Monday, April 20, 2009

G3 - Hidden Danger

Episode 3 begins with the crew (eventually) moving down to the Sense-sphere, but not after The Doctor and Susan have a healthy spat over Susan's burgeoning character development. (Don't worry. That'll get stamped out soon enough.) Barbara doesn't make it down to the planet, though, as, for no real reason other than to facilitate Jacqueline Hill's impending holiday. In fact, Barbara disappears about six minutes into the episode - did Hill have a plane to catch?

The Sensorites, as I have explained, are odd little creatures, and when we see them in their natural environment, they seem odder still. They have no names, only titles, and their relations are known only as their "family group". It's actually kind of interesting how "alien" these aliens are, not just in the way they look and act, but in the way their whole society works. It's actually a brave attempt on the part of the writers to portray such a different species so early in the series' run.

Of course, getting that message across sometimes leads to some laboured explanations. When the City Administrator, the villain of the piece, instructs his minion, the City Engineer, to fire a disintegrator (a weapon which we never actually see) at The Doctor and his friends, the Engineer asks, "Are humans' hearts located on the right or the left side of their body...or in the centre, as in ours?" (ellipsis added for emphasis). Who talks like that? Do the Sensorites have to keep reminding themselves that they're alien? Do their neighbours, the Ood, put up with such nonsense?

Anyway, the episode ends with Ian collapsing from being poisoned, thus minimizing the roles of The Doctor's companions even further as the story progresses...


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