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"Doctor Who: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship (#7.2)"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Doctor Who" Dinosaurs on a Spaceship (2012)

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32 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

"Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" is, basically, all the reasons to love Doctor Who.

9/10
Author: Sjoukje Ettema (Bubastiss) from Netherlands
9 September 2012

Any Doctor Who fan who's ever had to explain what this show is about to someone who's never heard of it, will know that is nearly impossible to do so. Because, really, how does one describe a 50 year old children's TV show about a time-travelling alien in a 1950's police box without sounding completely ridiculous? Well, one doesn't. And that's a good thing, because you need to have a bit of ridiculousness to have an episode simply called "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" on your show.

To me, this episode has all the things I love about Doctor Who. It starts off with the basic principle of "Something's wrong. Let's go poke it with a stick!". What follows is 45 minutes of an action and adventure-stuffed plots, lots and lots of goofiness, brilliant acting, colourful characters and wonderful character development, kissing, tiny heartbreaking and very well done emotional moments, a lot of bad-ass companions, some delightful feminism, sexual innuendo, a villain, a hint of other classic Doctor Who aliens, pterodactyls, and an incredible amount of fun!

Doctor Who can be a very dark and complicated show. It can be a heartbreaking drama and an epic disaster story. But to me, this show (including those dramatic moments and the epicness) works best when it's not taking itself too seriously, and just having loads of fun. So what else can I say? There's dinosaurs... on a spaceship!

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14 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Doctor Who feels now like a comic book story

7/10
Author: truequestnow from United Kingdom
9 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

And there I was: at 7.35 p.m. in front of the telly, celebrating this very British institution by watching the latest adventures of the good old Doctor. Well, maybe not that old looking - at 29 Matt Smith is the youngest actor ever to play the title character and he cannot help sounding at times like an overexcited teenager on a sugar rush. Watching the fast paced, dizzily speeding plot of this episode I had the nagging feeling that the style, the theme, the outlook of the story didn't feel so much Sci-Fi TV but something entirely different. And now I know: it was a comic book story! And a very good one at that - in the lines of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I mean, let's be frank: a Queen Nefertiti (Riann Steele) in love with the Doctor, a big African game hunter (Rupert Graves) reminding one of Allan Quatermain, dinosaurs on a spaceship with its own micro climate - indoor jungles and sandy beaches -, a space pirate (David Bradley) with a wardrobe borrowed one would think from Game of Thrones and the face of Filch from the Harry Potter films - what's there not to like?Not to mention the familiarly bickering Amy and Rory and ... Rory's dad (Mark Williams) who enjoys his Space Cowboys moment at the end. One shouldn't make the mistake of expecting conventional SF stories when watching this Doctor Who series. Forget about such niceties as exposition, tension build-ups or even a climax. The new episodes of Doctor Who are just roller coaster rides with guaranteed adrenalin rush and some funny repartee. Here's a sample for your own edification: 'And the Doctor, does he have a Queen' , enquires Nefertiti. 'I thought you had a husband', Amy points out. 'The male equivalent of a sleeping potion', confesses "Niffy". 'You clearly need a man of action, excitement. One with a very large weapon', boasts the hunter, arming his blasting anaesthetic gun. 'So, human sleeping potion or walking innuendo. Take your pick!', concludes Amy. (for other TV reviews see my blogs at "http://dorianreviews.blogspot.co.uk/")

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Dinosaurs... on a Spaceship... what more is there to say?!

7/10
Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
9 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Ten months after the events in the previous episode The Doctor is now travelling with Queen Nefertiti and a large unidentified spaceship is on a collision course with a future Earth. The Doctor wants to investigate the ship before it is destroyed by Earth's defence system so he assembles a 'gang' to go with him; as well as Nefertiti he picks up Edwardian big game hunter Riddell and his old friends The Ponds. He doesn't just pick up Amy and Rory though; he also accidentally picks up Rory's somewhat bemused father Brian. Once on board the ship they discover it is carrying dinosaurs; there is no sign of whoever was actually running the ship though, nor any obvious reason for it to be heading for Earth. As they investigate they find the answers to these mysteries; they also learn that the ship has been hijacked by Solomon, a pirate, who wanted its valuable cargo but was unable to actually fly the ship. If they are to save the ship and the dinosaurs they will have to figure a way to outwit Solomon as well as avoid being killed by the creatures they are trying to save.

