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CRADLE OF THE SNAKE
Another sad story. The first episode held a lot of promise. At first, I thought, a Mara story. No, oh no. You really cannot do a Mara story unless you do something different, odd, funny, metaphysical, outlandish or completely in a new setting. I thought this would be total crap. And then Ep 1 came about and it was...odd but not funny, a bit forward looking and to set it in the past of Manussa that was MORE technological than the one we saw in SNAKEDANCE was a bit of a twist and a nice surprise...AND THEN, the next surprise...the Doctor was taken over by the Mara caught me completely off guard. The third episode (?) I think is where it all falls apart. A standard runaround. Not interesting at all. Nyssa does Phoebe possessed by evil from CHARMED and it's supposed to feel fresh for that character but doesn't (trust me it was better on CHARMED). Davison does a fair villain but...then the Mara breaks out! OMG! The thing we saw stopped in KINDA and the thing we feared in SNAKEDANCE...the beast cannot come out! It does and...nothing happens. Did the writer of THE SATAN PIT write this? In any case, THAT was dramatic enough. This just comes off as silly and confused. The Mara snake roars like Godzilla with none of his pull or threat. It should be now that all hell breaks loose but instead we have Turlough following the Doctor through closets ...or something, Tegan hiding in the TARDIS or something and Nyssa fooling everyone. It's really quite boring and silly.
The Mara is only good as an idea of evil, a metaphysical danger that once loosed on the world THAT IS IT. Instead, here, it starts to form a cult. I thought it was supposed to break down civilization. The last episode is so poor and the dialog so bad, I lost total interest in it and thought this was surely, "the end and the moment was not prepared for." Perhaps trilogies are not a good thing and perhaps stronger writers are needed to bring back old foes that were soooo good the first two times around.
On the positive side (!) the cast tries and the acting is okay (Janet can really irritate though and just because she's Tegan). Mark goes a good job as does Sarah Sutton. I was even willing to accept the sheep thing in ep1 and the dream bit in the same ep. Ep2 was a bit strong and well done but ep3 and 4 are just tedious and boring and silly. The Mara is loose! RUN! only don't run so fast as it's a bit lame in spreading its jaws. AND It took over Nyssa and the Doc, OH MY, and its taking over everyone and ....one clever bit is the TARDIS is swallowed...but it's presented as no big deal...compare to the Hartnell or Troughton years...
Again, the dialog esp at the very end is so poor....and Janet at times sounds VERY old. Davison sometimes sounds like Hartnell. BF has to do better AGAIN. Sigh.