With a title like that, did anyone really expect much more than what we got? This was a terribly fun episode filled with cool moments but lacking in substance and occasionally logic. The Doctor is still traveling on his own, but still drops in to scoop up the Ponds for an adventure. This time, however, the Doctor has brought in a gang of assistants in the form of Amy, Rory, a big game hunter named Riddell, Queen Nefertiti of Egypt and last but not least, Rory’s dad, Arthur Weasley.
Several well known guest stars appear in this episode. In addition to Mark Williams as Rory’s Dad, we get David Bradley; yet another Harry Potter alumnus who plays a cold and calculating villain named Soloman. We also get Rupert Graves, aka Inspector LeStrade of “Sherlock” fame, as Riddell the hunter. There’s also a bunch of dinosaurs.
The story itself is pretty silly and merely an excuse for some occasionally funny character moments. Both Amy and Rory get to do cool stuff, with Riddell and “Neffi” not always succeeding to make an impression among the crowded cast. Rory’s dad fares the best among them, although even his moments come across as rushed amid the chaotic action. The trouble with so many good actors vying for attention is that not everyone gets to shine, and character moments between Rory and his dad are sacrificed in favor of dinosaur/robot chase sequences. Still, the senior Mr. Williams does a good job of expressing both the wonder and confusion of his son’s travel habits, and the end of the episode features a lovely quiet scene where involving watching the Earth while enjoying a sandwich and a cuppa.
One interesting development in the episode is the Doctor’s dispatching of the villain. Soloman is a greedy mass murdering, kidnapping thief who deserves his punishment, but it has been a very long time since the Doctor has been this ruthless, and one can’t help but wonder how that bodes for the future.
“Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” gets Three Acorns out of Five!