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'Dinosaurs On A Spaceship' And In A Docback!! READER REACTION To DOCTOR WHO S07E02 Begins With A Spoiler Free Review From Merrick, An 'Asylum Of The Daleks' Recap, And More!!



more Lindalee coming to BeyondTheMarquee



Merrick here...


Last week’s Asylum of the Daleks brought us the startling introduction of Jenna Louise-Coleman as Oswin.  We’d previously known Coleman had been cast to play the Doctor’s new companion, replacing Amy and Rory (Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill), who be leaving the show in Episode Five this year (this has been previously and officially announced - thus is not a “spoiler”).  


What we DIDN’T know, however, is that Coleman would play a significant role in Season/Series 7‘s opener - arriving on DW months ahead of her publicized Christmas start date.  Of course, the big question now is exactly how Oswin/Coleman will return to the show given her apparent disposition in Asylum’s closing moments.  The mind reels with possibilities.







Last week, one or two Docbackers suggested that...perhaps...Oswin found a way to distill herself into that Dalek nanocloud which was discussed during Asylum...and teleported directly into the TARDIS with the Doctor at episode’s end...where she’ll find some way to re-assemble herself (unseen) over the next few be fully baked by Christmas...when she’ll be re-discovered by the Doctor, inside of the TARDIS.  

This theory would be in keeping with WHO overlord Steven Moffat’s assertion that the new companion will be found in an ‘unexpected place’ (forgive the clumsy paraphrase), as it has her discovered in two unexpected places:  a Dalek asylum, and the TARDIS itself.

I like this -  it seems the most probable circumstance I've seen postulated thus far.  Is this how Oswin’s arc will pan out?  We’ll see...


I’ve been in this line of work for a long, long time (close to two decades), and in all the years I’ve been doing this, I can’t recall any production ever concealing such a significant reveal so thoroughly and audaciously.  An affectionate tip of the hat to all involved - especially to the masses who respected DW enough to keep Coleman’s presence in Asylum a secret.  It would’ve been so easy for her debut to be spoiled given that multiple, well-attended, public screenings of the episode were conducted in the weeks leading up to its transmission.  Yet not a word was breathed - and the surprise floored millions.  


Which brings us to Dinsoaurs on a Spaceship, the second DOCTOR WHO Season/Series 7 episode, which...not surprisingly...involves Dinosaurs.  On a spaceship.  More on this shortly.  But first...










Docbacks are regularly visited by participants from across the globe - which is tremendously cool.  Global visitors are cool.  Alas, DOCTOR WHO is shown in different times in different places across the world...  


For example, it transmits in the UK early evening  - which is early afternoon US time.  




This Docback will remain a SPOILER FREE ZONE until DOCTOR WHO’s initial UK transmit (which occurs early afternoon Saturday, US time).  


Once DW transmits in the UK, SPOILERS will be allowed in this forum.  Thus, folks wishing to remain unsoiled by Dinosaurs on a Spaceship details until they've seen the episode for themselves may wish to tread very, very carefully if entering this Docback after late morning(ish) North American time.  


Please note the Spoiler Warning Policy posted on the Code of Conduct below.  









An iTunes-exclusive Asylum of the Daleks prequel has finally slipped the surly bonds of Apple and is now spreading across the Net.  It pretty much sets up how the Doctor got swept into the events which open Asylum.  


Many of you may’ve seen this already, but given that it leaked (for the most part) after the last Docback was postedthe completist in me thought I’d post it here for you, just in case...






You can now see it HERE in HD and HERE in standard def.  I'll update this spot with Dinosaurs on a Spaceship when it becomes available.  





...mentioned that he’s writing another episode of DOCTOR WHO.   He indicated being on the third raft of its script while accepting a Hugo award for The Doctor’s Wife - his stunning Season/Series 6 outing on the show.  That episode was nominated for and received the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation - Short Form.  Scripter Tom McCrae’s emotionally charged S6 entry The Girl Who Waited was also nominated, as was Steven Moffat’s weird and lovely A Good Man Goes to War - S6 as well).  








Dinosaurs on a Spaceship - SPOILER FREE REVIEW 





It’s hard to look at the title of this episode and not smile - the very notion is the stuff Geek dreams are made of.  The title also conjures images of silly, over-the-top shenanigans - and there are certainly a few giddily dopey moments peppered throughout to let us know this installment is never taking itself too seriously. 

