Having rejoined the TARDIS crew after their adventure with Omega in Amsterdam, Tegan begins experiencing recurring nightmares. The Doctor spots an even more pressing problem: someone has reset the TARDIS’ coordinates, and it can only have been Tegan. The time travelers arrive on the planet Manussa…the homeworld of the evil Mara influence which possessed Tegan on Deva Loka. In this point in Manussa’s history, the Mara has become a mere legend of an evil vanquished, and the cause for an annual celebration. But the Mara, now once again in control of Tegan’s body, intends to possess the minds of every Manussan during the height of the festivities – unless the Doctor can find a way to stop it.
written by Christopher Bailey
directed by Fiona Cumming
music by Peter Howell
Guest Cast: John Carson (Ambril), Colette O’ Neil (Tahna), Preston Lockwood (Dojjen), Martin Clunes (Lon), Brian Miller (Dugdale), Hilary Sesta (Fortune Teller), George Ballantine (Hawker), Jonathon Morris (Chela), Barry Smith (Puppeteer)
Broadcast from January 17 through 25, 1983
LogBook entry & review by Earl Green
Review: A very interesting story arc that seems positively subtle next to the continuity-heavy excesses of Mawdryn Undead and Arc Of Infinity, Snakedance is a bit less cerebral than the Mara’s first appearance, more of a straightforward adventure, but it still manages to be damned creepy. Once again we can thank Janet Fielding for a lot of the impact of Snakedance, and she really seems to relish bringing “evil Tegan” to life yet again. This is also a particularly well-written script where the Doctor is concerned – the scene in which he points out the significance of a curious piece of headgear is one of Peter Davison’s more priceless moments in the role. Overall, a well-written story which got lost in the publicity surrounding other episodes the same season…but it’s definitely worth a revisitation (note to the BBC: Kinda and Snakedance would make an inspired DVD 2-pack, don’t you think?).