INVASION OF THE DINOSAURS

Part One

Me: Right, we have two choices. We can watch a recently recolourised version of the first episode which is a bit ropey around the edges, or we can watch a black white copy instead. It’s entirely up to you.
Sue: Wow, I’m spoilt for choice. What do you recommend?
Me: I’d go with the black and white version if I were you. It looks better. Plus it’ll be our very last black and white episode. You, know, for old time’s sake.
Sue: Oh go on then.

Sue is captivated by the opening scenes.

Sue: How on earth did they do this? Did they get up really early one morning? It’s really creepy, like 28 Days Later. I’m hooked already. Didn’t they do this with the Daleks, once? Is it the Daleks?

Invasion of the DinosaursAs the Doctor and Sarah explore a deserted London, the only sound they hear is exceedingly loud birdsong.

Sue: Has Earth been invaded by giant birds? Is this an homage to Hitchcock?

Aside from the endless chirping, I can tell that Sue is enjoying this.

Sue: It’s very atmospheric. We should watch all the episodes in black and white.

The Doctor and Sarah stumble across a dead man in the street. It looks as if something very large has stomped on his head.

Sue: That was horrific! How did they get away with that?

UNIT are struggling to deal with the situation.

Sue: I like the idea of the Doctor turning up late. The TARDIS must be having another off-day.

In a deserted lock-up, the Doctor and Sarah are suddenly attacked by a prehistoric creature.

Invasion of the DinosaursSue: What the hell is that supposed to be? Are you sure the planet hasn’t been invaded by birds?
Me: It’s a pterodactyl. In fact, it’s Torchwood’s pterodactyl.
Sue: Is it really?
Me: Yes, it ends up working for Torchwood when this story ends. They call him Terry.
Sue: Really?

I’m trying to distract her. I really am. But as Terry attacks the Doctor, Sue isn’t buying it for a second.

Sue: Has the planet been invaded by Rod Hull?

Sarah and the Doctor are arrested for looting.

Invasion of the DinosaursSue: The Doctor really likes Sarah. He’s taken to her quicker than Jo. He treated Jo like shit for months.

Meanwhile the army are up to their necks in dinosaurs.

Sue: Right, so dinosaurs have invaded London?
Me: In a nutshell, yes.
Sue: So, it’s a 1970s version of Primeval?
Me: Yes. And that means 1970s special effects, I’m afraid.
Sue: It looks pretty bad. I bet it looked even worse in colour.

As the dinosaur (I hesitate to call it a T-Rex because it doesn’t look like any T-Rex I’ve ever seen) shambles down the street, Sue sighs.

Sue: So do you have any childhood memories you’d like to share?
Me: I’m not really sure. I usually get this story and the Chewits advert mixed-up in my head.

 

Me: However, I can say, with some degree of certainty, that this episode was playing on UK Gold when I moved in with you on Monday 5th July, 1993. Sadly, I don’t think Glen Allen introduced it.
Sue: He’s never around when you want him. So what did I think of this episode?
Me: Oh, you’d gone to bed by then. It went out pretty late.
Sue: So, let me get this straight: we didn’t go to bed together on the night that you moved in because Doctor Who was on? Is that what you’re saying? Why don’t I remember that?
Me: You fell asleep on the couch. Nicol had worn you out. You never stayed up later than 11pm when I first met you.

The episode concludes with our heroes being transported to a prison. And just when you think things can’t get any worse, they are intercepted by a dinosaur.

Sue: What were they thinking? How did they ever think they could pull this off? It’s a shame. The set-up was great. But this looks terrible.

 

Part Two

Me: Did you notice that they removed any reference to dinosaurs from the title of the first episode?
Sue: What?
Me: Can’t you remember the title of the last one?
Sue: I have other things to worry about.
Me: Right. Well, it was called Invasion. They removed …of the Dinosaurs to keep the audience guessing.
Sue: That was a good idea.
Me: Well, it might have been if the Radio Times hadn’t ruined the surprise. But worse than that, the writer, Malcolm Hulke, went mental. He fell out with Terrance Dicks and he never wrote for the series again.
Sue: He was that annoyed about it?
Me: Yes. And you shouldn’t make Hulke angry, you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.

Meanwhile, in Invasion of the Dinosaurs.

Sue: I was right, it does look a lot worse in colour. And what is that soldier firing at? It looks like he’s shooting at a tree.

