KINDA the review

Chase - Posted on 29 June 2009



That's more like it. Mind you the Doc lets Tegan fall asleep against a tree and goes off, leaving her alone and then worries about her oh, almost 19 minutes later while talking with Todd. The guest cast is suitably well experienced and the acting is good. Tegan seems to want to go home, only. Adric is the Adric of season 18 again, thank goodness. He wanders off, makes good scientific guesses, gets in trouble (Oh and he shuts the door to the machine that starts it, so how is that any different to the Doctor's opening it in the first place?). The Doc and Adric ARE very much alike in many ways. And this story makes you think the two of them alone would be much much MUCH better than having the two girls along for the ride. The nightmare is perfectly creepy until the boring double act returns...why have a double of Tegan appear. It's such a cliche. I love the aliens who are named after and symbolic of Adric, the Doctor and Tegan. Perhaps the Nyssa and Adric ones are the missing crewpeople? And the Dukka is the Mara representing the evil side of the Doctor.

Peter Davison seems almost totally settled into the role and has some really good Davison-isms ("An apple a day keeps the ahh, never mind"  and "there's no need to shout"). Adric is a great companion still and has warmth ("it's beautiful") and wants to be there. He also has some good plans for escape which the Doctor nixes here.

The mystery of what is going on is kept. People have vanished. There are two slightly unhinged males at the base and one female who is really quite good as companions go. And then there's the chimes, the Kinda who wear double helix models around their necks, the tree, the nightmare plain, and what is going on. It's all fitting in well with DW as a show again and seems apt to follow the greatness of everything from FULL CIRCLE TO CASTROVALVA. The regulars at least act like the regulars again and Tegan is still at odds with Adric even though he's perfectly happy to be with her or not directly talking to her face. Notice how she tries to help Nyssa beat Adric at draughts. She still doesn't seem to like him but he still seems to try with her, despite FOUR TO DOOMSDAY where she's just more of a moron than he is.

A good ep and even though studio bound, it feels outdoorsy. Well done. And a good cliffhanger...what will they do?           


 What's odd to notice is that during this time in the show, the producers and script editor (Saward sucks) and maybe the writers were trying to, maybe, emulate the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith with the Fifth and Tegan. Trouble is the situations, the writers and especially the actors, were not up to it. The actors don't really seem to like each other much less want to interact in THAT way, thus Davison and Fielding, even when they are saddled only wiht Turlough, don't really pull it off....AT ALL. The Fifth to me always seemed to want Tegan to go until the last moment when she actually does but more on that later. 

I love it when Adric's  a part of the action and here he's center and he tries to save the Doctor yet again but fails again. He steals a key and makes the Doctor play a game to try to get it, much like his earlier self. The other thing is that the Third Doctor used to do what Adric basically did, hide a coin or another object and seemingly make it vanish. Somewhere I read that it happened in COLONY IN SPACE but I also know he did it in AMBASSADORS OF DEATH. In any event, the story moves along well disguising the fact that the Doctor's been imprisoned in the dome for a very long time, giving Adric much to do (and despite the ignoring from her and her acting like  a biatch, Adric worries about her when the Doc doesn't seem to but perhaps that's not fair, he does ask about her too), and keeping Tegan in the nightmare realm...uhm, until she gives in to the Mara and gets out a good idea. I wouldn't have minded if she died in this story. The Kinda are suffiently puzzling and ...uhm, very very good looking for the most part. The two female Kinda Panna and the girl appear and give Saunders a strnage box that enlightens or changes him. He brings it back to the unhinged Hindle who makes the Doctor open the box into a great cliffhanger. Yet we know it didn't really kill Saunders when he opened it. So...we know it probably won't do anything to them.

Again, another good episode, tension filled in a way. Nyssa doesn't appear at all. Thank Goodness. :) Davison still seems a   bit flat and his Doctor seems in over his head ALL the time. No other Doctor was like that except maybe Hartnell in his early stories and maybe later on too. It's not a bad thing, just very noticeable. OHHHH and wouldn't Todd make a much better companion than Tegan and Nyssa. She certainly works well with this Doctor AND with Adric! And she knows something...beliveably.



