Wednesday 14 December 2011

The Sensorites

In Zen they say: If it is boring after two minutes listen to it for four.  If still boring, listen to it for eight or sixteen or thirty-two, and so on.  Soon we discover that it is not boring at all but actually very interesting.
- John Cage (who obviously hadn’t watched The Sensorites)

A quick glimpse behind the scenes before I get going with this one:  there are several stages before the words that you’re reading appear where you can read them.  They are:

1)  We watch the episodes and I write things down by hand.
2)  I type these notes up and turn them into sentences.
3)  I rewatch the episodes, making corrections, formatting and generally tweaking the text so it, hopefully, flows better.
4)  I post it up here with illustrations.
5)  About a week later, I notice all the mistakes.

With that in mind, I’ll just say that I’m currently beginning the third stage of this process for this entry.  That means that I’ve already watched The Sensorites once, and I’m about to do it again, but this time knowing what I’m in for. 

I feel like the protagonist in an H P Lovecraft short story.


Me:  This is one of those stories that slipped me by.  I’ve not read the book, I never seen it before and I’ve not really got a lot of knowledge as to what it’s actually about.  I know it isn’t much loved among the fans.

Him:  Yay!

The Him begins playing air drums for some reason as we recap with our heroes wondering exactly where they might be.  The scanner’s showing only static.  Various explanations are offered.

Me:  Or not enough mercury.

Him:  Might be that’s really what’s outside.

Our friends take this moment to recap on how much they’ve grown during their travels together.  Travels they then begin to list – including ones we’ve not yet seen.

Him:  What are they talking about?

Me:  Unscreened adventures, I think.  Going back to something that’s been mentioned before -the adventures that Susan and the Doctor undertook prior to our meeting them seem to be growing in number from story to story.  I suppose it’s possible that the Doctor hasn’t really done all of these things, but is in fact a compulsive liar.  If so, this would actually explain an awful lot of the plot-inconsistencies down the years.

The doors open.

Him:  Wrong doors again.

Susan locks the right doors.  Which, actually, sort of explains the discrepancy.
Him:  Oh.  Susan’s got a spare key.  Would that not have come in useful in Marcopolo?

The TARDIS appears to have landed in the cockpit of a spaceship.  There are two slumped bodies, one male and one female.  Ian starts inspecting.

Ian:  Dead.

Ian’s observation is underlined with an overdramatic musical sting.  The Him laughs.

Me:  Mercury poisoning?

Susan and Barbara, being ladies, sense something amiss in the feel of the place – other than the bodies.  Ian and the Doctor, being chaps, are more interested in gadgetry.  Non-winding time watches to be exact.

Me:  Not much compassion in evidence.  I think it’s fair to say that his bedside manner needs some attention.

The Doctor declares there’s nothing that can be done which triggers movement in the corpses.

Me:  Definitely not a doctor of medicine.

Him:  That’s a very loud heartbeat.

The crew reveal themselves to have just been having a nap.  The gentleman is called Maitland and the lady is Carol.  They’re from the twenty-eighth century and haven’t heard of Big Ben, which obviously replaces weather as the main discussion point for Brits in space.

Me:  It’s not a clock.

Him:  It’s the tower isn’t it?

Me:  I think it’s the bell.

Him:  Well, that doesn’t make any sense.

The Doctor insists they not interfere, after all, he never does.  Ian doesn’t entirely agree with this.

Him:  I’m with Ian there.

Maitland explains that the Sensorites, the  inhabitants of the planet they’re orbiting, the Sense-sphere, are using their considerable mind-powers to prevent the humans from leaving.  Why the Sensorites are doing this is as much a mystery as Maitland’s accent.  It’s at this point that I start a misunderstanding that doesn’t end well.

Me:  Ah.  The Sense-sphere.  Do you know which modern aliens live near here?

Him:  What?  Birds?

Me:  Birds?  No.  Aliens from Doctor Who.

Him:  I don’t know.

Me:  I’ll tell you later.  Hang on.  Birds?