Invasion of the DinosaursAs the soldiers calmly amble back to their jeep, as if shooting dinosaurs is just a part of their regular job, Sue is much more fascinated by the inanimate object they pass in the street.

Sue: You don’t see dustcarts like that any more.
Me: It was probably picking up white dog poo.

Sarah wants to know what she’s just encountered.

Sue: She’s a journalist, she should know what a T-Rex looks like.
Me: Yes. If it looked like a T-Rex.

And then, to compound matters, they are attacked by a medieval peasant.

Sue: Did Bill Oddie turn up late for last week’s story?

Back at UNIT’s makeshift HQ (it takes a while for Sue to realise they have taken over a school: at first she believes that UNIT personnel are hanging their kid’s paintings on the walls), the Doctor declares that he wants to capture a live dinosaur, because a dead one is no good to him.

Sue: What’s he going to do? Interrogate it?

The intended victim is a Stegosaurus, who is minding its own business outside a branch of Woolworths.

Sue: It doesn’t look that bad. The dinosaurs look alright in very small doses.

Invasion of the DinosaursWhen Martin Jarvis is introduced as Butler, Sue points excitedly at the screen.

Sue: I definitely recognise that actor. What would I have seen him in?
Me: The Web Planet.

The episode concludes with Sarah threatening to flirt with Yates, but then something far worse happens.

Sue: Oh no! Yates has turned to the Dark Side!

 

Part Three

Sue can’t stop tutting at the dinosaur, but she is impressed when it eventually faints and falls over.

Sue: It looks quite good when it doesn’t have to move.

Invasion of the DinosaursIn the villains’ secret lair, Butler and Whittaker convince Yates to sabotage the Doctor’s equipment.

Sue: Why have they got a giant Cluedo board on their wall?

Later, as the Doctor tries to piece together the puzzle.

Sue: This is just like Fringe.
Me: I know, the CSO is pretty bad, but we have used that joke before.
Sue: No, I mean it really is like Fringe. Missing scientists dabbling in time travel and strange goings on. You could imagine Walter Bishop being behind this.

As Yates struggles with his conscience, Sue admires this story’s twist.

Sue: It’s brave of them to turn Yates into the bad guy. I didn’t think Doctor Who did things like that.
Me: Would it have been better if Benton had been the turncoat?
Sue: I know what you mean, but no. I wouldn’t want Benton to be bad. Benton is incapable of being bad. I love Benton.

When Sir Charles Grover, an ecologist MP who has been given responsibility for overseeing this emergency, turns up for a progress report, Sue is immediately suspicious.

Sue: I smell a rat. There’s definitely a hint of government corruption in this. I bet he’s behind this.

She doesn’t trust General Finch either.

Invasion of the DinosaursSue: He is in on it as well. He looks evil and I don’t trust him as far as I could throw him. Does he take his mask off in a minute? Does it turn out to be –
Me: No.

When the Doctor commandeers a jeep, Sue asks the obvious question:

Sue: Where’s Bessie this week? Is she in for a service?

Sarah decides to investigate the possibility of a nuclear generator hidden in the heart of the city.

Sue: I like the way Sarah Jane is a journalist. It’s a very good occupation for a companion to have. She can be inquisitive and proactive without it looking like she’s just aimlessly stumbling into trouble. She’s great.

Sarah shares her suspicions with Grover and he offers to check the government’s files with her.

Invasion of the DinosaursSue: He is definitely in on it. No one in the government is that helpful.

She’s right.

Sue: You just can’t trust anybody in this story.

When Sarah is assaulted by some flashing blue lights, Sue slumps into her chair in sympathy.

Sue: Not hypnotism again! They should ban on hypnotism for a year. It’s getting beyond a joke now.

The episode concludes with Sarah being told that she’s been asleep on a spaceship for the last three months.

Sue: Well, I didn’t see that coming. That was great. I’m definitely hooked now. This plot is quite heavy.

 

Part Four

Sue: So has Mike Yates been hypnotised or not?
Me: No, he really is a traitor. This was his own choice.
Sue: That’s a bit grim.

And then the Doctor unveils a new mode of transportation.

Invasion of the DinosaursSue: What the hell is that?
Me: That’s the Whomobile.
Sue: Stop taking the piss.
Me: I’m serious.
Sue: For ****’s sake.

I tell her the story about Jon Pertwee designing the futuristic car and presenting it to Barry Letts as a fait accompli and she can hardly believe it.

