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Doctor Who: Snakedance (Story 125) (2011)

Peter Davison , Sarah Sutton , Fiona Cumming  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Doctor Who: Snakedance (Story 125) + Doctor Who: Kinda (Story 119) + Doctor Who: Arc of Infinity (Story 124)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding, Preston Lockwood
  • Directors: Fiona Cumming
  • Writers: Christopher Bailey
  • Producers: John Nathan-Turner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 12, 2011
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,475 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Doctor Who: Snakedance (Story 125)" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

"The TARDIS makes an unplanned landing on Manussa, where preparations are underway to celebrate the defeat of the Sumaran Empire five centuries earlier. But the ancient evil of the Mara lives on, and Tegan, who has been haunted by disturbing dreams since her time under the Windchimes on Deva Loka, is now a pawn in its plan to re-enter the physical world and subjugate the Manussan people. Only the Doctor can stop the Mara – but first he must convince the authorities that he is not just a deluded fool who believes in children’s fairytales."

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great episode; so-so DVD June 15, 2011
Snakedance is one of the most cerebral - and consequently one of the best - Doctor Who stories ever produced. Curiously, fans of the show have a tendency to under-value stories like this one, favoring "action-packed" or "scary" stuff like Earthshock and When a Good Man Goes to War. But, for me, Doctor Who is always at its best when it's being aggressively intelligent. Even now, the BBC can't match Hollywood in terms of action and spectacle; but they can produce good, thoughtful drama like Snakedance, which stands the test of time in every area except production values.

Perhaps the most unusual aspect of this story is that the main antagonist, Lon, is not totally evil as most Doctor Who villains are; he's merely bored and amoral, and so he is easily corrupted by the real villain of the piece, a malevolent psychic entity called the Mara. The Doctor, who is used to fighting more belligerent opponents, has a hard time convincing people that Lon is truly dangerous. Indeed, for most of this story, the Doctor comes across as some ranting doom merchant who is alternatively ignored and locked up by the very people he's trying to help. This makes an interesting - and surprisingly realistic - change of pace from the show's usual formula of making the Doctor powerful and very much in charge.

Christopher Bailey's script is interesting in many other ways, as it touches lightly but intelligently on issues such as religion, family, and our common failure to learn the appropriate lessons from history.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Where is the Great Crystal?!?" May 17, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Not exactly a sequel, but a decent follow-up to "Kinda", has the Doctor trying to stop the return of the Mara through Tegan. Janet Fielding makes a great vilianess. The design is wonderful. Davison is a tour de force trying to convince people of worldwide destruction. Love the archealogical spin on this story. And Lon is a great character. Another of one of the charming 5th Doctor Stories.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Snakedance is worthy sequel to Kinda February 17, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
"Where the winds of restlessness blow, where the fires of greed burn, where hatred chills the blood, here in the Great Mind's Eye, here in the depths of the human heart, here is the Mara." --from the diary of Dojjen.
Much like the later Season 25, Season 20 of Doctor Who had the Doctor confronting villains from his past. This time, it's a creature that only appeared in the previous season.
Tegan has given the Doctor the coordinates to Manussa, a planet of the Earth Federation that used to be part of the Manussan Empire and the Sumaran Empire--Su-Mara, in other words, empire of the Mara, the serpentine embodiment of evil that possessed Tegan in the Kinda story. The Doctor's fears that the Mara is back is confirmed, but he fits a device that prevents dreams from occurring in her subconscious. However, once on Manussa, she gets separated from the Doctor and Nyssa, result being that the Mara gains full control over her.
On Manussa, Lon, the young son of the Federator, is bored with affairs of state and spends his time idling on a sofa or behaving childishly, to the chagrin of his indulgent mother Tanha, who wishes he'd take an interest in his own planet's culture. Ambril, the Director of Historical Research, a pompous academic type who is enthusiastic about archaeology and history, is respectful to Lon nevertheless. He isn't bored much longer, as he is summoned by the owner of a hall of mirrors stall sent to fetch him. There, he meets Tegan, who sports a distinctive snake tattoo on her arm, which he acquires once he makes physical contact with her. She enlists him to get the Great Crystal, under the custodianship of Ambril.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The follow up to Kinda! The Mara is back again! April 9, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
In this episode we discover that Tegan is not free of the Mara from the Kinda world.The Mara makes the TARDIS land on the planet Manussa.Eventually the Mara is able to take over Tegan and plot it's return.The Doctor meanwhile tries telling everyone of impending doom for the whole planet!The Doctor suspects that the Mara has taken over Lon , a big government big wig. The Doctor must somehow learn the Snakedance defeat the Mara.The special effects are better than Kinda! Peter Davison and Janet Fielding are outstanding in their roles this time! The companions even change their clothes in this episode! It's a fun episode with a good follow up to Kinda! If you have Kinda ,be sure to buy this episode!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Am I free of the Mara, Doctor? April 30, 2000
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
The evil Mara from the previous season returns to haunt Tegan's dreams and then take control of her once again. This time, it manipulates her into steering the TARDIS to a world where it was banished centuries ago. Now, on the anniversary, the Mara plans to gain control of the world once again. A very good sequel to one of the best stories in Davison's time, Kinda.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
An adventure that leaves plenty of holes yet fills others left by KINDA (Story 119), and the two go well as companion pieces. In fact, I would strongly recommend getting both at the same time if you are considering getting one of them. I personally like exposition pieces as well as action driven Dr. Who serials, and I found SNAKEDANCE quite interesting with some really top-notch performances although much groaning was to be had from other supporting cast members over how much Martin Clunes had completely upstage them with his own acting.