After last week's more serious episode the writers clearly though it was time for a bit of fun; the problem was the comedy characters, Rory's father and the two camp robots, weren't all that funny; they were just annoying... especially Brian; I was hoping a dinosaur would get him to show us how dangerous they were... no such luck though. The dinosaurs looked pretty good although if you want sci-fi with dinosaurs I'd stick with ITV's 'Primeval', even though I usually prefer 'Doctor Who'. On the plus side Rupert Graves portrayal of Riddell was a highlight of the episode and David Bradley was suitably menacing as Solomon. While I thought this was a weaker episode it is still worth watching and I have a feeling that the very things that annoyed me may amuse younger viewers... I just hope they don't ask their parents to explain a couple of slightly crude double entendres!

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Silly fun

7/10
Author: pjgs2000 from United States
25 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship is a pretty good episode of Doctor Who. I didn't expect this episode to be great, and it wasn't- but it was still a fun, enjoyable follow up to Asylum of the Daleks. I really thought that David Bradley did a fantastic job as Solomon, a really horrible person and a pretty good villain. I thought the plot developments with the Silurians were very interesting and were done really well. Smith's Doctor was a bit more childish than usual, but that doesn't really matter.

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship is a good enough episode of Doctor Who that is really aimed at a younger audience. I don't have many nitpicks- the directing was lackluster and some of the humor fell flat- but that's about it. The special effects were okay, the resolution was good, and the more serious bits were great- but as a whole the episode is just "pretty good." There's definitely nothing bad, but there's nothing that's too great either.

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It's not ALL fun and games

7/10
Author: gridoon2016
12 April 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What appears, for much of its running time, to be one of the most cheerful and lighthearted episodes of "Doctor Who" - with the Doctor in such a good mood that he's willing to try a new experiment: four companions, plus a fifth uninvited one (Rory's father) - turns out to have a dark undercurrent as well, as the villain - who is a human intergalactic trader - is guilty of genocide, and the Doctor's ultimate punishment of him is just but uncharacteristically cold-blooded. The multiple companions idea works pretty well (Amy is at her best in this episode, looks-, dialogue- and character-wise), and the special effects, as in "Asylum Of The Daleks", look like they have been upgraded in comparison to those of the previous seasons (which were already pretty good, mind you). *** out of 4.

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25 out of 50 people found the following review useful:

Once Again The Episode Title Is Better Than The Episode

4/10
Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
14 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Anyone remember the episode from last year titled Let's Kill Hitler ? A really intriguing title wasn't it ? Did you agree with me that it's one of the worst pieces of television ever made ? So I was wondering if anyone has noticed the more interesting the title of an episode the more crap the episode turns out to be ? You have ? oh good because it seems Moffat and co are now concentrating more on what the story is called rather than the story itself

Dinosaurs On A Spaceship isn't so much a cohesive narrative teleplay - more of a string of scenes loosely glued together searching for a plot . Add to the watery mix a sackful of characters that includes a big game hunter , an Egyptian queen and a couple of camp robots and you've got a recipe for not so much a disaster but a very unappeatising Saturday tea time tale

The plot .... oppps I mean " plot " centres around a Silurian spaceship taking some dinosaurs to another planet . In short it's a direct sequel to the 1970 DW story The Silurians which this reviewer considers the greatest story from the classic series . The original was slow moving , gloomy , dramatic and most of all intelligent - everything Steven Moffat's vision of the show is not . The more this episode references the classic show the more it irritates

It's also an episode that tries to be an RTD post modernist tale . Innuendo dominates the dialogue including a reference to " Rusty " . Very clever , well it would have been if the production team had a single brain cell between them . As it stands this episode is nothing more than brainless entertainment for a brainless juvenile audience

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

We've had Snakes on a Plane, now it's time for Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

6/10
Author: Paul Evans from Swansea, United Kingdom
7 September 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Doctor, Nefertiti, Riddell Amy, Rory and his dad travel on to a spaceship which is on course to crash into the Earth in approximately 6 hours time. The Doctor discovers Dinosaurs on the Spaceship, but worse on board is trader Soloman, who's killed the original crew, Sulurians and aims to trade anything he can get his hands on.

