'Doctor Who' react: How do you start a triceratops?

As someone who has only recently jumped upon the Doctor Who train, I don’t (yet!) have the advantage of several seasons of Who viewing to help me rank episodes on a very large scale. In fact, I have yet to watch an episode of the show that I haven’t liked. And Saturday’s new episode was no exception. Of course, with a title like “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship,” what’s not to like?!

The strange thing is that while I was looking forward to seeing Who dinos and spaceships, my favorite part of the episode ended up being neither of those things. That honor goes to Rory’s golf ball-carrying dad, Brian, who ended up on the adventure after the Doctor swung by to pick them up in the middle of a random day after being MIA for ten months. (“He hates traveling,” Rory told the Doctor at one point. “Why’d you bring him then?” “I didn’t!”) Not only did Dad have some great soundbites (“I’m riding a dinosaur on a spaceship, and I only came to fix your light.”), but his presence made for some great father-son moments.

Dear old dad wasn’t the only new face in this episode. The Doctor decided that he wanted “a gang” and brought an oversexed Nefertiti and explorer John Riddell along for this adventure in which they went up against a deranged man whose ship was about to collide with Earth. Oh, and there were dinosaurs on the ship.

As expected, the majority of the dinos (which, in case you were wondering, were extremely impressive looking) were not friendly. However, one triceratops very much worked its way into the heart of the Doctor and Co. after helping Rory, his father, and the Doctor escape an encounter with the slowest robots I’ve ever seen. Sadly, the prehistoric, fetch-playing bundle of adorable was later killed by one of the robots. And since Land Before Time gave me a life-long soft spot for dinosaurs, I came very close to crying about it. (In comparison, I really didn’t connect with Nefertiti or Riddell much. But animal co-stars often tend to outshine humans — even when mechanical.)

Besides the dinosaur body count, all ended well — just like any fun, second-episode-of-the-season should — but not before tugging my heart strings one more time. The closing scene of the episode Amy walked into the livingroom, where Rory was still fixing the lightbulb they’d been working on at the beginning, and she was carrying a stack of postcards from his father, who had been traveling the world. He certainly did hate traveling any more…Sniff.

Some other great lines/moments:
+ Doctor: “Don’t just stand there you two! Dig!” Rory: “Dig with what?” [Brian takes out a trowel from his pocket] Rory: “Did you just have that on you?” Brian: “Of course, what kind of man doesn’t carry a trowel? Put it on your Christmas List.” Rory: “Dad, I’m 31. I don’t have a Christmas List anymore.” Doctor: “I DO!!” (I watched this scene five times!)
+ Amy making herself a queen.
+ Amy trying to high five Nefertiti.
+ Amy’s conversation with the Doctor about her having a hard time with him coming in and out of their lives. Hello, foreshadowing.
+ Doctor to Triceratops: “Rah! Yourself.”
+ Doctor: “You don’t have any vegetable matter in your trousers; do you, Brian?” Brian: “Only my balls.” [Rory slaps his forehead in mortification.] Brian: “Golf balls. Grassy residue.”
+ Doctor kissing AND slapping Rory in the span of 10 seconds. (Hat tip to commenter Chocolateislove!)
+ Doctor: “How do you start a triceratops?”

What did y’all think of the episode?

Related:
‘Doctor Who’ premiere breaks BBC America ratings record
‘Doctor Who’ react: Oh my gosh, it’s [SPOILER]!

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