Thursday, 26 January 2023

593 Snakedance: Part Four

EPISODE: Snakedance: Part Four
TRANSMITTED: Wednesday 26 January 1983
WRITER: Christopher Bailey
DIRECTOR: Fiona Cumming
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 7.4 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Mara Tales (Kinda / Snakedance)

"Now the Great Snake has come to claim his own. Who has the power to turn away his face? Which one of you has the strength to turn away? Who can protect us now?"

Tanha interrupts and questions the Doctor, which allows him to escape with Nyssa & Chela. The Doctor uses the crystal to summon Dojjen and, as the ceremony starts with a giant snake costume winding it's way through the market streets, the Doctor confers with Dojjen telepathically through the Snakedance ceremony. Lon breaks character from his role in the ceremony, smashing a fake crystal and takes the real one to place in the snake's mouth and as he does so all present are affected by the Crystal's power. The snake Tegan carries grows to giant size and feeds off the fear of the crowd. The Doctor uses his crystal to find the still point inside him and resists the Mara with Dojjen's telepathic help. He removes the great crystal, severing the Mara's power, killing the snake and freeing Tegan from the Mara's power.

Finally the Doctor gets to do something in this story, but it's very little and very late. He's a curiously inactive figure during this story.

4a 4b

It's this episode that the frequently seen clip of Martin Clunes is sourced from. It is a *VERY* silly costume!

We'd only caught glimpses of former director of antiquities Dojjen in episodes 1 & 3, with him being completely absent for episode two. He's more visible here, but only gets to interact with the Doctor, Nyssa & Chela in sequences prefilmed at Ealing. Dojjen is played by actor Preston Lockwood: it's worth a look at his CV on IMDB to see how much he's been in! He was Stephen Wentworth in 5 episodes of Tenko, Canon Pennyfather in Miss Marple At Bertram's Hotel, Coriakin in part 3 of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the College Chaplain in one of my favourite episodes of Inspector Morse Absolute Conviction, Francois in Agatha Christie's Poirot The Chocolate Box and plays Sir Watkyn Bassett's butler Butterfield in the Jeeves and Wooster episodes Totleigh Towers (or, Trouble at Totleigh Towers) and The Ex's Are Nearly Married Off (or, the Ties That Bind) . There's a couple of film roles on his CV that caught my eye: he's in Time Bandits as Neguy and as a Man at Concert in Electric Dreams.

c4 1 Dojeen c4 2 Attendant

Ambril’s Attendant, who's been in the previous episodes but is only clearly seen here, is Chris Holmes who was a U.N.I.T. Soldier in Day of the Daleks, a Guard in The Time Monster, a Miner in The Monster of Peladon, a Muto in Genesis of the Daleks, a Peasant, Traveller, Workman Peasant, Brother & Soldier in The Masque of Mandragora, a Time Lord in Invasion of Time, a Citizen in Full Circle and a Plasmaton in Time-Flight. He returns as an Orderly in Frontios, a City Person on Street in Attack of the Cybermen, a Native in Trial of a Time Lord Mysterious Planet and a Genius in Time and the Rani. In In Blake's 7 he was a Federation Trooper in The Way Back, a Prisoner in Space Fall & Cygnus Alpha, a Mutoid in Duel & Project Avalon, a Star One Technician in Star One and a Hi-tech Patient in Powerplay. He also is in A Perfect Spy episode 3 as the Second Reporter.

Brian Grellis , playing the Megaphone Man who's directing the ceremony was under makeup as the Vogan Sheprah in Revenge of the Cybermen and Safran in The Invisible Enemy.

c4 3 Megaphone c4 4 Snakedancer

Playing the Ceremonial Snake Holder in this episode we have Ray Lavender who was the Taran Wood Beast & a Gracht Guard in Androids of Tara, a Skonnan Elder in Horns of the Nimon and one of the Pangol Army in The Leisure Hive. In Blake's 7 he's a Guard in City in City at the Edge of the World. The DWAS Production file says he's in the first two episodes as well: now I know what he looks like I'll have to go back and see if I can spot him.

Likewise the DWAS Production file says that the two Demons are in the first two episodes as well: I certainly haven't spotted those costumes previously and with the masks I haven't a hope of IDing the actors elsewhere! However episode two did have a pair of young men enter the Fortune Teller's place together - are these the same actors? Demon 1 is Derek Holt who was also in Blake's 7 in The Way Back & Space Fall as a Prisoner. Demon 2 is Fred Redford who Visitor Lomon in The Leisure Hive, a Foster & Citizen in Keeper of Traken. and a Male Passenger in Time Flight.

c4 5 Demon c5 6 Demons

There's some more extras in just this episode as part of the Crowd at the Caves.

Penny Lambirth was a member of the SRS Audience in Robot and a Peasant/Traveller/Female Guest in Masque of Mandragora She later plays a Crewmember in Resurrection of the Daleks, Citizen/Unbeliever in Planet of Fire and one of the City People in Street in Attack of the Cybermen.

Robert Smythe had been a Guard in Invasion of Time, a Guard in Creature from the Pit and a Citizen in Full Circle. He returns as the Police Constable in Mawdryn Undead, a Citizen/Unbeliever in Planet of Fire, a Gunruner in Caves of Androzani, a Jacondan Guard in The Twin Dilemma, a Guard in Vengeance on Varos, He'd been in Blake's 7 as a Federation Trooper in Weapon, a Crimo in Hostage, a Albian Rebel / Federation Trooper in Countdown, a Federation Trooper in Voice from the Past, a Customer / Gambler in Gambit and a Federation Trooper / Rebel in Rumours of Death. In Red Dwarf he plays Hermann Goering in Meltdown.

Crowd Caves (2) Crowd Caves

Rosemary Smith was a Castrovalvan Woman in Castrovalva. She was a barmaid in the second episode of Knights of God and played a Married Woman in the Sherlock (TV series) episode A Scandal in Belgravia.

Alan Talbot was in Black Orchid as a Cricketer/Spectator and returns in The Mark of the Rani as Tom. In the Timothy Dalton James Bond film The Living Daylights he is Koskov's KGB Minder.

Hazel Cave was in Time Flight as a Lady Passenger (45-50). In Monty Python's Flying Circus she was a Guest at Award Ceremony in It's a Living.

Dale Warren returns as a Resistance Fighter in Trial of a Timelord episode 8 while Patrick Shepherd later plays a Mercenary in Dragonfire.

Paul de Gallier, Alison Neil, Lee Fyles and Elaine Hopkins aren't in Doctor Who again and I haven't seen them in anything else.

4c 4d

The episode is decent enough and well made but it's nothing special. Lots of people like Snakedance but I just can't get into it. Of the two Christopher Bailey Mara tales I much prefer Kinda. The previous two stories in sequence - Time Flight & Arc of Infinity - had huge flaws whereas this one just leaves me cold.

4f 4g

The episode is actually missing it's ending in a 2 minute scene where a crowd congratulates The Doctor, Abril, Tanha & Lon apologise for disbelieving the Doctor and The Doctor tells them it's their decision as to if they should destroy the Great Crystal

Snakedance was novelised by Terrance Dicks in 1984. It was released on video in December 1994, just after it's prequel Kinda. Both stories were released on DVD in the Doctor Who - Mara Tales boxset on 7th March 2011.

No comments:

Post a Comment