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Friday, September 05, 2014

Doctor Who Rewind - Invasion Of The Dinosuars

Doctor Who Rewind
Invasion Of The Dinosaurs

A rouge secret element of the Government teams up with some mad scientists in order to initiate a plan to take the Earth back to a golden time of prosperity. Sounds nice doesn't it? Well, the only problem is millions of people will die while a few chosen ones get to be hoodwinked into thinking they have travelled millions of miles to a new fertile Earth.

Oh, and there's one other problem. Dinosaurs are invading central London. Well, I say Dinosaurs, what they actually are, are rather pathetic models that are about as scary as a whole night spent with Yvette Fielding on Most Haunted.

Watching the latest CGI fest that was Deep Breath, the Peter Capaldi series 8 opener a few weeks ago, DW fans finally got a proper scary Jurassic meat eater in all it's detailed glory. It had only taken 40 years from the time of this 1974 story where, let's face it, the dinosaurs we secondary to the plot, but very poorly realised puppets.

So the plot, to seemingly roll back time using something fittingly called a Time Scoop. Firstly ancient dino-monsters are temporarily taken from prehistoric times and brought to 70's London, in order to depopulate the city in readiness for the roll back, which will leave a select brainwashed few, to start civilisation all over again.

Those behind this fiendish plot believe that the biggest threat facing mankind is overpopulation. So as you do, they build a secret underground base, bring in some mad scientists, and even infiltrate UNIT by compromising captain Yates as a spy.

Those chosen few members of society whose brains can be moulded to the view that escalating violence and over population need to be remedied, and who have some gift to contribute to a new golden age, are duped into believing that they are in fact on a spacecraft (part of a fleet) on the way to New Earth. But in reality are actually trapped in an underground base.

The Doctor and Sarah Jane are thrown into a Dino infested London, and need to find out where the Dinosaurs are coming from, as well as who and what are behind there appearance.

The opening shots of a deserted London in the first of these six episodes (filmed at 4am on a Sunday morning) are wonderfully atmospheric and really add to the idea that everyone has fled the city.

Sladen is wonderfully nosey in this story and continuously gets herself captured or into life threatening scrapes. She just can't sit still and just has to poke her nose in to everything. But as she is a reporter I suppose it's in her nature.

So, the bug bare of this story then is those Dino's, and yes, you gave to employ a rather large portion of imagination with the nicely filmed puppets on display. Best to close your eyes and insert clips of Jurassic Park or something.

However, if you can forgive the doo dino-bolical puppets you will be left with an intelligent, provocative and engaging story.

And if that's not enough, the scene in which Sgt Benton presents his colour coded pin map of where the Dinosuars are landing is absolutely priceless for the brigadiers droll eye rolling response.

Next time on Doctor Who Rewind, the Doctor teams up, with some old friends.


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