Doctor Who: Invasion of the Dinosaurs (Story #71)

6.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 4/10

Fun story for both the Doctor and Sarah Jane

Worst looking dinosaurs ever!

doctor who invasion of the dinosaurs story #71 jon pertwee stegaosaurus

A rubber stegosaurus is tearing up a model London!!!

Sarah Jane (Jon Pertwee) and the Doctor (Elisabeth Sladen) return to London to find it empty.  When they discover dinosaurs have invaded the city, the Doctor and Sarah Jane learn the military have taken over to stop the menace.  As Sarah Jane works to investigate if the dinosaurs could be tied to time travel, the Doctor finds himself at odds with UNIT and the military while trying to find a means to stop the dinosaurs.  Sarah Jane research uncovers more than she ever expected while putting her in danger, and the truth about the invasion could be revealed…plus, the Doctor and Sarah learn that someone they know and trust could have betrayed them.

Doctor Who:  Invasion of the Dinosaurs (simply listed as Invasion on the title screen to hide the dinosaurs’ involvement from viewers) was part of the eleventh season of Doctor Who.  It was a six episode series running from January 12, 1974 to February 16, 1974.  It was preceded by Doctor Who:  The Time Warrior and has been collected in The John Pertwee Years series as Story #71.

doctor who invasion of the dinosaurs story #71 dinosaur fight t-rex

Oh yeah…it’s on! Kind of like watching Jurassic Park!

As bad as the dinosaurs look, I like this series.  The first episode unfortunately was “lost” and only exists in black-and-white.  I’m generally not a fan of the long collections, but this one has a nice story that keeps it going by having Sarah Jane working on her own mystery.  While the Doctor is involved in the political intrigue, Sarah Jane has this weird case of a this ship allegedly heading to a new planet filled with perfect passengers.  It could almost be its own story, but it is tied nicely into the time travel story.

As mentioned, unfortunately the dinosaurs are possibly the worse looking dinosaurs I have ever seen.  Doctor Who has always had some bad effects, but it appears that they didn’t even try on these dinosaurs.  Claymation dinosaurs would have worked better than the weird rubbery dinosaurs and the pterodactyls on a string.  When the thrust of the story hinges on the dinosaurs, it would have been nice for them to make a bit of an attempt to make something halfway impressive.  Fortunately, the first episode has them in black-and-white in the first episode that at least makes it look like an older episode…knowing that this came out in 1974 (just three years before Star Wars) kind of makes you cringe.

doctor who invasion of the dinosaurs story #71 sarah jane elisabeth sladen

I’m part of some creepy Lost organization…Calling Darma!

Doctor Who:  Invasion of the Dinosaurs is a rather fun story with special effects even below the normally low Doctor Who standard of special effects.  Maybe it is just because I like dinosaurs, but I find that this series resonates with me (and probably was enjoyed by many of Doctor Who‘s younger viewers).  It doesn’t matter that the dinosaurs are bad and they are rather superficial to the plot since the dinosaurs themselves don’t really do anything but roar and growl.  It is kind of like watching Jurassic Park…but a lot crappier.  It is actually a lot closer to the Saturday morning series Land of the Lost (which was on about the same time).  I just expect a little more from Doctor Who (but at this time period of the series, I should not).  Doctor Who:  Invasion of the Dinosaurs was followed by Doctor Who:  Death to the Daleks.

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  The Time Warrior (Story #70)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  Death to the Daleks (Story #72)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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