Invasion of the Dinosaurs


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Invasion of the Dinosaurs

Serial Code


First Transmitted

12 January 1974

Final Ratings







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Regular Cast

Jon Pertwee (Doctor Who) Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith)

Guest Cast

Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), John Bennett (General Finch), Richard Franklin (Captain Yates), John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Ben Aris (Lieutenant Shears), Dave Carter (Sergeant Duffy), Martin Taylor (Corporal Norton), George Bryson (Private Ogden), John Caesar (R/T Soldier), Gordon Reid (Phillips), Trevor Lawrence (Lodge), Terry Walsh (Warehouse Looter), Noel Johnson (Charles Grover M.P.), Peter Miles (Professor Whitaker), Martin Jarvis (Butler), James Marcus (Peasant), Pat Gorman (UNIT Corporal), Terence Wilton (Mark), Carmen Silvera (Ruth), Brian Badcoe (Adam), Colin Bell (Private Bryson), Timothy Craven (Robinson).


Written by Malcolm Hulke
Directed by Paddy Russell
Produced by Barry Letts


The Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith arrive in a deserted London, where UNIT is assisting in maintaining martial law. The regular army, headed by General Finch, has evacuated the city and issued a command that all looters will be shot. The Doctor and Sarah are arrested on suspicion of looting, but are rescued by Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart who is heading the UNIT operation. The Doctor learns that dinosaurs are appearing all over the city, causing havoc, but no one can account for their sudden appearances and disappearances.


  • Working titles for this story included Bridgehead from Space and Timescoop.
  • From one point of view, Sarah is not really the Doctor’s companion until the end of the story. She was merely on her way back to present day London after she stowed away in the TARDIS on its previous voyage. Indeed, she at least feigns discomfort at the idea of travelling in the TARDIS again. The Doctor’s offer to take Sarah to Florana leads into the next story Death to the Daleks. This invitation, which included a long and vivid description of the wonders of Florana, prefigures a penchant of his ninth and selves to describe a wonder of the universe in glorious detail to encourage a companion to stick around. (World War Three, Last of the Time Lords, The Sontaran Stratagem)
  • The first episode has the story title contracted to Invasion in an attempt to conceal the central plot device. However this was undermined by the BBC listings magazine Radio Times who gave the full story title. Malcolm Hulke protested against the use of the title Invasion of the Dinosaurs, preferring the original working title of Timescoop, and felt the contraction for the first episode was silly, especially because the Radio Times listing used the full title. In a response letter after transmission script or Terrance Dicks pointed out that all the titles used for the project had originated in The Doctor Who production office. He agreed that the contraction to Invasion was a decision he now regretted but noted that “Radio Times are a law unto themselves”.
  • The 625-line colour PAL transmission master videotapes for the serial were scheduled to be wiped and reused, but only Episode 1 was erased. The serial remained incomplete in the BBC Archives until 1983, when a monochrome print of Episode 1 was found and returned. All Pertwee episodes of Doctor Who now exist in the Archives, albeit some only in black and white. Episode 1, broadcast in January 1974, was one of the latest Doctor Who episode to have ever been junked by the BBC (surpassed only by Episode 1 of Death to the Daleks, which aired a few months later).
  • The surviving film recording of Episode 1 is the only telerecording of a Season 11 episode that exists.
  • This is the first story to feature The Doctor’s car colloquially known as the Whomobile (though never actually named on screen).
  • Like other Pertwee-era stories, Invasion of the Dinosaurs was broadcast in the united States by PBS in an omnibus format that ed together the episodes into a movie-length installment. Prior to the recovery of episode 1, PBS chose to still broadcast an omnibus edition of Invasion of the Dinosaurs using the extant episodes, with the story joined in progress at the start of Episode 2 – it was the only incomplete story broadcast by PBS in this manner. A later omnibus incorporated the first episode.
  • Released as UNIT Files by BBC Merchandise

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