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Doctor Who: Invasion of the Dinosaurs (Story 71)

37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Doctor Who: Invasion of the Dinosaurs

Returning from their adventure in medieval England, the Doctor and Sarah Jane are bewildered to find London deserted and under marshal law. Even more startling is the sudden appearance of a Tyrannosaurus Rex in the street. When they reach UNIT headquarters, they learn from the Brigadier that the city had to be evacuated when dinosaurs began appearing all over London. Fortunately, the prehistoric reptiles disappear almost as soon as they appear, but their random visits naturally caused "considerable panic and some loss of life." The Doctor believes that the dinosaurs are being transported through time from the Mesozoic age, but he needs a live specimen to test his theory. Meanwhile, Sarah applies her reporter's instincts to uncovering a hidden agenda. This video features over two hours in color, but Episode 1 is in black-and-white.


"The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) arrives in a modern-day London under attack from prehistoric monsters in Invasion of the Dinosaurs, an infamous 1974 serial from the 11th season of the venerable British science fiction series Doctor Who. Though its dreadful puppet dinosaurs have the scorn of generations of fans, Invasion of the Dinosaurs does have an intriguing storyline in Operation Golden Age, a bizarre plot to return the Earth to the purity of its pre-human days through time-travel technology. As noted in the fine making-of featurette, People, Power and Puppets, which is featured on the set's second disc, the ecological-extremism element lends much-needed gravity to the serial, as does a subplot involving UNIT captain Mike Yates (Richard Franklin), whose brainwashing by the supercomputer BOSS in 1973's The Green Death makes him a willing accomplice to the Golden Age scheme. Of course, any semblance of verisimilitude goes out the window anytime Pertwee or companion Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) have to face off against the stiff rod-puppet saurians, but both actors shoulder the burden manfully, and Franklin makes the most of Yates's brief moment in the spotlight. There's no question that much of Invasion of the Dinosaurs is a misfire for the Pertwee-era Doctor, but by the same token, it's also not the unmitigated disaster it's been made out to be since its original airing.

The two-disc Invasion of the Dinosaurs set presents five of the serial's six episodes in their original color presentation; as Who historians well know, episode one was erased as part of the BBC's recurring practice of wiping tapes of past television shows, but a black-and-white 16mm work print was eventually unearthed, along with a scene not shown in the original broadcast that is included in the set's brief collection of deleted scenes. Viewers can watch episode one in its monochromatic format or in a version that attempts to approximate the original broadcast color quality. Also included are two audio commentaries, one featuring director Paddy Russell, script editor Terrance Dicks, Yates, and several other cast and crew members, while the other offers John (Sgt. Benton) Levene's observations on 10 minutes of Part Five. Now and Then revisits the serial's extensive London locations, while Doctor Who Stories: Elisabeth Sladen Part 1 presents the late actress's lively recollections of her brief tenure as companion to Pertwee's Doctor. The extras are rounded out by a clip from a broadcast of England's long-running Billy Smart's Circus that features Pertwee behind the wheel of the outrageous Whomobile, as well as a photo still gallery, a PDF of the Radio Times listings that can be viewed in DVD-ROM format, and the by-now standard production notes subtitle option. --Paul Gaita"

