Friday, March 22, 2013

Doctor Who Review: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

There is so much information coming out right now. 8 days (7 and many hours) until "The Bells of Saint John". Real quick.... the 50th is not going to be just 60 minutes, although the time has not been set they suggested up to 90 minutes. I was also excited to see that it will be aired in theaters in Britain and AROUND THE WORLD at the same time it airs on the 23rd of November. Hopefully it'll be around this part of the world. Jenna-Louise has confirmed she will be in series 8, still leaving open the rumors that The Doctor will regenerate at or around Christmas. I wasn't optimistic when both Matt Smith and Steven Moffat said right now Matt is just signed on through 2013, and the Christmas episode hasn't been written yet. Steven Moffat says we WILL learn The Doctor's secret, and I've still got my fingers crossed it's not his name. Really we just have to wait and see right now. Rumors happen every year.

We also have new trailers for the second half of the series as well as "The Bells of Saint John" and tomorrow a prequel for that episode will be released at 7am eastern time.(12pm GMT). To see all these trailers, synopses for the next 4 episodes as well as trailer breakdowns, some I agree with some I don't, I'll just send you to which is good for new pictures, trailers, videos, links to watching the episodes, etc. It's worth checking out. And we also have a one word clue about the 50th: Paintings. Paintings of past Doctors? I have no idea, that's just where my mind went first.

I loved "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship." I've seen a lot of negativity about it and I really don't understand why. Maybe because I smoke pot and the whole thing felt kind of like some dream Amy was having. Whatever it was I find it fun and exciting, and beautiful to watch. The spaceship was amazing, both in design and execution. The dinosaurs were very well done, but spread out a few here and there. Some of the sets were massive. Again lending to that feature film feel.

So The Doctor just felt like trying out having a gang. Egyptian queen Nefertiti makes that choice for The Doctor as she barges her way into the TARDIS in 1334BC after a helpful visit from The Doctor. After learning of Earth's plans to shoot down a ship approaching the planet, The Doctor leaves to collect the rest of the gang. He picks up John Riddell, big game hunter, in 1902. When he picked him up in the African plains it was clear The Doctor had been with him recently, in his mind at least. Lastly it's off to get the Ponds. By simply materializing the TARDIS around them, The Doctor got more than he bargained for with Rory's father. Maybe I'm partial, but I loved Brian Williams even more than I loved Arthur Weasley. Watching him struggle to come to terms with the madness he finds himself enveloped in is adorable.  We also learn that it's been 10 months for Amy since "Asylum of the Daleks."

The credits were good, a bit noticeable of a difference from the previous episode. A bit darker, more light flashes in the clouds of the vortex, a red vortex at the end. Keeping with the theme of the episode the logo contained dinosaur scales.

The use of the beach as an engine room was pretty cool. Brian has a bit of a travel and technology breakdown when they transport there, but springs back to scout form and produces a trowel to dig in the sand where they find a floor. Now they know the ship uses hydro generators and they are still on the ship. When they're chased off the beach by pterodactyls, I giggled as Brian fought one off with his trowel.

Now I love Mitchell and Webb, so I was excited by their brief appearances as a campy pair of robots. I wish there had been more, but that was probably for the best. Amy learns it's a Silurian ark. Most likely the explosive impact they were escaping was the same one that drove the other Silurians underground, simply the moon coming into orbit. We get to see a Triceratops up close, even closer for poor Brian. They also show us a sexual tension rising between Nefertiti and Riddell, which doesn't sit well with Amy who sounds like The Doctor when she says that she "will not have flirting companions".

As if one Harry Potter star wasn't enough, we get two. Filch is on board as pirate trader, Solomon. I don't know if I could have picked a better person to play him. Filch was gruff but loveable. Solomon had no redeeming qualities. he played them both so well. He scans The Doctor for worth and we are again faced with the question, Doctor who ?, when the scan comes back as "No Identification". We get to see The Doctor, well, being an actual doctor. Brian is shot and injured to force The Doctor to help Solomon. There's a sweet scene as nurse Rory tends to his father's wounds, sharing how they are similar in that Brian carries a trowel to be prepared and Rory carries a nurses' med pack.

The Doctor learns of the origin of the ship, and then how Solomon murdered the Silurians by waking them from cryogenics and shooting them out of the airlocks. He also learns why the ship is headed to Earth. Without a pilot it reverts home and Solomon doesn't know how to pilot the ship. Okay, the escape could have been quicker if they didn't stop and spend time trying to get the dinosaur to move, but we had to get it to the other corridor with them When Solomon learns the missiles from Earth are real, he abandons plans to take the dinosaurs, saying he will settle for the very valuable queen Nefertiti. To make a point that he will go to any length to get his way, he kills that poor dinosaur that just helped them.

Nefertiti insists on giving herself to Solomon, and he takes her back to his ship, but The Doctor has magnetized it and Solomon can't leave. Shooty bang with dinosaurs (just to stun) and Brian and Rory pilot the ship together since it needs two pilots from the same gene pool. And oh, Brian, you are indeed a Pond. The Doctor has a moment with Amy, where he insists he is not weaning them off of him. Amy has left her job as a model. The Doctor insist Amy will be there until the end of him, and she replies vice verse  causing an awkward moment.

The Doctor boards Solomon's ship, short circuits the robots, and Nefertiti frees herself. Basically next The Doctor kills Solomon. This is not something we see much. Solomon was relentless and couldn't be stopped, with no moral compass. By saving the Silurian ship, The Doctor transfers the signals the missiles are after to Solomon's ship, then releases him to his fate. When Solomon begs for his life, without hesitation The Doctor asks if the Silurians did the same.

The ship is safe, the dinosaurs are safe, but i do wonder where they went. Oh wait, I just remembered what happened to the dinosaurs. I just try not to because that "Siluria" post card looked like it was done with crayons. Nefertiti and Riddell have shacked up together in 1902, now doing their big game hunting with a stun rifle. Could we have seen here a way The Doctor changed Riddell for the better? Amy and Rory ask to go home, for a couple of months. As a last request, Brian enjoys a view of the Earth from the TARDIS in space as he eats his lunch. Amy and Rory appear behind him and also look to Earth. The Doctor appears behind them and looks to them, then to the Earth, confirmation and sadness coming over his face. But we see how The Doctor even accidentally touches someone. Having hated to travel, Brian has now littered Rory and Amy's refrigerator with post cards from around the world.

Up next is "A Town Called Mercy".

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