Doctor Who Reactions: "Invasion of the Dinosaurs" (SPOILERS)

Part One:

1)Interesting that Part One is simply titled "Invasion", to keep the "dinosaurs" part secret.

 

2)Part One also survives only in black-and-white, although there is a "colorized" version available on the DVD.

 

3)"The Vandals were quite decent chaps."

 

4)"Great Britain always closes on Sundays."  Just like Massachusetts in the same time period!

 

5)These aren't the crappiest dinosaurs I've ever seen, but they're easily in the top ten.

 

6)"Age?" "23."  "Age?" "You'd never believe me."  Oh, for pity's sake, just make up a believable number.

 

7)Is that T-Rex actually saying "ROAR!"? I think it is.

 

8)Cliffhanger #1: Crappy dinosaur is crappy!

 

Part Two

9)"Back! Back, accursed wizard!"

 

10)It's Nyder!  That man gets everywhere!

 

11)"Our friend from UNIT is here." Looking at it now, I can see how they foreshadowed who the mole was.

 

12)"Large, placid and stupid."  Which will be quoted in "Robot".

 

13)Cliffhanger #2: Crappy dinosaur is still crappy!

 

Part Three

14)This is back in the early days, when Sarah occasionally remembered that she was a journalist.

 

15)Benton is kind of easily pushed around.

 

16)Cliffhanger #3: "We left Earth three months ago."

 

Part Four

17)The debut of the "Whomobile"!  I liked Bessie better.

 

18)"Someone's using the blue lift."  No, not the blue lift!

 

19)Cliffhanger #4: The Doctor is framed!

 

Part Five

20)"So, it was you, Mike."

 

21)Sarah's pretty clever here, the way she reasons it all out.

 

22)"Have you told anyone?"  Always answer "yes" to that one.

 

23)Cliffhanger #5: Crappy Dinosaur III: The Crappening!

 

Part Six

24)Worst dinosaur fight ever!

 

25)"You realize this is mutiny?" I thought mutiny was only on ships?

 

26)"I never thought I'd find myself blowing up a Tube station."  Life takes us strange places.

 

27)"Don't worry, Brigadier, I'm never wrong."  It's a wonder the Brigadier didn't shoot him.

 

28)"No, he's reversed the polarity!"  Of course he has.

 

Overall:  A pretty good story (although the Golden Agers' scheme did seem a bit overly convoluted) let down by the most woeful Doctor Who creatures this side of the Myrka.  Always good to see Peter Miles again, though.

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Not to mention, his sidekick returned as The Governor in VENGEANCE ON VAROS.

I’ve always wondered what the Third Doctor would look like in black & white and now I know. (Pretty good, actually!) When I was in high school and watching reruns of TV shows which started in black and white then later switched to color (Gilligan’s Island, Gomer Pyle, Beverly Hillbillies, Lost in Space, etc.) I generally preferred the black and white ones. Back in those days, there was a control on the set to turn the color off, which I often did.

I like Doctor Who for much the same reason I like GrimJack, namely because the concept is open to virtually any kind of story (and not simply “historicals” and “science fiction,” either). One story may be set in outer space, the next in the Old West, the next on a pirate ship and so on. Consequently, I like to imagine various Doctors “crossing over” with other TV shows of the day (Dark Shadows, The Prisoner, etc.), but I rarely ever imagine other shows crossing over wit Doctor Who. Watching “Invasion of the Dinosaurs,” I could easily imagine Ultraman popping into shot!

Occasionally Doctor Who DVD releases are supplemented with optional CGI special effects. If ever there was a story which absolutely screams for such enhancement, this is it. (As a wiser man than I once pointed out, “The crappy dinosaurs look crappy.”) It wouldn’t have been all that hard to insert new special effects scenes, either. There are only few which show actors superimposed over the puppets, but those scenes aren’t integral and could be inserted without actors. Except for the pterodactyl scenes, maybe. That pterodactyl is about as convincing as the occasional bat on Dark Shadows. Another crossover just occurred to me: Doctor Who in the Land of the Lost!

It’s kind of funny (in this pre-Jurassic Park era) that the possibility of genetically enhanced dinosaurs was brought up then summarily dismissed out of hand. I also liked the “We left Earth three months ago” cliffhanger of episode three. At the time it would have been relatively easy for viewers of the day to conclude that something hokey was going on (because the scenes with the Doctor hadn’t jumped ahead), but in a way, this twist foreshadowed such storytelling innovations as the “flashforward” on Lost.

Despite the crappy dinosaurs, this really is one of my favorite Third Doctor adventures.

I haven't seen this one in ages.  I'd pull it out for a look-see, but now that I think about it, I'm not sure if I even have a VCR hooked up to a TV anymore.

"I’ve always wondered what the Third Doctor would look like in black & white and now I know."

Unfortunately, several of the stories I originally saw in COLOR in the 70's only existed in the BBC Archives in the 80's as B&W film recordings.  (THE SILURIANS, THE AMBASSADORS OF DEATH, TERROR OF THE AUTONS, THE MIND OF EVIL). And those are the ones I'm currently stuck with.

The 2 individual episodes (from PLANET OF THE DALEKS and INVASION OF THE DINOSAURS) were, stupidly, NOT run by my PBS stations, so I have still never seen them!  It's especially maddening with ...DINOSAURS Part 1, as when Tom Baker's 1st 4 seasons got here in 1979, shortly after a set of novelizations were widely released, including a couple of Pertwees.  I got to read "Invasion of the Dinsosaurs" at least 5 years before seeing Parts 2-6 on PBS.  When they did run the story, I knew EXACTLY what was missing. I'd seen it in my head 5 years earlier when I read the book.

I think the whole run-around game with General Finch (John Bennett) and co. really got annoying the longer the story went on.  It reminds me a lot, come to think of it, of the similar run-around in THE AMBASSADORS OF DEATH, where some high-ranking official is REPEATEDLY screwing things over, because they're part of the conspiracy. You just want to see the S.O.B. get what's coming to him, more and more, the longer the story goes on. I much more enjoyed John Bennett in THE TALONS OF WENG-CHIANG.

"Haven't I seen you someplace before?" "I understand-- we all-- look alike."

John Bennett also played the police inspector investigating Jon Pertwee's disappearance in THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD.

"I generally preferred the black and white ones"

That's because in most long-running shows, the early episodes are the BETTER-WRITTEN ones!

"Despite the crappy dinosaurs, this really is one of my favorite Third Doctor adventures."

I'd think it would be fairly easy to replce the effects if they got the budget for that. Lord knows, I WISH they'd replace the dinosaurs in THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT and AT THE EARTH'S CORE! Otherwise, they're not bad movies.

"I rarely ever imagine other shows crossing over wit Doctor Who."

I like to "cast" actors when I write stories, and in my last story, I actually did a scene (set in a crematory) where I had Colin Baker, Tom Baker & Patrick Troughton all together (but none of them as The Doctor). Troughton ran the crematory, and was a part-time body-snatcher on the side.

”This is back in the early days, when Sarah occasionally remembered that she was a journalist.”

Speaking of which, the first episode of the BBC radio drama The Ghosts of N-Space obliquely addresses that. Sarah Jane has just had her article about the Daleks rejected by her editor (placing this story shortly after “Death to the Daleks” in continuity). In fact, her editor has not bought a single article she’s submitted since hooking up with the Doctor and UNIT, and she is depicted at trying her hand at writing a novel. That’s typical of the Easter eggs in these radio shows written by Barry Letts.

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