13 September 2012

Doctor Who - Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

This was a fun episode, with cool stuff and craziness, that got kinda dark at the end there.

Amy and Rory seem to be find now (lord knows how long it's been since the near-divorce of last episode), though apparently neither of them is capable of changing a lightbulb. So Rory's dad is accidentally take on a ride in the TARDIS. Rory and Amy had good dialogue and worked well with the other characters, as well as being useful in the context of the story.

Rory's dad is great. Well acted and well written and sort of the opposite of Jackie Tyler. That the mad adventure on a dinosaur infested spaceship inspires him to leave his comfort zone in more mundane ways is great. Here's someone who benefitted from his TARDIS adventure.

The Indian Space Agency was good. Their thinking made a lot of sense, even if it was the main source of peril in the episode.

I like Mitchell and Webb, so it was a nice surprise to hear them as the voices of the robots, though I didn't realise it was them straight away. Their characters were amusing at first, but were clearly only written with one joke. Nice though it was to have them on Doctor Who, I felt like they could have done with more, though there wasn't room for that in this episode.

Having dinosaurs and Nefertiti on a space ship was fun, and Nefertiti's character was great.* Though could we have some episodes in historical periods soon, as there's a lot of space and planet stuff, let us not forget the what the first letter in TARDIS stands for.

The villain was suitably nasty and for human reasons, not just another monster. The critique on capitalism is fair enough, it's probably good for kids to hear that. He was so menacing I could barely tell he was also Argus Filch from Harry Potter (Filch tries for menacing, but is a bit too pathetic).

The ending was darker than I expected. I didn't take issue with it personally (death to greed and all that, emotionally it felt OK to me), but I can see that it doesn't fit with the way the Doctor is portrayed in other episodes. That said, I guess Solomon's fate was sealed by decisions he'd made, whereas the Doctor doesn't punish creatures for their inherent nature.

A good episode generally, with plenty to laugh at. Only to be expected from a super-sized Snakes on a Plane reference.

* Being an Ancient History geek here.
Nefertiti was married to Amenhotep IV, but he changed his name early in his reign to Akhenaten and started worshipping a floating sundisk called the Aten, and upset a lot of people by ignoring traditional Egyptian religion. He changed traditional art too by commissioning a lot of carvings of him, Nefertiti and their daughters in close family scenes. These carvings are probably why Nefertiti is the most recognisable Egyptian Queen. If any pharoah was being influenced by aliens/supernatural I'm sure it would be him, so it was a shame he was dismissed so quickly.

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