Well that was weird. But good and Tegan is just seen once or so, on the ground, sleeping. Good. Todd is proving a more interesting companion that Tegan and Nyssa, yet again. Adric has a lot to do, mostly trying to escape the so called dome ,but it doesn't look like a dome. I must admit the first time I saw this I thought Panna's mumbo jumbo was just another of DW's time jumbles but I've since realized or found out it was a Buddist thing. Really? I wish it was explained better here but that's manmade spirtuality for you. Anyway Kuruna, Panna, and Aris as well as almost all the Kinda but the jester or trickster are interesting and different. I'm glad the Kinda cannot talk, one of the only aliens on DW to not do so. It makes a nice change and makes them very alien-----ish. The name Mara is only presented here and the cliffhanger is nice. Alot more tension arising and Hindle and Saunders both going off the deep end. And both are sort of...uhm...fond of Adric it would seem. Hindle's put off Adric's punishment from ep 2 (funny scene in ep2 is Hindle saying punishment to make Adric wash behind the ears). Again, Matthew Waterhouse makes for a great range of fear, bemusement, and craftiness. The Doctor  is called an idiot by Panna several times and he says nothing for the most part only that he's been called that before. In all, these episodes are not as gripping as a Tom Baker story (with maybe four or five exceptions) but they do manage to be different, do manage to create a world, nay a universe of possibilities and do manage to keep one thinking, and guessing and moving forward. Each story also seems to be different from each other. I also hoped the Doctor and Adric would travel on for many more adventures. Not to be.   Their coupling is soon to be ended. I also like how this Doctor leaves Adric, "He's very resourceful."

Indeed. Famous near last words? Anyway a good story and it must have a cracking end iwth the Mara realizing its full power in a terrific show of special effects? Right?



Strange. There's filler with Adric and Tegan bitching at each other and in the past, I felt this added to the tension of the story but all it adds is tension between the two charcaters and this is exacxtly what is not needed. They needed to be nice to each other for us to care about both of them. Adric could have disarmed the bomb but it makes fsor nice foreshadowing for EARTHSHOCK as we now know what will happen but back then we didn't.

Davison, too, while good, is not Tom Baker. I know I keep saying that but afater having watched all of Tom, the comparision is there. Take for example his speech about discovering it is Tegan that the Mara used to come through. Tom would have made us feel the discovery in a whispered hush and reveal that he missed that and didn't know that with just his voice and his tone and his look. Davison just says the lines. He's pretty poor in that pivotal scene...

He also doesn't have the relationship with Tegan that he should, nor with Adric. Both, despite being poorly written, are viable adventure characters and his Doctor should be able to relate to them both but he just doesn't. It could be because he's relating wonderfully to Todd but she's gone after this ep and it is as if they have to start all over from scratch with THE VISITATION. Did anyone on the show at this time have any idea how to have the regulars relate and stay relating in  a positive manner? Does the bickering add anything to the show? It really doesn't until maybe VISITATION's opening and from VISITATION onward the team acts like a team but it's not long before they're broken up, and broken up and broken up.

Ahh, yes, that snake. It's not too bad when it first comes out of Aris and wrestles with him but...the larger version. If one can ignore it, the story is fine and imagination is always key on DW and you have use it here to find the Mara a creepy idea. There's a lot of the great book THE POWER OF NOW and the follow up THE NEW EARTH to think about here. Time is the enemy, the present is all that matters, the enemy is from the inside, it cannot look at itself so if you observe yourself you can find and rid yoruself of the dark thing that is inside. Lots of good spiritual stuff. But like Tegan, I found myself a bit not understanding. I also wonder about Kuruna and Panna sharing a body! WTF?

Anyway, a good story and with some good events, Adric making a mess of things but trying, as he says in the next ep, so hard to do the right thing.  It is his observation though that makes the Doctor realize the Mara can be casted out with mirrors. Of course, he's a banana and it is still hiding in Tegan...    

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