Sue: It looks mental! How can you drive around in that and blend in? It’s “Look at me! Look at me! I’m the Doctor! I’m mad, me!”. I do like the leather work on the seats, though. I’m just surprised that you haven’t got a toy version of the Whomobile sitting on your shelf.
Me: They never made any.
Sue: What? They would make perfect toys. Why didn’t they merchandise it?
Me: I have no idea.
Sue: Maybe we should buy the rights and we could sell the toys ourselves. Who owns the design?
Me: I’m have no idea. Sean Pertwee could have inherited it for all I know.
Sue: We should look into it. We could make full-scale road-worthy replicas! We could retire on Whomobile profits.
Me: I doubt it. We can’t even get people to buy a bloody mug.

Invasion of the DinosaursMeanwhile, Sarah is introduced to the Elders.

Sue: She’s famous. Is it Googie Withers?

But Sue, much like Sarah, isn’t fooled by their story.

Sue: The cut on her head hasn’t healed. She hasn’t been there for months at all.

The Doctor investigates the secret underground base (“It’s Edge of Darkness – with dinosaurs”), but when a door shuts, the rest of the set wobbles in sympathy.

Sue: This place wouldn’t stand up to a strong gust of wind, let alone a nuclear explosion. I do like Dudley’s music in this story, though. He’s settled down a lot. Some of his early stuff was mad but this is quite tense.

Whittaker kidnaps another pterodactyl from the Jurassic era and he unleashes it on the Doctor.

Sue: This is very cruel. Just imagine the shock the dinosaurs must have felt when they were suddenly transported from a jungle into the middle of Oxford Circus. No wonder they’re so angry.

Invasion of the DinosaursAs the Doctor defends himself against the justifiably pissed-off pterodactyl, Nicol walks through the living room.

Nicol: He needs a fez to go with that mop.

When the bad guys meet to finalise the final stages of their utterly bonkers plan, Sue struggles to piece it all together.

Sue: Are they really aliens who are just pretending to be humans? I don’t get it. What are they trying to achieve? Are they really the good guys? How does the spaceship fit into this? What the hell is going on?

The Doctor is lured into a trap by Whittaker, and a stegosaurus materialises in front of him.

Sue: Why have they sent a veggie? That’s a bit daft.

But no, the Doctor has been framed as the architect for this disaster.

Sue: Oh, fair enough.

 

Part Five

Invasion of the DinosaursAs Mark tries to convince Sarah that she is about to settle down with him to colonise New Earth, Sue has other things on her mind.

Sue: Denim was very popular in 1974. I think all the men looked like this back then.

As the villains’ plans are made a little clearer (but no less insane), Sue believes she has a handle on the villains at last.

Sue: It’s like the Scientologists have joined forces with Greenpeace.

When Benton disobeys General Finch’s orders concerning the Doctor, Sue nods her approval.

Sue: Good old Benton. You can always rely on Benton. I bloody love Benton.

Invasion of the DinosaursThe Doctor disables Benton, to make it look like a genuine escape attempt, and the sergeant falls head-first onto the floor.

Sue: He could have helped him down a bit! He’s probably broken his nose!

When Sarah reveals the truth about the spaceship to Mark, Sue can see a modern parallel.

Sue: It’s just like that TV show Channel 4 did a few years back, when they tried to convince some gullible fools that they were on the space shuttle. It’s exactly the same idea! I bet the producer was a Doctor Who fan.
Me: It is hard to believe that anyone would go along with this plan and believe it.
Sue: Well, they went to all the meetings. They want to believe it. I can just about buy into it.

Invasion of the DinosaursAs Jon Pertwee races around a forest in a jeep (“He didn’t want to get the Whomobile dirty”), Sue admires his driving skills.

Sue: Pertwee would have been brilliant on Top Gear. He would have kicked Jamiroquai’s arse.
Me: It’s funny you should say that: Matt Smith was the ‘Star in a Reasonably Priced Car’ on Top Gear tonight.
Sue: How did he do?
Me: I don’t know, it was on Top Gear.

As the Doctor continues to elude some soldiers in a forest, Sue sighs.

Sue: This is classic Episode Five padding, isn’t it? We are just treading water at this point.

Invasion of the DinosaursMeanwhile, back at UNIT HQ, Private Bryson informs Sarah that the Doctor is now a fugitive.

Sue: Who’s this guy? Is this the bloke they bring in when Benton and Yates call in sick? He looks like Simon Pegg’s dad.

