Neither good, nor bad. Neither great, nor terrible. Neither the alpha nor the omega. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you six episodes of pure “meh”.
Ok, to be fair, the first episode is decent, and ends with one heck of a cliffhanger image. The sight of a Sensorite face peering in at our crew is nicely staged and worked very well. Clearly the director knew what he was doing.
Alas, that didn’t save the story as a whole.
It’s hard to say exactly where this story went wrong. That it’s six episodes really isn’t a great thing and doesn’t help the situation. If this were compressed into a tighter package it might be better. Six episode stories can and do work (“The Talons of Weng-Chiang” and “Genesis of the Daleks”, for example), but in this early era they’re really a very, very mixed bag.
But I don’t know that fewer episodes would have helped that much, because at the end, we’re still left with a fairly mundane premise that’s executed in a very boring fashion. It’s made worse by the fact that the Sensorites don’t have much to distinguish them visually, and it’s also not helped that Barbara was MIA for two episodes due to the actress being on vacation.
This isn’t to say that this is a bad story; no, it doesn’t even reach up to that level. It really is just a basic dull, boring, plodding story with nothing really to distinguish itself. And that’s that.
|Writer||Peter R. Newman|
|Director||Mervyn Pinfield(episodes 1-4)
Frank Cox (episodes 5-6)
|Script editor||David Whitaker|
Mervyn Pinfield(associate producer)
|Incidental music composer||Norman Kay|
|Length||6 episodes, 25 minutes each|
|Date started||20 June 1964|
|Date ended||1 August 1964|
Next episode: “Land of the Dead”
Next story: “The Reign of Terror”