Coming back to it again, for the first time in many years, it’s quite easy to see some of its flaws. The story’s production is abysmal with so many in~shot booms (and even more very noticeable shadows), shoddy camerawork and fluffed lines (not just Billy H) that The Sensorites is, at times, laughably bad in its execution (though you can quite easily ignore it and just go with it).
But at the heart of it is a great story that demonstrates some interesting character traits on behalf of our heroes. The Doctor is as delightfully crotchety as ever – never have the words “hissy” and “fit” seemed so apt for the young Time Lord. His anger and impatience at the Sensorites is fascinating to watch and comes off as quite a nasty piece of work; almost over~bearing when it comes to his attitude towards Susan. It’s an engaging watch, all to easy to forget that even back then, characters had “arcs”.
Ian and Barbara notice this all too well with the former acting with more intelligence and care than The Doctor for the majority of the story. They both seem to be more in control of themselves and the situation than their designated driver. The eponymous aliens themselves are on odd bunch – scared of the dark and noise, and either entirely trustful of strangers or not. Quite a divisive bunch.
At six episodes, The Sensorites does slightly outstay its welcome (though I can only think of a few six+~parters that actually warrant their allotted time) and some of the performances are stagey (a common occurrence) but it’s a good old tale of trust and friendship with alien intrigue. It mirrors the paranoia of the day and still makes for fun viewing (especially if you play the “Boom In Shot/Fluffed Line” drinking game).
It’s also fascinating, especially in this information~laden world we live in, that so little was documented about the man – a wonderful glimpse into the past. Hadoke brings a warmth and sense of joy to the proceedings and one hopes for similar outings in the future.
is released Jan 23
Thanks to 2|entertain
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