Moffat has pretty much avoided the family thing, so it's nice that we get to see Rory's dad, Brian's a good character, Mark Williams always brings fun.

At the start I honestly thought I was watching a Carry on Film, lots of slapstick humour. I love the idea of the Doctor travelling with Nefertiti. She was lots of fun. Brian and his balls was too much. Riddell and his large weapon, c'mon!!

CGI work on the dinosaurs was pretty good, at least they weren't rubber. The Pterodactyls look really impressive as does the Silurian ship.

I like the originality of the Doctor having essentially 5 companions, very novel, if you thought the TARDIS was crowded with Adric, Nyssa and Tegan forget it!!

The Mitchell and Webb robots are rather horrendous, they feel a little silly. David Bradley is an excellent villain, he is so vile in it, his treatment of Nefertiti is gross.

I am getting weary of the Doctor picking up and dropping off Rory and Amy every week, it's getting tiring, and it's always months later.

It's a nice fun episode for the family, not a great deal for the die hards. More good then bad. 6/10

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7 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Read This Review and Win Big Prizes

7/10
Author: boblipton from New York City
8 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Confronted with a title like "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" for the latest episode of Doctor Who, what are we to expect? Is this going to be like the movie SNAKES ON A PLANE starring Samuel L. Jackson, which I never bothered to see? What, after all, was it going to be except for Mr. Jackson shouting "Get these {expletive} snakes off my {expletive} plane!"? Was it going to be like Series 5's "The Vampires of Venice", which had no vampires? Like Series 6's "Let's Kill Hitler" in which show runner Steven Moffat's script did no such thing? Or like his Series 6 script "The Wedding of River Song" which he insisted couldn't be anything else, because he would never mislead his audience? An accurate come-on or a blatant lie, like the title of this review?

Well, there is a spaceship and there are dinosaurs on it: lots of dinosaurs. I suspect that the production office cut a deal with ITV's PRIMEVAL. Otherwise they went way over budget for the excellent CGI critters.

Now that I've answered that question, how was the episode as a whole? The first twenty minutes are brilliantly confusing as the Doctor discovers that a spaceship is about to crash into the earth in the 24th century and brings along Queen Nefertiti of Egypt, an English big-game hunter, Amy Pond, Rory Williams and Rory's befuddled dad -- the last by accident -- to help him investigate a Silurian ship with no Silurians on it, all before the planetary defenses blow the ship up. It's a beautiful set-up and very enjoyable.

Unhappily, while the rest of the episode maintains the breakneck pace, there are too few grace notes. There is simply too much plot for a one part show and probably not enough for two. In the days of the original series, this might have been handled better, as the serial format based on twenty-five minute episodes would have managed this nicely as a three-parter -- one and a half episodes in the new format.

Still, the show is very amusing, if not among the best of the revived series. Matt Smith's Doctor is ever more alien and amusing and the characters introduced here interact well, if a bit telegraphically. I expect the settled fan to be pleased and any new viewers to be intrigued.

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20 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Mediocre, lackluster, and scientifically illiterate are too kind.

2/10
Author: twingle93 from United States
25 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I found the episode to be utterly juvenile, blatantly insulting to the intellect and most of all, boring. Not as terrible as "Love and Monsters" or the resolution of "Victory of the Daleks" where apparently you can modify a SpitFire aircraft for spaceflight in a few minutes, and a robot can stop himself from blowing up by just trying, really, really hard. But I can't believe this was done the same writer as "42", a really good, genuinely frightening episode on the level of "Event Horizon". And I also can't believe that this is the same series that gave us "Last of the Time Lords", "The Doctor's Wife" and "Silence in the Library." In this episode, there wasn't even anything to be enraged at. All the characters were dull and unlikable, including Matt Smith's 11th Doctor. The situations were contrived (either leave Rory and Amy behind for the entire episode or take them with you in the next, don't keep finding excuses to go back and forth).

