Sunday, March 3, 2013

Doctor Who Season 7 So Far Part II

With a title like "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship," you know that you're in for a wild, fun ride. And that's exactly what  this episode delivers. This episode is an exciting 45-minute romp, with some surprising bits of serious character development added in. But, I'm jumping ahead of myself.

The Doctor (Matt Smith) has created something of a rag-tag gang this time around. In addition to Amy and Rory (Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill), he has along with him Queen Nefertiti, Rory's father, Bryan and a big game hunter, Riddell. Together they all arrive on a seemingly abandoned space ship the size of Canada which is hurtling towards Earth. The Doctor and his companions have only six hours to stop the spaceship and save its strange, prehistoric cargo.

"Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" was written by Chris Chibnell, who already written episodes such as "42" and "The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood" for the show. These three episodes were not at at the top of my list, but nonetheless, Chibnall does have what it takes to write a good "Doctor Who" story. He certainly laid his cards on the table with this episode where he shows off the wide range he can write. He expertly blends humour and seriousness throughout the story. In that respect, the script for "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" is one of the best things about this episode.

The best acting award for the episode goes to Matt Smith. He is able to handle the serious and comedic nature perfectly. The best joke in the episode comes when we learn that the Doctor still has a Christmas list despite the fact he is over 1,000 years old. I have included a link to the clip from the episode below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTvJXvL47HQ

However, as the episode progresses, Matt Smith is able to show us the darker side to the Doctor wonderfully. In his confrontation with the episode's villain, Solomon (played by David Bradley), Smith shows off his acting chops, surely making him one of the most versatile actors in "Doctor Who" history. The other actors in the episode are great too - especially Mark Williams as Rory's father. The chemistry between Arthur Darvill and Williams is splendid. An honourable mention has to go to Rupert Graves as Riddell. Graves portrays the arrogant Riddell wonderfully. Also, for anyone interested, Rupert Graves also plays Lestrade in BBC's "Sherlock" (a show I cannot recommend highly enough - but then again, you might have been able to guess that).

The Doctor is ecstatic over the discovery of the
prehistoric reptiles...on a spaceship!
As I mentioned above, this episode provides us with an opportunity to see a darker side to the Doctor. This is a great facet to the Doctor's character, who is usually portrayed as pacifist and against violence. However, this episode shows us how even the Doctor - a centuries old alien can fall victim to the human emotion of anger. This was a brave move to incorporate this into such a fun episode, and this side of the Doctor would be viewed in greater detail in the next episode, "A Town Called Mercy."

"Dinosaurs on a Spaceship," is a fun and entertaining episode. Despite what might at first glance by a simple, mindless story actually has far more in store. While it is not my favourite episode from Season 7 thus far, that is merely based on opinion. I award "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" a well-deserved 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Coming Next Time: The Doctor puts on a cool stetson as the sheriff of "A Town Called Mercy."

1 comment:

  1. That's a problem I have with the last few seasons, how it has The Doc "fall victim to the human emotion of anger, something he rarely experiences"! Of COURSE The Doctor has gotten angry before! Plenty of times! He's only Gallifreyan! haha! It'd be sily to think The Doc never experiences anger just because he's not human.

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