Which One : Tegan’s return bout with the Mara.
Cast : The Doctor : Peter Davison
Tegan : Janet Fielding
Nyssa : Sarah Sutton
Lon : Martin Clunes
Tanha : Colette O’Neil
Ambril : John Carson
Dojjen : Preston Lockwood
Chela : Jonathon Morris
Dugdale : Brian Miller
Hawker : George Ballantine
Megaphone Man : Brian Grellis
Puppeteer : Barry Smith
Fortune Teller : Hilary Sesta
Written By : Christopher Bailey
First UK Broadcast : 18 – 26 January 1983.
Length : 4 x 25 minute parts.
Plot : The Doctor takes Nyssa and Tegan to the planet of Manussa, where Tegan begins to have nightmarish Mara flashbacks.
Whats good : It’s another ‘Mara’ episode. Tegan gets another much needed character airing. Martin Clunes as a new-romantic with lipstick and chandelier earrings.
Whats bad : The story is a little muddled and overly detailed and lacks the deep spiritual punch of Kinda. Martin Clunes as a new-romantic with lipstick and chandelier earrings.
Review With Spoilers : Snakedance is the follow-up to Kinda. It came about due to the surprisingly good reception to Kinda, from the fanbase.
Season 20 was intended as each episode featuring a different past classic villain. Snakedance was different in that the Mara had appeared in the previous season but was not a classic villain (not at the time anyway!).
Snakedance gave Tegan another chance to take centre-stage and play an evil version of herself, possessed by the Mara. It was a rare stretch for a companion to get so much material and shows how highly Tegan was thought of – as a companion.
Meanwhile, Martin Clunes of Men Behaving Badly fame pops up in this; bizarrely dressed as a new-romantic, wearing lipstick and earrings. But bizarrely, he’s quite good – as ‘Lon’, the lazy rich son of a great Manussan hero.
“The still point is within yourself, nowhere else! To destroy the Mara, you must find the still point!” Dojjen
When compared to its predecessor – Kinda, Snakedance does not have the same religious or spiritual deepness.
It plays much more as a straight episode of Who and as a result does not have the same impact or memorability. The Mara special effects have definitely improved though, when it comes to showing a giant snake.
Still, if you take the two Mara adventures as a whole, then you have two unique stories which stand out from the plethora of other samey monster episodes – from Who’s past.
If you liked Kinda, then you may like this also but it’s definitely not as good as it’s predecessor.