OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 568
STORY NUMBER: 120
TRANSMITTED: Monday 01 February 1982
WRITER: Christopher Bailey
DIRECTOR: Peter Grimwade
SCRIPT EDITOR: Eric Saward
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 8.4 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Mara Tales (Kinda / Snakedance)
The Tardis lands on the planet Deva Loka, with Nyssa being left in the ship attached to a delta wave augmenter to help her sleep. An humanoid expedition from another world is also on the planet which has been reduced to 3 people: the expedition scientist Todd, the mentally unstable security chief Hindle and their older leader Sanders. The Doctor, Tegan & Adric encounter a set of wind chimes in the forest, but Tegan, overcome by the effect gets left behind. The Doctor & Adric find one of the expedition's empty Total Survival Suits which Adric accidentally activates causing it to take them back to the base. Tegan finds her mind in a dark environment where an odd couple, with snake tatoos on their arms, are playing chess and she finds herself pestered by a strange figure. Hindle is suspicious of the Doctor & Adric, but the other except them. However when Sanders takes the TSS out to explore Hindle seizes the moment and holds the visitors at gun point.
Kinda: I haven't a hope of explaining this one properly to you. There's more going on here than meets the eye, which thus far is essentially a standard colonisation tale with some commentary on British Colonialism & attitudes thrown in. It's when you start digging you realise there's more to it. Look at the sequence with Tegan in the black void. The couple playing chess, Anatta & Anicca, mirror Adric & Nyssa playing draughts at the start of the episode, with the lean to structure taking the place of the Tardis and Dukkha, the other odd figure, taking the place of the Doctor......
Two of the actors in the dream sequence are well known outside of Doctor Who. Anna Wing, playing Anatta, would shortly become famous playing Lou Beale on Eastenders. She is the mother of Mark Wing-Davey, who was both the TV & Radio Zaphod Beeblebrox in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and, currently aged 97, is believed to be the longest lived actor to have appeared in Doctor Who*. Playing Dukkha is Jeff Stewart who would later find fame as PC Reg Hollis in The Bill. He's not the only Bill regular in this serial either...... In fact this serial is a mine of fabulously well known guest stars but only one of them, an extra, has anything even approaching form in other Doctor Who stories.
* Since I wrote that my attention has been drawn to Zohra Sehgal, the actress who played Sheyrah, the attendant to Ping-Cho in Marco Polo who turned 100 on 27th April, 1912 becoming the first Doctor Who actor to reach that landmark.