E1 “Strangers in Space”

 The TARDIS has arrived, though instruments say the ship is in motion. The outside scanner (viewscreen) isn’t working, so they’re unsure what is out there. Barbara mentions she doesn’t know why they ever leave, and The Doctor references their experience with The Aztecs, but she says she’s over that – to me, this implies that a significant amount of time has passed, more than just enough time to clean up/freshen up or even over night, but weeks at the least. The four begin musing on how they’ve all changed since they’ve begun their travels together. They finally open the TARDIS door and find themselves in a spaceship, where everyone seems to be dead.

 However, just as they’re about to go back in the TARDIS and leave, one of the crew moves, though they felt he was dead just moments before. They find a device which revives both of the crew.

 They discover that they’re in the 28th century, but the crew tells them they must leave. The Doctor proclaims he’s learned not to meddle in the affairs of others, which makes Ian laugh.

 They are told the Sensorites are keeping the crew captive, putting them into a suspended animation from time to time, which is what they were in when the travelers found them. However, by time they decide to leave, they found that the lock/opening mechanism to the TARDIS has been stolen.

 The spacecraft is sent hurtling towards the Sense-Sphere, but The Doctor helps them fight off the Sensorite control of the ship. Barbara and Susan get separated and meet the third crewman, John. The Doctor, Ian and the other two work to cut through the door that has cut them off.

 There’s drama, and then the episode ends with Ian staring through a porthole into space, and there’s an alien creature outside, looking in – presumably a Sensorite.

 A good story, not great but far from bad, The Sensorites has a long-lasting effect on the show; there are many stories in the 70s and 80s that have the same initial premise – the TARDIS arrives on a ship in space that already is, or is about to, deal with an alien threat. Also, the Ood are heavily influenced by the Sensorites.


E2 “The Unwilling Warriors”

 John is apparently easy prey for the Sensorites; there is great concern that he will harm Susan and Barbara. The Doctor keeps trying to calm Ian down, cautioning that emotional distress will make him an easier target for the Sensorites. (Ian’s a bit of a hot-head.)

 The Sensorites are aboard the ship (they’re humanoid, with leathery skin and no visible mouths.) Susan and Barbara find a way to cause “interference” in the mental connection between John and the Sensorites, by thinking very hard. The companions are reunited, and they speculate why John was treated so harshly by the Sensorites. The Sensorites receive orders from the “First Elder” – the elder wants to see the humans who defied.

 Apparently, John (the ship’s minerologist) discovered that the Senorites are rich in molybdenum . Ian and Barbara confront the Sensorites, but retreat from the aliens. The Sensorites make contact with Susan, asking that they are allowed to come and speak to them.

 “I don’t make threats, but I do keep promises. And I promise you, I shall cause you more trouble than you bargained for, if you DON’T RETURN MY PROPERTY!” – The Doctor, demanding the locking device back from the Sensorites.

 The Doctor refers to “we humans”, curiously enough. Then again, his race had not been established, only that he and Susan were from another planet, not Earth.

 Susan agrees to go to the Sense-Sphere, in exchange for protection for the others, and the credits roll.

E3 “Hidden Danger”

 They save Susan from the Sensorites, but Susan and The Doctor argue over her making decisions on her own. The Doctor demands to speak to the First Elder, face to face, and it is agreed upon. The Sensorites reveal that they had experience with humans ten years prior, who exploited them, and that is why they are suspicious.

 Meanwhile, the First Elder argues with his advisors, whether the humans are animals or people. The First Elder leaves while his 2nd and the City Administrator talk of having a weapon there. Seems the CA is intent on killing the Earth people. Barbara and “Maitland” (crewmember) stay on the ship, while The Doctor, Susan, Ian, Carol and John come to the planet.

 Apparently, the Sensorites are just one caste of the people of the planet. Others are Warriors, Workers. The City Administrator plots treason, preying upon the open greeting The Doctor and companions have received. Ian drinks water intended for them and keeps coughing – the water was ordered by the City Administrator. Ian collapses, and the First Elder says it is the disease and Ian is dying.

E4 “Race Against Death”

 The Doctor surmises that it is poison, not a disease. The Doctor is given assurances that all the scientists will be at his disposal, but he is not given access to the TARDIS.

 The Sensorites are very susceptible to sound; yelling is like a physical attack. The Doctor, irate, keeps yelling at the First Elder. The City Administrator continues to plan, learning from Carol, the female crewmember, that the humans cannot tell the difference between them.

 We get a montage – Ian is sick, surveys are being taken, The Doctor works in the lab. The Doctor identifies atrophine (sp?) poisoning as the source of the “disease”.

 The City Administrator replaces the Second Elder.

 The Doctor investigates the aqueducts, that is apparently filled with monsters. Susan and Ian, given the cure, go to find and help The Doctor. The Doctor discovers nightshade, and then hears the roar of a monster, and credits roll.

E5 “Kidnap”

 Ian and Susan find The Doctor just in time to scare of whatever the monster was. They realise that there is a plot and they must figure out who is the evil Sensorite. The Second Elder is forced to transmit mentally to the First Warrior, setting up a meeting between the fake Second Elder and the Warrior., to regain the firing key to their disintegrator weapon.

 The Second Elder is dead, after a struggle with the City Administrator. The CA and the First Warrior lie to the First Elder, telling him that The Doctor killed the Second Elder. Their story is seen through, though the CA manages to play it off on the dead Second Elder.

 The Doctor petitions to have the City Admin promoted to Second Elder, hoping that speaking up for him would gain his friendship – they, too, are bamboozled.

 John is finally recovered and there is happy-happy. After conferring with him, they realise that the City Admin, now the Second Elder, was their true enemy. He finds out The Doctor and Ian are going to adventure in the aqueducts, and sabotages their armaments and likely interferes with the map.

 While the menfolk are away, Susan (who is not aware of her grandfather and Ian’s adventure), John and Carol grow impatient and Carol goes to find everyone and is kidnapped. Credits roll.

E6 “A Desperate Venture”

 Carol is forced to write a note saying she’s going to the ship, but Barbara was being brought down, so they know the note was written under duress. The First Elder breaks his promise to The Doctor and reveals where he and Ian went. The Doctor and Ian have discovered their map has been tampered with as well as their weapons.

 The First Elder still thinks the Second Elder is trustworthy.

 Ian and The Doctor encounter one of the first survivors of the first human group that came to the Sense-Sphere, but he runs off.

 Susan talks of her and The Doctor’s homeworld, explaining they are not from Earth. It’s not named as Gallifrey yet. The Doctor and Ian are encountered by two men from the first Earth expedition.

 The humans are captured, the Second Elder found out (and will be exiled), everything is neatly wrapped up in the last minutes. Susan’s telepathy won’t continue once they leave the Sense-Sphere. Susan muses on not being a wanderer, belonging somewhere – foreshadowing of her eventual departure?

 Ian makes a comment about the humans knowing where they’re going and The Doctor has a snit, threatening to throw Ian off at the very next place they arrive, and the end credits roll.

 Again, there’s influence of this episode in later ones; the theme of the TARDIS arriving on a ship that is being dealt hostily by aliens is a common one, especially in the 1970s and 80s. And, from what I gather, the Ood were inspired by the Sensorites.

 A good episode, a bit clunky at times. Not sure why Barbara was made to stay on the ship for the majority of the story.

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