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Doctor Who Season 7: 5 Questions About “Dinosaurs On A Spaceship”

If there’s one thing to say about the second episode of the new season of Doctor Who, it’s that those making the show are definitely taking that whole “A Blockbuster Every Episode” idea very seriously. If nothing else, look at this week’s episode, which puts the stupid/awesome high concept right there in the title. That said, if you thought there might be questions arising from putting dinosaurs into orbit, you’d be right. There’s five of them, in fact…

“Are They The New Us?”
Amy’s question about the presence of Queen Nefertiti and Riddell was a telling one; even as the Doctor has been hiding from human contact, he’s managed to gather himself a new round of companions even without meaning to. We’ve seen before – in the final David Tennant episodes – what happens when the Doctor travels alone for too long, so are we seeing him attempt to get around his worst impulses without even knowing it? For that matter…

Is The Doctor Avoiding Amy and Rory?
The ten months figure seems weirdly important, for reasons that aren’t incredibly clear. I feel as if we’re being given a timeline for the amount of time that the Doctor isn’t in the lives of Amy and Rory. Is the Doctor just astonishingly bad at staying in touch – Something that would echo the years-long gap between the first and second meetings between the Doctor and Amy – or is something else going on? I suspect that we’re looking at something else entirely: Are we going to get a happy ending for Amy and Rory? Will the gaps between adventures allow them to grow old gracefully before the leave the show in three episode’s time? “I’m not getting any younger,” Amy pointed out, before talking about the end of their time together. There’s something going on here, isn’t there? But what?

“What Sort Of Man Doesn’t Carry A Trowel?”
I love that Brian Williams is the character who saves the day. Doctor Who has always been a kids’ show, and seeing Rory’s dad turn out to be the sole character in the episode (The Doctor excepted) who seems to consistently make the right decision and be prepared even when he has no idea what’s going on, is a wonderfully appealing idea. Dads, you see, know best. Even if it doesn’t seem like it at first.

Why Doesn’t The Doctor Exist On The Database?
Considering that the Doctor was, at the end of season five, so well-known that all of the aliens had teamed up to stop him causing any more trouble, why didn’t he show up on Solomon’s database? After all, he wasn’t wiped out of history or anything at the end of the last episode – He was presumed dead, which should keep everything else about him public knowledge, surely? After all, the ISA knew enough about him to bring him in on the approaching spaceship in this episode, so… What gives? Another mystery I suspect will be answered later this season, but for now, my money is on it being connected to Oswin’s removal of the Doctor from the Daleks’ memories last week. What if she was more thorough than we thought at the time?

Is There A Musical Theme To This Season?
Last week, the Doctor recognized himself playing the triangle in “Carmen,” this week, it’s being the third and fourth hands in a piano piece for four hands. An unexpected running joke, or something else? Given the way that this show has constructed itself in the past, I’m counting on the latter, somehow. So much for this season being all stand-alone episodes… Maybe the question I should be asking is, is Oswin’s ultimate fate tied in with music somehow?


  • Brianosull

    Interesting thought about the music. Maybe she somehow encoded her memories and personality in the music transmission she sent.  She told him to ‘remember”; when he remembers by playing back the transmission and listening to the musci, maybe she’ll have a chance to decode herself. But then, would she be a virtual companion, present as a TARDIS-generated hologram?

  • Ultra_Brabbnus

    You missed two questions out and they were

    “Weren’t the comedy robots rubbish?
    “Didn’t they ruin every scene they were in?”

    The answer to both is a resounding YES

  • Omniaural

    This one was definitely for the kids despite some ham-fisted attempts at humour for the adults.

    Fun on one level but I’m still waiting for a more meatier episode.

  • Ben

    The database could have just had no information on the doctor due to the original ark occupants not having known about him.

  • Todd

    That wasn’t the Silurian’s database that scanned the Doctor, it was from inside Solomon’s ship, and he was an intergalactic black market trader

  • Fury

    the new companion’s called Clara. Oswin’s another genetically identical relation… just like Adeola/Martha and Gwyneth/Gwen Cooper. and possibly a certain soothsayer and Ms. Pond…

  • Stephen Conway

    How can you fail to appreciate the comic genius of David Mitchell and Robert Webb?

  • area 51 comics

    1. I know its a silly thing but no one is mentioning the new Doctor Who fonts at the beginning of the new episodes
    2. So he brought the dinosaurs on the Tardis? Couldn’t pilot the ship home?
    3. I liked the episode Brian Williams was perfect.
    4. hard to have David Mitchell and Robert Webb play comedic droids who in an instant turn cold killers. mixed up tone.

  • Rayadamson

    I’m quite suspicious about the Doctor distancing himself from the Ponds.Sure,there is a lot of guilt about Melody being stolen from them because of their association with him but i do wonder how much the separation has to do with the doctor waiting to catch up  with the mysterious enemy who personally attacked him through taking his friends baby from them.Right now,the doctor really can’t have much patience for characters like Solomon considering what’s happened.I would think Amy’s right to be concerned.

  • Notcaldi

    Maybe his DNA is still being re-written by the Dalek nano cloud from episode one?

  • Cletus

    Don’t forget that the Dr. Was laying down tracks in “Pond Life” if you’re going with the music theme. Could it have something to do with the missing Melody AKA Ms. Song?