Him:  Birds.  No – small rocks?

Me:  No.

Him:  Ducks?

Me:  No.  Nor churches.

Him:  Who?  Who’s a church?

Me:  Charlotte.

Him:  Webb?

Me:  Wait until the Sensorites actually appear and I’ll ask you again.

The Sensorites are definitely using mind-powers.  No-one’s hypnotised.

Him:  Hypnotised?

Me:  No – in Doctor Who.

A mysterious hand begins interfering with the TARDIS lock.

Him:  Muppets!

Me:  That’s not very nice.

Barbara:  I can smell something burning.

Me:  My heart.

In a cunning move that defies the 1 in 21 chance of melting it, the Sensorites have stolen the TARDIS lock altogether-

Him:  What?  That doesn’t make any sense.

-as a result, our friends are trapped.

Me:  These Sensorites must be really sneaky to have managed that without anybody seeing them.

Suddenly, the camera starts to wobble.

Me:  This picture’s awful.  Could do with some work to fix the offlock.*

It turns out that the ship’s actually crashing.  Something moves across the top of the screen.

Him:  What’s that?

Me:  Another Silent.

Carol:  Increasing to Mach 4!  Heading straight for point of impact!

Me:  That’ll be the ground. Wonder if it’ll be friends with you.

There’s an advert break and when we return, everyone’s sat around having a chat.  The Doctor sums up what everyone’s thinking.

The Doctor:  I rather fancy that’s settled that little bit of solution.

Him:  “Solution?”  That doesn’t make any sense.

Ian:  You weren’t afraid.  They just made you hopeless.

Him:  Ian!

Me:  That’s very rude.

Maitland:  I’d rather not.  Talk about it

The other member of the crew, the mineralogist John, is the only person who’s actually seen a Sensorite.  Susan and Barbara head off to find water.  A shambling figure follows them.

Him:  What’s wrong with him?

Me:  I think he’s just woken up.

Him:  The other door’s right next to the first one!

Susan and Barbara hide from John the zombie mineralogist.

Him:  So…  What were A, B and C?

Everyone else is discussing what to do.  Carol’s engaged to John and the Sensorites have been really messing with his mind.

Me:  Maitland’s got the weirdest accent.

John throws a switch before getting himself in a state.

Him:  I’d love to have a switch in our house that looked like that.

Me:  As long as you’re aware that it could only be used for evil.

Maitland’s decided to try cutting through the door.

Him:  That’s going to take some time.  It’s a lighter.

Maitland:  It won’t.  Be long now.

Me:  Certainly within a month.

There’s a noise.  It’s really annoying.

Me:  Turns out the Sensorites are space dentists.  Sensorite sounds like a brand of toothpaste.

Maitland:  There! They are!

Me:  They look like beans.

Him:  Cinders.  Floating in Spain.

Me:  Tonight's episode of Doctor Who comes with free tinnitus.

Him:  Free what?

Me:  Tinnitus.  It’s not very nice.

Abruptly, the noise stops.

The Doctor:  Shh!  What’s that noise?

Me: There isn’t any.  It’s stopped.

Maitland reminds everyone that there’s to be no violence unless the Sensorites start it.  Ian disagrees.

Him:  “Why no violence?  You aren’t pacifists are you?”

Me:  “I’ll kill ‘em!”

Everything stops in time for the most unsuccessful cliffhanger yet.  The Him’s in fits for fully half a minute and I think I’m getting a stitch.

Me:  In fairness, they build it up well and it looks pretty good.  Oh, who am I kidding?

Him:  It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.  “Hmmmmm.  Let me in you will.”

* A bad joke made worse by the fact that I don’t know what I’m talking about.  If you’ve seen the Sensorites, you’ll find it in your heart to forgive me.  We managed the whole thing in one go, which was stupid and dangerous.  Don’t ever attempt it yourself. 



Him:  We’re going to get to see him again!

The recap has been remounted but isn’t any more succesful.  The Sensorite appears, still looking like a disappointed grandparent.  If possible, the Him’s in an even worse state this time.

