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Doctor Who: Kinda and Snakedance DVD Reviews

 

“Kinda” is not even kinda good.

“Snakedance” is an entertaining adventure.

Kinda: After arriving on a jungle planet named Deva Loka, the Doctor, Tegan, Adric (Nyssa is sidelined) become caught up in a puzzling and dangerous situation involving telepathic natives (the Kinda), missing Earth colonists, unstable Earth colonists, and a deadly villain known as the Mara.

Snakedance: After being possessed by the Mara again, Tegan causes the TARDIS to land on the planet Manussa where the Mara had been banished many years prior. The Mara’s plan? To rise again in its original form. Can the Doctor and Nyssa stop the Mara from carrying out the evil plan?

While highly regarded by some fans, I find “Kinda” to be an incoherent mess. Granted, there a lot of intriguing spiritual ideas/concepts floating around in this story, but the lack of clear explanations of the Kinda’s world makes this story a confusing and cluttered mess. It doesn’t help that far too much of the story is devoted to the obnoxious Hindle character, the weird dream world, as well as multiple overlong scenes of the Doctor being captured. Fans also have to witness multiple Tegans which is terryfing in its own right.

Thankfully, the story does have one bright spot with the Todd character (played by Nerys Hughes). Not only was her character well written, but she also had great chemistry with the Doctor/Peter Davison. It’s a shame she couldn’t have been a companion in the series as she was far better than Tegan, Nyssa, and Adric combined.

If you’re like me and felt let down by “Kinda,” you’ll be glad to know that the second Mara-centric episode (“Snakedance”) is a much more satisfying adventure thanks to a well-written script. Not only is the pacing of this story a vast improvement over “Kinda,” but the script has a better structure with a clear beginning, middle, and ending. “Snakedance” benefits from a true sense of urgency as the Doctor and Nyssa essentially race against time (and obstacles) to stop the Mara.

Another highlight of “Snakedance” is the truly impressive production design. Often times, the sets and costumes in classic ‘Who’ are sub-par at best. In this episode, there is a surprisingly wide assortment of sets ranging from a marketplace and cave to a hall of mirrors and a room filled with artifacts. The F/X (namely the Mara) are also a big step up from the clumsy F/X witnessed in “Kinda.”

Like “Kinda,” “Snakedance” has also a great guest actor in Martin Clunes who gives a great performance as the spoiled bratty Lon. Lon is a well rounded character that really fits well into the story.

Summary: “Kinda” is a maddening episode while “Snakedance” is a fun ride from start to finish.

Video/Audio:

The 4:3 fullscreen picture quality on “Kinda” and “Snakedance” is top notch for classic ‘Who.’ The colors look surprisingly sharp. No sign of faded colors here.

The Dolby Digital Mono audio tracks on both discs are satisfactory. No signs of any audio problems that I noticed.

“Kinda” Extras:
* “Doctor Who” series 5 and “Revisatations 2” trailers, photo gallery, isolated music score, Radio Times Listings, and trails and continuity.
* Arguably the most noteworthy extra on this disc is the option to include the new CGI effects for the Mara in the episode. The new Mara definitely looks a lot more menacing now. Additionally, there’s also a CGI effects comparison to the original version.
* 14 1/2 minutes of deleted and extended scenes. As if this episode needed to be longer…
* “Peter Grimwade- Directing With Attitude”- A look at Peter’s career and his work on “Doctor Who.”
* “Dream Time”- The obligatory making of episode complete with cast and crew interviews and behind-the-scenes stories. There are lots of great discussions about the script here.
* Commentary by Peter Davison, Matthew Waterhouse, Janet Fielding, and Nerys Hughes. An entertaining commentary that is better than the episode itself.

“Snakedance” Extras:

* Radio Times Listings, photo gallery, isolated music score, and “Doctor Who Series 5” and “Revisatations 2” trailers.
* Deleted scenes showcasing an alternate ending.
* “Saturday Superstore”- Footage of Peter Davison on the show. He chats about Cricket, acting, music, “Doctor Who,” etc.
* In Studio F/X tests.
* “Snake Charmer”- A 25 minute making of that includes the usual interviews, story discussions, characters, music, sets, etc.
* Commentary by Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, and Sarah Sutton. More fun banter between Fielding and Davison here. A thoroughly entertaining commentary.

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April 17, 2011 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , , , ,

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