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Matt Smith
Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
Eleventh Doctor Logo


Synopsis


Explorers
Explorers
 When in Egypt with Queen Nefertiti, The Doctor receives a call about a spaceship which will crash into Earth in six hours. Taking Nefertiti with him, he picks up an Edwardian explorer and his companions Amy and Rory, ten months after he last saw them in "Asylum of the Daleks", accidentally taking Rory's father Brian in the TARDIS as well.

 They land on the apparently unmanned spaceship where they discover that there are dinosaurs on board…

 But little does The Doctor know that there is someone else onboard who will stop at nothing to keep hold of this precious, prehistoric cargo.



General Information

Season: Thirty Three (New Series 7)
Production Code: 7-2
Story Number: 227 (New Series: 71)
Episode Number:786 (New Series: 90)
Number of Episodes: 1
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Production Dates: February 2012
Broadcast Date: 08 September 2012
Colour Status: HD Colour
Studio: BBC Wales (Upper Boat, Pontypridd)
Location: Southerndown Beach (Vale of Glamorgan)
Writer:Chris Chibnall
Director:Saul Metzstein
Producer:Marcus Wilson
Executive Producers:Caroline Skinner and Steven Moffat
Associate Producer:Denise Paul
Assistant Director:Danielle Richards
Script Supervisor:Lindsay Grant
Editor:Tim Porter
Production Executive:Julie Scott
Production Manager:Phillipa Cole
Production Assistants:Rachel Vipond and Samantha Price
Post Production Supervisor:Nerys Davies
Production Designer:Michael Pickwoad
Director of Photography:Stephan Pehrsson
Casting Director:Andy Pryor CDG
Line Producer:Diana Barton
Costume Designer:Howard Burden
Make-Up Designer:Barbara Southcott
Cameramen:Cai Thompson (Assistant), Meg De Koning (Assistant), Sam Smithard (Assistant) and Joe Russell (Operator)
Incidental Music:Murray Gold
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Paul Jefferies
Sound Recordist:Deian Llyr Humphreys
Visual Effects:The Mill
Special Effects:Real SFX
Prosthetics:Millennium FX
Stunt Co-ordinators:Crispin Layfield and Gordon Seed
Stunt Performers:Mike Lambert, Rob Cooper and Will Willoughby
Title Sequence:Frame Store
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Murray Gold
Music Performed By: The BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Music Conducted and Orchestrated By: Ben Foster
Music Mixed By: Jake Jackson
Music Recorded By: Gerry O'Riordan
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: Matt Smith (The Eleventh Doctor)
Number of Companions: 2The Companions: Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) and Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams) Guest Cast: Rupert Graves (Riddell), Mark Williams (Brian Williams), David Bradley (Solomon), Riaan Steele (Queen Nefertiti) Additional Cast: Sunetra Sarker (Indira), Noel Byrne (Robot 1), Richard Garaghty (Robot 2) Richard Hope (Bleytal), Rudi Dharmallingam (ISA Worker), David Mitchell (Robot 1 Voice), Robert Webb (Robot 2 Voice)Setting: Egypt (1334 BC); African Plains (1902) and Silurian Ark (2367) Villain:Solomon

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
786Dinosaurs on a Spaceship08 September 201245'11"7.6Yes

Total Duration 45 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 7.6
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2012)75.70%  (Position = 4 out of 5)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)67.20% Lower (Position = 157 out of 241)


Archives


 This story exists and is held in the BBC's Film and Videotape Library.



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Notes


This story and the following story, "A Town Called Mercy", were the first stories of Season Thirty Three (New Series 7) to go before the cameras, both have been directed by Saul Metzstein.

Along with the fourth story of this season, "The Power of Three", these are Chris Chibnall’s first scripts for the show since the 2010 story "The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood" which featured the Silurians as part of the Eleventh Doctor’s first season. Chris Chibnall was also the writer of the 2007 Tenth Doctor story "42". He has also worked on the spinoff series Torchwood.

Director Saul Metzstein - a newcomer to Doctor Who - previous work includes the 2010 series of Upstairs, Downstairs; Micro Men (the dramatisation of the rivalry between 1980s computer firms Sinclair and Acorn); and 2001 comedy Late Night Shopping, for which he won Best Director at the Scottish BAFTAs.

This story guest stars Rupert Graves, as an Edwardian explorer, who is best known for his starring roles in the Merchant Ivory adaptations of EM Forster's novels A Room With a View and Maurice. He also previously worked with Steven Moffat playing the recurring role of Detective Inspector Lestrade in BBC One's Sherlock.

