Doctor Who – Invasion of the Dinosaurs

Doctor Who Story 071 – Invasion of the Dinosaurs

Source: Screen capture. Copyright 1974 by BBC.

Who Wrote It: Malcolm Hulke

What’s It About: The Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith return to London to find it evacuated. The city is full of military, looters, and dinosaurs!

I’ll start with the most obvious flaw of this story: the special effects. I almost wonder why anyone on the production team thought they could pull off dinosaurs. I will say, however, that I watched Sid and Marty Krofft’s Land of the Lost as a child. While the dinosaurs on Land of the Lost were somewhat more maneuverable (somewhat), they are not that far removed from the dinosaurs in Invasion of the Dinosaurs. And even with the disappointing realization of the monsters in this story, I think this is a good, well-paced story.

The scenes of abandoned London are truly atmospheric and creepy. The deceit and menace and paranoia are extremely well played in this story. I even find the ultimate plot, about a group of elites wanting to reset the world to a golden age where they are the only humans left, somewhat plausible. I only have to remember this year’s Presidential election and extrapolate the rhetoric a bit.

The Doctor and Sarah work quite well together. The scene where they have their mug shots taken is amusing and done with very little dialogue. Mike Yates gets some darker material in this story, and even Sgt. Benton gets to be the loyal hero. I think it is a shame that so many people allow the dinosaur effects to mar this story. I think it is great.

My Rating: 4/5

2 thoughts on “Doctor Who – Invasion of the Dinosaurs

  1. I’ve always felt this serial gets a bit of an unfair rap based on those effects. They’re not wonderful, admittedly, but the story is interesting and atmospheric – just as you say!

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