OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 035
STORY NUMBER: 007
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 25 July 1964
WRITER: Peter R. Newman
DIRECTOR: Frank Cox
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
RATINGS: 6.9 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Sensorites
"These Earth creatures are working to destroy the Sensorite nation. Their pleasant smile conceals sharp teeth, their soft words hide deadly threats."
Ian & Susan find the Doctor lying on the floor, his clothes shredded. Susan is suspicious of some of the Sensorites' equipment found near the Doctor in the tunnel. The Doctor is outraged to find out the original antidote never reached Ian and thinks the problems with the water and the monsters are connected and linked to a Sensorite: he does not know they've been observed by a Sensorite. John is raving about Treachery and a Plot as if he's trying to warn the others. The Sensorite reports back to the Administrator what he has seen, whom forces the Second Elder to summon the Senior Warrior so the disintegrator key can be passed to the Administrator. Once the Administrator has the key the Second Elder tries to seize it: he breaks it but is killed by the Administrator. The only other key is held by the first elder. The Administrator attempts to frame the Doctor for the Second Elder's death, but Ian spots the flaw in their story and exposes the lie who the Administrator blames on his subordinate, the Chief Warrior, who is imprisoned. The Administrator is made the new official Second Elder. John appears to have recovered. John remembers that there was an evil Sensorite menacing him. They discover a plan of the aqueduct amongst the effects of the humans who visited and John recalls that it was the Administrator who threatened him. The Doctor & Ian decide to visit the aqueduct: before leaving they arrange for Barbara to be brought to the Sensesphere. The aqueduct plans are altered before they get to the Doctor. The First Elder realises that the late Second Elder was killed by a Sensorite and wonders why. The Doctor & Ian visit the aqueduct, but they haven't told Susan where they were going. She sends Carol to look for them but she is in turn seized by an unseen assailant.
Plod, plod, plod, plod.
The episode opens with far too long a scene with Carol and some Sensorites....
.... and is followed by seemingly endless rounds of near identical Sensorites talking to each other!
It's as soporific as Doctor Who gets! Oddly I've never fallen asleep in this one yet, this is my fourth viewing, but I've got a copy of the Soundtrack to hand for those nights when the insomnia strikes.
The most exciting thing in this episode is the Doctor getting a new cape which proves a crucial plot point!
This story marked the start of one of the longer runs the original run of the blog spent on video:
As it stands the Fifteen episode from Sensorites 1 to Planet of Giants 3 (Sensorites 1-6 then Reign of Terror 1-3 on video, Reign 4 & 5 on CD and the Reign 6 & Planet of Giants 1-3 on video again) is going to be one of our longer breaks from DVD, but beating this and the same length Pertwee run on Video mentioned previously (Colony in Space, through Daemons into Day of the Daleks) is a massive 20 episodes at the start of Season 4: 4 Episodes of the Smugglers on CD, The first three episodes of Tenth Planet on Video then the fourth on CD/reconstructed on video then all six episodes of Power of the Daleks, four episode of the Highlanders and the first 2 episodes of The Underwater Menace on CD before we reach the third episode of Underwater Menace in the Lost in Time box.Of course since then every Doctor Who episode has been released on CD .... bar the recovered second episode of The Underwater Menace which was still absent when I wrote that!
The writer of this story, Peter R. Newman, was for many years the most mysterious figure involved in Doctor Who: Nobody knew anything about him! Doctor Who - The Sensorites DVD has a special feature on it entitled Looking for Peter where Toby Hadoke & Richard Bignell research the man. Virtually everything that's now on the internet is sourced from this feature which is one of the best on the DVDs.
Returning to direct the last two episodes of this story is Frank Cox who was previously the the helm of Edge of Destruction part 2: Brink of Disaster.