Also guest-starring - as Brian - is Mark Williams, well known for playing Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter movies, as well as roles in many television shows and films including Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) in 2001, 2008's Sense & Sensibility, and Grass. Mark Williams also played a variety of characters in The Fast Show and has previously been in Doctor Who - having played Maxwell Edison in the Big Finish Productions Fifth Doctor audio story "The Eternal Summer".

Another Harry Potter actor appearing in this story is David Bradley, who played mean-spirited caretaker Argus Filch in the movie franchise. Amongst David Bradley's other roles are appearances in Game of Thrones, Waking the Dead and Blackpool (alongside David Tennant). Although this is David Bradley's first Doctor Who role, he previously provided the voice for one of the Shansheeth in The Sarah Jane Adventures story "Death of The Doctor", which guest-starred Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor.

David Bradley's character, Solomon, has been described, by Chris Chibnall, as ‘half businessman, half Somali pirate’.

This story contains one of the biggest sets ever built for the show. Some scenes were also filmed at Southerndown beach, Vale of Glamorgan in late February 2012. The beach had previously been used as Bad Wolf Bay in the Tenth Doctor stories "Army of Ghosts/Doomsday" (2006) and "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End" (2008). It had also been used as the planet Alfava Metraxis in the 2010 Eleventh Doctor story "The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone".

The Doctor had previously encountered dinosaurs in the 1974 Third Doctor story "Invasion of the Dinosaurs". A dinosaur also appeared in the 1970 Third Doctor story "Doctor Who and the Silurians". It was being used by The Silurians to guard their underground base.

Brian is heard to call The Doctor ‘Arthur C. Clarke’ when The Doctor, Rory and he are in the engine room.

The Doctor accuses Brian Williams of boarding the TARDIS via transmat (see the Ninth Doctor in the 2005 story "Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways").

The Doctor is heard to say to Rory, when talking about Brian, that the TARDIS isn't a Taxi Service, like the Fifth Doctor said to Adric when he wanted to go back to Alzarius in the 1982 story "Earthshock".

Luckily for The Doctor, and his other travelling companions, Brian enjoys golf and carries golf balls around with him.

The Doctor has previously taken a companion's parent on a TARDIS trip by accident before in (see "Army of Ghosts/Doomsday").

The Doctor kisses Rory affectionately on the mouth after Rory suggests checking if the Silurian Ark has defence systems. This is the second same-sex kiss that has featured in the show and the first initiated by The Doctor. The first kiss was between Captain Jack Harkness and the Ninth Doctor in "Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways".

Rory is seen giving his father a shot of painkiller and promises it won't hurt. However, when Brian yelps at the pain of the shot, Rory says, ‘I lied’. This scene parallels the one done in the 2010 story "The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone" when, like her father, River Song gave Amy a shot and promised it wouldn't hurt, only to later explain that she lied.

The Doctor has travelled with Egyptian royalty before, as he shared many adventures with the princess Erimem in the Big Finish Productions audio stories. Erimem joined the Fifth Doctor and Peri in the TARDIS in "The Eye of the Scorpion". As is implied with Nefertiti, Erimem also ultimately ended up staying behind in another time and place (see "The Bride of Peladon"). While he did not necessarily travel with her, he was also implied to have a relationship with Cleopatra. ("The Girl in the Fireplace" and "The Wedding of River Song").

When The Doctor disables Solomon's robots, they are heard singing ‘Daisy, Daisy’ - a reference to Hal's disabling in Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The Doctor claims to be a Sagittarius, but qualifies this statement by adding, ‘Probably’. Interestingly enough, the 23rd November (the date Doctor Who was broadcast in 1963) falls during the time that Sagittarius is occupied by the sun.

Rory states that he is 31 years old. If Rory was born in 1989 (considering that Amy and Rory are the same age in the 2011 story "Let's Kill Hitler" and Amy's birth year according to "The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang" was 1989), then this story is set in 2020. Therefore, this seems to be the same year that Amy and Rory encountered Silurians and also went back to the hill and waved to themselves in "The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood".

Rory's mobile phone rings on the spaceship and Brian is shocked by how it can work in space. On previous occasions The Doctor has been shown to convert a mobile phone into a ‘superphone’. He has done this for Rose Tyler ("The End of the World") and for Martha Jones ("42").

A photo of Amy and Rory at their wedding appears on their fridge alongside Brian's postcards.

