Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

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Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by Patrick on Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:13 am

Series 7 moves forward with its second episode, this one penned by Chris Chibnall.

An un-manned ship appears headed toward Earth. It's cargo? Dinosaurs. A big game hunter (who has a day job as Inspector Lestrade) and Queen Nefertiti join the Doctor, Amy and Rory to investigate. Also along for the ride is Rory's dad.

So, what did you think of Dinosaurs On A Spaceship? Let's be hearing from you, and don't forget to cast your vote.

This thread will remain locked until UK transmission of the episode. Which means our standard spoiler warning for North American viewers applies: once opened, this thread may contain spoilery information about the story. If you don't want the story revealed to you too early, do not scroll down and read the responses until after transmission of the episode on BBC-America.


Last edited by Patrick on Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:34 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by The Co=Ordinator on Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:39 am

Who is Queen Nefrotiti Fast Living One?

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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by Patrick on Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:33 am

Ah, the peanut gallery has arrived to comment on my spelling, I see.
Razz

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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by Dave Webb on Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:30 am

Right then.

The positives: Big, fast, fun, a little bit silly. Good performances from the cast, although the standout was Matt Smith. Excellent moment for Rory's Dad, sat on the floor of the Tardis having tea and sandwiches while looking down at the Earth. Yep, I'd do that too. This is Doctor Who as a movie, and gave us exactly what it said on the tin.

The negatives: It was a Michael Bay movie. It was moving so fast it didn't stop to think, and if you do stop to think a lot of it doesn't make sense. The cast was too large for a single part story, so we're light on characterization, and some of the casting was wasted.

Three out of five, because I enjoyed it but wouldn't necessarily rewatch it.

Fanish whinging: because I have to get it out of my system.
If the Silurians are technologically advanced enough to build an ark full of dinosaurs in order to repopulate a shattered Earth, why did they bother hiding underground at all? Why not build a couple more and then go and settle on another planet? Mars, for example.

Also,are the Silurians unable, as a species, to build clocks? Why was the ark ship blundering around in space for 65 million years when it should have turned around and gone back to Earth within a few hundred?

Additionally, that's not how missiles work. But if the missiles worked using sensible technology instead of something you could fool simply by switching off the bit of your ship that says "Hello, I'm a spaceship", the Doctor would have no way to save the Ark. However, he uses the technopolyhedral thing, which Solomon could have flushed out of an airlock but didn't, and that leaves us with the worrying possibility that he could have just turned it off, which makes his treatment of Solomon an execution. Whatever happened to the man who never would?

Oh, and Solomon trades across nine galaxies but his ship doesn't have enough get up and go to run away from lower tech missiles.

Let's talk about Nefertiti. We've got a fascinating woman here, a monotheist in a time of polytheists, probable co-regent to one of Egypt's more difficult kings, a woman who disappears from recorded history...and what we get is a woman who establishes her awesomeness by threats of violence and, when all's said and done, chooses to scoot off and live with the big game hunter in a tent in Africa, after her major contributions to the story were telling Amy she's awesome and being a bargaining chip between two men. Character wasted. Any notion of this woman being a strong character are basically thrown away by her sudden helplessness and her sudden valuation because she's pretty. Really, Chibnall? really?

And while I'm ranting - is Chibbers from the Nolanesque school? He seems to want to work Dad issues into his Who of late. Not that it's a bad thing, you understand, it's just noticeable.


Last edited by Dave Webb on Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:11 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : And another thing!)

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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by Johnstone McGuckian on Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:34 am

A 4 from me. Probably the best guest cast in a WHO story ever. The pacing was good, it was well written (which is a rarity from Chibbers) and it was a lot of fun. Harmless fun WHO, which is always nice to see.
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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by Patrick on Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:16 am

I'm going to give this a 4, as well. A big, mad, fast paced adventure. The reason I can't give it a 5 comes down to the same objection Dave said: the conclusion was a bit wobbly in terms of logic. Missiles don't lock onto some signal transponder, they look for a heat signature.

I wasn't bothered by the way Solomon's death was handled. Once he admitted to having executed the Silurian crew, I knew the Doctor wasn't going to let that pass.

Unless I missed it, there is a little detail that got glossed over: where did the ark ship get sent?

And my theory about where Moffat is taking this series gains some new evidence. Consider:
-In "Wedding of River Song," the Doctor appears to have been killed. This is underscored by the narration that starts "Asylum."
-Oswin erases all memory of the Doctor among his greatest nemesis, the Daleks. They fail to recognize him, or the TARDIS, by the end of "Asylum."
-Solomon scans the Doctor, to determine his net value, and the system doesn't recognize him.


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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by Dave Webb on Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:00 am

Patrick wrote:

Unless I missed it, there is a little detail that got glossed over: where did the ark ship get sent?

And my theory about where Moffat is taking this series gains some new evidence.


No idea about where the Ark was going; it could have made a sublight trip to Proxima and back and that would have given the Earth plenty of time to rest and recuperate from the arrival of the Moon.