This said, DoaS is far from frivolous.  That cinematic poster at the top of this review?  In no way does justice to the tone or substance you'll find in this episode.  In fact, when all is said and done, Dinosaurs emerges as one of the more well-balanced DOCTOR WHOs in quite some time - deftly juggling engaging comedy, intense circumstance, badass action, heartfelt sentiment, and no small amount of bawdy innuendo.  All crisply directed by Saul Metzstein, smartly scripted by Chris Chibnall, and stunningly photographed by Stephan Pehrsson.  

Tim Porter’s editing is spot on and lands all the right beats with just the right cadence, and the ample effects work (both CG and practical) is extremely well realized here.  My screener was not presented in HD - and I’m very eager to see how the dinos and robots seen here shake-out in higher-resolution - but on my standard def version, both looked very top notch.  There is most assuredly money on-screen in this one.  

Dinosaurs’ storyline forces Matt Smith to repeatedly shift gears at what must’ve been an exhausting pace - and Smith brazenly hits the mark every time, often to the point of genius.  I’ve loved Smith in this role since The Eleventh Hour, his first appearance as the Doctor.  But Dinosaurs may well represent his broadest and most self-assured turn in the part yet.  

Other players are uniformly strong across the board.  Rupert Graves brings irresistible boyish swagger to Riddell (his ill-advised and wholly impractical first reaction to seeing a dinosaur is hysterical).

Riann Steele infuses Nefertiti with mesmerizing intellect, intimidating courage, and ample hotness  - and Mark Williams (playing Rory’s dad Brian) gets one of the simplest, finest, poetic moments DW has seen in quite some time.  And, yes, HARRY POTTER’s David Bradley is pretty great as well. 

His role is, perhaps, a tad one-dimensional - but he achieves exactly what he’s going for, and a rather strong argument could be made that such lack of dimension is wholly appropriate (and perhaps even necessary) considering the overall dynamic of this story.  

Darvill and Gillan’s Amy and Rory Pond (yes I did that on purpose) have pretty much returned to form in Dinosaurs, after not being in the best of places (literally and figuratively) in last week’s Asylum of the Daleks.  Darvill’s Rory shares a fleeting exchange with Smith’s Doctor in this episode which is among the funniest gags in recent WHO memory (I won’t spoil it, but it involves the Doctor excitedly yelling “I do!”  You'll know it when you see it.)  

Some Docbackers have voiced reservations about scripter Chibnall’s return to WHO this Season.  Personally, I rather enjoyed his S5 entries The Hungry Earth and Cold Blood (although I thought the first was a bit more fully realized than the later), and the energy, charm, cleverness, and sensibility evidenced in his Dinosaurs script suggests that we may see very great things coming from him in the show’s future.  The Power of Three -  Episode Four of this Season - is another Chibnall story.  We haven’t heard much about it - but now, more than ever, I’m curious to learn more.  Dinosuars director Metzstein (UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS) returns for next week’s episode, A Town Called Mercy.

A tremendously entertaining and brillianjtly weighed romp with a great deal of heart and a few moments of unexpected ‘oomph’ - Dinosaurs on a Spaceship transmits 9/8C on BBC America  (19:35 BBC One, , 8 on Space).  I'm not sure the various trailers for DoaS have conveyed its tone either adequately or accurately.  If you've been on the fence about this one because of its title (or that poster) - be sure to give it a try.  You may well be quite surprised.  











A Town Called Mercy  (S07E03)  






Glen Oliver




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[Season / Series Seven Docbacks - MOST RECENT DOCBACK IS HIGHLIGHTED]


The Coming of Season/Series 7

Asylum of the Daleks 







"The Impossible Astronaut"

"Day of the Moon"

"The Curse of the Black Spot"

"The Doctor's Wife"

"The Rebel Flesh"

"The Almost People"

"A Good Man Goes To War"

"Let's Kill Hitler"

"Night Terrors"


"The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe" (2011 Christmas Special)  





"An Unearthly Child" (Story #1)

"The Daleks" (Story #2)

"The Edge of Destruction" (Story #3)

"Marco Polo" (Story #4)

