Whenever I first heard that Peter Davison was to be the fifth Doctor I graoned at the very idea. This was the first story that convinced me that perhaps the right choice had been made after all. It gave him the chance to play a Doctor in stark contrast to his predecessors and delivered one of my favourite lines ("an apple a day..."). The basic story is of a paradise-like world, Deva Loka, which is being considered for colonisation. The natives are generally regarded as non-hostile the only problem is that half the Earth-expedition have disappeared, possibly having succumbed to the paradise syndrome (ie quietly walked off to be one with nature). The Doctor and his companions arrive and soon discover that there is something else lurking on Deva Loka. One companion, Tegan, falls asleep near the wind chimes and it is not long before she is confronting the dark places inside her mind and the evil that lurks there. Evil which is waiting for the chance to emerge into out world. Very soon Deva Loka is under threat from a snake in paradise, and with one member of the Earth expedition becoming increasingly neurotic the end may be in sight sooner than anyone thought. A thought provoking story which overcomes budgetary restrictions. Generally well-written (although altered from the original premise from a Buddhist theme to a Christian one), and well-acted (fans of The Bill may be surprised to see Reg Hollis in a completely different light) - this was a fine start to the fifth Doctor's era and a good place to start watching it.
Written by Buddhist Christopher Bailey, Kinda is one of the most interesting stories of the fifth Doctor era. It is steeped in ideas concerning culture, how different races react to each other, and how people become frightened of ideals they can not understand. Clearly as well the story is also influenced by historical events, the arrival of explorers in the third worlds. In this case an Earth expedition force is sent to a tropical Planet to report on whether the Planet is fit to colonise. However the crew gradually become unhinged by the influence of the Planets natives, and the evil snake The Mara which also affects the mind of regular companion Tegan. At this stage in the programmes history, the series had three regular companions travelling with The Doctor. This presented the obvious problem of finding storylines for all the regulars, and usually resulted in one or two of them being sidelined. In this story Nyssa is written out for the duration of the adventure, this benefits Tegan who is given a central role in the adventure. Several well known faces are in the adventure. British actor Richard Todd plays the leader of the expedition force, and fans of The Bill will recognise a young Reg Hollis and Jack Meadows. Very different to the fast paced, more straight forward stories, The Visitation and Earthshock, the originality of Kinda helps give season 19 a diversity. It's success also led to a sequel Snakedance the following season.
This ranks with Castrovalva and Earthshock as one of the three masterpieces of season 19, only in this case, the script and the acting are the be all and end all, as the production values are a little plain, and in some cases, barely adequate at all. Having said that, the acting is SO GOOD and the dialog in particular is so STUNNING that it leaves most other Dr.Who looking pale by comparison. Simon Rouse gives one of the essential guest performances in the show's 26 year history as the mentally ill and genuinely unnerving Hindle (great name!) while Mary Morris is perfect as the wise woman. Janet Fielding is outstanding as Tegan, explored in a way no other companion ever has been, and the guy in her head, who represents the Mara is creepy like your worst nightmare. With juicey lines like "By the way, one thing: you will agree to being me...sooner or later...this side of madness or the other!" Director Peter Grimwade delivers this theatrical piece with a pace that was ahead of its time and he excells in the scenes in tegan's mind, a total blackness filled with whited out, over exposed freaks and grotesques with snake emblams on thier flesh. He symbolic rape as she fights for control of her mind and loses is proof of the brilliance of 80s Dr.Who as a whole and the Davison era in particular. Unmissable, must see stuff.
One of the best Doctor Who stories EVER!!! Peter Davison and Janet Fielding, as ever, both give brilliant performances - but the guest cast is astonishing too; including Nerys Hughes, Jeff Stewart, Marry Morris and, especially, the breath-taking Simon Rouse. Exciting, scary, insightful, imaginative, playful, bold, dark, sexy, thought-provoking, mature, visually arresting, dramatic and intelligent: Kinda might just redefine what you think Doctor Who can be!
Peter Davison is definitely my favorite doctor. He was great in the Kinda. Although he did stumble on his own feet a couple times, which I am not sure if he meant to do that or not, but it made me smile. Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) was not in it much, but Tegan and Adric are in it alot.It's hard for me to explain what the video is about. Take my word for it, the Kinda is a great video to have, and I was lucky to find it here in the states. If you don't have it yet, go get it.