doctor who recapping: dinosaurs on a spaceship

Previously on Doctor Who: The Asylum of the Daleks

Yeah, that’s right, every other show ever – can you have an episode dedicated to dinosaurs traipsing around where they don’t belong? I didn’t think so.

(And no, Terra Nova and Dinotopia, you guys don’t count. You have to be good to count.)

Plot

  • Meet the new gang – at least for this episode.

Queen Nefertiti: You remember your history lessons right? Ancient Egypt once had this pretty swanky queen who knew English idioms and liked to wear incredibly low-cut dresses. Or something like that.
John Riddell: Indiana Jones-esque and equipped with a barrel full of double entendres, Riddell gets picked up by the Doctor because someone on the show needs to know how to use a gun.
“The Ponds”: Amy and Rory are accidentally joined by Rory’s father, Brian! Befuddled hilarity and surprisingly touching moments ensue.

  • The Doctor has a mission, and he, of course, chooses to accept it. A big, mysterious spaceship is flying on a crash course for our planet, and Earth’s security will blow it to smithereens unless the Doctor can divert it.
  • The gang arrives on the ship via TARDIS and immediately runs into a dog-like stegosaurus, creepy pterodactyls, and a pair of sarcastic robots. So far, so good.
  • The suddenly space savvy Amy realizes that the ship was an ark for the Silurians (which means nothing to anyone except for diehard fans who recognize them as the reptilian race more or less responsible for Rory’s pre-Roman death.)
  • The gang runs into a bad guy named Solomon – and he’s pretty bad. He’s a pirate, but not the fun Captain Jack Sparrow kind. He boarded the ship awhile ago and killed all the Silurians so he could sell all their precious animals. He even gets his robot henchmen to shoot Brian.
  • The Doctor saves the day with expected Time Lord flair. He gets Brian and Rory to fly the ship away from Earth while sending the missiles to destroy Solomon’s getaway vehicle.
  • Oh, and the Doctor and Rory share a mostly one-sided kiss somewhere in there. I’m belatedly reminded that that’s probably a plot point worthy of note. And Nefertiti and Riddell are presumably an item now. Just now sure where they’ll settle down. Or when.

Talking Points

Fun.

Man, I love this show. This episode wasn’t even that spectacular from a critical perspective (or even a logical one), but I’ve long given up judging Doctor Who on an episode-by-episode basis. For me, the essence of this show resides in its ability to encourage imaginative story-telling and push the boundaries of what television programs ought to be. I cannot stress how much I loathe procedurals. Especially procedurals lazily disguised as something else. It’s refreshing to watch shows that plummet along on their own quirky and clunky arcs. There are bumps in the road, sure, but I’ll weather them out. For every so-called “filler episode”, there’s a Weeping Angel right around the corner.

Doctor Who? Part Two

I’ll try and keep this short since it’s an unintentional continuation of last week’s morality rant. So the Doctor has absolutely no qualms about allowing the ISIS missiles to kill Solomon and his robots. Really? I’m all for the utilitarian and eye-for-an-eye justifications, but not when employed by a character who has a 900+ year legacy of doing the opposite. Come on, Moffat. Help me out here. “In Moffat We Trust” is a popular Whovian mantra, but for now I’m more preoccupied with Moffat Who Forgets Who His Main Character Is.

Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Like the Ponds

Three episodes left and counting before the undeniable end of the Pond companion era. It almost goes without saying that Amy and Rory’s good-bye will be a dramatic, possibly fatal affair. No hints yet about their future demise or peaceful relocation, but plenty of grim foreshadowing is starting to pile up. When the Doctor cheerfully tells Amy she’ll be around till the end of him, her reply – “Or vice versa!” – paired with the Doctor’s suddenly drained features, isn’t difficult to analyze.

Quotes

The Doctor: Brian Pond, you are delicious.

Brian: I’m not a Pond.

The Doctor: Of course you are!

**********

The Doctor: How do you start a triceratops?

**********

The Doctor: We need to turn this ship around

Rory: You said it was too late, that there wasn’t any time.

The Doctor: Ah, but I didn’t have this plan then, did I?

**********

The Doctor: Look, Solomon. The missiles. See them shine? See how valuable they are? And they’re all yours. Enjoy your bounty.

**********

Hayley has other interests besides just nerdy TV shows. She also is a big fan of thinking. She ponders the great mysteries of life, like how more of her time can be devoted to watching those nerdy TV shows.

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3 thoughts on “doctor who recapping: dinosaurs on a spaceship

  1. ” I’m all for the utilitarian and eye-for-an-eye justifications, but not when employed by a character who has a 900+ year legacy of doing the opposite”

    You mean the character who committed the equivalent of genocide on his own species…twice?

    You mean the character who caused the ‘last human’ Cassandra to dry up and explode in front of him, to her presumed death?

    You mean the character who allowed an entire planet full of sentient beings to be killed in only the last episode?

    Yes, last week they were ‘only’ Daleks and they were insane. But on par with a pirate who killed thousands of Silurians…I have more pity for the Daleks than the pirate, quite frankly.

    • saidhayley says:

      Hi NotAScientist, yes, I do mean the same character! And to be clear, my rant extends to last week’s episode as well. Unusually insane daleks and blissfully unrepentant pirates, while both morally repugnant in different ways, are both living creatures that, in my mind, deserve some of that famous Doctor morality I’ve become so accustomed to.

      But to your point, I both agree and disagree. The Doctor definitely has a history of immense acts of violence and genocide, but what I’m missing now is any evidence that such acts even bother or take a toll him. After he wiped out his own species, we spent a whole season with unusually somber and introspective Christopher Eccleston as he grappled with what he had done. Similarly, David Tennant’s doc often went on semi-wild killing sprees (“The Runaway Bride”, “The Family of Blood”), but they were anchored by a very tangible sense that such actions were the result of a spiraling out of control Doctor, not a new moral code.

      Though to be fair to Moffat, next week’s episode has a nifty line I already like. Something about all the people he’s had to watch die as a result of his mercy. So maybe my long-winded rants will be appeased if I just wait 🙂

  2. […] Previously on Doctor Who: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship […]

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