71) INVASION OF THE DINOSAURS

12 January - 16 February 1974

Average Viewing Figure: 9.6M

Plot

Arriving in London, The Doctor and Sarah Jane discover Dinosaurs are terrorising the city

Cast

Jon Pertwee (The Doctor), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), John Bennett (General Finch)

Noel Johnson (Charles Grover MP), Peter Miles (Professor Whitaker), Martin Jarvis (Butler), Carmen Silvera (Ruth), Terence Wilton (Mark)

Brian Badcoe (Adam), Timothy Craven (Robinson), Richard Franklin (Captain Yates), John Levene (Sergeant Benton)

Ben Aris (Lieutenant Shears), Dave Carter (Sergeant Duffy), Martin Taylor (Corporal Norton), James Marcus (Peasant)

George Bryson (Private Ogden), John Caesar (R/T Soldier), Gordon Reid (Phillips), Trevor Lawrence (Lodge), Terry Walsh (Warehouse Looter)

Pat Gorman (UNIT Corporal), Colin Bell (Private Bryson)

Uncredited Cast

Richard King (UNIT Soldier Typist), Alan Bull (Second Warehouse Looter/Driver), Leslie Bates, Mike Stevens (Army Corporals)

Stuart Myers (Photographer), Ken Tracey (Despatch Rider), Brian Nolan, Geoff Whiterick, Dennis Plenty, David Billa, Ian Elliott, Peter Dukes

Leslie Bates, John Cash, James Muir (UNIT Soldiers), Barry Summerford, Ken Tracey, Rory O'Connor, Geoff Brighty (Golden Age Men)

Judy Roger, Annette Peters, Lyn Howard (Golden Age Woman)

Crew

Malcolm Hulke (Writer), Ron Grainer (Title Music), Bernard Lodge (Title Sequence), Dudley Simpson (Incidental Music)

Dick Mills (Special Sound), Keith Hopper (Film Cameraman), Andrew Boulton (Film Sound), Robert Rymer (Film Editor)

Clifford Culley (Visual Effects Designer), Barabra Kidd (Costume Designer), Jean McMillan (Make-Up), Alan Horne (Studio Lighting)

Trevor Webster (Studio Sound), Barry Stevens (Video Tape Editor), Terrance Dicks (Script Editor), Richard Morris (Designer)

Barry Letts (Producer), Paddy Russell (Director)

Uncredited Cast

Ian Wingrove, Rodney Fuller, Derek Meddings, Guy Lewin, Jim Allen, John Thye (Visual Effects Assistants), Alf Trustram (Armourer)

Roger Wood (Props Buyer), Michael Hamilton (Floor Assistant), John Wilcox (Assistant Floor Assistant), Brenda Loader (Director's Assistant)

George Gallaccio (Production Assistant), John Crump (Film Camera Assistant),  John Hills-Harrop (Film Sound Assistant)

Tony Thorpe (Film Lighting), George Inger (Film Operative Manager), Albert Cush, Arthur Goldthorpe (Film Operatives)

Gordon Phillipson, Mike Pinchin (Grams Operators), Colin Reid (Camera Supevisor), Terry Wild (Technical Manager)

Michael Turner (Vision Mixer), Phil Nixon, Alan Holey (Inlay Operatives), Len Thurlow (Back Projection Operator)

Ashley Wilkinson (Design Assistant), Sid Lomax (Graphics), Kathy Ayerst (Costume Assisant), Martha Livesey (Make-Up Assistant)

Crew 18 (Camera Crew), Tessa Spendlove, Charles Irvine (Dressers)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Covent Garden Market; Albert Embankment; Houses of Parliament; Billingsgate Market; Trafalgar Square; Westminster Bridge, London

  • Whitehall; Haymarket; Margaret Street; Outer Circle; Long Lane, Smithfield; Lindsay Street, Smithfield; Moorgate Station, London

  • Arcade, Moorfields; New Union Street; Northfield's School, Ealing, London

  • Central Electricity Generating Board Sub-Station, Elderberry Road, Ealing, London

  • Pickfords Despositories, Brownlow Road, Ealing; Chamberlain Road, Ealing, London

  • Southall Gas Works, Southall; The Straight, Southall; White Street, Southall, Middx

  • Wimbledon Common, Wimbledon, London

  • Kingston Meat Market, The Bittoms; GPO Sorting Office, Orchard Road, Kingston-Upon Thames

  • Palmer Crescent; Wilmer Close, Kingston-Upon Thames

  • Parkfields Road, Kingston

  • Canbury Gardens; Lower Ham Road; South Lane, Kingston-Upon Thames

  • Clayponds Avenue, Brentford;  Riverside Drive, Ham, Middx

  • Television Centre: Studio 4

  • Television Centre: Studio 6

  • Television Centre: Studio 8

  • Pinewood: Stage G

    • some filming locations remain unknown to this date

Deaths

  • Charles Grover MP [sent into the past and dies in the past]

  • Professor Whitaker [sent into the past and dies in the past]

  • Phillips [killed when his getaway car is crushed by a Dinosaur]

Production Days

  • 21 Days between Sunday 2 September - Tuesday 12 October 1973

Production Errors

  1. There are numerous problems with CSO shots with dinosaur models and the backgrounds. Some of the dinosaurs appear to float on screen 

  2. The plot point about Sarah Jane being on a spaceship for three months is spoiled when the narrative cuts back to Earth, making it clear that she has not been on the ship for months but rather a few hours at most 

  3. When the pterodactyl flies into the garage, the wires operating the puppet are visible

  4. The Tyrannosaur Rex has far too many fingers on each hand and the wires which control the jaw reflect light

  5. The Tyrannosaur Rex doesn't roar, but rather it says "roar!"

  6. During episode six, The Doctor is driving a Land Rover, and the Brigadier is clearly in the passenger seat. Then all of sudden the Brigadier is the one driving, and The Doctor is in the passenger seat 

  7. The cut on Sarah's forehead appears on the wrong side of her head 

  8. Martin Jarvis seems to bash his head when getting into the lift during the tub station scenes

  9. The metal shutters which make up a part of the underground sets, cause the walls to shake when they descend ​​​

Working Titles

  • Bridgehead from Space - (storyline)

  • Timescoop

Verdict

Invasion of the Dinosaurs again shows that science fiction does not need to be all fancy with aliens’ fleets and armies and spaceships who plan to take over the Earth. Another great script from Hulke is full of great ideas and intelligent writing but is hampered down by the puppet Dinosaurs. Some lossy CSO work and rendering issues make for an uncomfortable watch but at least the production team were trying something new and that’s what counts. There are other admirable production values and complex layers of the plot which keep things going despite some obvious plot holes and recycled ideas from previous episodes. There are numerous moments of surprise from Yate’s betrayal of UNIT to the hidden truth behind the Dinosaurs and the reveal of various surprises enemies. Pertwee gives a solid performance which reminds viewers that his wit and charm will surely be missed very soon. There are some repetitious material towards the end of the serial and the fate of the villains is rather chaotic. A great six-parter which misses out on so much. ****​