Moffat's direction for the show is actually an open secret. There was a neat article about it in The Economist recently; Moff apparently wants to deconstruct the Doctor's fame and bring him back to his roots as a wandering eccentric. He's planning to do this soon, and he's dropping hints that this is what will happen, possibly for the 50th anniversary.

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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by Patrick on Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:18 am

Thanks, Dave. I had wondered where the Moff was going with all these attempts to "unwrite" the Doctor's significance. I figured this would lead to a payoff for the events of the 50th anniversary.

Regarding the Ark's destination, I meant after it was saved from the missiles, where did Brian and Rory (and presumably, the Doctor) send it?

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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by Dave Webb on Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:26 am

Patrick wrote:
Regarding the Ark's destination, I meant after it was saved from the missiles, where did Brian and Rory (and presumably, the Doctor) send it?

No idea. But the dinosaurs appear to have been taken home because the Ponds get what appears to be a hand drawn postcard from "Siluria" featuring dinosaurs and a Police Box. One assumes they were returned to their rightful point in history or taken to a world where they could thrive.

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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by Zoltar on Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:58 am

It's gonna get a 4 from me. Were there logic issues? Sure. But it was great fun and the sort of story only Doctor Who can pull off.

Dave Webb wrote:Fanish whinging: because I have to get it out of my system.
If the Silurians are technologically advanced enough to build an ark full of dinosaurs in order to repopulate a shattered Earth, why did they bother hiding underground at all? Why not build a couple more and then go and settle on another planet? Mars, for example
Perhaps they poured all their resources at the time into one and, when they presumably lost contact with it, assumed it was a failure. Also, more practically, it may be a majority of Silurians actually didn't want to leave.

Dave Webb wrote:Also,are the Silurians unable, as a species, to build clocks? Why was the ark ship blundering around in space for 65 million years when it should have turned around and gone back to Earth within a few hundred?
No idea, perhaps the thing simply malfunctioned.

Dave Webb wrote:Additionally, that's not how missiles work. But if the missiles worked using sensible technology instead of something you could fool simply by switching off the bit of your ship that says "Hello, I'm a spaceship", the Doctor would have no way to save the Ark. However, he uses the technopolyhedral thing, which Solomon could have flushed out of an airlock but didn't, and that leaves us with the worrying possibility that he could have just turned it off, which makes his treatment of Solomon an execution. Whatever happened to the man who never would?
I wouldn't dispute the missile thing. The man "who never would" is something that sounded good, but he would, given the right circumstances.

Dave Webb wrote:Oh, and Solomon trades across nine galaxies but his ship doesn't have enough get up and go to run away from lower tech missiles.

Given the cheap robots he bought, perhaps his FTL drive is similar to that of The Millennium Falcon... awesome, when it works.

Dave Webb wrote:Let's talk about Nefertiti. We've got a fascinating woman here, a monotheist in a time of polytheists, probable co-regent to one of Egypt's more difficult kings, a woman who disappears from recorded history...and what we get is a woman who establishes her awesomeness by threats of violence and, when all's said and done, chooses to scoot off and live with the big game hunter in a tent in Africa, after her major contributions to the story were telling Amy she's awesome and being a bargaining chip between two men. Character wasted. Any notion of this woman being a strong character are basically thrown away by her sudden helplessness and her sudden valuation because she's pretty. Really, Chibnall? really?
I can see your point here, certainly.

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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by The Browncoat Cat on Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:59 am

So I wonder how Nefertiti settled down to domestic life in Edwardian England after retires from big game hunting?
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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by Dave Webb on Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:09 pm

Zoltar wrote:
Perhaps they poured all their resources at the time into one and, when they presumably lost contact with it, assumed it was a failure. Also, more practically, it may be a majority of Silurians actually didn't want to leave.

But they also poured all their resources at the time into putting the rest of the population into hibernation for the duration of the crisis. And their animals. If they wanted to not put their eggs into one basket, fine.

Zoltar wrote:
No idea, perhaps the thing simply malfunctioned.

All of their technology can't tell the time, because all of the hibernation units on Earth also fail to wake the Silurians. But they can build a space ship capable of maintaining it's function for somewhere over 65million years, can make it run on wave power, can handle matter transmission and can maintain dozens of separate and discrete environments...but they can't make a timer.

And even more oddly, they make a flight system that has to be operated by people who are related. How is that a safety feature?

Zoltar wrote: The man "who never would" is something that sounded good, but he would, given the right circumstances.

Of course he is. I watched him try to make the Daleks commit racial suicide.

Zoltar wrote:
Given the cheap robots he bought, perhaps his FTL drive is similar to that of The Millennium Falcon... awesome, when it works.

That's a cop-out.

These things don't really matter to the overall scheme of the story, but they certainly took the shine off it when I stopped to think about what I'd enjoyed and why. I have no doubt that the kids will have ignored all of the things I pointed out because the Doctor, Rory and Rory's dad rode a dinosaur. I squeed at that too, of course.

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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by Nick Barlow on Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:35 pm

Dave Webb wrote:Moffat's direction for the show is actually an open secret. There was a neat article about it in The Economist recently; Moff apparently wants to deconstruct the Doctor's fame and bring him back to his roots as a wandering eccentric. He's planning to do this soon, and he's dropping hints that this is what will happen, possibly for the 50th anniversary.
So he's going to use the anniversary episode to set it all back the same way it was when it started? Wasn't that the promise at the end of The Five Doctors, too?