In fact, much like purchasing the Douglas Adams scripted story, THE PIRATE PLANET (Story 99) to enjoy Adams' sheer wit in a Dr. Who environment, the strength of recommending this purchase is to see the magnificent, and very young, Martin Clunes not only in his very first televised appearance, but also to witness him wearing what I believe is possibly THE UGLIEST Dr. Who costume ever created in 50+ years of history. LOL

First time I saw it, I was stunned. And then the next thought came crashing into my befuddled brain, "Holy smokes, he looks like a 50s American housewife about to do a tub full of dishes!" Yes, the first glimpse of Clunes in that ... getup... is one that has and will haunt him forevermore.

Beyond that, I did find this is one of those adventures that will rely on the watcher to fill in the background bits and make connecting assumptions concerning motives in spite of the amount of standing exposition involved. For instance, I got the impression that throughout the four episodes, Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) was going through a "Daddy Syndrome" with the Doctor in how she was interacting and reacting. Neither the audio commentary or the Making-Of documentary mention this aspect, so like many other aspects concerning SNAKEDANCE, it will have to be a personal explanation of otherwise bizarre behavior on the surface. Still, that is one of the fun bits with Early Doctor Who, innit?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok
Snakedance is a good follow-up to Kinda. The story seemed a little slow and I didn't like Nyssa's outfit. I would rate it ok.
Published 4 months ago by Char
2.0 out of 5 stars Snakedance
A big waste of time and money to produce and direct this story line. Davidson has great potential as Dr Who but I believe he ran into some real lame writers during his time with... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars CULT FOLLOWING
As a enthusiastic Martin Clunes fan I am of course interested in everything he has done. This is his TV debut and I found even at this young age he had great promise to become an... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Louise Crans
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent replacement for my original broadcast copy
I bought this DVD to replace my original DVD that was recorded on-the-air years ago. I am completely satisfied with the audio and video quality of the main program, as well as the... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Maui Mike
4.0 out of 5 stars As I remembered
I had seen this episode before. It is related to the Mara episodes show prior which I will pick up as I can
Published 12 months ago by Gary Prott
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mara's Back!
A great story. Just like "Kinda" it's kind of confusing and what's happening may not get a full explanation, but I think that's what attracts me. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Adam
5.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor encounters a foe thought destoyed
Peter Davidson returns as The Doctor in the episodes entitled "Snakedance". Tegan has been having strange visions of a cave that looks like a serpent. Read more
Published on November 3, 2011 by Jacob
3.0 out of 5 stars Sequil
Well the first story wasn't that great so they decided to do a sequil. This was a gift for my brother who is a Dr. Who fan and has the first story. I do like Dr. Read more
Published on September 16, 2011 by Bill
5.0 out of 5 stars Only The Doctor Can Stop The Mara!!!!
Below you will find the available information for Snakedance, including bonus material. In the United Kingdom, Kinda & Snakedance are only being sold together as "Mara Tales"... Read more
Published on February 1, 2011 by Phil Benfield
4.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites!
Snakedance is one of my favorite episodes. What makes it is the acting - the royal family is superb, and Tegan who I usually find annoying is excellently evil. Read more
Published on January 26, 2010 by Cara Wallace
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