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Like many of the first season episodes of Doctor Who that were never repeated, The Sensorites never developed much of a reputation even among the show’s fans, creeping out on video and later on DVD as one of the last titles after most of the good stuff had been cherry picked. Yet it’s a perfectly decent story even if the production values are a bit shonky in places (the boom mike deserves a credit of its own after making three appearances in one episode while the sound of a PA calling out the shots gets its own featurette on the DVD) and there’s a somewhat unusual delivery from one of the guest cast in the first episode that doesn’t help the rhythm of the show.

Setting the template for many of the later stories, this seventh story in the series sees the Doctor and his companions materialise in a spaceship in trouble – in this case with a comatose or mad crew trapped in orbit outside the Sense-Sphere by the planet’s inhabitants, who fear if they return to Earth their planet will be strip mined of its valuable minerals. The Sensorites aren’t malicious, but the situation is more complicated than it first appears: coming from a world where trust is given rather than earned, their attempt to prevent the humans from returning without physically harming them is psychologically crueller than killing them. Even when the Doctor tries to broker a solution there are complications thanks to political infighting (though viewers of a certain generation might have trouble with the fact that Crackerjack’s Peter Glaze is the villain of the piece). Intriguingly, the story also emphasises the alien nature of the Doctor and his granddaughter, even coming up with a nostalgic description of the nights on their still unnamed planet years before the Time Lord mythology was invented for Patrick Troughton’s last story. While not the best of the early William Hartnell stories, it’s far from negligible.

The Sensorites themselves were clearly the inspiration for the Ood in the NuWho seasons, though it’s Russell Tedious Davies who gets the contractual credit for their creation rather than Sensorites writer Peter R. Newman. The latter provides the DVD’s most substantial extra: for long a mystery among Whovians and with Hammer’s bleak antiwar film Yesterday’s Enemy his only other produced script, it manages to fill in the gaps by tracking down his surviving family in a finally rather touching way. There’s not much else in the way of extras – the traditional group audio commentary, an interview with the show’s vision mixer, stills gallery and trivia track – though the episodes themselves have been nicely cleaned up from their previous video release.
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on 18 December 2013
This William Hartnell adventure is far better than most would have you believe. The regular cast are all good here, especially William Hartnell. Even Jacqueline Hill is good here, despite the fact that she's absent entirely from two episodes. The Sensorites themselves are intriguing, they have individual personalities and they clash with each other. Many of them are benevolent and charming, but there are a few rogues. There was also a pleasing level of detail given about the Sensorites' society.

Some of the criticisms levelled at this story are valid; there are many dialogue fluffs, the fact that the Sensorites only recognise each other by what they wear is a bit daft and it is rather slow at times. But it's mostly very enjoyable and the moral of the story, that you shouldn't judge by appearances, is undeniably strong.

In conclusion, 'The Sensorites' is a quality story, with good performances from the regular cast and a compelling race of aliens.

Extra features include 'Looking for Peter' an interesting feature in which Toby Hadoke investigates the life and career of the elusive 'The Sensorites' writer Peter R Newman and, inevitably, a 'coming soon' trailer.
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on 19 December 2014
I tried hard to like this but despite the interesting characters and possibly an interesting message, one cannot get away from the fact that for most of the story it is undeniably dull. It feels padded to the extreme, and not a lot happens most of the time - maybe there is supposed to be a feeling of dramatic suspense, but if there is then 5 decades of television development has removed its effect from today's viewer.
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on 21 August 2014
A bit disappointing. This was the one story from the very first series that I did n't see in 1964, as I was on holiday at the time. Saying that, I found it quite interesting but a bit drawn out. I just had to have this one as I have nearly all of the Dr.Who stories starring William Hartnell.The basic story line is interesting, but the effects are pretty basic, but as its 50 years old, that's only to be expected.
This story is definitely one for fanatical fans of the first series only.
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on 17 June 2009
The Tardis lands on a spaceship orbiting an alien planet- home to the sensorites who have attacked the crew using their mental powers, keeping them captive for several years. As the Doctor and his companions themselves come under attack, the locking mechanism of the Tardis is stolen. In order to retrieve it, the Doctor and his companions must first convince the sensorites of their peaceful intentions.

More evenly paced than the Keys of Marinus, this is a classic first Doctor, essentially a detective story with the Doctor's scientific knowledge driving it forward. The sub-plot of treason and a power-struggle within the sensorite elite is also well presented and even the occasional fluffed line only adds to its charm.
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on 19 June 2016
A slightly slow story but I like the atmosphere in general and love Hartnell. Quite a moral story with aliens who are not homicidal flesh eaters etc. Worth it overall and a reminder of the types of alien world envisioned in the 60s.
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on 25 March 2014
I like this story I found it a bit slow in some places but that is part of the charm of the early days of Doctor Who. But if you are a fan of William Hartnell years. Then this will be a god story to have part of your collection.
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on 4 September 2014
Good plot and generally well put together. Let down by some truly dreadful costumes for the Sensorites, and some ham acting from the crew of the spaceship the Tardis lands within.
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on 5 October 2014
If you like the classics then this is good. choice. some great creepy moments early on. Good to see Peter Glazes out of crackerjack dressed as a slightly over weight sensorite.
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on 31 January 2014
Arrived in good time. I used to watch Doctor Who back in the sixties when it first came on TV so this takes me back to my childhood. Special effects are not great as they are today, but what I like is that the stories are good and you care about the characters.
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