Tuesday, April 21, 2009

G6 - A Desperate Venture



Well, it has to be said, The Sensorites ends with a bit of a whimper. The Doctor and Ian, despite more futile acts of sabotage by the City Administrator (I refuse to call him the Second Elder. That title is vacant, in my opinion. It has to be earned, not stolen), manage to track their way through the aqueduct and find the real reason why the Sensorites have been poisoned. The culprits? A bunch of bearded, crazy humans! They've been waging war on the Sensorites ever since they became stranded on the planet years ago.

However, it takes all of three minutes for The Doctor to convince the humans that the war's over, and leads them into a trap to be captured by the Sensorites. Crisis over. And what of the City Administrator? (Barbara refers to him as the Second Elder. What does she know? She's been away on a spaceship for the past two and a half weeks!) He's captured, arrested, and banished to the outer wastelands. Apparently. As the comeuppance of the major villain of the piece takes place offscreen, we're only told this in passing. Bit disappointing, that.

Also, Susan learns from the First Elder that it was the special properties of the Sense-sphere that aided her in her new found ability to use telepathy. Apparently. We're also told that offscreen. For all the pointless discussions about Sensorites' cardiovascular systems and humans' eyelids, two of the more interesting aspects of the story are left unseen. What a cheat!

Anyway, the disappointment in Susan's eyes when she finds out she'll be back to normal the next week almost matches Carole Ann Ford's sullen mood when she finds out the same. You can almost see at which point during her last TARDIS scene where she's working out her notice...

On the whole, this story wasn't as bad or slow as people have made it out to be over the years since its initial broadcast, although I imagine it would be almost completely forgotten if it didn't exist in the BBC Archives.

2 comments:

verlaine said...

"He's captured, arrested, and banished to the outer wastelands. Apparently. As the comeuppance of the major villain of the piece takes place offscreen, we're only told this in passing."

Suddenly it strikes me that this is rather *Shakespearean* of the show. Compare to how Don John the Bastard is punished at the end of Much Ado About Nothing. "Oh, and Don John tried to escape but our men have picked him up, sir." "Never mind him, we'll deal with him tomorrow, in the meantime let's have a party." Or words to that effect.

Robert Konigsberg said...

I recently listened to the Big Finish Companion Chronicle The Transit of Venus, which injects itself directly between this episode and the next. So I was somewhat aware that Ian and Barbara were kicked off the ship, and that when Transit of Venus ended, that would still be (or once again become) the case. So naturally I was curious what would cause such drama.

Well. Wasn't that awfully contrived?

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