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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > The Essential Doctor Who: Adventures in History > SAUR BONES


Director Saul Metzstein remembers the challenges of depicting Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.
Director Saul Metzstein on the set of Dinosaurs on a Spaceship (2012).

The first thing I thought when I saw the script was that we’d never get it made,” says Saul Metzstein of 2012’s Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, the first of the five episodes of Doctor Who he directed. “They’re on a Triceratops running through a spaceship, chased by robots firing laser guns… I just thought, ‘No way!’”

But Saul had come straight from being second unit director on the movie Dredd (2012) and was surely used to action-packed sci-fi. “Yes, but on Doctor Who you can shoot up to six or seven pages of script a day, which is hellish when you’re doing special effects, visual effects, monsters and robots. On Dredd, there was hardly a day when I shot more than one page! That’s a massive difference. On Doctor Who, every day should be a disaster – you’re halfway through the afternoon and you look at the schedule and think, ‘We’re totally screwed!’ But the crew we had were amazing. They could just get everything done.”

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About Doctor Who Magazine

“History sometimes gives us a terrible shock, and that is because we don’t quite fully understand... We’re all too small to realise its final pattern.” Doctor Who’s first journey in 1963 took viewers back to the Stone Age. Since then the TARDIS has visited many other landmarks in a unique chronicle of the Doctor’s favourite planet. Purely historical stories were once a mainstay of the series, but for more than 50 years significant periods in Earth’s past have provided evocative settings for more fantastical adventures. This unprecedented guide takes a trip back in time with the people, places and classic episodes that are essential parts of Doctor Who history.