It’s Saturday, time for another episode of Doctor Who: Tales From The TARDIS
This week we are concluding the go over of The Sensorites with part six, ‘A Desperate Venture’ which is a great way to describe having to cram in all the loose ends in under half an hour.
We open with Carol being forced by the Administrator into the disintergrator room and to write a letter to John and Susan, saying she has gone to the ship… this is a plan that isn’t cunning, for one Barbara has arrived from the ship and can prove that Carol didn’t go back… and this makes the humans more suspicious of the Sensorites. Upon seeing the letter the Chief Elder declares it a forgery, and also there is concerned over Ian and The Doctor’s whereabouts, which leads to the Elder telling them that they have gone to the Aqueduct.
Susan makes note of the fact that the ink is still wet, indicating Carol must be close by… leading John to investigate and successfully find her, resulting in the Chief Warrior being imprisoned again. The Administrator acts shocked that the Chief Warrior escaped… and asks if he implicated anyone else in his scheme…. Yeah that’s no shock that the Admin will want to save his own hide at this point.
There is also concern that arises that perhaps The weapons and Map The Doctor and Ian have may have been tampered with, so it’s determined a rescue party should go after them, Barbara and John will go… leaving Susan behind who will guide them by transmitting her thoughts to the Sensorites mental transmitters, one of which Barbara takes which plays a part in the climax of this episode.. Just another reminder of things that would never get developed for Susan, who also gives the very first description of Gallifrey in this episode, not to mention she schools the Chief Elder on the fact is ‘Trust should be earned’.
So that said, what is going on with The Doctor and Ian? Well they are attacked by a HUMAN, Ian drives the guy off, but they discover a badge in the shape of a rocket ship. They pursue the human and are soon surrounded by a lot more of them than they expected. They are obviously captured and taken to their leader and as The Doctor and Ian are taken deeper into the aqueduct, The Doctor marks the passageway, to have a route of escape… which also gives John and Barbara a trail to follow.
Now it turns out these humans are deserters from Earth’s militia, they arrived on the planet 10 years prior, they blew up their own ship and have been poisoning the Sensorite’s water supply to try and wipe out them out so that they could take over the world… of course. Barbara and John arrive, and through a bit of clever thinking. The Doctor says that they are a victory party, coming to celebrate the human milita’s conquering of the planet… which is all trick to get them out of the aqueduct and having the Sensorites capture them thanks to Barbara having a way to communicate with them.
Now think about that for a moment: Barbara took the communicator with her when she and John went to search for the Doctor… but if she didn’t have that device, how the hell does the Doctor’s plan work once he gets them out of the aqueduct.
Anyway, The First Elder gives Maitland… boy having talked about him in a while… anyway he gives him permission to take the astronauts back to earth to get medical treatment, turns out they were the victims of circumstance with their minds being shattered when they probably experimented with the mental transmitters the Sensorites uses, Also The Administrator has been banished to the out wastes of the Sense-Sphere for his crimes, The TARDIS lock has been returned as well.
The episode itself ends with our heroes watching the spaceship leave on the TARDIS’s monitor, with Ian joking that Carol, John and Maitland know where they are going… which pisses off the Doctor who says that wherever they end up next, he’s leaving Ian there.
So… that wraps up the Sensorites… and boy were things rushed here, as probably this story should’ve been an episode longer. The discovery of the humans is quite… out of left field, yes it explains the poisoning of the Sensorites, but it’s so rushed that it feels like an afterthought, considering we were dealing with the Administrator as the central villain this entire time. Barbara’s return to the screen was great, and it lead to a great scene with Susan and the Chief Elder that I talked about earlier… hell her description of Gallifrey was basically ripped word for word and butchered in the 10th Doctor episode Gridlock.
Anyway, that will wrap up this week’s episodes, next week we being our look at the six part Reign of Terror… the final story of the first season of Doctor.
Till then my friends, and you are my friends… have a good one!