Him:  It’s like it’s on a scissor-lift or a forklift.  I’m guessing they didn’t spend so much money on this.  Rewind it – rewind it!

Those words have probably never previously been recorded in relation to The Sensorites.  We rewind it four times.  It’s rubbish.  And hilarious.

Me:  You can see what the production team’s aiming for but it doesn’t-

Him:  It looks so grumpy!

Me:  - it doesn’t quite carry it off.

Him:  Unthreatening aliens!

Me:  There might be a reason for that.  If it’s in space, how does it stop itself?

Him:  I don’t know.  Everyone’s just staring at it.

Me:  No-one quite knows what to say.

John’s headache returns.

Him:  So, the Sensorites have made him like this?

Me:  Yeah.

Him:  Have they broken his laugh-box?

Back on the bridge the decision is made to use the cutter.

Ian:  Not again.

This comment cracks us both up.

Him:  No-one’s looking, but it’s still just floating outside the window.

Me:  It’s the elephant that’s almost in the room.  Staring. Judging.

Him:  Maitland’s not doing anything in the background there.

Maitland:  It’s. Working.

Him:  I don’t think it is.

Barbara and Susan and John have grown quite friendly.  Elsewhere, the Sensorites stand revealed in their full…  um…  glory.

Him:  Their feet!  They’ve got beards!

Me:  And a stethoscope.

Susan decides to use the theory of thought-transference to cause telepathic feedback to give the Sensorites psychic tinnitus.

Barbara:  We defy you!

The Sensorites fall, clutching their heads.  The Him makes bursting noises.

Me:  Hey!

The door’s been breached and the girls rescued.  There’s a discussion about hair colour and avarice.  Ian believes that John’s been silenced by the Sensorites because he knows something.

Me:  William Russell’s playing it straight, but that almost makes it worse.

The Sensorites, who obviously aren’t sure about the correct usage of a stethoscope, have a chat.

Me:  The masks look pretty good.

Suddenly, as this one’s Ian’s field trip, a spectrograph gets whipped out.

Him:  It’s becoming Science again.
Science: more fun than history.

Science happens.

Him:  So, what aliens are they linked to?

Me:  The Ood.

The Him looks blank.

Me:  Sense-sphere; Ood Sphere;  soft-spoken;  look scary;  telepathic?  This story gets mentioned in Planet Of The Ood.

Him:  I thought you meant native to Earth.

Me:  Why?

Him:  Because you said “live near here.”  Where we live.  Why do think I was coming up with things like birds?

Me:  Oh.  No, no, no – “live near here” as in where the story’s set.  Sorry, I should have made it clearer.  Would you have got it?

Him:  Undoubtedly.

Me:  Good recovery.

The Doctor works it out.  It’s molybdenum!

Him:  Is that really an element?  It sounds like one – hang on.

Eager for something to do that isn’t watching The Sensorites, the Him dashes off and consults his periodic table.  He comes back quite excited.

Him:  It’s in here.  It’s a transitional metal and it’s more reactive than things like iron and silver.  Chemical number is 96…   periodic table number 42, but, of course, back when this was broadcast it might only have been 39.

Me:  So, it’s real?

Him:  Yeah.  Hang on…

The Him starts muttering.  The Doctor is thinking.

Him:  It’s in The Element Song as well.

Me:  Good.

The Him sings the Element Song to prove this.

Me:  Great.  This is the weirdest write up so far.

Him:  Because of The Element Song?

Me:  Amongst other things.

Doctor:  It’s a veritable goldmine!

Him: (sniffs) It’s more common than gold.

Me:  Verity’s molybdenum mine?

Ian and Barbara have a look around.

Him:  Who just closed that door?

Me:  Mr Tickle.  We’ve already had this story’s Silent.

After a lot of pointless wandering around a corridor, Sensorites occur.  It’s not the most exciting moment Doctor Who’s ever had.

Him:  They aren’t very threatening.  They’re shorter than Ian.

Me:  I think short actors were cast deliberately.