As with "Asylum of the Daleks" this story includes a unique logo in the title sequence. This time mimicking a Dinosaur's skin and scales. It was also given a green hue. The production team have confirmed that the title sequence for every story in this season will have slightly different stylized versions of the Doctor Who logo.

This story contains a number of errors. Namely: The Doctor's socks constantly change from stripy blue socks to his normal black socks; The flying reptiles identified by The Doctor as pterodactyls are actually pteranodons, a relation, though different species of pterosaur, as noted by the distinctive spike-like crest on the back of its head; On the final postcard sent by Brian, the TARDIS exterior resembles how it looked before the redesign in the 2010 story "The Eleventh Hour".

A preview clip of this story was released at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first Doctor Who story to be directed by Saul Metzstein.

 Chris Chibnall’s first scripts for the show since the 2010 story "The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood".

 The first story of this season, along with "A Town Called Mercy", to go before the cameras.

 Mark Williams' first appearance as Rory's father, Brian.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

Queen Nefertiti and The Doctor
Queen Nefertiti and The Doctor

While visiting Queen Nefertiti, in 1334 BC Egypt, The Doctor receives a call from the Indian Space Agency in 2367 AD about a vast spaceship which will crash into Earth in six hours. The ISA plans to destroy it with missiles unless The Doctor can stop it first.

Taking Nefertiti with him, he picks up Edwardian explorer John Riddell from the African plains in 1902 A.D., and his companions Amy and Rory ten months after he last saw them in "Asylum of the Daleks" - inadvertently taking Rory's father Brian into the TARDIS as well.

When the TARDIS materialises in the spaceship they find that it contains loose dinosaurs, when two Ankylosaurus come out of the lift. Hiding as the dinosaurs go past, The Doctor keeps John Reddell from trying to harm them as they need to be preserved. The Doctor then discovers an interactive monitor which enables him to use the spaceship's computer to locate the engines, accidentally transporting himself, Rory, and Brian to the engine room, which appears to be a beach. The spaceship uses wave energy to generate endless power, hence the beach and sea. It is also used as a habitat for pterodactyls which attack The Doctor, Rory and Brian forcing them to take refuge in a cave in some nearby cliffs.

Riddell
Riddell

There they encounter two comically clumsy robots who escort them to the only human on board, a brutal man called Solomon who is in a smaller spaceship that has docked with the larger spaceship. However, Solomon only allows The Doctor inside, leaving the two robots to guard over Rory and Brian. The Doctor finds Solomon has been injured in a raptor attack and has been waiting for a doctor to help him. Understanding Solomon's mistake, The Doctor asks him why he should help him. In response Solomon orders one of the robots to give Brian a painful laser burn as a warning. This forces The Doctor to work on getting Solomon mobile again while Rory tends to his father's burn.

Meanwhile Amy discovers that the spaceship is a Silurian Ark designed to carry the reptilian humanoids to a new planet along with flora and fauna from their time period. It left Earth millions of years ago to escape the meteor impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. Amy also discovers that the ark now registers zero Silurian life forms on board - The Doctor deducing correctly that Solomon might be responsible.

Brian Williams
Brian Williams

Solomon reveals himself to be a lawless exotic black market trader who has raided the ark and killed the Silurians in order to steal the dinosaurs. Solomon insists that everything and everyone has a price. However, having had the robots murder all the Silurians, Solomon was unable to take control of the ark himself and the computer defaulted to return the ark to its point of origin - Earth.

Solomon is surprised when The Doctor does not appear in his databases. Despite being told about the ISA missiles the greedy Solomon believes The Doctor is lying and wants the dinosaurs for himself. The Doctor though manages to escape by tricking the robots guarding Brian and Rory. Finding another triceratops, The Doctor, Brian and Rory board it and toss one of Brain's golf balls to make it run from the robots. They succeed in getting away, but have a hard landing. The Doctor then receives a message from the ISA, saying that the missiles will be launched, despite his protests that the ark can be piloted away with its precious cargo.

Solomon then arrives by teleport, with his clumsy robots, and discovers Queen Nefertiti's identity and value. He decides to kidnap her and leave in his own spaceship. Solomon shows how far he is willing to go to achieve this by having his robots kill the triceratops and threatens to do the same to The Doctor's companions unless Queen Nefertiti is brought to him. Though The Doctor refuses, Queen Nefertiti agrees to go with him to save the others, despite Solomon's obvious sadistic intentions towards her.

