Wednesday, 18 January 2023

590 Snakedance: Part One

EPISODE: Snakedance: Part One
TRANSMITTED: Tuesday 18 January 1983
WRITER: Christopher Bailey
DIRECTOR: Fiona Cumming
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 6.7 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Mara Tales (Kinda / Snakedance)

"I'm still possessed, aren't I, Doctor? The Mara from the world of the Kinda is still inside my head somewhere, isn't it?"

In the Tardis Tegan suffers tormented dreams of a cave with a snake mouth. The Doctor realises she has subconsciously set the Tardis co-ordinates for Manussa, the former homeworld of the Sumaran empire. Manussa still celebrates the banishing of the Mara from their world, but few now believe the legend of the return of the Mara from a dream. Rigging a device to cut out the dream's influence on Tegan, the Doctor & Nyssa take her to find the cave but she will not enter. The Doctor does and encounters the wife & son of the Federator, Tanha & Lon, being given a tour of the caves by Ambril, the Director of Historical Research. Ambril does not believe the Doctor's story that the Mara is trying to return through his companion and when he takes them to see Tegan they find her gone, having fled into the market when scared by a hawker selling toy snakes. She is taken in by a fortune teller who removes the Doctor's device. As the teller looks into her Crystal Ball a snake's skull appears and grows with the crystal ball shattering and the Mara assuming full control of Tegan.

1a 1b

Yeah that wasn't too bad at all, far better than the last eight episodes. OK Lon is annoying but I think he's meant to be. The dream stuff is nice, and reminiscent of the earlier Mara tale, Kinda, and the snake skull in the crystal ball, which then explodes is a very nice image. But who on Earth came up with Nyssa's new costume? That's the worst one I've seen since Sarah-Jane's Andy Pandy outfit in Hand of Fear. Fortunately it isn't around for long!

1c 1d

But, you say, didn't we see the Mara destroyed on Deva Loka in Kinda? How come it's still here now? Here's two possible solutions: either it left something in Tegan's mind when it left her to go to Aris OR it re-entered Tegan at the point she peaked inside the ring of mirrors (go back and have a look, she does) towards the end of the episode.

2y Kinda4

There's an episode later on which barely features anyone beyond the main cast so we'll look at them here. There's a couple of actors that only appear in this episode. Playing the Hawker who scares Tegan with the toy snake is George Ballantine who was a Prisoner & Audience Member in Mind of Evil, Android Villager in Android Invasion, Federico’s Servant in Masque of Mandragora, a Death Grade in The Sunmakers a Logopolitan in Logopolis and a Castrovalvan Man in Castrovalva This is his last Doctor Who appearance.

c1e Hawker c1f FT

The Fortune Teller is Hilary Sesta. She appears in Jeeves and Wooster as Emmeline in Bertie Takes Gussie's Place at Deverill Hall (or, Right Ho! Jeeves) and Jonathan Creek as the Bag Lady in Mother Redcap.

There's A LOT of extras in the Crowd in the Marketplace. A LOT!!!! So in order of first appearance on the show we have:

Mark Allington who had worked on the show the longest, first appearing as a Male Guardian in The Ark then a Settler in The Gunfighters and, after a considerable gap, a Unit Soldier in The Android Invasion then after another smaller gap a Castrovalvan Warrior in Castrovalva. He returns as a Schoolmaster in Mawdryn Undead. In Blake's 7 he is a Star One Technician in Star One and in Fawlty Towers he's a Hotel Guest in The Wedding Party.

Monique Bryant was a Control room Operator in the Ice Warriors, a Technician in Seeds of Death, a Colonist in Colony in Space and returns as a Drone in the Happiness Patrol. In Blake's 7 she is a Mutoid in Project Avalon and in Moonbase 3 she's a Technician in Achilles Heel, Castor and Pollux & View of a Dead Planet.

Karen Burch Daleks’ Girl Technicians in Day of the Daleks and one of the Sisterhood of Karn in Brain of Morbius. She appears in Blake's 7 as a Pyroan in Volcano.

Mary Rennie was a Kitchen Hag in Time Warrior a villager in Planet of Spiders, a peasant/traveller in Masque of Mandragora, a guide in The Leisure Hive and a citizen in Full Circle. She returns as a citizen in Planet of Fire.

Crowd a Crowd b

Pamela Dale had been a member of the SRS audience in Robot.

Nancy Adams was also a member of the SRS audience and plays a Rezzie in Paradise Towers. In Quatermass and the Pit she's a Woman in Crowd in The Enchanted and a Sightseer in Hob, she appeared in An Age of Kings Part Six: Uneasy Lies the Head and was in the Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em episode Frank Goes Over the Edge as an Extra in the Library.

John Beardmore had been a Thal General in Genesis of the Daleks and returns as Captain Revere in Frontios. In Monty Python's Flying Circus he was The Very Late Rev. Prebendary Ross in E. Henry Thripshaw's Disease and he was a Slave in the I, Claudius episode Reign of Terror.

