Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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Snakedance: Part Four 

Escaping from jail and rescued from execution by Tanha, the Doctor escapes to find Dojjen. Will he finally be able to defeat the Mara?

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Ambril
Colette O'Neil ...
Tanha
Preston Lockwood ...
Dojjen
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Lon
Jonathon Morris ...
Chela (as Johnathon Morris)
Brian Miller ...
Brian Grellis ...
Megaphone Man
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Storyline

Escaping from jail and rescued from execution by Tanha, the Doctor escapes to find Dojjen. Will he finally be able to defeat the Mara?

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fifth doctor | celery | australian | See All (3) »


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26 January 1983 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This episode was watched by 7.4 million viewers on its original transmission. See more »

Quotes

Dojjen: Fear is the only poison.
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Connections

Featured in Friday Night with Jonathan Ross: Episode #16.11 (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One is not impressed.

Doctor Who: Snakedance: Part Four starts as the Doctor (Peter Davison), Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) & Chela (Jonathon Morris) head off in search of Dojjen (Preston Lockwood) who has the knowledge to beat the Mara, using venom from a snake the two telepathically communicate where Dojjen informs the Doctor that to beat the Mara he must have no fear & find the 'still point' within himself. Back at the ceremony the possessed Lon (Martin Clunes) places the Great Crystal in the carved space in the cave wall & the Mara is finally released from inside Tegan (Janet Fielding) & forms itself into a giant snake, the Doctor rushes in but it seems he is too late...

Episode 8 from season 20 this Doctor Who adventure originally aired here in the UK during January 1983, directed by Fiona Cumming one has to say that I think Snakedance is pretty rubbish on all fronts. The script by Christopher Bailey has tried to be thoughtful, intelligent & different but in my opinion at the expense of excitement, fun & entertainment. In fact by a strange coincidence the previous two Doctor Who serials that I watched prior to Snakedance were Day of the Daleks (1972) from season nine & The Deadly Assassin (1976) from season fourteen both of which were thoughtful, intelligent & well written sci-fi tales but at the same time they still managed to be nothing but entertaining & fun with some great action scenes, some good monsters & imaginative settings. When you compare a throughly bland & dull story like Snakedance which spends most of it's running time either repeating itself or on silly exposition there is a very definite & unfavourable distinction. By the way what happened to Ambril? He just seems to have suddenly disappeared. Then there's all this talk of the 'still point' inside oneself, I was half expecting to hear Dojjen tell the Doctor to take up Feng Shui as well! Total nonsense that just failed to grip or engage me at all.

There are a couple of notable aspects in Part Four, in particular Lon's ceremonial dress. LOL. You have to see it to believe it, it's truly embarrassing & I bet Martin Clunes felt like a right plonker wearing it. It's as camp & hideous & funny looking as you can imagine. I bet Peter Davison rips into it during the DVD commentary. Then there's the eventual appearance of the Mara as a large rubber snake, the shot of it growing bigger isn't too bad but then it just stays there motionless, it doesn't do anything or move & while the actual snake effect isn't too bad it poses no sort of threat. As a whole Snakedance hasn't been scary & there's been little in the way of special effects. While being edited Part Four was apparently found to overrun badly & some scenes had to be cut including a discussion about the fate of the Great Crytsal & a scene inside the TARDIS in which the Doctor talks to Tegan was actually used in the first episode of the next story The Mawdryn Undead: Part One (1983).

Snakedance: Part Four is a limp unintentionally funny (Lon's costume, LOL) ending to a lacklustre & frankly boring four part story. Overall I will give Snakedance a lowly four stars out of ten across it's four episodes. I still can't believe that costume though, what were they thinking & just how did everyone keep a straight face?


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