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Jon Pertwee, Elisabeth Sladen, Nicholas Courtney, Richard Franklin, John Levene
  • Directors: Paddy Russell
  • Writers: Malcolm Hulke
  • Producers: Barry Letts
  • Format: Multiple Formats, NTSC, Color
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 10, 2012
  • Run Time: 148 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005KQVD3M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,308 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Scott12 on October 8, 2011
Format: DVD
Now, all of us lets be mature and get past the puppet dinosaurs and see that "Invasion of the Dinosaurs" is a great addition to the series. The story is excellent. The acting, well, it was the '70s, give 'em a break. The chemistry between Sarah Jane and The Doctor is brilliant, especially during the first episode. The line between good guy and bad guy is tremendously well slurred and makes us wonder if The Doctor's doing the right thing. All in all, this is a great story and a wonderful tribute to the late Sladen, forever in our hearts.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. C. Cronvich on January 16, 2012
Format: DVD
First off, let me say that I dont have a problem with the dinosaurs. Why? Because I saw this story in High School (20 years ago +) and I thought they were dreadful, but acceptable considering I understood the limitations of the production. Over time the the dinosaurs became exgerated in my head. I thought of them as being much worse than they truly are. So. that stuff aside. Its a solid story. I wish I could say that the color enhanced episode one is a major disappointment. Color restoration had been impressive in the past on stories such as Terror of the Autons. For this version BBC only had partial color information and added the blue with a computer. So the blues look great and the rest looks pretty rough, especially browns and flesh tones. I must say that I am puzzled as to why they couldnt use a computer colorization technique to bring the entire episode up to the standards of the rest of the show. Especially when one considers they had the rest of the serial for reference it is a puzzle. Is colorization that expensive? Some of the color by computer work done in the past ten years has been quite impressive if not perfect. But superior to what BBC has provided. Note to anyone making a movie with puppet monsters/dinosaurs/spaceships: Try filming things backward and then reversing it in editing. It effectively creates the illusion that the object is propelling itself.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By G. L. Nelson on August 10, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The 5-Star rating is for the quality and value of the DVD. Superb job as is typical of the Doctor Who Restoration Team in their production of Classic Era Doctor Who DVD's.

Story # 71
Season 11's Second Story
Third Doctor, Jon Perwee Era, final season 1973-74
Second Classic Sarah Jane Smith story

INVASION OF THE DINOSAURS is a 10/10 story pulled down to 8/10 solely due to poor dinosaur special effects. If the viewer is willing to put forth a tiny bit of effort and engage their imagination when the dinosaurs are onscreen, the reward will be a truly superb story well worth the watching. It is truly sad that such an excellent story is pulled so low by a single problem. Were it not for the poor dinosaur special effects, INVASION OF THE DINOSAURS would likely rate among the finest WHO stories of all time, possibly even in the top 25.

Essential for SARAH JANE ADVENTURES fans, and highly recommended for Whovians, both veteran and novice .

Excellent Malcolm Hulke script. Many twists, turns and surprises for the viewer. Great dialog, impressive and creative story idea, believable and intriguing idealists as not-evil-just-misguided-villians. All elements combined make for an impressive, intelligent well-above-average-WHO story that will engage the viewer mentally and emotionally.

ACTING 10/10
Superb performances across the board for main cast, UNIT and guest cast. Jon Pertwee's "Third Doctor" is one of the best and most unique in WHO history, and he and Elisabeth Sladen have an entertaining, very watchable closeness and rapport making the Pertwee/Sladen companionship one of WHO's best-ever pairings.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jim Phillips on April 23, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is not billed as a Special Edition, but again it could be, there is enough info here

Ok as usual I will skip the plot line its mentioned in the other reviews.

I will mention this is the first time we see the Whomobile.

Whomobile; A hovercraft-type vehicle that was also capable of flight, used by the Third Doctor in the serials Invasion of the Dinosaurs and Planet of the Spiders. The vehicle was also known as Alien, but was only ever referred to as "my car" by the Doctor in the television series. However, it is popularly referred to as the Whomobile. The vehicle was specially commissioned by and was the property of Jon Pertwee, and was not seen in the program again after he left it. It bore the license plate WV0 2M, and was registered as an invalid tricycle.

2 Disks containing 6 Episodes and Special Features

Disk One:

All six episodes and...special features

Special Features:

Disc One:

Episode 1 Colour On/Off; You can watch this in both black and white and in colour

Audio Options; Commentary

Info Text On/Off; Still my favorite

Coming Soon;

Disc Two:

People, Power And Puppetry;

Deleted Scenes;

Now and Then;

Doctor Who Stories: Elisabeth Sladen Part 1


John Levene Commentary

Photo Gallery

Billy Smart's Circus

PDF Materials
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