Sunday, June 02, 2013

The Sensorites

Meet the Sensorites
(Ken Tyllsen and Joe Greig)
Six episodes (Strangers in Space, The Unwilling Warriors, Hidden Danger, A Race Against Death, Kidnap, A Desperate Venture)
First broadcast Jun 20 to Aug 1 1964
Average audience for serial: 6.92m

William Hartnell (The Doctor) Jan 8 1908 to Apr 23 1975 (heart failure after a series of strokes) For a full career biography for William Hartnell, click here.

William Russell (Ian Chesterton) Born Nov 19 1924 For a full career biography for William Russell (aka Russell Enoch), click here.

Jacqueline Hill (Barbara Wright) Dec 17 1929 to Feb 18 1993 (bone cancer) For a full career biography for Jacqueline Hill, click here.

Carole Ann Ford (Susan) Born Jun 16 1940 For a full career biography for Carole Ann Ford, click here.


John Bailey (Commander) Jun 26 1912 to Feb 18 1989
Doctor Who credits
Played: Commander in The Sensorites (1964)
Played: Edward Waterfield in The Evil of the Daleks (1967)
Played: Sezom in The Horns of Nimon (1979-80)
Career highlights
Debuted as Till the End of Time (1946), then enjoyed roles in Romeo and Juliet (1947), It Happened in Soho (1948), The Night Won't Talk (1952), The Granville Melodramas (1955-56), The New Adventures of Charlie Chan (1957), Ivanhoe (1958/59), Ghost Squad (1963), Quick Before They Catch Us (1966), The Forsyte Saga (1967), The Champions (1969), Journey to the Unknown (1969), Steptoe and Son (1970), Van der Valk (1973), Thriller (1976), Return of the Saint (1978), Tales of the Unexpected (1983) and Personal Services (1987).
Alison Bailey has compiled a professional history for John (who was her father's first cousin) here.

Lorne Cossette (Maitland) Jul 21 1925 to Jan 7 2001
Career highlights
Lorne's acting career started with an Armchair Theatre (1959), followed by International Detective (1960), Seeing Things (1982), Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future (1988), The Twilight Zone (1989), Stolen Hearts (1996) and Darkman III (1996).

Stephen Dartnell (John) 1931 to 1994
Doctor Who credits
Played: Yartek in The Keys of Marinus (1964)
Played: John in The Sensorites (1964)
Career highlights
His other TV credits include Othello (1955), Oscar Wilde (1960), A Tale of Two Cities (1965) and A Man Like That (1966). He directed a number of stage plays in Glasgow in the 1970s.
In The Front Legs of a Cow, the 2011 biography of Steptoe and Son star Harry H Corbett written by his daughter Susannah, Harry Greene (later to become a TV DIY expert, and father to Attack of the Cybermen actress Sarah Greene) tells the story of an incident in the early 1950s when Stephen (who was gay) was the target of homophobic abuse and had paint thrown over him by a youth. That youth then went home and told his father that Stephen had propositioned him, so his father went to the police. When it came to court, the judge through it out for being indefensible and the youth and his father were fined for wasting police time and perjury. However, Stephen was kicked out of Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop, as was Harry Greene for sticking up for him. Throughout this affair, Stephen was also supported by Harry H Corbett.

Eric Francis (First Elder) Mar 21 1912 to Jun 7 1991
Career highlights
Eric's earliest credit was in Devil on Horseback (1954), followed by Big Guns (1958), Emergency Ward 10 (1962), Sat'day While Sunday (1967), On the Buses (1970-71), The Troubleshooters (1971), Theatre of Blood (1973), Happy Ever After (1974), Dominic (1976), Survivors (1977), Danger UXB (1979), To Serve Them All My Days (1980), The Meaning of Life (1983), That's My Boy (1985), Don't Wait Up (1986), Mr Majeika (1989), Chancer (1990) and The Bill (1991).

Peter Glaze (Third Sensorite [aka City Administrator]) Sep 17 1917 to Feb 20 1983 (heart attack)
Career highlights
Peter started out as a comedy actor in the likes of Together Again (1957) and Whack-O! (1958) but in 1960 started working on the children's series Crackerjack which made him famous. He appeared on the show until 1979, during which he developed comedy sketches which helped popularise the phrase "Don't get your knickers in a twist". Peter also often used the phrase "Doh!", after silent movie star James Finlayson, long before it became synonymous with The Simpsons. Other TV work included The Strange World of Gurney Slade (1960), Hancock (1961), Billy Bunter of Greyfriars School (1961), Dixon of Dock Green (1964), The Fenn Street Gang (1972), The Sweeney (1975), Suez 1956 (1979) and The Royal Variety Performance (1982).

Joe Greig (Second Sensorite/ Scientist, Warrior) Mar 14 1922 to Jan 14 2014
Career highlights
Joe's career began with Kidnapped (1956), followed by roles in Huntingtower (1957), The Splendid Spur (1960), The Saint (1967), Spring and Port Wine (1970), Doomwatch (1971), Sutherland's Law (1973), Public Eye (1975), Dead Ernest (1982), Bluebell (1986), Taggart (1990), Strathblair (1993), Grange Hill (1996), Hamish Macbeth (1996-97) and The Nine Lives of Tomas Katz (2000).

Martyn Huntley (First human)
Doctor Who credits
Played: First human in The Sensorites (1964)
Played: Roboman in The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964)
Played: Warren Earp in The Gunfighters (1966)
Career highlights
Martyn subsequently appeared in United! (1965), A Farewell to Arms (1966), The Spanish Farm (1968) and Z Cars (1969).

