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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Episode complete credited cast:
Colette O'Neil ...
Preston Lockwood ...
Jonathon Morris ...
Chela (as Johnathon Morris)
Brian Miller ...
Brian Grellis ...
Megaphone Man


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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Release Date:

26 January 1983 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


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


Dojjen: Fear is the only poison.
See more »


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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