Him:  The masks do look good, but let’s face it – they’re hilarious!

Me:  Give it time.  It might get better.

There’s now a lot of pointless wandering back down the corridor in a scene that lasts for at least a million years.  Susan’s talking to the Sensorites in her head and all they want is a chat.  The Doctor says that this is okay, with one condition:

The Doctor:  If they try to harm us then I shall…  fight them.

Him:  “Bite them”?

Me:  “Fight them”.

They have a chat.  After their initial contact with humanity, bad things happened to the Sensorites and they’ve been mistrustful ever since.

King Leer.  Ahem.
Him:  The Doctor leers at them!

The Doctor works out Sensorite weaknesses.  Unfortunately, it’s not enough to stop them taking Susan away for a picnic or something in another - chilling – cliffhanger without a dot of blood on it.

Me:  There’s a good rapport going among the regulars.  Other than that, I’ve got nothing to say, mostly because that was three minutes of story stretched to fill an entire episode.


A door goes down behind Susan and the Sensorites.  There’s an argument and the door is reopened.

Him:  They didn’t get very far.

Me:  They didn’t, did they?  I’ve watched faster-paced snails.

Susan argues her position.  The Doctor has the lights turned off which incapacitates the Sensorites.  There’s a long discussion about how Susan’s growing up.

Me:  It’s like the writer’s trying to develop Susan.  I wonder if that’ll continue, or if she’s being written out.

Now, that's what I call foreshadowing.
Suddenly, Amy’s Crack appears on the wall behind the Doctor. 

Him:  “Silence.  Will.  FALL!”

John is talking to Carol.

Me:  He wants to have the Silence in his head.

Him:  I don’t think he said-

John:  No… Silence…  Silence…

Him:  Then again…

Barbara and Maitland are to go on holiday – erm – stay on the spaceship, sorry.  The others will go down to the Sense-sphere where the Sensorites are dying from a disease.

Me:  Many of the Doctor’s lines don’t make a huge amount of sense.

Him:  Why did you think I was making Yoda noises?

On the Sense-sphere we meet a lot of other Sensorites.  There’s a bit of a problem with the creature design that the Him puts his finger on quite adroitly.

Him:  Sorry – who’s talking?

Me:  Keep an eye out for the one that’s wobbling the most.

I know this entry is vaguer than usual.  I’m going to pretend that’s because I’m avoiding spoilers.

After lots and lots and lots of talking – some of which is very well-written in fairness – the City Administrator Sensorite admits he’s planning on using a disintegrator to solve a problem

Him:  Why do they have a disintegrator?

Me:  Harsh library fines.

The Doctor and chums arrive and there’s lots more talking.

Sensorite:  The Sensorites work and play.

Me:  Like Fraggle Rock.

Susan can see beyond John’s induced catatonia.

Susan:  He can tell the difference between good and evil people.

Me:  "But he’s stumped when it comes to Whizzo butter and this dead crab."

Elsewhere, Sensorites are scheming.

Him:  “Activate the spleen!”  Is this only the second part?

Me:  It’s the third one.

Him:  Thank goodness.

More Sensorite scheming is taking place.  The Doctor meets the First Elder Sensorite, or “Charles” as he should be known.

Me:  It’s X-Men: First Class before the rewrites.

By this point the Him is singing the K9 And Company theme song to himself.  He’s not rocking back and forth yet, but it can only be a matter of time.

"Later on, I'll show you the Danger Room."
Him:  Who do you think is the main X-Man then?  Which of them appears most?

Me:  It’s probably Wolverine, because he’s the most popular.  Maybe Professor X after that.  Are you not enjoying this?

Him:  It’s so boring.

More and more talking, a lot of it about water.

Me:  It’s an advert for Crystal Water.

Professor X:  None of the Elders drink anything else.

Me:  “For stronger teeth and a dazzling smile – drink Crystal Water!”

Yet more Sensorite scheming takes place.  Professor X talks endlessly.  Ian coughs, then rubs his throat.  Brace yourselves, but it appears as if Ian is showing the early stages of the disease – a disease that doesn’t affect the Elders.

