Sunday, 29 January 2012

Doctor Who - Invasion Of The Dinosaurs

With this story finally out on DVD, i was thinking about the effects work on the tale.
Of course, they've been universally derided since the first transmission and its not a surprise - its the era of zero budgets and early day CSO done not very well but, crucially here, the main problem lay with who actually created the models.
Producer Barry Letts decided to commission a dinosaur story after being told by freelance effects bods Westbury Design that could come up with the goods.
When the goods were produced and turned out to be a bunch of rod and cable controlled puppets, it was far too late in the day to back out and get someone else in.
So off they went, filming these "interesting" creatures against some okay model sets but an awful lot of two dimensional sets made from photographic blow-ups or against yellow backgrounds to be inserted vis CSO.
So that's how i remember them - buttock-cletchingly awful dinos, clumsily shot and put into the live action that even the creators at the time rubbished.
But, looking back on it them now, they do have a charm and, in some places they're not half bad. This shot is worthy of Derek Meddings' crew on Captain Scarlet:

Biggest trouble though is still the T Rex:

a wobbly, chubby cartoon of a dinosaur who, when he appears, i can't help thinking of the Chewits monster:


The Bronze said...

You bought it then.
Great isn't it!

Spikeimar said...

Having re-watched the story on dvd and hearing the Director say the effects shots would hold up today (Toby Hadock's sudden silence and 'erm yes' say it all) I think the dinosaurs are as good as most other Doctor Who monsters. I love the detractors claims of disliking this story because the dinosaurs are not 'lifelike' or 'realistic' erm sorry but none of the classic who monsters are at all life like or realistic. Surely teh whole thing is a willing suspension of disbelief? I feel sorry for those that require total perfection in their shows, what a dull life they must lead. Having said that the Tyrannosaur's eye's are fucking shit.

Mangamax said...

Agree with all the above entirely - just have a look on Youtube where folk have replaced the rubbery creations with CGI one's nicked from Walking With Dinosaurs and it just doesn't fit.