Gerry Martin (Sensorite)
Career highlights
Gerry's other work includes No Hiding Place (1964), Mystery and Imagination (1970), A Bridge Too Far (1977), The Professionals (1980), Swamp Thing (1992) and Thunder in Paradise II (1994).

Bartlett Mullins (Second Elder) Aug 13 1904 to May 15 1992
Doctor Who credits
Played: Second Elder in The Sensorites (1964)
Played: Elder in The Savages (1966, uncredited)
Career highlights
Bartlett's earliest role was in Dancing with Crime (1947), then Gone to Earth (1950), Clementina (1954), Nicholas Nickleby (1957), Danger Man (1961), Bootsie and Snudge (1963), Cluff (1965), Adam Adamant Lives! (1966), Frankenstein Created Woman (1967), Adventure Weekly (1969), Bright's Boffins (1970), Sex and the Other Woman (1972), Sez Les (1972), Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (1974), Secret Army (1977), The Cedar Tree (1978), House of Caradus (1979), Frankie Howerd Strikes Again (1981) and Tom, Dick and Harriet (1982). Bartlett will be best remembered for playing Mr Clough in the sitcom The Likely Lads (1964-66).

Arthur Newall (Fourth Sensorite) 1927 to May 2007
This was Arthur's only acting credit apart from The Campaign (1965). He later became a Conservative councillor in the London borough of Enfield, serving as chairman of the Conservative Train Unionists.
1994: Officer of the order of the British Empire (OBE) for political and public service

Giles Phibbs (Second Human) Jan 18 1934 to Aug 2014
Career highlights
Giles debuted in Doctor Who, then went on to appear in For Whom the Bell Tolls (1965), The Troubleshooters (1971), Vampire Circus (1972), and The Chief (1990).

Ilona Rodgers (Carol) Born Apr 28 1942
Career highlights
Ilona's acting career began with an ITV Play of the Week called Conspiracy of Silence (1963), followed by Adam Adamant Lives! (1966), The Beverly Hillbillies (1968), Strange Report (1970), The Sullivans (1976), Special Squad (1984), Anzacs (1985), Riding High (1995), Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995/97), Shortland Street (2003/05), Rest for the Wicked (2011), Chronic (2013) and Syrenia (2015). However, she has enjoyed numerous long-running roles in TV series, including Nurse Sarah Smith in Emergency Ward 10 (1962-64), Zara Moonbeam in Prisoner: Cell Block H (1983), Margaret Dunne in Sons and Daughters (1983-85), Maxine Redfern in Gloss (1987-90) and Hilda Burton in The New Adventures of Black Beauty (1990-91).
Ilona moved out to New Zealand between 1973-78, then to Australia until the mid-1980s, when she relocated to New Zealand.
In 2014 Toby Hadoke released his Who's Round interview with Ilona here.

Anthony Rogers (Sensorite)
Career highlights
Other credits include Romeo and Juliet (1962), Combat! (1965) and Camelot (1967).

Ken Tyllsen (First Sensorite/ Scientist) 1939 to Jun 11 2014
Doctor Who credits
Played: First Sensorite/ Scientist in The Sensorites (1964)
Played: Mechanoid in The Chase (1965)
Played: Dalek in The Evil of the Daleks (1967)
Career highlights
Ken's other credited TV work included Doctor in the House (1970), but he had also worked for the Royal Ballet and National Theatre.
Since the 1980s Ken was a member and vice-president of the Adlerian Society, the Institute for Individual Psychology and Counselling, and worked closely with the mental health charity MIND. There are some lovely tributes to Ken from fellow Adlerians here.


Peter R Newman (writer) Jun 4 1926 to Feb 22 1975 (cerebral haemorrhage)
Career highlights
Peter's only other writing credit was for Yesterday's Enemy, a television play which was later turned into a screenplay (1958/59). Sadly after writing The Sensorites, Peter developed chronic writer's block and took a job as a porter at London's Tate Gallery. It was here that he fell down a flight of stairs and hit his head on an iron radiator, which led to his untimely death aged 48. A very moving tribute to Peter appears on the DVD for this story.

Mervyn Pinfield (director (episodes 1-4) & associate producer) Feb 28 1912 to May 20 1966 Click here for Mervyn Pinfield's entry on An Unearthly Child

Frank Cox (director, episodes 5-6) Born May 28 1940
Doctor Who credits
Directed: The Edge of Destruction (episode 2, 1964), The Sensorites (episodes 5-6, 1964)
Career highlights
Frank's first directing job was on Doctor Who, followed by work on The Revenue Men (1967), The Troubleshooters (1969), Doomwatch (1970), The View from Daniel Pike (1973), Warship (1973), Sutherland's Law (1974), Softly Softly: Task Force (1969-1976), Byron: A Personal Tour (1981), The Brief (1984), Flying Lady (1987), EastEnders (1988) and High Road (1990-91). He also produced Sutherland's Law (1974-76), A Life at Stake (1978), Spy! (1980), Escape (1980), CATS Eyes (1985) and High Road (1992-93).
Frank's wife was actress Bridget Turner, who appeared in the 2007 Doctor Who story Gridlock.

Verity Lambert (producer) Nov 27 1935 to Nov 22 2007 (cancer) Click here for Verity Lambert's entry on An Unearthly Child

David Whitaker (story editor) Apr 18 1928 to Feb 4 1980 (cancer) Click here for David Whitaker's entry on An Unearthly Child

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