Sunday 20 November 2011

363 Invasion of the Dinosaurs Part Four

EPISODE: Invasion of the Dinosaurs Part Four
TRANSMITTED: 02 February 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

Finch objects to the Doctor's scheme as Yates confers with Finch and objects to what he has been asked to do. The Doctor takes his new futuristic car out to take readings on the time fields. Sarah is taken to meet the elders on the ship Ruth & Adam. She recognises them as Lady Cullingford, environmentalist, & Nigel Castle, novelist, while Mark is John Crichton, a British athlete who jumped 2.6362 meters at the last Olympics. The majority of the remaining members of the human race are asleep on one of the seven ships on the voyage to the new Earth like planet. The Doctor tracks the signals to Moorgate tube station where he sees Butler enter a cupboard, a disguised lift, and vanish. Discovering the controls he descends into their base. He finds himself herded back to the lift by a series of closing doors and returned to the underground station where he is attacked by a pterodactyl. Sarah argues with the elders who lock her up forcing her to watch environmental propaganda films. The Doctor brings the Brigadier to Moorgate but they find the lift control mechanism gone. Charles Grover doesn't believe the Doctor's story and shows him files indicating the bunker project under London was abandoned. Grover tells The Doctor that Sarah returned to UNIT HQ and Butler, posing as Grover's chauffeur confirms the story. The Elders decide to destroy Sarah if she doesn't respond. Grover, Finch, Whitaker, Butler & Yates confer and decide to discredit the Doctor. The Doctor has deduced Grover is involved but doesn't know why. Professor Whitaker calls the Doctor and lures him to the hanger where the Tyrannosaur was kept. Returning to the hanger he finds some strange equipment installed. A Stegosaur materialises as the Brigadier arrives with General Finch who has the Doctor arrested for summoning the monsters.

What? You hadn't figured out General Finch was in it too? He's was hanging around with Mike at the start of the first episode and he's regular army, and any member of the regular forces in the Third Doctor stories is either evil, under the control of the enemy or obeying orders from some incompetent. It's not a bad episode at all, but the way we keep cutting back from Sarah to Earth without a wibbly wobbly back in time effect (ala the different Earths in Inferno) does rather undermine the idea that she's on a spaceship 3 months away from Earth quite quickly. I wonder if any thought was given to doing a complete episode on the spaceship? as it is the sequence of the Doctor in the base and being herded out again smacks a little of filling in time.

This episode introduces us the Whomobile, a vehicle Jon Pertwee has build for his personal appearances and persuaded Barry Letts to use in the show. It's not quite finished yet, missing it's roof and sporting a temporary windscreen. Both Jon Pertwee & Elizabeth Sladen tell stories of their trip to work during the location filming of this story and driving down Kingston Upon Thames high street and getting a lot of attention. We get another Kingston location in this story as the Doctor pauses to take readings in South Lane, just south of the town centre and adjacent to the previously seen Kent Road location.

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