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The Sensorites by Nigel Robinson

01/06/2012. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy The Sensorites in the USA - or Buy The Sensorites in the UK

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pub: Audio Go/BBC. 5 CDs 358 minute story. Price: CD: 13.25 (UK), Download: 6.74 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-44589-235-1). read by: William Russell.

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This audio is a 2012 release of a new recording of the novelisation of the Doctor Who series, 'The Sensorites'. Originally transmitted in 1964, the novelisation was written much later in 1987 by Nigel Robinson from the scripts by Peter R. Newman. This is read by William Russell, who played Ian Chesterton in the series with the First Doctor. Originally six weekly episodes, the novelisation has five CDs and a running time of six hours which effectively doubles the original screen time.

When the Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan arrive on a spaceship, they find only two crew members aboard who appear to be dead but when the 'dead' revive they reveal a shocking truth. They are prisoners of the race known as the Sensorites who inhabit the planet they are in orbit around. Soon the Doctor and his companions are also prisoners as the Sensorites deny them access to the TARDIS.

As the Doctor tries to broker an alliance, the travellers must split up as the Doctor, Ian and Susan travel to the surface of the Sense-Sphere to meet their captors. There they encounter fear and intrigue, on an isolated planet afraid of interlopers. It will be down to the travellers to save themselves and the Sensorites from the hidden threats.

As the blurb says, this is a more in-depth look at the Doctor and his companions. Susan gets a lot of time as she is able to use her telepathic abilities as enhanced by the Sensorites. The Doctor, too, is made slightly more cuddly and empathetic than he often appears in his original incarnation. This may be inferred from small gestures but also, as the novelisation came later, using his other incarnations as a guide to how we want to see him.

'The Sensorites' is a good traditional tale and offers quite a lot of plot. As read by William Russell, it is of course a delight. He is able to interpret and present the text in a way that is always interesting including his own version of the voice of the First Doctor. The plot unfolds at a leisurely pace and it retains the feeling of the original series, conjuring up that era beautifully.

The series of novelisation audios by AudioGo is proving to be a great addition to the range of audios available to the 'Doctor Who' enthusiast.

Sue Davies

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