The episode concludes with the Doctor running into a – okay, if you really insist – T-Rex.

Sue: Oh no, not him again.

 

Part Six

We decide to break the rule that stops us from watching more than two episodes a night. Sue can’t wait to see how it this all pans out, and who am I to deny her?

Sadly, any enthusiasm she may have built up for this story rapidly dissipates when a T-Rex and a Brontosaurus decide to have a fight. Well, I say fight.

Invasion of the DinosaursSue: Awww, they are snuggling each other. That’s cute.

As the dinosaurs become more and more intimate, Sue’s patience with the effects finally runs out.

Sue: Not only did they just break the 180 degree rule there, the colour of the dinosaurs changed between the shots as well. This is not good.

As the specifics of Operation Golden Age are finally revealed, Sue finds the whole thing to be “a bit extreme”.

Sue: Are all the survivors on the fake spaceships British?
Me: I think so.
Sue: So this lot are genocidal racists who want to live with the dinosaurs? That’s odd, even for this show.

Invasion of the DinosaursWhile our heroes consider the best way to thwart the lunatics, Yates turns up to spoil their plans.

Sue: It’s like Bodie pulling a gun on Doyle. It’s wrong.

Yates is clearly insane but Benton comes to the rescue. This results in the campest fight scene ever filmed for television.

Sue: Yates should have died sacrificing himself – that way he could have redeemed himself – this a bit lame.

As the story lurches towards its conclusion, Sue repeats the same refrain:

Sue: The plot is great but every so often some dinosaurs turn up to ruin it. Why don’t they go back and re-do this story with new special effects? It would be worth it. Get Rob Ritchie on the case.

As the villains politely rationalise their insane plan, Sue wonders how they ended up here in the first place.

Sue: How did they come up with this mad scheme? Can you imagine the first meeting where someone said, “I know, let’s bring some dinosaurs back from the past so we can wipe everyone out and start again”? I’d love to see the minutes for that particular meeting.

Invasion of the DinosaursWhen the Doctor blows up a triceratops in the London Underground, Sue shakes her head.

Sue: Poor thing. It’s not his fault. He was quite happy chewing on some grass in a valley somewhere, and the next thing you know, he’s got his arse stuck in Moorgate Station. Bless him.

Benton punches General Finch’s lights out (“Jesus Christ! Benton!”) and then the Doctor sneaks into the secret bunker, taking down Butler in the process.

Sue: That was a textbook example of how to put someone down with just a finger on the chest. Now, why doesn’t he do that all the time?

The Doctor reaches the control room just in time to avert disaster.

Sue: He’s reversed the reversal.

When Whittaker reverses the reversal of the Doctor’s reversal, Grover tries to stop him. They vanish together.

Sue: Eh? What happened there?

But before Sue can get to grips with the story’s conclusion, it’s back to UNIT HQ for some cheerful banter.

Sue: The Doctor has a serious crush on Sarah Jane. Look at him charming her into that box of his. She should stay at home and bring down the government with her scoop of the century. Bloody government.

 

The Score

Sue: I loved the plot. The dinosaurs were completely unnecessary and it was two episodes too long, but some of it was quite edgy. I like the idea more than the execution, but there were some great performances and it kept me guessing throughout. Yeah, that wasn’t bad at all.

8/10

 

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Comments

  1. Dave Sanders  February 27, 2012

    It would explain the number of Pertwee-era stuntmen falling off roofs.

  2. Dave Sanders  February 27, 2012

    Tat Wood – as usual – explained why they flatly refused to update the effects; they wouldn’t have looked any better, because the worst shots all have actors CSOed in, and you’d just substitute one blatant fakery for another.

  3. Chris Too-old-to-watch  February 27, 2012

    Yay Sue
    At last someone open-minded enough to ignore Sooty and Sweep in their hallowe’en costumes. Ignore that, and the story is a good ‘un.

    And Sarah-Jane is in it.

    And she’s fantastic

    • Frankymole  February 28, 2012

      She always is.

  4. Adam Birch  February 27, 2012

    For all its faults, at least this story isn’t resolved with the “saved by love” deus ex machina.

    It’s a mixed bag and could be appallingly dangerous if viewed as part of a drinking game (a drink every time a dinosaur is unconvincing or each time someone’s a traitor – finish the drink every time you want to punch one of the “spaceship” hippies).

    • encyclops  February 27, 2012

      Hear HEAR about the “saved by love” cop-out. This story might be loopy sci-fi but it beats fairy-tale any day of the week in my book.

