Number : Season 20, serial 2 of 6.

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 episodes.

Plot : The Doctor takes Nyssa and Tegan, to the planet of Manussa; where Tegan begins to have more Mara flashbacks.

Whats good : It’s another ‘Mara’ story. 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 a showcase with each story, featuring a different classic villain. Snakedance was different, in that the Mara had recently appeared in the previous season (19) but was not a classic villain. However was regarded enough, to get a reprise.

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 obviously thought of; as a companion (having left and returned again – at beginning of season 20).

Meanwhile, Martin Clunes of Men Behaving Badly fame, pops up; bizarrely dressed as a new-romantic, wearing lipstick and earrings. But again, 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 punch or spiritual deepness.

It plays much more as a straight creature-feature story and as a result, does not have the same impact or memorability. The Mara special effects have definitely improved in this, when it came 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 past stories.

If you liked Kinda, then you may like this, also but it’s definitely not – as good, as it’s predecessor.

🔵🔵🔘⚪⚪ (2.5/5)

Old Doctor Who

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