With a Marmite title, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship has already split fans, but the Doctor Who cast certainly share the Doctor’s excitement in seeing… well, dinosaurs. On a spaceship.
The episode will be the second episode of the series, and boasts an impressive set of stars, including Harry Potter’s David Bradley as ‘bad guy,’ Solomon, Riaan Steele as Queen Nefertiti and Rupert Graves (Sherlock’s Lestrade). Bradley said of his role:
“We’ve modelled [him] on a well-known nightclub owner with long hair. He has lots of scars [and] he wears black leather.”
Dinosaurs on a Spaceship sees the return of writer, Chris Chibnall (42; The Hungry Earth/ Cold Blood), who last wrote for the show in 2010, and has since been focussing on his own show, Broadchurch (starring former Doctor, David Tennant, and Rory Williams himself, Arthur Darvill!). He received the idea for the episode from Steven Moffat, showrunner:
“Maybe it’s a ship heading towards Earth, and Earth is on alert.”
From this: dinosaurs!
The first episode to go into production, Matt Smith said of Dinosaurs:
“Steven, you are a genius! It’s Doctor Who in a nutshell. I have always wanted to do a dinosaur episode; the Director, Saul [Metzstein], has done a fantastic job, with David Bradley playing a cracking villain. I think it is such a fun episode with a wonderfully crafted script by Chris Chibnall.”
Chibnall returns later in the series with The Power of Three, in which we also see Brian Williams, Rory’s dad, again. Brian, played by Mark Williams, will make his debut in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, and he was obviously a great presence to have around, as Karen Gillan says:
“[Mark] was so fantastic, naturally funny and such great casting, you could totally imagine Rory having a dad like that. This series has some great guest stars, characters and of course monsters.”
Arthur Darvill agrees:
“Such an amazing title, but to be honest I wasn’t sure how they were going to do it, getting Dinosaurs on a Spaceship! But that episode is made extra special with Mark Williams playing Rory’s dad; he was just hilarious, so lovely and just a funny guy. With one of the biggest sets ever built to house the prehistoric creatures, the dinosaurs were huge: going on set was like walking in to a massive aircraft carrier.”
The episode sees one of the biggest sets ever – trumped only by Asylum of the Daleks. But of course, it has to be massive, housing some of the biggest creatures to have walked the Earth. Karen says:
“That was a crazy filming adventure. With all the adventures that I have been on throughout the show, that was perhaps the most surreal! There was a lot of running from things we couldn’t see, which is always fun, BUT a couple of the cast got to ride a dinosaur…”
It certainly sounds fun, but was it all it’s cracked up to be? Matt explains:
“I had to wear padded trousers. Dinosaurs are a lot lumpier than horses, so it was a painful couple of hours, a laugh though and definitely worth it as it’s going to look great.”
Frankly, this amount of madness is perfectly stereotypical of Doctor Who!