      Speaking of my book: this one is always going to have a special place in my heart because, when I was about 8 or 9 years old, my cousin gave me two books for my birthday. They were the Pinnacle novelizations of The Android Invasion and Invasion of the Dinosaurs. I’d never heard of Doctor Who before that, and after reading them (and Harlan Ellison’s effusive introductions, which had the desired effect) I was a Who fan for life. Any logical flaws or plot shortcomings went over my head at that age, and since the special effects were provided by my head, they were utterly fantastic. I really do think the Operation Golden Age stuff, Mike Yates turning coat, and the deserted London scenes were and are as chilling in their way as anything the show’s ever done — or at least they seemed that way in print. This might be hard to watch again when I get around to it, but you’d better believe I’ll get around to it.

      • Rollocks  February 27, 2012

        Funny enough my very first Doctor Who memory is of an ex-library Target novelization of this very story purchased for me by my Dad. I remember loving it.

        • Dave Sanders  February 28, 2012

          KLAKK!

          • John S. Hall  February 28, 2012

            Don’t you mean, “K-KLAK!!”? 😉

        • Frankymole  February 28, 2012

          Very few Target paperbacks in our library (though plenty in our school library – I remember nicking one of them – a first ed. of “Dr Who And The Sea-Devils”!). WH Allen (no relation) or Wingate hardbacks mostly. A junk shop down our street had the “K-KLAKK!” hardback – dustjacket, very posh, bit faded by the sun, think we were well into Tom by then…. so that was the only Dr Who hardback I ever bought (about 50p), Though a sympathetic teacher at school did give me the “Destiny of the Daleks” dustjacket which she’s pinned up on the wall, so I put that around he “K-KLAKK!” one. Ah, memories… got a “Dr Who And The Loch Ness Monster” p/b from a school drawing competition too. Funny how the show being off-air half the year (and off-air for 6 days of the week even when it returned) made “Dr Who” so much more than just the TV episodes.

          I recall being slightly disappointed by the new paperback cover – even with a slightly more photo-realistic T-Rex outside St Paul’s – the “K-KLAKK!” just had such /style/….

  5. Jazza1971  February 27, 2012

    I was rather surprised to see this story up so soon, I thought Sue would still be away. I’m glad she wasn’t, it’s good to have you all back.

    My t-shirt (or indeed mug) moments would be:-

    1) “Does it turn out to be –

    Me: No.”

    and

    2) “He’s got his arse stuck in Moorgate Station. Bless him.”

    • Frankymole  February 28, 2012

      “He’s got his arse stuck in Moorgate Station. Bless him.”

      Yes, that’s got to be the classic of all time.

  6. Mark Taylor  February 27, 2012

    Hurrah! Sue loved Invasion of the Dinosaurs! One of my favourite Pertwees…

  7. PolarityReversed  February 27, 2012

    Wow, an 8. Agree with Sue that this one was clever for the fact that the dinosaurs aren’t really relevant at all. Twisty on so many levels.

    “I bloody love Benton” – … and so it comes to pass.
    “What have I seen him in?” (re Martin Jarvis) – what the hell haven’t you seen him in? Or heard him in (the patron saint of Radio 4).
    “Is it Googie Withers?” (re Carmen Silvera) – I shall sing zis only oeurnce…
    “Denim was very popular in 1974” – yup, and for some silly reason we all did that daft shrugging dance with our thumbs hooked into our belt loops.
    Love the screen grab of dinosaur necking. Sweet. The dinosaurs got all the fun while the rest of us were trying to look cool without the use of our thumbs…

    Hope Capt Jack is on the mend. To aid his cold turkey regime, perhaps Dreamies would be good?

  8. Neowhovian  February 27, 2012

    I agree with Sue on several counts: the overall story is pretty good, though the poor dinosaurs are rubbish. If you could only pretend the effects weren’t awful, it’d be a pretty good story (which is why I titled my own review “Ignore the Dinosaurs Behind the Curtain“).Also, “I bloody love Benton!”

  9. Rad  February 27, 2012

    Glen Allen is the best continuity announcer ever. He used to do some cracking announcements when Neighbours started on Five. That’s something Who is missing – Neighbours alumni. I can only think of Kylie and that bloke who played Shane (and Jim Robinson was in Torchwood).

    I haven’t seen this episode but I do remember the Chewits ad very well. I’m thinking that might beat this on graphics going on your screencaps.

