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Doctor Who: Snakedance - Episode 125 [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

Price: £17.46
Only 3 left in stock - order soon.
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£17.46 Only 3 left in stock - order soon. Dispatched from and sold by RAREWAVES USA.

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Product details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: NR (Not Rated) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 305,546 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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By XK7 on 16 May 2004
Format: VHS Tape
This sequel to Kinda is a fabulous Dr.Who story which works very effectively in every department and contains much impressive characterisation, acting and story telling. Janet Fielding excells as the possessed Tegan, making a superb villainess and the guest cast are all first rate. Best of all, Peter Davison is on top form, giving a startling and exuberant performance, full of energy, passion and enthusiasm. Sadly, some see him as ineffective, probably as stories like this portray him very much as the underdog, with those he meets pig-headedly ignorant and indifferent to his words of warning. It is more the case that the sitiation has been made bigger than the Doctor in order to generate real suspense and tension, rather than any lack of conviction or gravitas on the part of Davison. But it is perhaps not satisfying for fans of the old-school of domineering Doctor to see Davison's torrents of energy expending themselves upon people who simply ignore him or fob him off, like he's a minor pest. Still, he gets the last laugh in the end, because the Mara really does appear and the Doctor is the only one who can stop it. In this, he is triumphant! Overall, a great story and a great Doctor.
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Format: VHS Tape
This is my favourite story of Season 20 - generally rated the worst of Peter Davisons three as the Doctor. I love this stroy as it contains so many religious references (in particular Bhuddism). This may seem ironic coming from a firm agnostic, but these themes can also be interpreted as common. Regarding the script, the actual plot and storyline generated by the author, Christopher Bailey is not quite as sound as 'Kinda'. There seem to be a few to many plot holes but the superb production by Fiona Cumming distracts the viewer from this. The setting of the story is a direct contrast with its predecessor 'Kinda' as it shows a slightly more advanced civilisation (it reminds me of the Arab culture) and we see large, well-lit caves. I also particularly like the relativly short section being on film involving Dojjen as it brings an air of strangeness which perfectly fits the required atmosphere. The cliffhangers are great whilst Janet Fielding's acting as Tegan is easily among the best ever seen from a companion in Doctor Who. Finally, those who are not so interested in Dr Who are likely to find amusemant in this story as it contains one of Martin Clunes' earliest TV performaces (filmed in late 1982). He was of course to later find fame in 'Men Behaving Badly' amongst other things. The scenes of him being lazy and uncaring are a joy and that ever famous scene where he is possessed and orders the Doctor's execution is absaloutly brillaint. I can guarantee that everyone will find something in this story to like as it works on so many layers. Tim Graves
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9510c9f0) out of 5 stars 30 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95122588) out of 5 stars Great episode; so-so DVD 15 Jun. 2011
By Little Roy Blue - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
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. Unfortunately, Bailey did not enjoy his experience of writing for Doctor Who (as he explains on one of the DVD special features), and he quit writing both for the show and for television in general; this is a shame, as he is clearly one of the best and smartest writers to take a crack at the series.

Speaking of the DVD, I must reluctantly report that it falls into the "merely competent" category. In the UK, Snakedance was released in a combo pack with Bailey's other Doctor Who story, Kinda; and it seems to me that most of the budget for the UK release was lavished on Kinda, which got a more extensive package of special features, and new CGI effects for the snake-like physical manifestation of the Mara. Snakedance, alas, gets saddled with fewer special features and the same old rubbery version of the Mara. I think it's pretty stupid that they put new Mara effects in one story but not the other, but I guess money was a concern. It's just my tough luck that I've always liked Snakedance more than Kinda!

On another slightly disheartening note, the audio commentary by actors Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, and Sarah Sutton is too caustic and negative for my tastes, and also very repetitive of Davison's past commentaries. I know that many fans like his commentaries precisely because they're critical and "honest," but at this point I'm tired of listening to him constantly complain that Doctor Who needed darker lighting and faster pacing. Yeah, yeah, I noticed that the lighting on old BBC productions is bad when I was five years old - talk about something else already! I much prefer the more thoughtful analysis provided on this DVD by Doctor Who fan/writer Robert Shearman, who actually understands the story (unlike Davison and Fielding) and is capable of deconstructing it in a way that interests me. Bizarrely, the best feature on the DVD - a fairly long chat between Shearman and Bailey, covering a range of cool topics - is buried in an Easter Egg, which is well worth hunting down if you actually like the story and want to hear a cogent analysis of it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x951225dc) out of 5 stars "Where is the Great Crystal?!?" 17 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
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.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95122798) out of 5 stars The follow up to Kinda! The Mara is back again! 9 April 2000
By Aaron Amos - Published on Amazon.com
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!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x951227bc) out of 5 stars Am I free of the Mara, Doctor? 1 May 2000
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
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.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95122558) out of 5 stars Only The Doctor Can Stop The Mara!!!! 2 Feb. 2011
By Phil Benfield - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
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" boxset, but in the USA and Canada it is the opposite: they are only being solicited to retailers as individual titles.

1 disc, 125 minutes, 4 episodes, full frame video, English mono audio, English subtitles, [...]

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.


*Commentary - stereo. With actors Peter Davison, Janet Fielding and Sarah Sutton.

*Snake Charmer (dur. 24' 37") - cast and crew look back at the making of the story. With actors Peter Davison and Janet Fielding, director Fiona Cumming, writer Christopher Bailey, script editor Eric Saward, designer Jan Spoczynski, and new series writer Robert Shearman.

*Deleted Scenes (dur. 3' 05") - scenes from the original ending of episode four, courtesy of a timecoded recording kept by producer John Nathan-Turner.

*In Studio (dur. 6' 12") - a rare glimpse inside the studio during recording of effects sequences for the story, including the infamous `farting Mara'!

*Saturday Superstore (dur. 14' 16") - Peter Davison guests on the Saturday morning children's show, where he plays cricket with Mike Read and John Craven and takes questions from callers.

*Photo Gallery (dur. 5' 21") - production, design and publicity photos from the story.

*Isolated Music - option to watch the story with the isolated music score.

*Radio Times Listings in Adobe PDF format.
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