Friday, 28 June 2013

Invasion Of The Dinosaurs (Part Three)

Originally Broadcast 26th January 1974

Written by: Malcolm Hulke

In a nutshell: After capturing a Tyrannosaurus, the Doctor, Sarah and the Brigadier discover there’s a traitor in UNIT.

Review: I have a very petty ‘fan’ thing to raise at the start of this episode which I’ve let go for the last two parts, which is the opening titles. It was known at the time this was Pertwee’s final series so why change the credits for one year? They are good, I’ve got nothing against them, but it’d be nice to let Pertwee have just the one set of credits. I have the same reaction whenever I watch Tom B’s final series as well. It’s a poor point, but one I have to make!

Anyway, back to the story at hand and the Doctor’s caught himself a Tyrannosaurus! But don’t worry, “those chains will hold it” comments the Brig. I’m sure those words will come back to haunt him in twenty minutes time. Meanwhile, Sarah’s been doing some investigative journalism and found out about a man named Whitaker who had some time travel theories but has since disappeared. I don’t like how this came about, it just feels shoe-horned into the script as a way to further a bit of plot that Hulke couldn’t work out how to put in.

The level of traitors in this episode points to one of two things. It’s either completely ridiculous that we’ve got at least three double-crossers out of such a small cast or it gives a lot of headway to where the plot will go. So many people believe in the ‘big plan’ for a new world that it should convince us it’s a good idea. I can’t quite decide which one I want to be true. Part of this story leads Finch to lure Sarah into the path of the captured Tyrannosaurus, you know, that one the chains will hold. It’s stupid for Sarah to go photographing it but then, when I think about it, it totally fits with her character. She’s headstrong, rushes into things and is a journalist. It all fits together nicely.

No Mr. Bad Guy, of course I told nobody I was coming here!
Sarah is being a bit dim this episode, isn’t she? First of all she goes and tells General Finch how she won’t stop until she gets answers leading to her almost getting killed. During recovery, she decides to go to Charles Grover and tell him all about her ideas for where a nuclear generator could be kept before revealing how she’s not actually told anyone else about her theories before Grover reveals his true traitorous nature to her. How can she fall for the two big villains on the inside in less than twenty minutes?

Anyway, her silly plans have got her captured now, which makes sense for entertainments sake as we now have two plotlines to follow as we hit the halfway point for the story even if Sarah’s story does seem a bit silly. I’m starting to worry about this serial now, because at the halfway point we’ve gone through so much story there can’t be much left to tell in the next three episodes. Also, I feel like we’ve had so many info dumps and double crossers revealed that we should be nearing the end now. Maybe something really exciting will happen to keep the tale going in the next episode? But one things for sure, the third part has got nothing on the incredible first two episodes!

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