    (And so pleased to see you guys updating regularly again. Hope all is well)

    • Leo  February 27, 2012

      John Lee, who played Alydon in The Daleks, was also a regular in Neighbours around the mid 90s.

  10. Chris Lindsay  February 27, 2012

    Slight typo in ep one write up – “Doctor and Jo”

  11. Glen Allen  February 27, 2012

    Sadly, I don’t think Glen Allen introduced it.

    Sue: He’s never around when you want him.

    Oh harsh, Doctor Sue, harsh. Im hurt.
    Actually I did introduce Invasion (of the Dinosaurs) on UK Gold, at least twice in 1995 and possibly once in 1997.
    I said something like “…well it was 20 years before Jurassic Park” as almost an apology 🙂
    Theyre pretty bad. Its a shame the director even today actually thinks they look convincing, but I wouldnt dare argue with her (Paddy Russell is scary)

    Oh and while I think about it, how had i never noticed this before? http://www.tea-lady.co.uk/blog/mollyjon.jpg

    • Frankymole  February 28, 2012

      I think I still have that “before Jurassic Park” intro on VHS!

      Mac Hulke was very clever – probably knew the Dinos (or aliens or whatever they were planend to be) would be duffers and so wrote an incredibly good plot. The cunning of the man!

      Almost makes Yates seem worthwhile.

    • Jamie  February 29, 2012

      That picture…..anyone know any good poothy jokes?

  12. Richard Lyth  February 27, 2012

    I was dreading watching this after years of hearing about it being the Worst Episode Ever, only to find out it’s actually got a really good plot, and it doesn’t actually matter that the dinosaurs are rubbish. In particular, the end of episode three is a real shocker, one of the best cliffhangers ever. You can imagine them doing something like that in the new series, only it wouldn’t turn out to be a fake.

  13. Dave Owen  February 27, 2012

    General Finch does very much look as though his face comes off. Maybe the Master in “The Deadly Assassin” looks like he does because he had regenerated, and the Doctor didn’t realise, and tried to unmask him at the end of an unseen adventure. Yes, that must be it.

    • Jason Miller  February 28, 2012

      There’s a joke to be made here about John Bennett’s mask in a particular serial three seasons after this one but it would probably be in bad taste to make it now.

  14. Lewis Christian  February 27, 2012

    A few things…

    1) You have to later go back to Galaxy 4 and The Underwater Menace so you have more B&W episodes to go yet :p

    2) “Sue can’t stop tutting at the dinosaur, but she is impressed when it eventually faints and falls over.” – Love the commentary. Sue often gets quoted but I’m gunna quote you, Neil, for a change 😀

    3) “That was a textbook example of how to put someone down with just a finger on the chest. Now, why doesn’t he do that all the time?” – So very, very true, Sue!

    • Neil Perryman  February 28, 2012

      1) You have to later go back to Galaxy 4 and The Underwater Menace so you have more B&W episodes to go yet :p

      Only if they are released before this experiment concludes.

  15. BestBrian  February 27, 2012

    What’s wrong with Top Gear?

    • Neil Perryman  February 27, 2012

      How long have you got?

      • BestBrian  February 27, 2012

        I find it quite entertaining, and I’ve been seeing a godawful amount of it lately, as BBCAmerica seems to show walls of it and Gordon Ramsey in between Battlestar and ST:TNG reruns. So what’s the beef? Oh, and you should see Matt Smith’s interview/lap; it was fun, and quite charming.

      • Lewis Christian  February 28, 2012

        It takes the piss out of itself though, so it’s all good fun :p

    • Robert Dick  February 28, 2012

      Everything.

  16. John G  February 27, 2012

    “I don’t know; it was on Top Gear.”

    I had a good laugh at Sue’s Bill Oddie quote, but I think Neil wins the prize this time!

    I’m delighted Sue rated this so highly, treating the dinosaurs as the sideshow they are and focusing instead on Hulke’s typically uncompromising plot. This was a major return to form for him after the borefest of Frontier in Space, and it’s a shame it was his last contribution to the TV show. I like the fact that it serves as a kind of anti-Green Death, showing how well-meaning idealism can all too readily shade into fanaticism, and there are some great performances and nice twists. I don’t even think the dinosaurs are that bad, to be honest, certainly not when compared to the fly in The Green Death or Kronos.

