a real world point of view
|Invasion of the Dinosaurs|
|Novelised as:||Doctor Who and the Dinosaur Invasion|
|Featuring:||the Brig, Mike Yates, Benton|
|Main enemy:||General Finch|
Sir Charles Grover
|Main setting:||London, the 1970s|
|Number of episodes:||6|
|Premiere broadcast:||12 January - 16 February 1974|
|Doctor Who television stories|
|The Time Warrior||Death to the Daleks|
|Another memorable moment|
|One more memorable moment|
The Third Doctor and Sarah arrive in 1970s London to find it has been evacuated because dinosaurs have appeared mysteriously. It turns out the dinosaurs are being brought to London via a time machine to further a plan to revert London to a pre-technological level.
Part one Edit
The Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith arrive in a deserted London plagued by looters and lawlessness. The United Nations Intelligence Taskforce is helping maintain martial law. The regular army, headed by General Finch, has evacuated the city and issued orders to shoot looters on sight. The Doctor and Sarah encounter several looters and a pterodactyl. The Doctor and Sarah Jane are arrested on suspicion of being looters.
Outside, a tyrannosaurus rex destroys a building and traps some soldiers. They drive it off. At UNIT HQ the Brigadier and Benton discuss the interference problems with their communications and look at the latest pictures of looters, which include the Doctor and Sarah.
The Doctor and Sarah escape but are caught by soldiers. They are loaded into the back of a jeep to be taken to the detention center. The jeep encounters a tyrannosaurus rex.
Part two Edit
While the soldiers fight the tyrannosaurus, the Doctor and Sarah escape and hide in a garage. A medieval peasant from the days of King John appears, then disappears in a time eddy. Soldiers enter the garage, accompanied by the Brigadier.
Back at UNIT HQ the Brigadier explains the situation to the Doctor. Dinosaurs appear and disappear, the city has been evacuated, and looters run rampant. The Doctor is introduced to Finch, who is in charge of the operation. Finch doesn't think the Doctor will be much help. Sarah talks with Mike Yates, who needed some time off after the experience with the giant maggots.
A stegosaurus has been trapped, and the Doctor wants it taken alive. However, it disappears in a time eddy that makes time run backwards. The people affected would not remember it happening. The Doctor suspects someone is deliberately bringing the dinosaurs to London — and in a hidden laboratory a pair of scientists, Butler and Professor Whitaker, are operating the time technology causing the situation.
They are aided by Mike Yates, who feels the Doctor could help them achieve Operation Golden Age, but Whitaker is unconvinced. He tells Mike to sabotage the stun gun the Doctor is building to use on the dinosaurs.
The Doctor believes the dinosaurs are a distraction by someone who needs London evacuated. When a brontosaurus appears, he heads out to capture it. Mike sabotages his stun gun, and it doesn't work on the brontosaurus. A tyrannosaurus appears behind the Doctor.
Part three Edit
The Doctor falls, dropping the gun which Yates picks up and fires at the tyrannosaurus. The tyrannosaurus is captured and brought back to a hangar.
Yates is angry at Butler and Whitaker. They want him to sabotage the Doctor's equipment.
Sarah has been doing some research into time travel, and mentions Whitaker. The Brigadier remembers the name and the Doctor wants to check up on him.
He does this, endangering the Doctor when he encounters a tyrannosaurus rex, but the situation is saved and the creature is stunned and captured. Hours later, however, General Finch sets it free, evidently part of the conspiracy too. ￼ Sarah Jane has set off to gather her own evidence. She meets with Sir Charles Grover, an ecologist MP who is acting Minister with Special Responsibilities in London. He drugs her. When she wakes up she is astounded to find herself on a vast spaceship.
