Classic Who Retrospective: The Sensorites

p00v2b44All right, I’m just going to be brave and say it: I didn’t really like The Sensorites. Oh, but let me explain. Had this six-part serial been comprised into a two or even three-parter, it would have been okay. But this dragged the story for too long, including unnecessary scenes and expanding others that did NOT need so much screen time. For crying out loud, episode 4 has Ian lying half death the entire time and episode 5 doesn’t even feature Barbara! I’m surprised it didn’t take me longer to finish The Sensorites.

The Sensorites are cute, but extremely boring. Besides, I simply can’t take people in onesies seriously. For the most part, I just wanted to hug them. I even felt sorry for them –I mean, everyone else is a head taller than them, they are the least menacing aliens I’ve ever seen. I assume kids in the sixties were terrified of them when they first appeared (I stand by my belief that Doctor Who has never truly been for children), but they are walking around in their turtleneck pyjamas! And only Ian and Michael Fassbender can pull those off. Sorry, Sensies…

sensorites_shot07I’m not even going to explain the plot of the story. At some point between episodes 4 and 5 I must have fallen asleep, because Ian went from being almost dead to being all healthy and heroic again (Ian, never change). Can someone help me out with this? Because I refuse to watch the episodes again. Did he get the antidote in the end? Oh, who cares.

By the end of the serial, especially episode 5, it was complete chaos. The whole plot of that episode is about figuring out which Sensorite is which, when we could have had that resolved in less than five minutes. And then we could have dedicated the other 20 minutes to having some scenes with Barbara. So much unnecessary exposition deprived us of Ms Hill. Things just went on for so long… I actually counted how many times I wrote the word “slow” in my notes. Fourteen.

Another thing that was a waste of time was the amount of scenes dedicated to the crew members of the ship. I know we are supposed to get to know their background story so that we can care about them, but the acting was so terrible that I just wanted to close my eyes until one of our main characters appeared on the screen again.

sen8One thing that shocked me was how fast the Doctor wanted to get the hell out of there as soon as the TARDIS landed inside the spaceship (was it because he could foresee how tedious it was going to be?). Anyway, a later Doctor would have never been so quick to dismiss an adventure and the possibility of helping others.

This adventure has made me wish I’d had Barbara and Ian as teachers when I was in school, because they are the best and they actually seem to be great teachers. Although perhaps I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate had Ian been my teacher –forget that. I don’t think 14-year-old me would have been mature enough to be attracted to him. Oh, who am I kidding, I would have definitely had a massive crush on him. ANYWAY. Moving on…

Next stop: Planet of Giants! I wouldn’t mind watching The Reign of Terror again, but I feel I should stick to the ones I’ve never watched. Besides, I’m still trying to find the novelisation of TROT. I’d rather read it than watch it again.

Random thoughts


-I just realised Barbara wasn’t on episode 4 either! I definitely fell asleep.

-Despite my thoughts on this story, I love Doctor Who to bits. (It is materially impossible to love absolutely everything about something. Accepting the mistakes of something you love is part of the magic of it).

-The First Elder sounded exactly like some character out of a Monty Python’s Flying Circus sketch.

-And the human survivors looked like the ‘It’s’ Man.

-Even if Barbara is out for two episodes, everything she does in the other four compensates for her absence. She takes care of the crazy dude, she stands against The Sensorites and she does it all while being extremely kind. She is the best.

-I love the fact that Susan’s description of Gallifrey is later used by David Tennant in the series 3 episode Gridlock. Continuity, that’s why this show is so special.

-Ah, Peter R. Newman. He didn’t feel like making up names and decided to call everyone “First Human”, “Second Human”, “First Sensorite” and so on.

-Where could I buy Barbara’s pendant? Because my mum would love it and I haven’t got her a birthday present yet.

-I couldn’t stop staring at the bellies of The Sensorites. They clearly have plenty of beer to go on.

-Oh, Ian.

Categories: Doctor Who, Television | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Classic Who Retrospective: The Sensorites

  1. Pingback: Classic Who Retrospective: The Dalek Invasion of Earth | Corleones & Lannisters

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