Saturday 19 November 2011

362 Invasion of the Dinosaurs Part Three

EPISODE: Invasion of the Dinosaurs Part Three
TRANSMITTED: 26 January 1974
WRITER: Malcolm Hulke
DIRECTOR: Paddy Russell
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Barry Letts
FORMAT: VHS: Doctor Who - Invasion Of The Dinosaurs
Episode Format: 625 video

Seeing the Doctor's life in danger Captain Yates removes the device sabotaging the gun and stuns the Tyrannosaur. Later he argues with Butler & Whitaker pleading for them to bring him in on the plan. Yates is ordered to sabotage the Doctor's instruments tracking where the time distortions are coming from. The Tyrannosaur is chained up in a aircraft hanger and surrounded by instrumentation. Sarah has been researching current time travel scientists and has come up with Whitaker's name, who the Brigadier recognises. Six months ago he disappeared. The Brigadier decides to check up on him. Charles Grover was on the committee assessing Whitaker's grant application and dismisses him as a crank. General Finch takes an interest in Sarah's theory that Whitaker might be behind it and gives Sarah instructions so she may get a pass to photograph the dinosaur. While she takes the photographs the Tyrannosaur awakes and enraged by the flash breaks it's bonds & attacks her. She hides in an office but finds the exterior door locked behind her, but is rescued by the Doctor. She & the Doctor believe someone tried to kill her a suspicion confirmed when the chains are found to have been cut and the machine has been sabotaged. The Doctor starts to build a new detection device but Sarah decides to trace the power supply that the time equipment needs. She goes to see Sir Charles Grover in his Whitehall offices and asks to see some files relating to the construction of government bunkers in central London. She is lured into his records office, a secret lift down to the bunker under his offices and Grover takes her to Butler & Whitaker. She is locked into a room, subjected to a hypnotic effect and collapses. When she wakes up she is greeted by a man named Mark on a spaceship voyaging to the new home for humanity. Mark tells her they left Earth three months ago.

More sabotage from Yates here, and Sarah's curiosity keeps getting her into trouble: first with the dinosaur & the camera and then as she's captured by Grover, the second member of the conspiracy revealed. Hearing he had environmental leanings in the previous episode and listening to what Captain Yates is saying lets you easily draw a line between the two drawing him into the web. But what an episode ending! Sarah's been captured and she's three months away from the Earth and her friends in deep space.

I didn't see Invasion of the Dinosaurs till the mid 90s when a friend recorded it for me off UK Gold. I vaguely knew by this point that some of the story had been filmed in Kingston though didn't have access to the detailed location guides (Richard Bignell's book Doctor Who on Location or that I do now. But as I watched the Doctor drive the jeep towards the hanger I sat up in astonishment recognising the location! In 1979 my family moved to a house in Woodcote Close, just off Park Road in Kingston Upon Thames. Out of the back window you can see allotments and the Barnfield Youth Centre. And between these is Parkfields Road where this sequence was filmed. Every Sunday morning I was walking up Parkfields to go to church - King's Church Kingston were meeting there at the time but they're now in Kingston TA Hall, very close to the Kent Road & South Lane locations. Doctor Who was effectively filmed at the bottom of my garden!!! It always amuses me that the Doctor turns left as he comes out of Parkfields Road, in the process driving past the Wilmer Close location in episode 1, as left from there leads to a dead end ! There's a housing estate there now but at the time it was overgrown ground, a brownies meeting hall and more allotments, where my father had a patch of ground for many years!

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