Part four Edit
The crew of the ship includes Mark, Adam and Ruth, minor British celebrities who have adopted new aliases and lives. They tell her they are en route to a New Earth where mankind can begin again, closer to nature. They left Earth three months earlier; the ship is one of a fleet carrying over two hundred people to a new life. Sarah is committed to the re-education programme to enable her to think like them. The Doctor searches London in his new vehicle, the Whomobile. Under Moorgate Station he finds the base used by Whitaker and Butler, but is scared away when they use a pterodactyl to defend it. He returns with the Brigadier, but all signs of occupation have been removed. Operation Golden Age is revealed to be a broad conspiracy including Whitaker, Butler, Yates, Grover and Finch as its core coordinators. They have emptied London to let it to revert to a more natural state, after which the people on the spaceships — in reality in vast bunkers — will be allowed out to repopulate a clean and free planet. Whitaker also works out how to reverse time, so soon humanity, apart from their own chosen specimens, will never have existed.
Finch tries to frame the Doctor, who he knows will not support their plans. He brings the Brigadier to the Doctor, catching him in the act as a new time eddy starts up.
Part five Edit
The Doctor soon twigs that an over-zealous Yates is the UNIT mole. Sergeant Benton lets the Doctor escape, for which Finch threatens a court martial. The Doctor uses his freedom to track down more monsters, but when he is recaptured, the Brigadier asserts his authority and takes the Doctor into UNIT custody rather than the regular army's.
Meanwhile, Sarah has escaped from the fake spaceship. She has learnt its true nature. She is caught by Finch, who returns her to Whitaker's custody. While she is away, Mark works out that the ship is a fake and tells the other passengers, but he is not believed. When Sarah is returned to the ship, Mark and she use the fake airlock to convince Ruth and the others of the deception.
The Doctor encounters another time eddy and is faced by more dinosaurs.
Part six Edit
The dinosaurs start fighting each other. Finch arrives and tries to take the Doctor, but Benton and the Brigadier arrive as well and take the Doctor away.
Shortly afterward, Yates arrives and holds the Doctor, Benton and the Brigadier at gunpoint. He reveals the nature of their plans. Benton disarms Yates.
They confront Grover and Whitaker. The duped environmentalists from the fake spaceship also appear, along with Sarah. They demand an explanation. In the ensuing fight Whitaker and Grover are transported back through the time machine to the "Golden Age" they sought to bring to modern Earth.
Back at UNIT HQ, the Brigadier confirms that the crisis is over, but there are still human casualties to deal with. Finch will be court-martialed. Yates is offered the chance to resign and given extended sick leave. The Doctor reflects that people like Grover may have had good motivations in wanting to fight pollution and environmental degradation, but they took their schemes too far and endangered all mankind and its civilisation. He decides it is time for a holiday and offers to take Sarah Jane to the holiday planet of Florana.
- The Doctor - Jon Pertwee
- Sarah Jane Smith - Elisabeth Sladen
- Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart - Nicholas Courtney
- Mike Yates - Richard Franklin
- Sergeant Benton - John Levene
- Sir Charles Grover - Noel Johnson
- Professor Whitaker - Peter Miles
- Butler - Martin Jarvis
- General Finch - John Bennett
- Mark - Terence Wilton
- Ruth - Carmen Silvera
- Adam - Brian Badcoe
- Lieutenant Shears - Ben Aris
- Sergeant Duffy - Dave Carter
- Corporal Norton - Martin Taylor
- Private Ogden - George Bryson
- R/T Soldier - John Caesar
- UNIT Corporal - Pat Gorman
- Private Bryson - Colin Bell
- Robinson - Timothy Craven
- Lodge - Trevor Lawrence
- Looter - Terry Walsh
- Phillips - Gordon Reid
- Peasant - James Marcus
- Assistant Floor Manager - John Wilcox
- Costumes - Barbara Kidd
- Designer - Richard Morris
- Film Cameraman - Keith Hopper
- Film Editor - Bob Rymer
- Incidental Music - Dudley Simpson
- Make-Up - Jean McMillan
- Producer - Barry Letts
- Production Assistant - George Gallaccio
- Script Editor - Terrance Dicks
- Special Sounds - Dick Mills
- Studio Lighting - Alan Horne
- Studio Sound - Trevor Webster
- Theme Arrangement - Delia Derbyshire
- Title Music - Ron Grainer
- Visual Effects - Clifford Culley
Great Britain Edit
- The Doctor jokes that Great Britain closes on Sundays. (A similar reference was made by Ian in 2167 in The Dalek Invasion of Earth.)