    I was watching the DVD for ZZZ the other day, and someone on that said that the rights for the Whomobile reside with the designer’s son – no contact details were given though, sadly…

  17. Simon Harries  February 27, 2012

    I don’t watch Top Gear either. Maybe I should look it up on I-player.

  18. Frankymole  February 28, 2012

    Very “Enemy of the World”, those underground deluded folk.

    Oh, and their mastermind was “Whitaker”. Hmm.

  19. Thomas Bush  February 28, 2012

    “RAWR! I’m a crappy 2-foot-tall dinosaur!” Must admit, I haven’t finished this one. Will return to it someday, but I want me some John Abineri, Bellal and shiny silver ******!

    • Frankymole  February 28, 2012

      Ain’t that the truth. “Death To The Daleks” out in June – by Parrineum it’s been a long wait! My first ever Who story, from all those years ago (as Benton would say).

      Still, I’ve been getting my Abineri/Walsh fixes from Robin of Sherwood and Ambassadors of Death lately. Well worth it.

      • solar penguin  February 28, 2012

        Robin of Sherwood is also good for your “medieval Jeremy Bulloch” fix if you don’t feel like The Time Warrior.

  20. Fred  February 28, 2012

    Mug quote candidate:
    “It’s like the Scientologists have joined forces with Greenpeace.”

  21. solar penguin  February 28, 2012

    “This is classic Episode Five padding, isn’t it?”
    More proof that Sue is definitely no longer a “not we”.

  22. Bryan Simcott  February 28, 2012

    Love this story and really glad Sue gave it 8/10

    there was a medel of the whomobile made in 1998(ish) by Black tree designs. it came in a box with 5 unit soldeirs and a dinosaur. they were 28mm metal figures.

    Alos Dapol had a prototype but lost the liscense before production and that would have been lovely as it would have been big enough to fit the 7th Dr and Ace figures they made into it.

    I still dont understand why there has not been a remote controlled version of this and bessie (about the size of the current cybermat figures)

  23. Alex Wilcock  February 28, 2012

    Have to admit, though I loved the book as a boy – KKLAK! and all – I’ve always found the TV version perishing. Despite being forewarned about the dinosaurs. It’s a great story, but terribly plotted – there’s literally nothing left but to finish it by about five minutes into Part Four. You can almost imagine Malcolm Hulke saying at that point, ‘What do you mean, it’s meant to be a six-parter? Oh, Christ.’ I have a soft spot for quite a bit of it, but there’s just so much more of it.

    “Can we watch all the episodes in black and white?”
    Right – I was planning on choosing a mug or three, but now I’m worried. What have you put in them?

    Still…
    “Have we been invaded by Rod Hull?”
    Definitely the winner this week (though the Scientologists are a runner-up). The whole exchange about the Whomobile is priceless, but a bit long even for a mug – maybe re-recording it for a YouTube clip. Particularly when Sue suddenly switches from incredulity to upholstery.

    “The episode concludes with Sarah threatening to flirt with Yates, but then something far worse happens…”
    No, flirting with Yates is definitely worse.

    My other half laughed at “It’s Edge of Darkness – with dinosaurs”. He points to the fringing around the beasties: “It’s not terrible CSO! It’s Edge of Dinosaur!” I’d love to hear Dudley’s arrangement of that theme, with a cello and a marimba.

    Sadly, the repeat I remember wasn’t introduced by the lovely Glen either, but by a very snide sarky BBC Choice (now BBC3) announcer as part of their trashy “Dino-Nite” in 1999, back in the days when the BBC regarded Doctor Who as a shameful joke rather than a ratings juggernaut. On the bright side, it did show the extended edit of Part Three which has, as far as I know, never been available anywhere else. You even have to swap discs to see the missing scenes on the DVD, which is a bit of a faff.

  24. Paul Mudie  February 28, 2012

    I saw this when it was first on the telly and the dinosaurs scared the hell out of me. Apparently, there were no such things as bad special effects to my 4 year old eyes. I hadn’t seen it since then and was filled with trepidation as my viewing of the DVD approached, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, I found the dinosaurs completely adorable! My special lady and I decided that the T-Rex should be called Chorlton, and I would say “Hello, little old lady” whenever it appeared.

    • Kerry D.  February 29, 2012

      My 8 year old was watching this the other day and he’s still young enough to say “cool, dinosaurs!” rather than “what awful special effects”, which was my reaction. Clearly, if you’re young enough, all dinosaurs still have their charm.

