The episode title is pretty transparent here.
Armed with my TARDIS mug (it travels through the time vortex when you add hot coffee!) a slight hangover, and a weird back spasm, it’s time again to recap the Doctor’s adventures in four dimensions. This week’s episode features some important life lessons about sexism and also exciting characters from other shows that have British people in them.
Warning: Doctor Who spoilers! Also some Game of Thrones spoilers! And Toto references!
We open with our dear Doctor being sexually assaulted by Queen Nefertiti of Egypt. Man, the Doc can’t go anywhere without getting some. The two of them travel from BC to AD, where the Indian Space Administration informs them that a spaceship is rapidly approaching Earth. They’ll have to destroy it if the Doctor can’t turn it around. He heads out to the plains of Africa (I bless the rains down in Aaaaaaafrica) in 1901. There he finds Detective Inspector Lestrade hanging out hunting big game, except his name is actually John Riddell here. To round off his crew, he grabs the Ponds, who have returned to a life of domestic drudgery…erm, bliss. Of course, being the Doctor, instead of knocking on the door and inviting the Ponds along, he materializes the TARDIS around them, also scooping up Rory’s dad, Brian Williams (wait, what? NBC Nightly News?). Together they form a gang. A gang! It’s new! They TARDIS into the spaceship, which is clearly old and abandoned. After some ominous rumblings, they find… Dinosaurs! On a spaceship! Welp, no one can say the episode title was misleading.
The Doctor finagles with the ship’s controls, searching for the engines. He gets himself, Rory, and Brian teleported to a beach in
Wales not Earth. The Doctor sets Rory and Brian to work digging in the sand to figure out why it’s humming while he looks at some rocks. Brian conveniently has his trowel on hand. He and Rory seem to have a…contentious relationship. On top of that, Brian hates travelling. Don’t worry, the Doctor is more effective at healing relationships than a trained psychologist anyway.
In an unknown room, the shadow of an old man watches them on a monitor, ominously stating, “Finally, after all this time.”
Amy and her wacky historical duo exchange credentials. Nefertiti is a hero of hers, of course, because she loves strong women. She’s never heard of big-game-hunting macho man Riddell though. Again, we’re taught the important lesson of being remembered as a force of good in the universe. Amy hilariously claims to be a queen as well.
On the beach, the Doctor pieces together that the ship is powered by hydroengines, which means that it runs on ocean waves. So basically magic, let’s be honest. That’s the usual deal here in the Whoverse. (Whoniverse?) They also figure out that the kestrels on the beach are actually pterodactyls. Zero ornithologist points, guys. They narrowly escape into the caves along the beach, where they’re greeted by robots that have a definite need for a new personality chip. The robots take them hostage.
Amy, Nefertiti and Riddell investigate a nearby room. Amy bravely/stupidly pushes a bunch of buttons while Neffy and Riddell bicker about women’s rights. Amy discovers that the ship is an ark, a la Moses or 2012, except it was built by our favourite homo reptilians, the Silurians.
The robots are marching the Doctor, Rory, and Brian along (what a weird family dynamic, eh? Father, son, son-in-law) when they come across a triceratops. Apparently triceratopses were the labradoodles of the dinosaurs. It’s kind of adorable. It sniffs Brian’s crotch like dogs are wont to do. When the doctor asks him if he has any sort of vegetation in his trousers, he responds, “Just my balls.” I’ll be honest, I almost died laughing because I’m twelve. He meant golf balls, though. He throws one and Tricey runs off to play fetch.
We quickly check in on Amy’s progress. She’s trying to figure out where the Silurians went, as there aren’t any on board. Nefertiti and Riddell flirt.