The Doctor:  I wonder why not.

Me:  I think I’ve worked it out.

Him:  It’s the water, isn’t it?

Me:  They went on about it for long enough.

Professor X:  Your grand-daughter speaks well.

Him:  “Yes, she does speak Welsh.”

Ian collapses.

Him:  “The plan will work with two.”

Me:  Ian’s fallen asleep.  It’s so dull.

Him:  It is.  Why did people keep watching it?

Me:  Bits of it are really good.  The acting’s ok and there are some nice character moments.  It feels like a two-parter that’s been treated like a slinky.

Him:  What?

Me:  It’s a sensible six-part structure.  Seeds of Doom did the same, a two-part prologue followed by a four-part main story.  They’ve got this one the wrong way round though, it’s a four-part epilogue.  Still, we’re half-way through.  Shall we keep going?

Him:  Yeah.  I should warn you, I’m not really paying attention.

Me:  It’s a bit different watching it as an omnibus, rather than 25 minutes a week.  We’re not being very fair to it.

Him:  What do you mean?

Me:  Well, this was once new Who, and the ideas within it are really good, if being coaxed out a bit slowly.  It’s a more traditional science-fiction story than Doctor Who usually attempts.

Him:  Hmmmm.  They should’ve called this one ‘The Ordeal’.


Ian falls asleep at an inopportune moment again.

Him:  That doesn’t look like the Doctor at all.

The Doctor works it out.

Me:  Do you think William Russell’s gone on holiday this week?

Ian mumbles.

Him:  No.

Me:  Hang on.  Where’s Barbara?

The Doctor asks for sodium chloride.

Him:  Did the Doctor just ask for salt?

Susan asks how long Ian’s got.

Professor X:  From the first symptoms no-one has lived longer than-

Me:  “Eighty years.  He’ll be fine.”

The Doctor makes Ian drink the brine.

Him:  It’s salt water isn’t it?

Me:  Yes…

I was going to write an explanation of why salt water’s not good for you, but I guess you already know this.  A couple of Sensorites have a chat – I’m tempted to suggest that whoever created the camera script is trying to make the shot more interesting with a sight gag, but it’s probably accidental.

No comment.
Me:  Is that something dripping on his head?

Him:  Someone’s weeing on his head!  No – it’s the fountain behind him.

The City Administrator Sensorite is overseeing the fixing of John.  Either that or the mineralogist is having highlights.  John wants to warn somebody about something.

John:  I must!  I must!

He falls asleep just before the City Administrator Sensorite comes up with the cunning plan of swapping sashes with someone else – a perfect disguise.

Him: Hopeless.

Me:  Oh, very good.

Elsewhere, the Doctor is shouting at Professor X and causing him severe agony.

The Doctor:  BUT HE’LL DIE!

Me:  “Every noise you make is exquisite agony to me.”

Him:  “Peter Cushing/Lives in Whitstable.”  This is still before the films isn’t it?

Me:  It’ll be a while before we get to them.

The Doctor continues shouting.  Susan’s not impressed.  More stuff happens and Susan is left looking after Ian.  Back at the comedy fountain there’s Sensorite scheming.

Him:  See – like someone’s – oh no, like it’s coming out of his head.

Me:  They’ve tried to make it look more interesting.  So, marks for that at least.

William Hartnell has been given some tricky lines to try and get through and judicious prop-use occurs as a result.

Me: “Let me consult my script.”
Now, that's what I call foreshadowing 2

The Doctor comes up with a plan and begins to mix up a remedy to the poison.

Him:  Training montage.

A list of Doctors appears.

Him:  It only goes up to David Tennant.

Me:  I think this scene gets a repeat performance in The Ark.

After the Sensorite finishes ticking off his I-Spy list of Doctors, a remedy is made.

Me:  It’s nice to see the Doctor doctoring.

Him:  For a change.

Elsewhere, there’s stethoscopic Sensorite scheming.