      • Dave Sanders  February 29, 2012

        That was Lawrence Miles’ excuse for liking it; all the cast get to go ‘wow look, dinosaurs!’ just like the watching kids did.

  25. Dylan  February 28, 2012

    “I love Benton.”

    😀

    I agree.

    Sue’s hardly even denying her affection for the series anymore.

    • James C  February 29, 2012

      Stockholm syndrome, perhaps?

      This was a great response to an excellent story. I’m very glad Sue went with the B&W version of part 1. It makes for a great atmosphere.

      Meanwhile, this was a very fine line:

      Sue: What’s he going to do? Interrogate it?

  26. Roderick T. Long  February 29, 2012

    You’d think that in 1974 they could do dinosaurs BETTER than in 1925. But…

    • Chris Too-old-to-watch  February 29, 2012

      The relative amount of money spent in 1925 was probably more than an entire series of DW. I prefer to suspend disbelief: obviously the timey-wimey travelly-waverly has seriously mutated the dinosaurs and affected their motor skills, intelligence and normal characteristics.

    • Frankymole  March 1, 2012

      They couldn’t do robots better in 1977 than in 1926:

      1926: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOj5lnizYds
      1977: (X rated): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-p1_jKJHLIc

  27. BWT  February 29, 2012

    “It’s like the Scientologists have joined forces with Greenpeace.” – T-shirt right there…

    Oh, I see someone has already mentioned it. Bugger. Oh well – ditto and more reason for a t-shirt or mug.

    8/10 ain’t bad – cheers Sue – and it’s a bit hard to see past the dinosaurs but it’s a cracking script, one of Hulke’s best. You can’t go wrong with the incredible Hulke…

  28. Majik  March 1, 2012

    Unnecessarily pedantic I know, but a triceratops would never be eating grass, while Triceratops were around at the end of the Cretaceous (i.e. just before the mass extinction), grass did not evolve until later.

  29. simon  March 2, 2012

    You cant sell a mug? No wonder when they are almost £10 each. I love this site and the show and the catty comments and fun, but the mugs are too expenseive. I would like one if they were around the £5 mark. Our hand made Emma Bridgrewater mugs did not even cost £9.50 each do they cost that much to make? Anyway great story fun show, cant wait to see what Sue makes of teh legendary Tom Baker. That was my era…

    • Neil Perryman  March 3, 2012

      I’d love to sell them for a fiver but given that the base price for a plain mug is 8.50, that’s not possible.

  30. Bill S  March 4, 2012

    “And you shouldn’t make Hulke angry; you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.” Great line. I laughed for a very long time after reading that! You certainly have a gift for the apt phrase.

  31. Fuschia Begonia  March 5, 2012

    There’s a comment by Elisabeth Sladen in her autobiography about how the special effects were farmed out to an external provider and how embarrassed the cast all were when they finally saw them, but that it was too late and there wasn’t the money to do anything about fixing it.

    Glad I’m not the only one who has fond memories of Barrow-in-Furness bus station when I watch this story – I even mentioned it when we reviewed this episode a couple of months ago. Great minds think alike, eh? 😉

  32. Sparklepunk  March 23, 2012

    I think it’s kind of funny when people actually judge whether this was a good episode or not based on the effects. Who the hell watches classic Dr Who for the effects!? haha

    I don’t think it’s among any top ten list for me but I quite liked it. I never really had the problem with Yates that most people did (though like any right minded person I liked Benton SO MUCH MORE!) but I really felt that this story saved him. I feel like it makes the difference between any old mildly irritating background character to someone with an interesting story arc.

  33. Farsighted99  April 18, 2012

    I finally finished watching this. I guess I’m the only one that thought it was a bit rubbish? I can hear the pitch: let’s have a group of Eco-minded Londoners and convince them that they are on a space ship for 3 months that’s actually under this giant building in central London instead of Space (huh?). And the plot is to kill off the entire earth except them via a convoluted time-plot. And let’s have lots of dinosaurs cause kids love ’em. But we don’t have to explain why they are there!

    I did like Yates being a traitor, and the Whomobile was hilarious (disappointed it didn’t fly). And the Doctor saves the day by being a Timelord. The Pterodactyls were scary and I’m sure the kids loved the Dino’s at the time. But there are so many better Pertwee stories.

    • PolarityReversed  April 18, 2012

      Disappointed the Whomobile didn’t fly? Well, hang on in there, you never know your luck…
      (it also has a special sandwich holder on the dashboard)