As mentioned last week (read our episode 1 blog), we were pretty excited about episode 2 for the sheer silliness of the title. And the episode itself was, well, sheer silliness. Which was great.
“What kind of man doesn’t carry a trowel?”
Episodes littered with guest appearances are often low on actual content, but Dinosaurs on a Spaceship created exactly the right dynamic and only served to heighten my amusement. Having been excited for Rupert Graves, it was actually other cameos who really caused me to belly laugh. Mark Williams’ dad figure carried over so well from Harry Potter it may just be the flame haired Ponds are Molly Weasley’s muggle second cousins.
And obviously, with squib Filch as the villain of episode two’s story, I think the Doctor rather missed a vital connection in the puzzle.
Hands down favourites, however, were without a doubt Mitchell & Webb’s childish robots, who totally stole the show and brought a touch of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy humour to proceedings. Robots meet Peep Show, now that’s a spin-off to rival Pond Life.
The plot itself was simplistic, but this isn’t really a bad thing. After the last series’ complex story arc ended flatter than a cycle trip round Holland, a basic arc-hijack-traded-by-evil-old-man storyline made it much easier to fit in all the non-essential amusements like everyone flirting with Nefertiti and riding triceratops (not that it was all fun for Tricey, who knew I could get teary over a dinosaur). What’s more, the premise was quite artfully worked in to the canon of Doctor Who by using the Silurians as the origin of the ship, a species who really would want to conserve threatened life forms.
The Ponds seem to be back on track so an episode minus heartache was really quite a relief. Still a bit irritated that no one’s mentioned River, but the idea that Amy and Rory continue their own life and sometimes pop along with the Doctor needs him is a refreshing take on the companions’ role. It also, for them if not for the viewer, is beginning to distance them from the Doctor in the run up to their parting. Clever writing, I feel.
Next week we hit the Wild West in A Town Called Mercy. Having really enjoyed the American set opening two-parter from series 6, we’re eager to see the Doctor don a Stetson. Again.