"Doctor Who" Dinosaurs on a Spaceship (TV Episode 2012) Poster

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7/10
Doctor Who does Night at the Museum
pjgs20028 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Dinosaurs on a Spaceship is a pretty great episode of Doctor Who. I can't think of any other show that can take a concept as ridiculous as having dinosaurs on a spaceship policed by comedy robots and turn it into an hour of television that's as easy to enjoy as this one. What I really like about Dinosaurs on a Spaceship is how adventurous it feels: this episode really benefits from not taking itself too seriously and having a tone that allows for jokes, silliness, and adventure with some nice character development along the way. The past few series have gotten really serious and at times confusing, so it's nice to have an episode that you can just sit down to watch and have loads of fun without having to pay too much attention to all the tiny details. I'm not saying that Doctor Who shouldn't get serious or complex ( Family of Blood, Forest of the Dead, etc.), but what makes Doctor Who as great as it is is the show's ability to take an absurd premise and to turn it into something that's just really fun to watch, and I think that Dinosaurs on a Spaceship did that really well.

David Bradley was great as Solomon, who was a surprisingly good antagonist for this story, and I liked the developments with the Silurians that give you an idea of what happened to the ship and contrast the silliness of the rest of the episode well. Having Amy, Rory, and the Doctor back together in an adventure that's just an adventure and nothing else is great, and the inclusion of Brian was a great idea. I also liked the idea of a "gang" of companions in this episode, and I found the resolution clever and pretty action packed.

I would also like to comment that Chris Chibnall included some great character interactions in this episode. Queen Nefertiti and Riddell were fun one-off characters, and even while the primary purpose of the episode was to be wacky and exciting, there was no lack of good character development. The conversations between Amy and the Doctor were bittersweet and well written, and Rory and Brian had their own arc in this episode that was resolved nicely.

Overall, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship is a great episode of Doctor Who that benefits from being lighthearted and simple. The sets looked great, the special effects were good, the directing and writing were strong, and the acting and music were all just as strong.

8.5/10
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9/10
"Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" is, basically, all the reasons to love Doctor Who.
Bubastiss9 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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7/10
Doctor Who feels now like a comic book story
truequestnow9 September 2012
Warning: 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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4/10
Once Again The Episode Title Is Better Than The Episode
Theo Robertson14 September 2012
Warning: 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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7/10
Dinosaurs... on a Spaceship... what more is there to say?!
Tweekums9 September 2012
Warning: 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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2/10
Mediocre, lackluster, and scientifically illiterate are too kind.
twingle9325 September 2012
Warning: 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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7/10
Read This Review and Win Big Prizes
boblipton8 September 2012
Warning: 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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6/10
How can anyone like this?
callcooldude9 September 2012
I gave it a 3 because I'm being nice. It actually deserves a 2. It wasn't good at all! I was so looking forward to this episode and at the end of it, I was thinking 'Oh My God, did they actually just air that episode', because I was expecting it to be amazing. PLEASE don't do any more episodes like this! There was no plot whatsoever. I've seen a lot of comments and reviews that have said that it was amazing, and I can't see what was amazing about it. I can't even see what was GOOD about it! I only liked the first 5 minutes and the last 10 minutes, so that's 15 minutes out of 45 minutes. I'm sure next week's episode will be 10 times better...I HOPE!
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4/10
Far too frivolous ...
andrew-huggett17 February 2013
Warning: 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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8/10
More like Night at the Museum on a spaceship
dkiliane29 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
When I first watched this episode I was hoping for some Jurassic Park level scares and excitement but it had more of a Night at the Museum tone. Once I got over that, I found I still enjoyed the quirky adventure in this episode.

The highlight for me wasn't even the titular dinosaurs but the supporting cast. Big game hunter Ridell and Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, while only characterized in broad strokes, were still a blast to watch interacting with eachother and brought a lot of fun to the episode. But the real showstealer was Rory's dad. Papa Pond (as I like to refer to him, though technically not a Pond) is a down to earth all around genuinely good natured character. He represents the average person and it is fun to see his responses to the Doctor's antics. At this stage, he is far more interesting character than Amy and Rory, and it seems like Moffat may have gotten a little bored with these characters. Not that they didn't have good moments, but were definitely outshined by the supporting characters.

This episode, written by Chris Chibnall, features a rather lackluster villain, who feels more like a place holder for the real villain than a fully realized character, though his two robot henchman were amusing. Unfortunately this will prove to continue be an issue when he takes the helm in season 11 (but more on that when we get to it). It also feels like it moves a little too fast, the opposite problem than what plagued his "Hungry Earth/Cold Blood" two parter in season 5, with little time spent to develop the characters, most notably the villain (as mentioned before). This also causes problems with the twist, that it's a Silurian ship and the man aboard is a pirate but there's not much time for that to make an impact cause we have to move past it and focus on the immediate danger the Doctor and company are in.