- Charles Grover started the Save Planet Earth society and wrote a book called Last Chance for Man.
- When Sarah quizzes Mark, he exclaims that they "left Earth three months ago!".
Foods and beverages Edit
- The Doctor makes tea when he and Sarah arrive at UNIT HQ.
- The Doctor takes at least four sugars in his coffee.
- The Brigadier and Charles Grover offer Sarah tea.
- The Doctor offers to take Sarah to Florana.
Time travel Edit
- The Doctor mentions the Blinovitch Limitation Effect in reference to the development of time travel.
Story notes Edit
- Working titles for this story included Bridgehead from Space and Timescoop.
- The first episode had the story title shortened to Invasion to conceal the central plot device. However this was undermined by the BBC listings magazine Radio Times, which gave the full story title. Malcolm Hulke protested the title Invasion of the Dinosaurs, preferring the original working title of Timescoop. He felt the contraction for the first episode was silly, especially when the Radio Times used the full title. In a response letter after transmission, script editor Terrance Dicks pointed out that all the titles used for the project had originated in the Doctor Who production office. He agreed that the contraction to Invasion was a decision he now regretted but noted that "Radio Times are a law unto themselves".
- The 625-line colour PAL transmission master videotapes for the serial were scheduled to be wiped and reused, but only Episode 1 was erased. The serial remained incomplete in the BBC Archives until 1983, when a monochrome print of Episode 1 was found and returned. Episode 1, broadcast in January 1974, was one of the latest Doctor Who episode to have been junked by the BBC (followed only by Episode 1 of Death to the Daleks, which aired a few months later).
- The surviving film recording of Part One is the only telerecording of a Season 11 episode that exists.
- This is the first story to feature the Doctor's car colloquially known as the Whomobile (though never actually named on screen).
- Like other classic series stories, Invasion of the Dinosaurs was broadcast in the United States by PBS as episodes or in an omnibus format with the episodes combined into a movie-length show. Before the first episode was recovered, both formats used the extant episodes with the story joined in progress at the start of Episode 2. For episodic broadcasts the episodes' opening titles were re-numbered. Later broadcasts in either format incorporated the first episode.
- A brief clip from this story was used in the BBC4 documentary, "Dinosaurs, Myths and Monsters".
- This was the first Doctor Who story to be directed by a woman since TV: The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve in 1965. Both stories were directed by the same woman, namely Paddy Russell.
- Part One - 11.0 million viewers
- Part Two - 10.1 million viewers
- Part Three - 11.0 million viewers
- Part Four - 9.0 million viewers
- Part Five - 9.0 million viewers
- Part Six - 7.5 million viewers
- Robert Holmes, who on this story made his uncredited debut as a script editor, accepted the post only reluctantly and after some persuasion.
- He actually telephoned the production office to put himself forward as a candidate for the post, and was delighted to find that he was already under consideration for it.
- The master tape of the first episode of this story was mistakenly wiped when it was confused with season six's The Invasion.
- There is no evidence to suggest that this is why the tape was wiped; all the tapes for The Invasion were wiped in 1972, more than two years before Invasion of the Dinosaurs was transmitted. In addition, the procedure for disposing of older episodes would have made such a mix-up highly unlikely. That said, it is not known why only Episode 1 was deleted, and not the others.