This story is a last Doctor Who appearance for Derek Suthern was a Path Lab Technician in The Hand of Fear, a Mentiad in The Pirate Planet, a Gracht Guard in The Androids of Tara, a Mute in The Armageddon Factor, a Guard in The Creature from the Pit, a Mandrel in Nightmare of Eden and a Guard in The Horns of Nimon. He was only stopped from appearing in FIVE consecutive stories by his role as a Krarg in Shada not being broadcast: he's the Krarg that was recorded rampaging round the decaying Think Tank in episodes 4 & 5. He then played an Argolin Guides in The Leisure Hive, the ill fated PC Davis in Logopolis, a Cricketer in Black Orchid and a Policeman in Time Flight. In Blake's 7 he plays a Federation Trooper in The Way Back, a Scavenger in Deliverance, a Federation Trooper in both Trial & Countdown, a Customer / Gambler in Gambit, a Hommik Warrior in Power and a Space Princess Guard / Passenger in Gold. He too was in The Spy Who Loved Me as an Atlantis Guard. He's a Hotel Guest in the Fawlty Towers episodes The Germans and The Psychiatrist and appears as an Atlantis Guard in the Roger Moore James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.

Douglas Auchterlonie was one of the Complex Personnel in Hand of Fear and one of the Pangol Army in The Leisure Hive. Given his slightly unusual surname is the Delphine without a surname, mentioned in the Production File for this story as being in the crowd, the similarly named Delphine Auchterlonie who was a Court lady in Androids of Tara.

Victor Reynolds
had been a Time Lord in Invasion of Time and a Grecian Man in Four to Doomsday.

Geoffrey Whitestone was a Tourist in the Louvre in City of Death, one of the Pangol Army in The Leisure Hive and a Tigellan in Meglos. He returns as the Court Clerk in Trial of a Timelord: Mysterious Planet. In Blake's 7 he was a Star One Technician in Star One. Whereas some of the crowd take a break for episodes 2 or 3, he's the only one of the crowd not to return after episode 2.

Steve Whyment had been a Citizen in Keeper of Traken, a Security Guard in Logopolis, a Kinda in Kinda and Trooper Brooks in Earthshock, a trio of Peter Grimwade productions. In Blake's 7 he was in Stardrive as a Space Rat, Warlord as a Federation Trooper and Blake as a Plantation Bounty Hunter.

Sally Gardener was a Castrovalvan woman in Castrovalva.

Tina Winter was down to appear in Castrovalva as a Castrovalvan Woman but was replaced for the recording. In Fawlty Towers she's a Hotel Guest in The Kipper and the Corpse.

I can't spot anything else I've seen Valerio Martinez, Angela Delaney, Kenneth Goodfellow, April Love, Linda Carroll or Gaenor Rees (who is possibly one or both of the Gaynor Morgan Rees' on IMDB who were active at around that time?) in.

Crowd c Cave Crowd Episode 1

Four actors are specifically noted as being in the cave crowd and you get a decent looks at them with the Hawker as The Doctor, Tegan and Nyssa enter the cave.

Peter Roy was a Greek Soldier in The Myth Makers, an English Soldier in The Highlanders, an Airport Police Sergeant & Chauffeur in The Faceless Ones, a UNIT & Bunker Man in The Invasion, a Security Guard in The Seeds of Death, a Passenger/Plague Victim/Passersby/Ambulance Man/Policeman in Doctor Who and the Silurians, a Policeman in Mind of Evil, Technic Obarl in Hand of Fear, a Guard in The Face of Evil, a Guard in The Sun Makers, a Gallifreyan Guard in The Invasion of Time, a Gracht Guard & one of Zadek's Guards in The Androids of Tara a Guard in The Armageddon Factor, a Skonnan Guard in Horns of the Nimon, a Policeman in Logopolis, and an Ambulance Man in Castrovalva. He returns as a Van Driver in Resurrection of the Daleks. Like many extras at this time he has Blake's 7 form too appearing as a Citizen / Prisoner in The Way Back & Space Fall, an Alta Guard in Redemption, an Albian Rebel in Countdown and a Federation Trooper / Rebel in Rumours of Death. He was in Doomwatch as a man in Project Sahara and Flood. In the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy he plays the Limousine Chauffeur in episode 2. He's got a notable role in the James Bond film Thunderball where he played British Secret Agent 006. He has a less obvious appearance in Return of the Jedi as Major Olander Brit but that hasn't stopped the character from getting a Wookipedia page!

There's a Patricia Roy - possibly this one on IMDB? - playing the lone woman in the Cave Croud as well: is that Peter's wife/sister?

Terry Sartain had previously appeared as an Alien Technician & American Soldier in the War Games, a Warrior in The Mutants, a Draconian in Frontier in Space, a UNIT Soldier in The Three Doctors, an Exxilon in Death to the Daleks, a SRS Bouncer in Robot, an Android UNIT Soldier in Android Invasion, a Brethren Member in Masque of Mandragora, a Timelord in Deadly Assassin a Customers in Modern Art Gallery in City of Death, and a Gundam in Warrior's Gate. He was in Doomwatch as Minister's P.P.S. / Man in Club / Man at Palazzo in The Killer Dolphins and in Blake's 7 as a Crewman in Spacefall and a Hooded Figure in Cygnus Alpha.

Lionel Sansby was a UNIT Soldier in the Silurians, one of the Complex Personnel in Hand of Fear, a Passenger in Nightmare of Eden, would have been a Krarg in Shada, plays a Cricketer in Black Orchid and a Passenger in Time Flight. His last Doctor Who role is later this season as a Lazar in Terminus. In Blake's 7 he was a Federation Trooper in Seek-Locate-Destroy and in Doomwatch he was a Man in No Room for Error.

This story was filmed straight after Time Flight and before Arc of Infinity ensuring, yet again, that this season had it's episodes shown out of production order. The last year that the episodes were shown in the order they were made was season 16, the Key to Time stories.

No comments:

Post a Comment