Me:  With those things – they’re like the Ood – the communication balls – maybe it’s their hind brain rather than a stethoscope.

A sash is swapped, and the City Administrator Sensorite becomes a master of disguise on a par with the Voord.  In fairness, the idea’s quite clever, it’s just a shame it’s hidden in The Sensorites.

City Administrator:   Who is to know that I am not the Second Elder now?
"I'm a genius.  Yes, I am."

Me:  "Well, you look nothing like him."

The Doctor reassures the Sensorites that he doesn’t mean to hurt them.  There’s an argument and the antidote gets smashed.  The Doctor ends up visiting a monster-haunted, dark, old aqueduct. 

Him:  That’s a pathetic torch.

Me:  Hopeless.

Susan’s found some more antidote and as a result Ian’s getting better.

Him:  Are there sheep on the Sense-sphere?  Look at what Ian’s lying on.

It’s revealed that the Doctor’s in a monster-haunted, dark, old aqueduct and Ian and Susan get concerned.

Ian:  Haven’t you got someone-

Me:  “Y’know, a plumber?”

Him:  “It’s-a me!  Mario!”

Ian stumbles off to save the Doctor.  There’s more scheming.  The Doctor is poking around and discovers -

Him:  Deadly nightshade.

There’s a sudden, far-from-terrifying, monster noise.

Him:  Ooop.  Barking spider.


Deadly nightshade gets mentioned again before the spider barks.

Him:  Mummy Die and Cow Parsley.

Me:  Are those other names for it?

Him:  No.

Ian and Susan find the Doctor – his clothes have been torn up. 

Him:  Whoah.

Me:  What do you think it was?

Him:  Wind.

Me:  Right.

It’s as good an explanation as any.  The claw-marks and the spider-barks are one of the great mysteries of Doctor Who.  Another occurs in Image of the Fendahl and involves a locked door, but that’s not important right now.  The Doctor works out that there’s a traitor in the Sensorites.  But which one?

Him: It’s the one that’s covered in blood.

John’s hair is nearly finished.  A Sensorite explains how they manipulate the minds of others.  Veils are involved.

Me:  Sounds suspiciously like a Look Around You explanation.

More Sensorite scheming.  The sash seems to be working out just fine.

Him:  It’d be like me only being able to distinguish you by the type of shirt that you were wearing.

The Doctor, Susan and Ian return.  Barbara is mentioned.

Me:  Do you think Barbara’s back from her holiday?

Him:  She’s not in it yet.

There’s a Sensorite fight, which results in a breakage.  Professor X gives the Doctor a cape and a chance to name-drop.

Him:  He’s not Professor X.

Me:  I’m beyond caring.  I just want it to stop.

In a feeble attempt at padding the episode In a feeble attempt at framing the Doctor, a tissue of lies is shredded as it appears.  It’s less interesting than I’ve made it sound.  The City Administrator becomes the Second Elder for real.  John’s hair is finished and he’s feeling a lot better, thanks for asking.

Him:  He reminds me of Eric Idle.

Me:  They keep pointing out that Barbara’s not there.


Me:  I miss Barbara.

John has remembered a plotting Sensorite.  The new Second Elder enters and becomes worried.

Me:  Not at all suspicious.  “This Sensorite…  Would you describe him as being… handsome?"

Susan works out who the wrong ‘un is.  Ian explains who the wrong ‘un is.  The episode refuses to end and more scheming takes place.

Me:  Make it stop.

The Him starts tapping out the Sound Of Drums.  Oddly, this doesn’t help.

Unarmed and with a duff map, the Doctor and Ian head into the aqueduct to hunt the Spiders That Bark.

The Doctor:  I’ve never liked weapons, but they’re handy little things.

Me:  The Doctor manages to pull a full u-turn in that sentence.

Him:  Susan must know the Doctor’s name.

Me:  You’re probably right.

After another twenty-five million years, Carol – who’ll have to settle for a “small, juicy fruit” rather than a steak - gets grabbed and the episode, finally, stops happening.


