Saturday, 29 June 2013

Invasion Of The Dinosaurs (Part Five)


Originally Broadcast 9th February 1974

Written by: Malcolm Hulke

In a nutshell: The Doctor has been framed by Finch for being the man behind the dinosaur invasion. Running out of people he can trust, the Doctor goes on the run.

Review: I’m surprised by the coldness in which the Brig announces the Doctor’s arrest. It eases a little back at UNIT HQ but Finch is driving him to fight against the Doctor. The scene works well although I think the distrust of the Doctor could have ran a little longer as it was only a couple of minutes before Benton stepped up and helped him escape.

I’ve reached the stage where I’m really just waiting for a resolution. I’ve lost whatever small interest I had in the Sarah plotline as we know it isn’t real and the scenes between Butler and Whitaker aren’t too gripping. The only plot that’s really working for me is with the Doctor as well as the lovely scenes between the members of UNIT (General Finch not included). The line from the Brig “Don’t just stand there, Benton. Put yourself under arrest” is great and is delivered in the style of it being an ending to me. Maybe the gang knew this was one of their final outings as UNIT?

Thinking about it, this is the final true adventure for UNIT with the third incarnation of the Doctor. The next two stories are set on alien planets whilst the final story features UNIT for just the first couple episodes, whereas Invasion contains them across all six instalments. It’s quite sad because UNIT have featured so heavily in the third Doctor’s life, it seems a shame to let either one of them go in just a few stories time.

A lovely moment from sacrificial lamb Benton!
The ‘action/chase’ scene featuring the Doctor and a UNIT chopper and jeep is a little unadventurous. The music doesn’t really give a sense of excitement whilst the editing and direction is also a bit tame, mainly consisting of long shots of the vehicles cut with shots of Pertwee’s face. It isn’t very gripping or atmospheric and with the lack of dialogue on top it all feels a bit dry.

Sarah finally returns to UNIT where she becomes dumb yet again and spills all the beans to Finch. How can she not know he’s a traitor yet? He’s already tried to kill her once before she blurts out “I know who’s behind it all”. Not only that she also announces she hasn’t told anyone else about this and she can prove it. I can’t believe how excitable and thick she can be in this story, always talking to the traitors. It would’ve made more sense, to me, for her to have run into Captain Yates and told him everything. It’s definitely more believable at the very least. She becomes captured (again) for what the villains are calling ‘the final phase’ before spilling the plot out to her and us, but more on that tomorrow as we enter ‘the final phase’, sorry, episode. Final episode.

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