As for last night, it felt like a story from one of the early annuals or TV Comic, or the sort of thing that we used to make up in the playground when we were playing Doctor Who. ("So there's the Doctor and Queen Nefertiti, and I want to be a big game hunter, and how about the companion's dad turns up, and then there are dinosaurs, but you said we'd be on a spaceship, OK, they're dinosaurs on a spaceship, and there are robots too, and there's a pirate, and a Silurian, and then we all run around, and there are missiles coming in to blow us all up...") The problem is that it didn't appear to have any aims to try and be any more than that, and when you look at it for more than a few seconds it's hard to move without falling down a hole in the plot or wandering into the empty void where most of the characterisation or motivation was supposed to be.

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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by Zoltar on Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:54 pm

Dave Webb wrote:That's a cop-out.
Sorry, just offering up some speculation about a possible explanation. Actually, from the looks of the episode itself, Solomon doesn't even attempt to save himself. He seems too shocked by The Doctor ditching him to take any useful action.

Dave Webb wrote:These things don't really matter to the overall scheme of the story, but they certainly took the shine off it when I stopped to think about what I'd enjoyed and why. I have no doubt that the kids will have ignored all of the things I pointed out because the Doctor, Rory and Rory's dad rode a dinosaur. I squeed at that too, of course.
Oh well, I'm glad you enjoyed it to some extent.

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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by Dave Webb on Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:44 am

Zoltar wrote:Oh well, I'm glad you enjoyed it to some extent.

I giggled and squeaked like a delighted schoolgirl at the following:

The interplay between Rory's Dad and The Doctor
The interplay between Mr Williams Snr. and Jnr.
Amy and her companions.
Riding a Triceratops!
The Doctor being enthused about all the things he enthused over.
Rory's Dad sitting in the Tardis watching the world, and then going travelling to see all of it.

I enjoyed:
The Doctor's darkness. He used to wear a Panama. Panamas were cool.
that Chris Chibnall gave us something that went by at breakneck speed and was entertaining all the way through - I enjoy his work more than I did.
the ISA! Nice touch!

But it only gets 3, because like Nick said there were plotholes you could have ridden a Triceratops through and odd lacunae that should have been filled with character instead of characters.

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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by Patrick on Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:44 am

I enjoyed that the Doctor keeps a Christmas gift list. And how enthusiastic he is about telling other people he keeps said list.

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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by sparacus on Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:25 am

3/5. Not bad. Some enjoyable plot elements but also some silliness.
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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by Starfighter Pilot on Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:04 pm

It was very silly as expected! 4 from me. Chibnall's best. Smile
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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by Jennyjenkins on Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:00 am

Dave Webb wrote:
But it only gets 3, because like Nick said there were plotholes you could have ridden a Triceratops through and odd lacunae that should have been filled with character instead of characters.

3 from me as well - mostly due to the Nefetiti issues and the under use of the guest cast

Was fun though - nice to see a bit of fun for a change, and I really loved the robots
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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by Patrick on Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:48 am

We haven't heard from the Cyber One, yet.

Any comments, C=O?

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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by The Co=Ordinator on Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:58 pm

Have only just watched it. Will comment tomorrow, need to go to bed!

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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by The Co=Ordinator on Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:43 am

OK here we go. Smile Found the pre credits sequence too much. That’s the problem with only having one episode stories. I’m also not keen on the concept of the Doctor popping back and forward to see Amy & Rory every few months.

However, once we got going I thought this was a very enjoyable episode. The dinosaurs were extremely well realised, whilst the guest cast were superb: in particular, David Bradley gave a tour de force as Solomon, whilst Mark Williams was exactly as I had hoped. The Silurian reveal early on was great &, this will surely come as no surprise to most of you, I found the double entendres hilarious.

Not quite good enough for a 5, but a top end 4 for me. Until now I hadn’t voted on Asylum of the Daleks, wanting to see where the series was going. As I derived much more pleasure from Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, Asylum will get a 3.

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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by The Co=Ordinator on Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:35 am

Oh yes, and I got a real Thunderbirds vibe from the Indian Space Agency. Smile








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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by Patrick on Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:32 am

I hadn't made the Thunderbirds connection until you pointed it out, but you're right, C=O. And as Keith "Telly" Topping pointed out, with the Indian Space Agency, you're likely to have better cooking than you'd find in NASA.

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Re: Rate "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

Post by Dave Webb on Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:47 am

Patrick wrote: And as Keith "Telly" Topping pointed out, with the Indian Space Agency, you're likely to have better cooking than you'd find in NASA.

And there we have it, folks, two lazy national stereotypes for the price of one!

It sort of reminded me of the tabletop RPG, Traveller 2300AD, in which the major spacefaring nations of Earth were, in fact, China and France rather than America. As I recall, prior to the game's release the designers gamed out three hundred years of history starting from the premise of a woefully short war around the year 2000.

It's a nice reminder that unless we fund the exploration of the universe, someone else will.

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