Thursday, August 14, 2014

ClassicWho Reviews: The Sensorites

     In this episode of Doctor Who, we have a Very Important Aesop on foreign policy.

     Okay, well…that was basically what it was about.

    The Doctor et. al. arrive on a ship, only to find the crew seemingly dead. However, they are able to revive a couple of them, who give some plot exposition. They were sent explore the Sense Sphere, but the Sensorites keep knocking them out, I guess with roofies or something, and will not let them leave. Right on cue, a Sensorite floats up in front of the window, in what is actually kind of a creepy moment, even though in a mundane situation the costumes are laughable.

     The TARDIS crew meet John, whose mind has been almost totally broken by the Sensorites, and Susan’s telepathy tells her that Sensorites are acting out of fear. It appears John has discovered the Sense Sphere has a very valuable mineral on the planet, and the Sensorites fear the humans will go full on Avatar on them. The Doctor arranges things so that the Sensorites and humans can negotiate, but some corrupt political figures on the planet scheme to keep the two parties distrustful, which is made easier by the fact that Sensorites cannot even distinguish between themselves without wearing identifying clothing.
"...Bob?"
"I...I'm your brother. You know, Gary?"
"Oh yeah, Gary!"


     This was just the beginning of the “societal problems IN SPACE” episodes that Doctor Who has given us. While arguably they are more often than not beating the message in our heads, one can also argue that some of the messages really do need to be beaten in people’s heads. Prejudice people generally don’t realize they’re jerks with subtle hints.

     This was also a good episode for Susan, as she starts displaying signs of independence and making decisions without the Doctor’s input. Also, her and Barbara’s encouragement of John to fight against his mental conditioning was a very intense scene.

     Overall, it was a good episode that gave each of our characters ways to shine.

"Let me guess...you're sensing hostility."
"How did you know?"
"It's sort of par for the course on a sci-fi show."

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