Doctor Who Commentary – 7.2 ‘Dinosaurs on a Spaceship’

Queen Nefertiti, Amy and Ravell looking at a screenCaleb, Sarah and Emma sink their critical teeth into Dinosaurs on a Spaceship in true velociraptor fashion! But will the friendly triceratops of entertainment survive the attacks of the bounty hunter of dodgy gender politics?

Tortured metaphors aside, we discuss the importance of characterisation, the almost-return of the Silurians, and the alarming possibility of Chris Chibnall as Doctor Who showrunner. Listen now to what we had to say!

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And once you’ve listened to our opinions, let us know what you think in the comments, or by email, Twitter or Facebook.

7 thoughts on “Doctor Who Commentary – 7.2 ‘Dinosaurs on a Spaceship’

  1. Thanks for another grand podcast, all.

    Well! That was a fun romp of an episode. Which is just what the title and previews promised. I think it was a nice solid piece of television with a quick pace and the occasional pause to focus on the evolving relationship between the Doctor and the Ponds. It definitely was a shift from the darkness and drama of Asylum, and that shift, alone, may tend to put off viewers. I’ve seen more than one post that notes the person appreciated Dinosaurs more upon the second viewing.

    Highlights for me:
    Rory’s dad
    The CGI and other special effects, including the robots, and the people inside who ran them
    The episode’s lighting was superb, following up on last week’s great lighting
    The acting of Matt, Karen and Arthur. It just continues to get stronger.
    The scene in space overlooking Earth at the end. I started to choke up at the melancholy in the Doctor’s face. Perhaps more because I know what’s to come – the Ponds leaving . . . dramatically.

  2. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship was worse than Asylum of the Daleks which is saying something. I think we should start the Campaign to De-Canonise Chris Chibnall- the aim being to render all his Dr Who stories non-canonical.

    Anyway, I think your hatred of Lidell is misplaced, as James said in his review he was a pulpy character, he just holds views which would have been pretty normal for the turn of the 20th century.

    More problematic is the Solomon character. The reason the Doctor gleefully lets him die is not because he’s a pirate but a trader. It’s clear he’s the bad guy before we know he’s a pirate. In the long running tradition of TV any form of businessman is shown in a terrible light. This is far more pernicious than any “Gender Politics” issues this episode may have had.

    • Not withstanding the fact that businessmen are usually presented as evil (or incompetent) in Doctor Who, I don’t think it was Solomon’s capitalist credentials that really made him the bad guy so much as the Silurian genocide, the casual killing of the Triceratops and the shooting of Brian, plus the enslavement of people as a commodity. “The reason the Doctor gleefully lets him die is not because he’s a pirate but a trader” is not accurate. In fact his ‘justification’ is the murder of the Silurians. The Doctor doesn’t tend to casually murder businessmen. He’s the bad guy because he’s a murderous slave-trader, not just a trader.

  3. That’s quite a list of highlights Mark, glad you enjoyed the episode :) Mark Williams as Rory’s dad was the highlight of the episode for me and I think it is obvious how the friendship between Matt, Karen and Arthur continues to improve their performance on screen.

    Unfortunately I disagree Swithun, my dislike of Riddell is not misplaced. Just because a character is historically accurate and well acted (because I do think Rupert Graves did a good job with what he was given) does not mean I have to like the character! I agree with James’ comments on Riddells character but in my opinion the character was unnecessary and if Chibnall insists on introducing a character that serves little purpose I would rather they were less irritating (historically appropriate or not). As you heard on the podcast, I would have had less of an issue with Riddell if we had seen any development of his character, and despite the full script I stand by my comment that this would have been easily demonstrated within the existing storyline. I think the depiction of Soloman’s character jarred with the general theme of the episode and dislike the way Chibnall chose to have The Doctor orchestrate his death. Having said that I also dislike the gender politics issues that DID appear in the episode.

  4. Thanks for another great commentary, guys – you’ve made both episodes of Series 7 twice as entertaining.

    A quick word on ‘Dinosaurs on a Spaceship’ – it’s hardly the show’s best episode, but it was surprisingly good for a Chibnall script. Despite the wafer thin characters and the miscast voice talents (in the form of Mitchell and Webb), it had a scope and energy that I enjoyed. And it made narrative sense, which is more than can be said for ‘Asylum of the Daleks’! But…

    …was the script editor asleep at the wheel this week? The golf ball joke was just cheap and crass, but that line about ‘breaking in’ Nefertitti should never have made it to the screen. Very jarring indeed.

    As for the hot topic of gender politics in general, I can’t say I was overly troubled by Riddell’s character. I was just left with the impression that Chibnall forgot about him, until the Raptor attack at the end.

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