"The Keys of Marinus(Story #5)

"The Aztecs" (Story #6)

"The Sensorites" (Story #7)

"The Sensorites" (Story #7 - full DVD release) 

"The Reign of Terror" (Story #8)

"Planet of Giants" (Story #9) 

"The Dalek Invasion of Earth" (Story #10)

"The Rescue" (Story #11) 

"The Romans"  (Story #12) 

"The Web Planet" (Story #13) / SHERLOCK - "A Scandal in Belgravia" (Story #4)

"The Crusade" (Story #14) 

"The Space Museum" (Story #15) 

"The Chase" (Story #16) 

"The Time Meddler" (Story #17) 

"Galaxy 4" (Story #18) 

"Mission to the Unkonwn" (Story #19) 

"The Myth Makers" (Story #20) 

"The Gunfighters" (Story #25)

"The Tomb of the Cybermen" (Story #37)

"The Mind Robber" (Story #45)

"The Krotons" (Story #47)

"The Seeds of Death" (Story #48) 

"Spearhead from Space" (Story #51) 

"The Colony in Space" (Story #58) 

"The Daemons" (Story #59) 

"Day of the Daleks" (Story #60) + Preview of the DotD Special Edition

"The Three Doctors" (Story #65) 

"Carnival of Monsters" (Story #66) 

"Death to the Daleks" (Story #72) 

"Invasion of the Dinosaurs" (Story #71) and SHERLOCK: "The Reichenbach Fall" (Story #6) 

"The Android Invasion" (Story #83) and SHERLOCK: "The Hounds of Baskerville" (Story #5) 

"The Face of Evil" (Story #89) 

"The Robots of Death" (Story #90) 

"The Talons of Weng-Chiang" (Story #91)

"The Sun Makers(Story #95)

"The City of Death" (Story #105)

"Nightmare of Eden" (Story #107) 

"Kinda" (Story #118)

"Snakedance" (Story #125) 

"The Five Doctors" (Story #129) 

"The Awakening" (Story #131)

"Frontios(Story #132)

"Resurrection of the Daleks" (Story #134) 

"The Caves of Androzani" (Story #136) 

"Time and the Rani" (Story #144)

"Paradise Towers" (Story #145) + New WHOvian Documentary / Newsbits

"Dragonfire" (Story #147) 

"The Happiness Patrol" (Story #149) 

"The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" (Story #151) 

"Doctor Who: The Movie" (aka TVM) - McGann) 


Merrick's Personal Journey With The Doctor (How Merrick Got Hooked On DOCTOR WHO)

DOCTOR WHO Title Sequences & DW At Comic-Con 2011

"The Crash of the Elysium" (Manchester version - interactive DOCTOR WHO adventure)

Why Eccleston Left, Here Comes Caroline Skinner, And Season/Series Six Part 1 on Blu-Ray And DVD

New Trailer For Season/Series Six Part 2

The Companions of DOCTOR WHO + New Trailer & Artwork For Season/Series 7  







1) a Docback should be about completely open and free discourse regarding all things WHO with, obviously, some variation on subject matter from time to time - the real world intervenes, discussions of other shows are inevitable, etc.)... 

2) matters of SPOILAGE should be handled with thoughtful consideration and sensitivity.  Posts containing SPOILERS should clearly state that a SPOILER exists in its topic/headline and should never state the spoiler itself . "** SPOILER ** Regarding Rory" is OK, for example.  "** SPOILER ** Battle of Zarathustra" is fine as well.  " **SPOILER** Why did everyone die?"  Is NOT good.  
And, above all... 

3) converse, agree, disagree, and question as much as you want - but the freedom to do so is NOT a license to be rude, crass, disrespectful, or uncivilized in any way.  Not remaining courteous and civil, as well as TROLLING or undertaking sensational efforts to ignite controversy, will result in banning.  Lack of courtesy may receive one (1) warning before a ban is instigated.  Obvious Trolling or Spamming will result in summary banning with no warning.  One word posts intended to bump-up any Docback's figures on AICN's "Top Talkbacks" sidebar will be considered actionable Spam - they not only complicate efforts to access Docback from mobile devices, but impede readers' abilities to follow or engage in flowing conversation. 
In short, it's easy.  Be excellent to each other.  Now party on... 
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