Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who


As the title might imply, there’s once again dissension among the ranks. Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Lynne as we discuss whether “The Sensorites” is long and slow and boring or one of the most gripping, interesting, thought-provoking, and best William Hartnell-era stories ever committed to video.

Have you seen this story? Do you fall on the side of received fan wisdom? Or do you hasten to push play on the next episode every time you watch this fascinating story?


Also covered:

Bonus link:
Reality Bomb Live Show

Download or listen now (runtime 1:19:16) 

Comments on: "119 – The Sensorites? Or Sensorwrongs?" (9)

  1. ccarol said:

    I think I fall in-between on “The Sensorites”, or to put it another way, you’re all wrong. I’ve only seen it once, and that was several years ago, so my memory of it is pretty vague, but my overall impression is “not bad for a Hartnell”. Somewhat slow and plodding, yes, but I don’t recall it being _exceptionally_ boring. I remember liking the Sensorites and the worldbuilding, but I don’t remember much of the plot. And I can’t picture the secondary human characters at all, I had forgotten they were even in it. So the story must not have made a strong impression on me, good or bad. I give it a resounding “Whatever”.

  2. I think I got the Canadian first part and the American second part; I very much enjoyed the stuff on the ship and the pleasingly alien aliens, but once they get down to the planet it felt like depressingly human political machinations.

    Excellent point that this was the first actual spaceship to be on the show.

    Rebellious psychic teenager Susan doesn’t really work for me – I think it may indeed be the dissonance between “rebellious teenager” and “alien psychic”. I like my aliens to be alien.

  3. Laurissy said:

    I’m so on team America here. I really don’t like this story. I also feel personally let down by it. You see I really liked the Aztecs. It was what made me a classic who fan and on the commentary Carole Anne ford mentioned how much she liked the sensorites and it had just been released when I was watching the Aztecs. So I went in with hype, I paid full price for the brand new dvd and it was so boring. I hated it, the spaceship was ok but it did have a full 10 minutes of Ian walking backwards. I’m sorry but I thought the whole sensorites culture was stupid and I really didn’t care about the spaceship crew. I just couldn’t get invested.

  4. I like the first episode but can’t say I have much love for the rest of The Sensorites. It all just seems very half-baked and draggy. Maybe it could have been an OK four parter, but there’s not enough to hold my interest for six episodes. Your chat was far more entertaining than the story itself!

    Poor kids of the 60s! After six weeks of Sensorites, they must have been tearing their hair out and yearning for the return of the Daleks! Alas, they were in for six weeks of Reign of Terror instead…

  5. Mind you, I must take Deb to task for complaining that the script constantly refers to a SPACE ship, when shows like Firefly don’t do this! Is it really fair to hold up 60s Who to the same standards as a show from the early noughties? I think people were a wee bit less familiar with SF tropes back then, so they could be forgiven for labouring the point! 😀

    • Also:

      Wash: “Psychic, though? That sounds like something out of science fiction.”
      Zoe: “We live on a spaceship, dear.”

  6. I have a soft spot for this one, not least because the first time I saw the Sensorite pop up at the end of episode one, I rolled around on the floor in hysterics for a good ten minutes. I don’t know why it tickled me but it just did.

    The Sensorites is one of those Dr Who stories, and there are quite a few, where interest in the cast sustains it through the slower bits. As a big Powell & Pressburger fan I always look out for Bartlett Mullins as the 2nd elder. Meanwhile, anyone who grew up watching children’s TV in Britain during the Seventies loves seeing the portly figure of Peter Glaze.

    The big strength of Series 1 is its variety and the Sensorites has an important place within it. I certainly enjoy it just as much as the somewhat overrated Aztecs.

  7. The husbeast and I watched The Sensorites last year, and we did it properly; we watched an episode every couple of days, and it wasn’t too bad that way. The Sensorite culture was interesting at least.

  8. Neil Ottenstein said:

    Listening to the comments about the first leader sash I am reminded of the Babylon 5 episode The Geometry of Shadows with the green and purple Drazi and then later in the episode when Ivanova takes the leader sash.

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