I thought that the show's original purpose was to educate kids about history and maybe some science. Here we have an episode that perpetuates scientific ignorance. Dinosaurs were not mindlessly aggressive movie monsters. They were animals. They acted like animals. Just once in a movie or TV show, I'd like to see the creators address this. Dinosaur encounters a human, and then acts like a animal in that situation would do. Most likely it would sniff that human and then move on. I know that this misconception is spread across public consciousness, but this episode wins no points from me by perpetuating them.

All the scenes with dinosaurs were done much better when I saw them in Jurassic park. Even 20 years ago, the dinosaurs in that movie looked better, and the scenes involving them were far less contrived. Originally I cried during the scene in the first Jurassic Park movie with the triceratops. When I see the same scene in this episode, I feel nothing - mainly because it's trying to tell me that a triceratops is just a dog (which it is not), and so I felt nothing when it got killed because it was clearly just a fake piece of plastic.

Those "Pterodactyls" were no such thing. Those were pteranodons, and weren't dinosaurs, but flying reptiles. They missed a perfectly good opportunity for the Doctor to correct Rory's father about that fact, but they didn't. Would it have killed the writer of the episode to flip open a encyclopedia or skim a Wikipedia entry on the subject when he wrote it? It may sound like nit-picking, but there was so little to this episode that it was the only thing I could feel for it.

Nefertiti: Didn't care for. Her threats of breaking Riddell's neck falls upon deaf ears. That's one of the most common ways to die on the show, and just makes her look like overly violent *&^%#.

Rory's Father: Didn't care for. The last shot of him eating his launch in space was stupid and pointless.

Amy: Didn't care for. Her and Rory time as companion has long since overstayed her welcome, and really should have ended a season and a half ago.

Rory: Didn't care for.

Riddell: Enraged that he was a ripoff of several characters from Jurassic Park. Now, if he was replaced by Arthur Conan Doyle and acted like Professor Challenger, it would have been awesome and made more sense, as in the events of this episode inspires him to write The Lost World.

The Doctor: Three seasons in, and my opinion of him has not changed in the slightest. In this episode I felt nothing because Matt Smith is a terrible actor, even when he kills the villain I felt it was par the course. He's still the same dull, irritable, non-expressive, anti-social little twerp who is trying way too hard to imitate David Tennant's energy and likability. Matt Smith would be better cast as the Doctor's anti-social son, "The Associate" rather than the Doctor himself.

Solomon: The most interesting character. Too bad his appearance had no mystery behind it or any reason to be interested. So he wants the dinosaurs, so he killed the Silurians. Wouldn't it have been awesome if Solomon instead turned out to be say, The Master or some other great foe of the Doctor? That would have briefly livened my interest.

Good parts: (1) The "balls" jokes. It made me briefly chuckle in the abyss of boredom.

(2) The Doctor saving dinosaur species and giving them a new planet. Awesome.

Conclusion: In every season, there is usually one or two really good episodes, balanced by one or two really, really bad episodes. I hope that this was the only really, really bad episodes in this season, though with the next one involving a cyborg gunslinger I doubt it.

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5 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Far too frivolous ...

4/10
Author: Andrew Huggett from United Kingdom
17 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I suppose this episode is quite good fun – it's very fast moving (especially the pre-titles sequence) but it's more than a little silly with the inclusion of Queen Nefertiti, a big-game hunter and Rory's Dad. I can't help thinking they should slow things down a little and try some 'harder' science fiction stories. This is far too frivolous. The two robots are straight out of 'The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy' – they act in a very similar way to a sort of cross between Marvin the Paranoid Android and the The Vogons. My favourite scene is when Rory's Dad encounters the Triceratops – that's good childish fun as is Matt Smith's sense of exuberance. The CGI sequence with the attacking pterosaurs is extremely well done and very cinematic. There is some good witty dialogue but overall I was disappointed with this.

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