Doctor Who

Doctor Who

The Sensorites

DVD - 2012
Average Rating:
5
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The Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan land on a spaceship orbiting a distant and mysterious world, where a human crew lies frozen somewhere between life and death. The planet is the Sense-Sphere, home of the Sensorites, beings of immense intelligence and power. Unable to leave, the Doctor and his companions must deduce the Sensorites' intentions: are they friendly, hostile, or frightened? And what is the deadly secret at the heart of the Sense-Sphere?
Publisher: [United States] : Distributed by BBC Worldwide Americas : 2 Entertain Video ; Burbank, CA : Distributed by Warner Home Video, [2012]
ISBN: 9780780684805
078068480X
Branch Call Number: DVD Doctor n.7
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 150 min.) :,sd., b&w ;,4 3/4 in.

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This story was surprisingly good for its time, but then again it's Doctor Who. William Hartnell is amazing as the crotchety and authoritarian - but somehow lovable - first Doctor, definitely one of my favorite incarnations. I love his what's-wrong-with-white-hair moment and his determination that if the Sensorites are hostile, he will fight them. The other actors and characters are great as well. I like the alien touches like differently shaped doors, weird art, and the Sensorites distinguishing each other only by their sashes of office.
I really think that Doctor Who has lost something in the modern series by dropping the multi-episode format, usually 4 but also frequently 6 episodes or even more to a story, that Classic Who used, giving them the ability to put so much more into a story. This might contribute to all the bad plot material in the modern series, since they don't really have enough time to deal with things realistically. (Not that the classic series always made sense. But the modern series has, or at least had, a serious obsession with spectacular defeats that make bringing back villains awkward. The Daleks, the Cybermen, the Master, and Rose have been "finally" gotten rid of a few too many times in my opinion.)
Another thing that was superior about these early classic episodes, in my opinion, is the lack of CGI, which is so overused nowadays ("Revenge of the Sith" and "The Battle of Five Armies" come to mind). Without the technology to effectively pull off shots like the spaceship falling into the sun in "42" (Tenth Doctor), they often didn't try, so their sets are actually real, and I can tell. I find that the atmosphere is more believable and concrete this way, and it lends itself more to wonder and curiosity. When movies show too much effects-wise just because they can, it can overwhelm the viewer and no longer even be impressive. To use "42" as an example again, there are many shots of the spaceship falling toward the sun, which made it seem smaller and less interesting to me. In contrast, the spaceship in "The Sensorites" is only seen from the inside until the TARDIS scanners show a distant view of it at the very end. I get the idea that anything can happen in this ship. We don't know how big it is or what it looks like from the outside; all we see of it is what the characters see. I like it that way.
...Of course, all this is not to say that the special effects they did use in early Doctor Who were fabulous. The floating button - excuse me, I mean flying saucer - in "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" is frankly terrible. There are always pros and cons...*sigh*

j
JuanAntonioSamaraj
Jul 13, 2017

Enjoyably creepy story about an alien culture. The DVD extra looking into the background of the writer of the episode was really interesting.

b
Britty346
Sep 08, 2016

I quite enjoyed these episodes, they seem to get better in each segment! The aliens in this one were creepy, at least their masks were and it's nice to see the Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara starting to work together better.

Daniel M Dragony Jun 08, 2015

Originally transmitted June 20-August 1, 1964.

a
astrocreepy
Jun 20, 2013

Really really good Doctor Who! I found some parts geniunely scary and the acting is really good. The masks that are worn by the Sensorites creep me out. Dont let the length or the fact that its old and black & white deter you.

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