Capt Yates (Richard Franklin) - Doctor Who Invasion of the Dinosaurs  (c) BBC
Capt Yates (Richard Franklin) – Doctor Who Invasion of the Dinosaurs (c) BBC

Invasion of the Dinosaurs: Part 6

Broadcast on February 16th 1974 @ 5.30pm (7.5 million viewers)

Admittedly the very wise Third Doctor has already worked out that Capt. Yates was the individual inside UNIT who has been working against them but it is in this episode that we see a shocking turn of events with Mike pulling a gun on his friends.

Memorable Moment (Spoiler Warning)

First appearing in 1971’s ‘Terror of the Autons’, as a potential love interest for new companion Jo Grant, this story was the eighth story to feature Capt. Yates and it seems that the events of the previous tale had made a drastic effect on his character. In ‘The Green Death’ Mike was brainwashed and drew a gun on the Doctor. After the events at Global Chemicals, he would also become concerned about the future of planet Earth, which would trigger his behaviour in this story. In contrast, to the previous occasion, there is no indication of brainwashing by a supercomputer. Instead, Yates has been seduced by the prospect of returning planet Earth to a new ‘Golden Age’, an ideology which the Doctor sympathises with but fundamentally disagrees with the method. Although, Capt. Yates is largely a subsidiary character, below the trio of the Doctor, Sarah and the Brigadier, it is refreshing to see a proper continuation and development of his character, something which you would expect from a long running television drama but that is often overlooked.

Doctor Who - Invasion of the Dinosaurs
Doctor Who – Invasion of the Dinosaurs

It is a shame that the released DVD did not feature new CGI dinosaurs because there is no doubt that the really strong story, filled with warnings about the planet’s future, is overshadowed by the cringeworthy model work, highlighted in this particular episode as a Tyrannosaurus and a Brontosaurus collide. However, in 1974, they may have been respectable and no doubt younger viewers would have been suitably convinced by them, the UNIT jeep driving beneath a Brontosaurus in this episode is an effect which does work for instance. It is only now in the modern computer age that we realise that dinosaurs can be much better brought to life.


Doctor Who  – Jon Pertwee
Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart – Nicholas Courtney
Sarah Jane Smith – Elisabeth Sladen
Captain Mike Yates – Richard Franklin
Professor Whitaker – Peter Miles
Butler – Martin Jarvis


Director – Paddy Russell
Producer – Barry Letts
Writer – Malcolm Hulke

Also first aired On This Day…

  • The Visitation: Part 2
  • Terminus: Part 2
  • The Two Doctors: Part 1


  1. Yates got an interesting character arc. I love that he returned in a later serial to kind of make things better, in a way.


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