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Publisher: BBC Audiobooks Ltd; Unabridged edition (3 May 2012)
The 'Ian' actor William Russell has been reading Dr Who audiobooks since the range began in 2005, and this is another addition to what has become a successful run of stories read by the man who has become a fan favourite.
The book itself, by Nigel Robinson, is nothing to write home about; as solid a book as it is, it doesn't stray from the plot at all and adds only trivial details and character development. However it tells the story well and does contain some atmospheric passages, particularly at the start.
Sound design is always a strong point on this range and this doesn't disappoint - regular composer Simon Power does another sterling job, with music and effects which embellish but don't infringe - my only criticism would be the repetition of some music from earlier releases, but that's not to say the music is used inappropriately.
If you're on a slight income and are looking to buy only the very best of these releases, this probably isn't for you. However if you're a Dr Who or William Russell junkie then this is a sure-fire addition to your collection!
This is another great reading by William Russell, who played Ian Chesterton in the first few seasons of Doctor Who. The Sensorites is a story of several parts; in the first part, we have the psychological thriller notion of an abandoned spaceship, apparently dead crew, mysterious wild people in the corridoors of the spaceship, and unexplained activities caused by the mysterious and unseen Sensorites. In the second part of the story, the Sensorites and the Tardis crew interact, along with the crew of the Earth spaceship, and the story deepens and broadens into a story of mistrust and greed, ambition and many characters playing for their own advantage, no matter what the cost. In the third part of the story, the Doctor seeks to resolve once and for all the mystery of the contaminated water supply for the Sensorites, and comes cross another mystery which requires his keen senses to solve and resolve.
At the end, we are left with the chuckling Doctor congratulating himself on his own perspicacity, Susan feeling that there might be more to life than travelling through time and space, and Ian and Barbara worrying about the long-term effects of the Sensorites way of life. And it's off to another adventure!
This is great stuff; a really characteristic story of the First Doctor's era, great interaction and use of the other Tardis crew characters, and the Sensorites and the Earth crew members are well written, and well portrayed. The story is read over 5 cds, which adds up to a great 6 hours of listening to William Russell's well-modulated tones reading this classic story. Brilliant, and totally recommended.
Any audiobook in the Doctor Who Classic Novels series read by William Russell is always a must buy for me. Russell, who played Ian Chesterton in the original series, has such a comfortable and warm voice that listening to this late at night is rather akin to having a bedtime story told by a kindly grandfather.
At six hours though, The Sensorites is probably not one for the more casual purchaser, who may prefer something just a little faster paced. Indeed, the TV serial at 150 minutes, has long been regarded as somewhat drawn out, so an audiobook that is more than twice that length might be considered too much of a good thing.
But if you stick with it, you are rewarded with a story that becomes more engrossing as it continues. Originally transmitted in 1964, towards the end of the first season, and novelised by Nigel Robinson in 1987 from Peter R. Newman's scripts, The Sensorites is an early attempt by the series to show that aliens are not necessarily monsters.
Although the Sensorites have imprisoned an Earth spaceship in orbit around their planet, they have their reasons - and problems of their own. The Sensorite nation has been struck with a disease that is killing off more and more of its people. The Doctor is confident he can find a cure and negotiate the release of the Earth spaceship, but not all the Sensorites trust the Doctor and his friends ......
If the era of the First Doctor appeals, then this is a worthwhile purchase. For the more casual listener, William Russell's readings of The Dalek Invasion of Earth or The Aztecs might be better choices.
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The Sensorites has a firm solid story at it's backbone, while being absurd it's definitely believable! The Doctor, Ian, Barbara & Susan land on a space ship, they find two crew members dead. Shortly after arriving the TARDIS lock is removed, leaving the Doctor with no way into the TARDIS and the two dead crewmen are resurrected into life...
This book shows most of all, an alien culture, unaffected by humans, dubious of any outsiders but unable to doubt each other, trusting all their fellow Sensorites. The Sensorites cannot afford to risk anyone taking their secret to the rest of the galaxy. They hold the TARDIS crew and their new found comrades trapped, allowed to roam free through the ship and the Sensorites home, yet unable to truly gain the liberty that they so dearly desire! The whole foundation of this book is trust, the Sensorites trust themselves, but not so easily the TARDIS crew & their friends. The irony of this, is among the Sensorites there is good at work and that the Doctor & Co. in fact help the Sensorite nations in a big way.
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