Number : Season 19, episode 2 of 7.

Which One : A snake-entity possesses Tegan.

Cast : The Doctor : Peter Davison
Tegan : Janet Fielding
Nyssa : Sarah Sutton
Adric : Matthew Waterhouse
Sanders : Richard Todd
Todd : Nerys Hughes
Hindle : Simon Rouse
Panna : Mary Morris
Karuna : Sarah Prince
Aris : Adrian Mills
Trickster : Lee Cornes
Dukkha : Jeff Stewart
Anatta : Anna Wing
Annica : Roger Milner

Written By : Christopher Bailey

Produced By : JNT

First UK Broadcast : 1 – 9 Febuary 1982.

Length : 4 x 25 minute parts.

Plot : The Doctor pilots the Tardis to the lush jungles of planet Deva Loka. Nyssa is left in the Tardis to rest, suffering from nervous exhaustion. The Doctor and Adric goto meet the local Kinda tribe and an Earth expedition team. Meanwhile, Tegan falls asleep at a sacred Kinda monument and is mentally attacked by a non-psychical being called – ‘The Mara’.

Whats good : It’s a well written and deeply religious spiritual and philosophical episode of Who.

Whats bad : Some of the execution is lacking and it doesn’t do the richness of the material justice.

Review With Spoilers : When most people mention Kinda, it is usually preceded by a groan and followed by “…..that weird one with the snake?”.

To be fair, Kinda is a much deeper episode than first glance would dictate. Infact, there are so many themes present, it will make your head swim. Religion, imperialism, colonialism and spiritualism – to name but a few of the subjects on offer here.

The central plot here is really about Tegan’s battle in the dreamworld, with a mental projection called ‘The Mara’. And with Nyssa not present, it gives Tegan and Adric the chance of some unfettered screentime.

The parallels between the oppressive Earth survey team and the oppressed Kinda tribes, smacks of British colonialism at its worst. Similarly, the Kinda tribe turn out not to be savages themselves, after all and are infact – very spiritually advanced.

“It is the Mara who now turn the wheel. It is the Mara who dance to the music of our despair. Our suffering is the Mara’s delight. Our madness – the Maras’ meat and drink. And now he has returned!” Panna

It comes across in tone very similar to an old episode of StarTrek called The Apple with the obvious indoor studio jungle set and weirdly done up tribal people. It does help give planet Deva Loka – a very odd, alien off-world quality though.

The reveal of The Mara at the end, is a poor special effect and does detract from what has been a scary monster throughout much of the episode; as it hides in Tegan’s mind, with only fleeting glimpses and suggestions.

Some other scenes are groaningly embarrassing including Panna’s weirdly laughable death and Adric trapped in the environmental suit going crazy.

However, the scenes of sleeping Tegan’s nightmare meetings with the Mara, are the best thing here. They are uncomfortable, well scripted and tightly shot. The best scenes of Kinda by far.

So if you can look past some of the failings of this production, you have a really deep story here; that deserves a watch, just for the many themes present.

🔵🔵🔵🔵⚪ (4/5)

Old Doctor Who

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