Exploring the Spaceship
Exploring the Spaceship

While Amy and John Riddell shoot hostile dinosaurs with tranquiliser shots, The Doctor disables Solomon's robots and rescues Queen Nefertiti – who has knocked Solomon down and has pinned him to the ground with his crutch after he insults her. The Doctor then tells Solomon that the ISA have launched missile towards the Silurian Ark and that they are locked onto the signal that is emanating from an orb that he then places in Solomon’s spaceship. The Doctor, with Queen Nefertiti, then teleports off of Solomon’s spaceship leaving him screaming in terror as his spaceship takes off and is hit by the missiles, exploding.

Meanwhile, Rory and Brian manage to pilot the Silurian Ark - The Doctor having previously explained that it can only be piloted by two who share the same DNA and this is the reason why Solomon could not control the ark. Rory and Brian manage to pilot the ark away from the Earth and into the emptiness of space.

The Doctor then takes Amy, Rory and Brian back to their home after letting Brian view the Earth from orbit. Queen Nefertiti, who has been flirting and clashing with the very macho John Riddell, opts to go with him rather than return to her own time.

A short time later Amy and Rory receive a series of postcards from all over the world sent by the previously travel-shy Brian. They also receive one from The Doctor, who has just visited the planet Siluria where the dinosaurs now reside.

 
It's a Dinosaur!
It's a Dinosaur!
Chased by Pterodactyls
Chased by Pterodactyls
Amy with Queen Nefertiti and Riddell
Amy with Queen Nefertiti and Riddell
Solomon
Solomon
 
A Raptor Attacks
A Raptor Attacks
The Doctor
The Doctor
Earth Gazing
Earth Gazing
The Doctor with Amy and Rory
The Doctor with Amy and Rory




Quote of the Story


 'Are you saying that dinosaurs are flying a spaceship?'

Brian



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Video
DVD
Doctor Who Series 7 Part 1 Box SetOctober 2012BBCDVD 3697Photo-montageDVD boxed set containing all 5 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
Doctor Who Series 7 Part 1 Box SetOctober 2012BBCBD 0215Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing all 5 stories
Video
DVD
Doctor Who Series 7 Part 1 Box SetOctober 2012BBCDVD 3697Photo-montageDVD Limited Edition boxed set containing all 5 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
Doctor Who Series 7 Part 1 Box SetOctober 2012BBCBD 0215Photo-montageBlu-Ray Limited Edition boxed set containing all 5 stories
Audio
CD
Original Television Soundtrack - Series 7September 2013Photo-montageMusic by Murray Gold
Video
DVD
The Complete Seventh Series Box SetOctober 2013BBCDVD 3838Photo-montageDVD boxed set containing 15 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Seventh Series Box SetOctober 2013BBCBD 0241Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing 15 stories
Video
DVD
The Complete Seventh Series Box Set (Limited Edition)October 2013BBCDVD 3878Photo-montageLimited Edition DVD boxed set containing 13 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Seventh Series Box Set (Limited Edition)October 2013BBCBD 0251Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray boxed set containing 13 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Series 1-7 Box Set (Limited Edition)December 2013BBCBD 0242Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray boxed set containing all Series 1-7 stories at full 1080p high definition
Video
DVD
The Complete Seventh Series (2014 Re-release)August 2014BBCDVD 3971Photo-montageBoxed set containing all 15 stories


In Print

No Book Release
Doctor Who Magazine - PreviewIssue 451 (Released: October 2012)
Doctor Who Magazine - ReviewIssue 452 (Released: November 2012)
Doctor Who Magazine - Fast-Return SwitchIssue 497 (Released: April 2016)

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Rory Williams
   




On Release

DVD Part 1 Box Set
DVD Part 1 Box Set

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Blu-Ray Part 1 Box Set
Blu-Ray Part 1 Box Set

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Ltd Edition DVD Cover
Ltd Edition DVD Cover

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Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Cover
Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Cover

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Original Television Soundtrack Cover
Original Television Soundtrack Cover

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AUDIO
Complete Series DVD Box Set
Complete Series DVD Box Set

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VIDEO
Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set
Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set

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Complete Series Ltd Edition DVD Box Set
Complete Series Ltd Edition DVD Box Set

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Complete Series Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set
Complete Series Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set

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Complete Series 1-7 Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set
Complete Series 1-7 Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set

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VIDEO
Complete Series DVD Box Set<BR>(2014 Re-release)
Complete Series DVD Box Set
(2014 Re-release)

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VIDEO



Magazines

Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 451
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 451

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 452
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 452

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Fast-Return Switch: Issue 497
Doctor Who Magazine - Fast-Return Switch: Issue 497

Marvel Comics
   

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