Even so, there was a lot of fun to be had with this episode and a relatively strong entry for Chibnall. A bit of a happy medium between his outstanding "42" and lackluster two parter from season 5. And this episode could have been outstanding with a little more attention paid to characterization and pacing. But unfortunately, as I mentioned, many of the issues hindering this episode become regular detractions in his future writing. 8/10
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7/10
Does what it says on the tin.
A_Kind_Of_CineMagic6 February 2019
The title of this episode sounds rather silly and the story itself is indeed rather silly in many ways but for me this is a clear improvement on a lot of the bigger, more epic stories in the Moffatt era as so many of those were far too illogical and had too many repeated contrivances. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship also contains contrivances in that it has Egyptian Queen Nefertiti and an early Twentieth Century big game hunter John Riddell inexplicably joining the Doctor on the adventure for sheer effect and contrives circumstances in order to explain having dinosaurs on a spaceship. However, there is nothing particularly problematic and the plot basically makes sense in the world of Doctor Who. While a bit silly it is also fun and has some good humour.

Amy, Rory and Rory's father Brian are also with the Doctor and Brian (Mark Williams), who has been inadvertently brought along, is both engaging and funny. Rory (Arthur Darvill) is always great and his interaction and banter with his father brings a new dimension.

The wonderful David Bradley appears here as the villainous Solomon. Bradley would later play the First Doctor, replacing the long since departed William Hartnell in a TV Special Twice Upon a Time and in a series of audio adventures (as well as playing Hartnell in a biopic). He is a great actor and adds real quality as the bad guy in this episode. Robots played by comedians Mitchell and Webb are amusing if a bit daft and the dinosaurs themselves are very well done visually. The whole episode looks good.

This is not a great episode, it is more of a comedic filler but future Showrunner Chris Chibnall has written a quite enjoyable little story and the cast and production give it quality. Overall 6.5/10.
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10/10
Absolute Fun
john-l-land26 December 2018
Seriously, if you rate this episode less than a 10, you're a bloody moron. This is a gloriously ridiculously fun episode.
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6/10
I can't deny I had fun with this episode
kingkass12 October 2018
It's ridiculous, it makes little sense, but it's fun. This is probably contradictory coming off complaining about all of the main stories in series 6 but the problem with those is that they try really hard to seem more than they are. This knows that it is. It's dinosaurs on a spaceship. You won't be bored.
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4/10
Dinosaurs on a Spaceship – Dr. Who Review 2012
mail-479-24112318 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
For a while now, Dr Who's story lines have been a tad over-complicated and a little too cerebral and complex for the show's younger viewers. With "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" the series veered sharply in the opposite direction with a plot that would have been more at home in Scooby Doo on CBBC, not in Primetime television on a Saturday night.

The over-riding premise was basically this: "Oh no, there are some big dinosaurs, run away!" No high concepts. No surreal inversions of the time-space continuum. Just, "Oh no, there are some big dinosaurs, run away!" Queen Nefertiti (ca. 1370 BC) was also there for some reason. As was Mark Williams off the Fast Show and a couple of retro robots with the voices of Mitchell and Webb. Mark did fat and puzzled. Mitchell and Webb sat in a voice booth in Soho and cracked robot jokes. The dinosaurs, of course, were very convincing. The BBC gives good dinosaur. But it was all light years away from the heady days when Russell T Davies was writing the show with a kind of flair and brilliance that the BBC usually reserve for their top drawer costume dramas.

The Americans, of course, will love Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. Just like they loved Snakes on a Plane. It won't put too much strain on their intellect. Which is clearly why the BBC have so obviously dumbed-down Dr Who in this current incarnation. Luckily, like the space-time continuum itself, these things are invariably cyclical. So let's all hope that Dr. Who will yet recapture the intelligent sci-fi edge to which we have all now become accustomed.

Now, if you will excuse me, I've just spotted some big dinosaurs, so I'm going to run away.
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1/10
Awful, just awful
lucasheap2 November 2018
There is nothing good about this episode other than the robots and even they are annoying.
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Matt Smith And The Two Robots Are Very Funny
StuOz5 April 2018
Doctor Who (Matt Smith) finds dinosaurs on a spaceship.

At this stage Matt had been doing the Doctor Who role for a while and he seems to have ironed out those annoying unfunny comical moments in his early Who days. Now in this episode - Dinosaurs On a Spaceship - Matt stands as a polished and very funny Doctor Who! Wow!

The dinosaurs are upstaged by others on the ship....

The episode title describes the plot but it does not mention those two very amusing robots guarding the ship. Do these two robots return in later episodes? If not they should. I don't think I have laughed so much at a robot since Lost In Space (1965)!

If the makers of Doctor Who are reading this review, please bring back those wonderfully silly robots! They could fit into any sort of Doctor Who setting or place.
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6/10
We've had Snakes on a Plane, now it's time for Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
Sleepin_Dragon7 September 2015
Warning: 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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7/10
It's not ALL fun and games
gridoon201912 April 2015
Warning: 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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