DVD Extras for this story on the 15-episode box sets include:
As with the last adventure, the TARDIS gets a bit short-changed today. The only materialization we get to enjoy is seen through the Ponds' eyes from the inside - which we need for story purposes. I'd have also shown at least one more somewhere else, probably for arrival on the ship itself, just to give the story a more classic feel and make the show less obscure to non-regular viewers. We don't actually get a lot of TARDIS interior today either.
The "spaceship" of the title deserves mention. With it reportedly being the size of Canada complete with its own massive beaches, and designed by Silurians instead of Humans, it inherits all the scope and cultural variety I'd want to see from an alien planet, accordingly earning the story all the points it would get if it had been set on an alien world. I do question what will become the common assumption - that it was built to avoid the same catastrophe as that which sent Silurians into hibernation. That catastrophe turned out to be the harmless arrival of the moon into Earth orbit, which probably would not have alarmed the Silurians so much if they were already capable of building a nearly-moon-sized spacecraft. But then of course, there would naturally be so much history behind the Silurians that we have yet to explore, including perhaps more rises and falls of technologically-based Silurian civilizations, that we should hesitate to make too many hasty false connections.
I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that Doctor Who can now afford to do dinosaurs with the same professional CGI technology as had been seen on Jurassic Park, and like Jurassic Park, a large percentage of dinosaur footage is achieved using simpler techniques. Clever. I have to say though, I think "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" is a much better story. "Jurassic Park" fell into very predictable bottle-story horror formulae in its second half, where the narrative focused on generating fear, and the only real question left in play was who would get eaten before the story resolved. The audience demographic being marketed to dictated that anyone with a remotely familial connection on display would be immune from consideration.
But here, we're not restricted to watching the carnage of carnivores, as has happened on dinosaur flicks throughout the history of cinema trickery. Boring old carnivores make but brief cameos here. We spend far more time with herbivores, and take time to explore their characters and attempt communication, culminating in the celebration of a Triceratops. Much more interesting! Personally, I think Brian was a little TOO close to Tricey while trying to figure out what he wanted; I would not quite have trusted Tricey to be that docile from the outset. But there is so much about dinosaur behaviour that our science simply cannot prove yet. I'm glad this story explored some different possibilities.
I also like the way the villain of the piece and his robot servants are revealed gradually and in ways that pique the imagination much more than such characters might have with plainer exposition. The opening exploration phases of this story are nicely paced by quickly giving the audience everything it needs to understand the story title before it appears, while allowing the rest of the details of set-up and backstory to be the rewards for our gang's persistent investigations.
The robots work really well in terms of physical design, up to and including the brilliant laser beams superimposed later on. The robot characters as written and performed aren't quite as exciting, but since they thankfully get very little dialogue, they still work well within this particular story. I would predict we will see this robot design return in a future story, but with a totally different personality programmed in.
There's a nice bit of fair turnabout in this story as Amy becomes the de facto leader of her own little trio, and has to put up with their flirting distracting her from solving problems. Exactly what she always used to do to the Doctor - now she sees the dynamic from his perspective, which makes a nice little moment.
Personally, I do find it hard to believe that our villains succeeded in putting thousands of Silurians to their deaths, even just a few at a time, without more of a fight ensuing at some point. If they had that much control over their cryogenic resuscitation equipment, why not just sabotage it like HAL in "2001: A Space Odyssey"? Oh well, it's a relatively small plot hole.
It's also nice for variety to see Earth being defended by an Indian Space Agency. The character of Indira becomes a welcome and easily recognizable focal point for this aspect of the story.
This story has become available on DVD and Blu-ray.
This story is also available in a 5-episode volume with minimal extra features.
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