Dinosaurs on a spaceship. What else do you need to know?

Cast and Crew Information

Matt Smith as the Doctor
Karen Gillan as Amy
Arthur Darvill as Rory
David Bradley as Solomon
Riann Steele as Queen Nefertiti
Rupert Graves as Riddell
Mark Williams as Brian Williams

Written by Chris Chibnall
Directed by Saul Metzstein

Premise

The Doctor, Queen Nefertiti, John Riddell, Amy, Rory and Rory’s father Brian explore a spaceship headed towards Earth. The ship is populated by dinosaurs.

High Point

“I’m easily worth two men. You can help if you’d like.”

Low Point

The residue on a golf ball? Really?

The Review

This is somewhat original. Dinosaurs on a spaceship is certainly an uncommon notion, and the Who crew manage their typical cleverness in taking an absurd eye-catching premise and turning it into something meaningful. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects are decent. The CGI and animatronic dinosaurs are easily distinguished from each other, however, and some of the digital insertions are pretty unnatural. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story relies on a few too many coincidences for my tastes. (Who carries a trowel and golf balls? This was the one time he materialized around them?) I give it 4 out of 6.

The acting was well done, including the guest cast. Of course, when the guest cast has this many recognizable faces, that’s to be expected. I give it 6 out of 6.

The production wasn’t as smooth as usual. Too many angles appear to have been chosen to facilitate the effects budget instead of the other way around. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response was good. There was genuine danger, a very real deadline, and a villain you love to hate. It almost overcomes the contrivances to get this group together. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it delivers what I’ve come to expect from the early episodes in a season: an entertaining story that is likely to be overshadowed by those that come later. Part of me strongly suspects this episode was designed primarily to introduce three particular characters to the audience and to each other. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship receives 31 out of 42.