Exhibition review: Alien Invasion, Our Dynamic Earth

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AS a big sci-fi fan I recently jumped at the opportunity to teleport myself and my 11-year-old nephew Cameron to Our Dynamic Earth to see their latest draw an exhibition entitled Alien Invasion.

Alien Invasion, Our Dynamic Earth * * *

Holyrood Road, until 30 June, £11.50, 0131-550 7800

Having never been to the visitor attraction before, I didn’t really know what to expect, but an alien invasion sounded like a blast.

As we arrived we couldn’t help but notice the shadowy figure of Darth Vader, as well as a handful of his movie alien buddies, as we queued for tickets. It’s safe to say that at this stage it wasn’t just Cameron that was over the moon.

Instructed to take the tour, we started to explore the impressive array of multimedia, interactive rooms and animatronics that showcase the evolution of our galaxy.

While the Our Dynamic Earth tour does have moments of brilliance - I especially enjoyed the 4D flying craft tour of planet Earth, complete with snow - up until now the aliens I’d come to see seemed to be thin on the ground.

So next we ventured into the Showdome for the attraction’s latest film, We Are Aliens, along the way spotting several costumes and masks from science fiction movies and TV shows including Star Trek: Enterprise, Doctor Who and Red Dwarf.

Watch out for a Cyberman, Chewbacca and Ood heads as well as a model Yoda, intricate ape costume from the movie Planet of the Apes and a Starfleet audience from Star Trek: Enterprise.

While all were fascinating and great to see up close, I also had the sudden realisation that the costumes on the way into the Showdome bore little connection to the film we were about to see.

Keeping an open mind we took our seats for the showdome movie, which was visually stunning.

Harry Potter star Rupert Grint’s narration was easily accessible and the visuals were literally out of this world. And while the emphasis was very much on the educational aspects of the unfolding science, you really did feel transported from planet to planet thanks to the graphics whizzing around and above you.

However, with the costumes and memorabilia just peppered around the building randomly, overall it felt as though the aliens were mere window dressing.

As exhibitions go, definitely not a black hole, but certainly a few sparks short of a supernova.