The robots bring our menfolk to the old man- well, really he just wants the Doctor, leaving the Williams’ boys outside to deal with the smarmy robots. Inside, Walder Frey is bound up by tubes and looking pretty beat up. His name here is Solomon, and he was excited for the Doctor’s arrival not for the fact that he is The Doctor, but because he assumed he was A Doctor and could fix up his dinosaur-mauled legs. C’mon, tweed and a bowtie? He’s definitely a PhD, not an MD, and probably a PhD in something touchy-feely like Literature or Ancient History, not something useful like Physics or Biochemistry. The Doctor tries to figure out his game, and he extorts the Doctor’s help by injuring Brian Williams. But it’s cool, Rory has a med pack for nursing on the go! Rory’s such an unbelievable dork and I love him for it.
The Doctor deduces that Solomon is sort of a bounty hunter/ pawn star of the universe. He finds valuable items (read: species) and captures and sells them. He arrived at the Silurians’ ship to get their dinosaurs, which are quite the commodity. The Silurians, of course, wouldn’t part with their animals, and he ejected them from the ship. Mass genocide isn’t the way to get on the Doctor’s good side. Solomon got stuck on the ship because he couldn’t drive it, and since no one was in charge, it automatically returned to Earth. Furthermore, his appraisal software indicates that the Doctor is an unknown entity with no value. This confuses him but we swiftly move on. Being a good guy, the Doctor fixes up Solmon’s legs, but since he has realized that Solomon is the Walder Frey of the Whoverse, he and his father-in-law and grandfather-in-law run away. On a triceratops. On a spaceship.
Amy and her crew arm themselves with some tranquilizers. Nefertiti enjoys the excitement and posits that women can fight dinosaurs just as effectively as men, if not more so. Riddell says she needs a man with a big weapon. Innuendo, hey-o!
Solomon catches up to the menfolk and offers a trade; he’ll let them all go if the Doctor gives him Nefertiti, who is worth more than the dinos. Our valiant Doctor refuses while Amy and the others watch on their screen. The Doctor continues to hold out, and Solomon shoots Tricey. Nooo! Tricey! That’s like shooting a puppy, man, fuck you. You really are Walder Frey. Nefertiti zaps Amy’s company to wherever the Doctor’s is and gives herself up to Solomon. He is predictably misogynistic. Solomon leaves with her in tow right as the approaching missile warning system sounds. Of course, this gives the Doctor a plan.
Raptors are invading the ship, so Riddell guns up for that. The Doctor is messing with some wires. He found out why Solomon couldn’t drive the ship- it needs two pilots from the same gene pool. Enter Rory and Brian! They acclimate to the controls while the Doctor messes with more wires and talks to Amy. She bemoans the fact that she never knows when he’s coming back, and he maintains that he’ll always come back for her and even kids that she’ll be there at his end. She jokingly responds, “Or else you’ll be there for mine!” and he gets quiet and serious. All sorts of sad right now.
The Doctor teleports himself away, and Rory and his dad are busy with steering the ship, so Amy helps Riddell fight the raptors. The Williams’ successfully navigate the ship away from Earth, though the missiles are still locked on. Amy and DI Lestrade remind the dinos who won evolution. The Doctor rescues Nefertiti by disabling the robots and allowing her to kick Solomon’s ass. The missiles are actually tracking the ship’s core or something, so the Doctor had removed it. He puts it in Solomon’s ship, which he undocks and sends it off into space, with Solomon still on board. The missiles thus track his ship rather than the Silurians’ ark. So, yeah, for all our Doctor is a peaceful man, he basically just murdered the hell out of this guy with explosions. But it’s okay, because Walder Frey is a piece of shit and it’s somewhat cathartic.
The Doctor drops everyone off. Nefertiti and Riddell shack up in the African savannah (gonna take some time to do the things they never had). Amy and Rory return to their life of domestic lightbulb-changing. Brian heads off with the Doc to drop the dinosaurs off. We see a series of postcards on the Ponds’ fridge from him. He likes travelling now! See, the Doctor can fix everything!
That episode was a lot of fun. The witty banter we expect, absurd premise, with just a little bit of darkness thrown in there. Plus, as I’ve mentioned, the cathartic joy of seeing Walder Frey get blown up. Next week: to the Wild Wild West, but with cyborgs! American stereotypes! Now if you’ll excuse me, my fantasy football team is doing very well and I have to gloat about it.