Without being asked, the Him’s made me a cup of tea – for the first time ever – just to keep me going through the final episode.

It looks as though Carol’s not going to get her five-a-day.

Me:  An abduction with a double-take, that’s a first.

More scheming.

New Second Elder Sensorite:  Your life means nothing to me!

Me:  Oh, Vienna.
"And how was Cromer?"

Carol takes a letter.  The episode suddenly improves-

Me:  Barbara’s back!  And looking an awful lot like Verity Lambert for some reason.

Professor X arrives, and says something that sounds like:

Professor X:  I could eat you.

- but almost certainly isn’t.  As it becomes harder to keep going, even with Barbara’s return, it’s revealed that the Doctor and Ian are trapped.  Everyone has a good, long, chat.  Not having had her fruit, Carol’s moaning about being hungry.  The Captor Sensorite is not for listening to her complaints.

Him:  Urgh!  He looks like he’s got creepy teeth.

Me:  He’s not been using Sensorite then.

Carol is rescued, but the Doctor and Ian are still missing.  During the inevitable conversation about this, Professor X defends the Doctor.

Professor X:  He found the cure for our people.

Him:  "It's mercury!"

Back in the aqueduct, Ian sees something move.  Still working on the Spiders That Bark theory, the Doctor rolls up the duff map and hands it to Ian.

Me:  “Here.  Hit it with this.”

Ian does. It turns out to be a man, rather than a really big barking arachnid with jacket-rending claws.  I said it was a mystery.  Barbara and John head after our chums leaving Susan.  There are odd noises.

Me:  What’s that in the background?

Him:  “Benton!  Benton!”

Me:  I don’t think so.

Susan starts to describe her home planet to Professor X.

Susan:  At night the sky is a burnt orange and the leaves on the trees are bright silver.

Me:  That’s how the Tenth Doctor described it to Martha at the end of Gridlock.

Him:  “BENTON!”

Back with the Doctor and Ian, two hairy humans armed with sharp stakes appear.

Me:  They’re hunting vampires. 

All the hairy humans are numbered rather than named.  Exposition happens, as, to be honest, follows the pattern of the story to the letter.

Me:  What’ve they been eating?

Him:  They’ve been eating the stakes.  Those aren’t weapons – they’re lunch.

Barbara and John find the duff map.

Me:  Finally, something’s happening.

Him:  What was it that scraped the Doctor’s back then?  It can’t have been one of these men.

We meet the hairy human leader.  It’s the cue for a conversation.

Him:  We’re only on part five.

Me:  Brave heart.  It’s nearly finished – this is part six.

Him:  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!

In a bid to keep us conscious, the Doctor gets Ian’s name wrong.

The Doctor: …isn’t it, Chwester?

Barbara finds our captured heroes and the hairy humans.  The hairy humans have been poisoning the water.

Him:  “Who is Number One?”

Me:  “You are Number Six.”

The New Second Elder Sensorite turns up.

New Second Elder Sensorite:   It is useless to resist!

Him:  “Resistance is exhausting.”

The New Second Elder Sensorite stuns Number One.  Things happen and, during a final conversation that lasts so long that all the plants in my flat turn into coal, The Sensorites slows to a conclusion.

Me:  There’s not really a bad guy throughout this.  It’s a lot better than it seems to be.

Back in the TARDIS, Susan’s character arc is dissected in a final, lengthy conversation.

Me:  They do seem to be setting up Susan to leave.

Him:  They are, aren’t they?

Me:  I didn’t think it would have started this early.

The Doctor gets really irascible with Ian and Barbara – for what seems to be no reason at all, other than that there’s a cliffhanger needed.


Me:  That was a bit of a sudden end.

Him:  At the start they were saying what good friends they all were.

Me:  They did then have to get through six weeks of the Sensorites though.


Me:  Right.  Thoughts?

Him:  Make it stop.  It seemed to go on forever.

Me:  I can’t argue with that.  Never mind, we got through it.  And there were some good bits.

Him:  What happened to Maitland?

Me:  He went in search of fruit.

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