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Doctor Who and the Sensorties
Reviewed by
Chris Tyler
on
Doctor Who and the Sensorties DVD Review. The rest of the story is more predictable than an episode of Columbo (and they used to show you the murderer at the start.) In short, an interesting historical document but not entertainment by today’s standards.
Rating:
2.5

Feature 5.0
Video 7.0
Audio 4.0
Special Features 4.0
Total 7.0

Distributor: BBC
Running Time: TBA
Reviewer: Chris Tyler
Classification
: PG

5.0


Doctor Who and the Sensorties
 

In 1963 Doctor Who was just finding its way.  Two forces were pulling it in different directions. There was the original concept of it being an exciting but educational children’s show with a sci-fi premise and a strong bent on historical stories; then there was what the viewing public seemed to want, an action packed science fiction show. Unfortunately this dichotomy was the show’s own fault, they had shown the public the Daleks and the public wanted more of that please and as soon as possible.

The Sensorties seems to be a compromise. It’s a solid sci-fi show set in the far future and in another galaxy featuring a unique alien.  It never the less features a bland plot and solutions to various mysteries that are presented are telegraphed to us so blatantly it makes the characters all seem like morons for not solving it at once. 

The first two of the six long episodes are actually pretty good. The crew of the Tardis land on what seems to be a derelict space ship, but they find that the crew are merely sleeping.  They have been put to sleep by the Sensorites. Whilst this could be seen as hostile action the crew of two remember the Sensorites coming to feed them (and presumably shaving their eyebrows and dipping their hands in warm water). Then the Sensorites break with yet to be established continuity and steal the lock of the Tardis so that The Doctor and co can’t leave. And it goes downhill from there. The Doctor demands to be taken to the planet where we discover that certain elements in the Sensorite community do not like humans and the Doctor discovers that there is a mysterious illness that strangely seems only to affect the lower ranks but not the upper class who only drink special “Crystal Water.” As soon as the Doctor heard that the following conversation should have taken place;

Doctor: “Well the illness is in the regular water supply then?”

Sensorite leader: “What?  Are you sure?”

Doctor: “Yes, it’s the simplest piece of deduction I’ve ever done actually, it’s possible that you’re criminally negligent for not seeing it and I am completely baffled how you’re species have achieved even a modicum of success.”

But he says nothing of the sort and indeed lets Ian drink from the regular water possibly to get him back for disagreeing with him so often.

The rest of the story is more predictable than an episode of Columbo (and they used to show you the murderer at the start.) In short, an interesting historical document but not entertainment by today’s standards.

Special Features: There’s a vaguely interesting featurette on the writer of this particular episode of which not much was known. An Audio commentary a boring feature called “Vision On” what a vision mixer did back in the 60’s and “Voice of the sense Sphere” where a woman’s voice can be heard in the mix of the program.  

Video:  Like all the recent releases of older stories, the video quality is amazing.

Audio: Mono but the original soundtrack was mono so who’s complaining?






 
 



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