Viewing posts tagged invasion of the dinosaurs

Hulking Metaphors

From the January 2012 issue of Panic Moon.  Slightly edited.


There’s no ambiguity about the dinosaurs in 'Invasion of the Dinosaurs'. They’re rubbish. In other respects, however, this is a deeply ambiguous tale. The ambiguity allows the script to make some scathingly ironic political observations, but ultimately leads us to a very bleak and bitter place.

In
this story, contrasting with other scripts from the period, the eco-activists are the ‘baddies’. It’s like Malcolm Hulke, influenced by the decline of the radicalism of the 60s and early 70s, was reacting against the whole idea of changing the world. It’s possible to read the people on the (space)ship of fools as a jaundiced parody of the left: a tiny, closed-off, self-appointed vanguard who plan to “guide” others while ruthlessly policing their own internal orthodoxy. But they’re also like Daily Mail  readers, with their “pure bread”, their plaintive cries of “I sold my house!” and their TV room where they can go to tut at the modern world. The film in the Reminder Room blames protestors even as it shows them being truncheoned. Ruth seems more worried by ...

Skulltopus 11: Changing States

Before the Skulltopus series moves on to the Baker years (and beyond), I feel the need to settle accounts with the Pertwee era, particularly with Peladon.  Also, I need to clarify something about the way capitalism is portrayed and perceived in - and by - Doctor Who.


The maggots in 'The Green Death' are the Pertwee era's last gasp of the Weirdesque.  'Green Death' is also the last Pertwee story to properly notice capitalism.

Admittedly, there is some riffing on 'greed' in 'Invasion of the Dinosaurs'; and 'Monster of Peladon' regurgitates (in a reduced form) the political semiotics of its parent story.  However, in these stories, while class is in evidence... class struggle even!... there is no tracing it back to anything recognisable as capitalist social relations.

I'll get to this, but first I want to loop back to address something about 'Carnival of Monsters' that I should've mentioned previously: Vorg as an entrepreneur and how this relates to the society in which he finds himself.  Firstly, Inter-Minor isn't recognisably capitalist.  The latent revolution in 'Carnival' - the imminent revolt of the Functionaries that President Zarb (the panicky social democrat) is trying to placate and Kalik (the fascist ...

Panic on the Streets of London...

The January 2012 issue of the extremely good, fetchingly illustrated, conveniently pocket-sized and infeasibly cheap print fanzine Panic Moon will be released soon and is now available for pre-order. Click here.


This month the Editor has taken the existence of the publication very much into his hands and granted me even more space than usual.  I have no less than three pieces in this forthcoming issue, looking at 'The Macra Terror', 'The War Games' and 'Invasion of the Dinosaurs'.

I see all these stories as milestones in Doctor Who's engagement with the radical movements and ideas of the 60s.  'The Macra Terror' is a much-misunderstood starting point which came just before the protest movements peaked, 'The War Games' a subversive high point which came just after the ferment of 1968 and 'Invasion of the Dinosaurs' marks the ambivalence and disillusion brought by the subsequent downturn in struggle.

There's loads of other stuff in the fanzine besides me, so don't be put off.

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