully short of my expectations.

This week’s episode, “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship,” in contrast, I didn’t really have any expectations for.  Other than having a quirky title, the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, robots, and dinosaurs in it I knew very little about it.


“Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” is a fun action packed romp of and adventure.  It has a solid story written by Chris Chibnall and beautifully directed by Saul Metzstein.

The Doctor, after having saved Queen Nefertiti (Riann Steele), travels to Earth 2367 to help stop a huge spaceship as it hurtles towards Earth, otherwise the Earth Defense Net will be activated, and the ship will be destroyed by missles.  Having only 6 hours to turn the ship around the Doctor decides that he needs a gang.  Having Nefertiti in tow he travels to the African plains in 1902 to pick up big game hunter John Riddell (Rupert Graves).  He then swings by and quite literally scoops up the Ponds, along with Rory’s dad (Mark Williams).

The Doctor takes his new gang on board the ship to discover that it appears abandoned by its owners.  Some of the rare cargo has escaped from their compartments and there are now dinosaurs roaming the ship.  It turns out that a space pirate Solomon (David Bradley) boarded the ship and did away with the crew.  I won’t get into too many details because I don’t want to spoil what was, for me, a wonderful reveal as to the original occupants of the spaceship.  Bradley plays Solomon as a wonderfully excellent bad guy, a villain you love to hate.

We get to see the Doctor being his usual goofy fun loving self as everything falls apart around his gang, and at the end we get to see a touch of the darkness the Doctor carries in him.

As always of late the sets looked great, and the special effects were wonderful.  Unfortunately the music, although beautiful was way too loud most of the time.  That probably goes back to Moffat’s desire to make each episode like a mini-movie.  This week they do pull off the big budget movie feel again quite successfully.

Check out the “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” photo album.

I look forward to next week’s episode “A Town Called Mercy.”