Conspicuous by their absence for the first six seasons of Doctor Who, but given their enduring popularity, it was inevitable that the Earth’s former inhabitants would menace the Doctor on screen eventually.
Over the years, the prehistoric monsters have been seeing flying over London, albeit in an alternate, broken timeline in ‘The Wedding of River Song’, and stomping through the capital. The Rani tried to stop the extinction of the dinosaurs in ‘Time and the Rani’ and it turned out in Torchwood episode ‘Fragments’ that Captain Jack Harkness once had to eat dinosaur carcass to survive.
With the beasties making a comeback at the cinema in this summer’s Jurassic World, here’s our rundown of the Doctor vs the Dinosaurs…
‘Invasion of the Dinosaurs’
Jon Pertwee’s final season saw London evacuated due to the appearance of prehistoric beasts on the streets. Brought to the capital through time eddys, the Doctor and UNIT encountered a pterodactyl, a stegosaurus and a brontosaurus to name but a few… they even captured a tyrannosaurus at one point.
Unfortunately, the effects that brought the creatures to life for this invasion were not entirely convincing, but the story did inspire a terrific Chris Achilleos cover for its Target novelisation… KKLAK!
‘Dinosaurs on a Spaceship’
In possibly the most ludicrously high concept episode of the series to date, Chris Chibnail fulfilled Steven Moffat’s movie title wishlist by providing a space bound Silurian Ark taking samples of Earth’s flora and fauna to a new world.
With his rather conveniently assembled gang of allies, including an Egyptian Queen and a big game hunter, the Eleventh Doctor and the Ponds (plus Rory’s dad) foiled the designs of an unscrupulous space faring bounty hunter.
For us, the high point of this episode (which we would not advise thinking too hard about) has to be the Doctor, Rory and Brian riding a Triceratops…
While not the major feature of the story, a female tyrannosaurus appeared in Victorian London to cough up the TARDIS with a freshly regenerated Twelfth Doctor at the start of the tale.
Despite catching the attention of the Silurian Madame Vastra, the fate of the poor beast was not a pleasant one, as it was killed by the Half-Face Man who sought its optic nerve for spare parts.
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