Hello Dwellers and Welcome To The Basement…
It’s Saturday, time for Doctor Who: Tales From The TARDIS!
For those of you who just came across my pokey little channel, every Saturday I go over a classic episode of Doctor Who in broadcast order, and today we are up to part three of The Sensorites… this week’s episode is titled ‘Hidden Danger’
Last week’s episode ended with Susan agreeing to leave with the Sensorites, otherwise they would kill everyone, and this week’s episode opens with The Doctor and everyone else refusing to let that happen. They chase after them, and demand Susan’s return, but the Sensorites say they needed a hostage to ensure the safety of their planet… and since she was stuck between a rock and hard place, Susan agreed to this. Goes to so that she had a good head on her shoulders in addition to be a beauty…. However The Doctor is less than pleased with this… actually he’s down right pissed off, he screams at Susan for agreeing to this and when he grabs her the Sensorites draw a weapon. Making note of The Doctor’s observation about how their pupil’s dilate, Ian kills the lights, which blinds The Sensorites and allows everyone to escape…
And in a memorable scene, well for me it’s memorable, we see the Doctor and Susan later argueing about her being adult enough to make her own decisions. I haven’t gone over this much, but The First Doctor, was a bit prickly, with a ‘it’s his way or the high-way’ attitude, and we’ve seen him turn this attitude on Ian and Barbara, but seeing him turn it on Susan may seem like he’s being protective of her, but at the same time, he implies that it’s his job and that Susan’s opinions don’t matter… and Susan responding that she won’t be pushed aside is a break out moment for her, and knowing Carol Ann Ford’s own frustrations with the creative direction of her role, this scene brings some truth to the fiction.
Moving forward, The Sensorites and Ian came to a little arrangement, Barbara and Mailtand will stay on the ship with a Sensorite, while everyone else would go to planet to speak to the Sensorite Elder and hopefully cure John of the suffering he’s going through. It’s also revealed why they are trapped in the atmosphere, it’s because humans visited before and when they discovered the riches of the Sense Sphere, they were carelessly eager to leave to tell others about it and their ship crashed, polluting the planet with a disease that has been killing off the population. The Doctor says he will investigate the cause of the illness, because finding a cure would me everyone can go on their merry way.
Down on on the planet, we see The Elder Sensorite explaining his decision to the other two, implying the risk is worth the reward if the Doctor can cure the disease that is plaguing their world. The other two are not as enthusiastic about their prospects, viewing the human race as loud, ugly lesser beings that should be met out in the mountains away from an important area… and on top of that they doubt the Elder’s leadership… they don’t say this to his face, but behind his back. The more anti-human of the two is the Administrator reveals that he has aimed a disintergrator weapon at the room where they are going to meet the Elder… well that certainly was a bit drastic... but hey, being among the human race, I can’t really blame him after seeing what’s gone down in New Orleans, Dallas and Munich in recent weeks.
Anyway, The Doctor, Ian, and Susan, are ushered into a meeting with the Elder when they arrive while John and Carol are taken to where John can get treatment. Just as The Administrator is ready to kill off the strange visitors from another planet, another Sensorite comes in to stop him, saying they are harmless and are there to help. Reluctantly, The Administrator complies… and now that I think about it, wouldn’t he get in a lot of trouble for killing the Elder in this attempt to keep the Sense Sphere pure? That avenue is never really brought up when it comes to this episode… in fact if he went through with his plan and was successful, would it actually divide the planet?
Meanwhile in the meeting with the Elder, The Doctor Susan and Ian are given food and water, but the Elder notices that his guests were not given the same food and water as he and snaps at servant for it, insisting that they are brought ‘Crystal Water’… however Ian already drank his water, which goes unnoticed. The Elder gives the run down how there society is split up, Elders wear two sashes, Controllers were one and the general population wear none, the higher up you are in the pecking order, the better quality of life you have, as well as the superior quality of food and water… and that none of the Elders have fallen victim to the disease… doesn’t take a genius to realize that getting the normal water and food is probably not a good thing… And we see that come into effect with Ian, who begins coughing and choking, asking for water because his throat is burning up before he collapses into an unconscious state… The Elder reveals that Ian is showing the first signs of the illness that is plaguing his world and that Ian is dying which is where this episode ends.
This episode accomplishes a number of things, one it develops some tension between The Doctor and Susan, which in a way gets followed up on in season two as it relates to her growing up, we learn about the Sensorites and their planet plus why they don’t want humans around, and we see that the story is now going to go into a ‘race against the clock’ mode to save Ian’s life by finding a cure. Since this is a six-part story, this episode falls into place perfect as the third act… and we’ll see how this all followed up on next week with a ‘A Race Against Death’
Till then have a good one everybody!