Filming locations Edit
- Albert Embankment (Lambeth Pier), London
- Covent Garden Market, London
- Margaret Street, London
- Westminster Bridge, Westminster, London
- Trafalgar Square, London
- Lindsey Street, London
- Moorfields, Moorgate, London
- Northfields School (now known as Clementine Close), West Ealing, London
- The Straight, Southall
- Wimbledon Common, Wimbledon, London
- Palmer Crescent, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey
- Wilmer Close, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey
- Canbury Gardens, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey
- South Lane, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey
- Riverside Drive, Ham, Middlesex
- Old Billingsgate Market, Lower Thames Street, London
- Haymarket, London
- Outer Circle, Regent's Park, London
- Whitehall, Westminster, London
- Long Lane, London
- New Union Street, Moorgate, London
- Chamberlain Road, West Ealing, London
- Pickfords Depositories (now known as West London Islamic Centre), Brownlow Road, West Ealing, London
- White Street, Southall, Middlesex
- GPO Sorting Office, Orchard Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey
- Parkfields Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey
- Kingston Meat Market (now known as The Bittoms), Kingston upon Thames, Surrey
- Lower Ham Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey
- Burford Road, Brentford, London
- Electricity Substation, Elderberry Road, Ealing, London
- BBC Television Centre (TC4, TC6, TC8), Shepherd's Bush, London
Production errors Edit
- Elisabeth Sladen cut her hair extremely short for a fashion magazine photo-shoot in the three month gap between filming The Time Warrior and Invasion. The production team were unhappy with her, because it created a continuity error. Narratively, Invasion was meant to immediately follow Warrior — without a gap for Sarah to have had her hair cut. (INFO: Invasion of the Dinosaurs)
- The serial is replete with CSO errors in which the dinosaur models don't perfectly mesh with the backgrounds.
- This is one of the few Doctor Who serials that actually has wobbly sets. They are particularly noticeable in part four, when the Doctor is skulking around the secret base. As the automatic doors close quickly behind the Doctor, the walls visibly shudder when the doors hit the floor.
- Sarah is told by Mark at the cliffhanger of an episode that the ship left Earth 3 months ago. He says this after Sarah looks out of the window into "space". Then at the start of the next episode he says that the ship left Earth 3 months ago and then Sarah looks out of the window into "space".
- Mike Yates has recently returned from leave after the events of TV: The Green Death.
- Mike Yates returns in TV: Planet of the Spiders.
- At one point, Sarah states she is twenty-three. This would make the date of this story 1974.
- From one point of view, Sarah is not really the Doctor's companion until the end of the story. She was merely on her way back to present day London after she stowed away in the TARDIS on its previous voyage. Indeed, she at least feigns discomfort at the idea of travelling in the TARDIS again. The Doctor's offer to take Sarah to Florana leads into the next story TV: Death to the Daleks. This invitation, which included a long and vivid description of the wonders of Florana, prefigures a penchant of his ninth and tenth selves to describe a wonder of the universe in glorious detail to encourage a companion to stick around. (TV: World War Three, TV: Last of the Time Lords, TV: The Sontaran Stratagem)
- Sarah Jane Smith refers to the events of this episode in a conversation with Rose Tyler during TV: School Reunion.
- The Doctor's reference to the events of this episode immediately following his regeneration at the beginning of TV: Robot coincides with the first appearance of (and perhaps provides foreshadowing to the intelligence of) Harry Sullivan.
- The BBC Classic Who website's Party Politics states that Operation Golden Age caused the collapse of the Jeremy Thorpe government. 
Home video and audio releases Edit
DVD release Edit
- Invasion of the Dinosaurs was released on DVD on 9th January 2012 in the U.N.I.T Files Boxset with The Android Invasion. Episode 1 remains in black-and-white (although heavily restored)' however as a DVD extra, an attempt at colourising Episode 1 was also included. While it is not up to the usual DVD standard (due to the inability of fully colourising the episode), it was included as a "best attempt" at showing what the episode would have looked like on initial broadcast.
- People, Power and Puppetry
- Billy Smart's Circus
- Deleted Scenes
- Now and Then
- Photo Gallery
- Easter Egg
- Coming Soon Trailer - The Sensorites
- Production information subtitles
- PDF Material
VHS release Edit
- Invasion of the Dinosaurs at the BBC's official site
- Invasion of the Dinosaurs at BroaDWcast
- Detailed synopsis of Invasion of the Dinosaurs at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- Invasion of the Dinosaurs at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- Invasion of the Dinosaurs at The Locations Guide