  • tomdaylight

    The scenes weren’t good enough for them to ruin.

  • Richardcasey

    WHY ISN’T ANYONE MENTIONING THE ODD JOBS CONVERSATION? Amy and The Dr stop to talk about her employment situation, which seems odd until you think about it. Amy says she’s bouncing from job to job, yet in Asylum of the Daleks and The Lodger, we see she’s established a career as a model. What does this mean? It means Dinosaurs on a Spaceship is set BEFORE Asylum of the Daleks, or a better way of putting it is Asylum of the Daleks is set in the “future” of the current series. In other words, it looks like Moffat is dicking around with wibbily wobbily timey wimey stuff again.

  • Cletus

    Did you notice how Amy took on the “job” of the Dr. when the teleporter seperated them? Seemed like another instance of Amy becoming something from this universe. She had an Angel in her eye. She started to become a Dalek from the nano-cloud. There was something done to her at Demon’s run to the point that she can’t have another child. Maybe she’s becoming some sort of Anti-Timey-Wimey-Dealy-Bob, I mean didn’t she create this universe during the second Big Bang? Didn’t she have to remember the Dr. for him to exist? Myabe that’s why the scanner couldn’t find the Dr. in it’s database. Oswin’s virus corrupted the Dalek growing inside Amy and is changing the fabric of this universe.   Just a thought.

  • Demoncat4

    maybe when owin erased the doctor from the memory banks of the Daleks she also wound up as an effect erased the doctor from every database and memory in the universe too. thus why he does not show up  and maybe music is a key to owins true power as for amy and rory don’t see a happy ending for them since any one who crosses the doctors path usely winds up broken in the end 

  • TomasHunter

    I wasn’t home Saturday night because I had some over time scheduled
    at DISH. I have my Hopper DVR set to record all new episodes of Dr. Who so I wasn’t
    too worried about it. I watched it this morning and I enjoyed the episode. I don’t
    consider this an episode that needs too much in depth thought; I think it took
    a lighter tone to balance out the darker tone from the end of last weeks show. That’s
    not to say that the questions and undertones of this episode don’t have
    meaning, just that they will be resolved at a later timy wimey.

  • Vaffrey

    If you have to know who the actors were to appreciate the scenes, then neither the actors nor the material was good.

  • Guest

    Not as awful as some RTD episodes, but as bad as a Moffat episode could get.

  • Oh Danny Boy

    I didn’t know who they were at the time of watching the episode, and I still thought they were funny.

  • Oh Danny Boy

     Except that Moffat didn’t write it.

  • Ben

    Okay but we don’t exactly know how long Solomon and his ship were in the ark, thus it may have needed a update for this version of the doctor. Of course maybe the valeyard or the dreamlord has something to do with this (whole) mystery. Really at this point any guess anyone makes is pretty much in bounds.

  • Alan Alexander

     Ditto. I thought they were amusing and different. I also thought they sounded familiar and laughed out loud when I saw the credits.

  • Blartfarble

    Why didn’t Rory’s dad remember the Doctor and the TARDIS from his son’s wedding reception?

  • Alan Alexander

    Overall, I liked the episode, but had two big misgivings that, curiously, none of the people bitching about the episode have mentioned yet.

    1.  Solomon’s apparent demise, the result of the Doctor very deliberately sending him off in a death trap and then coldly rebuffing his plea for rescue. It’s been a long time since the Doctor murdered someone in cold blood (even someone who deserved it as much as Solomon) when alternatives were clearly available. In fact, one might need to go back to “Planet of Fire” in Season 26 of Classic Who to see the Doctor do something that cold.

    2.  Moffett’s barely restrained sexism is still on display, even in an episode that set up to be as “feminist” in as clumsy a manner possible. In the end, “straw-man misogynist” Riddell learns to appreciate strong, capable woman so much that he beds Queen Nefertiti on the African plains.

  • Lastnamecumbie

    One amy is suppose to give birth to river song maybe he is waiting for that to happen and second he looked worried at first when the thing was calculating who he was then relieved when he said that’s right i am worthless.

  • Ultra_Brabbnus

    I do appreciate them in their own shows. I have seen every episode of Peep Show and watched their sketch show. However they were just rubbish as the robots. Although i don’t blame them 100% as the material they had was pretty weak as well

  • Torchwood345

    The doctor said to river on episode 5 that he had gone around deleting himself from databases as river was right, he was getting too big.

  • MalFiopr

    I think it is time to bring in Michael Grade as the show runner. The program is tired and needs to be rested. Dinosaurs on Spaceship sums it up perfectly, it could equally be called Fronzi on a water ski.

    The show has dispensed with story telling in favour of ever greater spectacle. Of course Davis did that as well but he managed to keep a strong roster of weekly shows and infused the proceedings characters to which one could conceivably relate.

    Dark fairy tale? No, a Pantomime in space. Moffat has been recycling his ideas and his one stock female character since season 3. Sally Sparrow, Oswain, Amy, Madame Pompadour even the girl from the Doctor Dances. They are all essentially the same character.

    The once enjoyable cameo performances now have all the dramatic weight of Cannon and Ball doing Aladdin in Blackpool.