Monday, 16 January 2012

The UNIT Files: Invasion of the Dinosaurs. Review by James Hadwen

I used to describe “Invasion of the Dinosaurs” as one of my guilty pleasures. The DVD release has made me revise this though as now I’ve sat down and watched it in “full” colour for the first time I have to say there’s nothing guilty about loving this story, it’s a real gem. Ignore all those people who can’t get past the non-CGI dinosaurs and talk at great length about how the CSO is so obvious, they’ve clearly got no soul to them.

Instead look at the actual story. Listen to the dialogue and immerse yourself in the passion of the characters who have always come across as actually having real beliefs and drive. Prepare yourself for one of the most unexpected twists a story has ever taken and cherish the fact that this story was actually made.

Just imagine the production meeting (the reality of which is talked about in the production subtitles, which are superb as always) where they’ve got a choice between Earth being invaded by men in rubber suits (again) or by big, scary dinosaurs that fight each other in the streets. Common sense says go for the one that’s do-able. Passion to create good television screams dinosaurs. It doesn’t rely on masses of stock footage. They wanted a deserted London so they found a way to film it (covered in the superb extra features) and they wanted dinosaurs so they gave it their all. No, it’s not perfect. It’s a little padded in places and the story structure means that the twist is explained away far too soon but sit back, turn your brain down just very slightly and just go with it. It’s more than worth it.

Part two will be reviewed tomorrow

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