Genocide, piracy, Egyptian queens, big game hunters, the Ponds, stupid robots, Harry Potter alumni, and DINOSAURS!!!
This was so my kind of Doctor Who episode! Penned by Chris Chibnall this episode is just good fun!
The Doctor (Matt Smith) throws together a gang (“I’ve never had a gang.”) when he recieves an alert from the Indian Space Agency circa 2367 about an umanned giant spaceship that is tumbling out of control towards the Earth.
The Doctor is given six hours before the ship will be destroyed by a missile launch. Plenty of time the Doctor figures.
With his gang, which includes Queen Nefertiti (Rian Steele), big game hunter Riddell (Rupert Graves – known as Lestrade to Sherlock fans), and the Ponds (Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill), as well as Rory’s dad, Brian (Mark Williams – you know, Mr. Weasley), who is forced to tag along when the TARDIS materializes around the Pond family while changing a light bulb – there’s a joke there somewhere, the Doctor sets off to save the day.
Brian also gets one of my favourite moments at the end of the episode, something I too would probably want to do. It’s really lovely.
On arriving on the spaceship, they find it deserted of any crew, but the cargo is still there… DINOSAURS!!! So awesome!
While the Doctor, Rory and Brian get transported about looking for the engine room, and trying to avoid the things that are not kestrels, Amy is playing Doctor to her two, increasingly flirty companions as she figures out who’s ship it is, and also learn that that there’s another ship there as well.
It’s the Doctor’s party, when captured by two bickering robots who get to meet the villain of the piece, Solomon (David Bradley – Mr. Filch from Hogwarts), a pirate, who killed the entire crew of the spaceship just to lay claim to its cargo.
As time runs out, the Doctor makes some hard decisions about who lives and who dies, Amy shoots some velociraptors, father and son get to save everyone, Brian has a great moment with a triceratops that finds its way into our hearts and the Doctor gets to make a funny monkey joke that no one seems to appreciate.
The dinosaurs are a combination of practical and digital effects, with the triceratops and the T-Rex being practical and having the most interaction with the cast. The show continues to put as much as they can on the screen, and it continues to look top-notch and continues to create a world I would love to be a part of.
The writing on this episode embraces the fun of the best episodes of Doctor Who, but as we move into the last moments of the show, and the Ponds ask to be dropped off home, we see that 11 isn’t so different from 10, he’s lonely, and he misses his best friends.
And that’s not good, because we know the Ponds are around for only three more episodes, A Town Called Mercy, The Power of Three, and The Angels Take Manhattan. Then there’s the season break until the Christmas special, which sees Jenna-Louise Coleman (Oswin Oswald? Or someone else?) joining the Doctor in the TARDIS.
The seventh series is off to a great start so far, though I am not looking forward to that long break between the end of September and the Christmas Special. I hope the stories continue to be this fun, with that little twist of emotion to give you a kick, and there were a couple in this episode for me, but then again, I do tend to get into my shows when I watch them.
What did you think of it?
Next week… A Town Called Mercy…