Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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Snakedance: Part One 

The TARDIS lands on Manussa where Tegan once again gets possessed by the Mara, who plan to break into the physical world.


Fiona Cumming


Christopher Bailey (by)

On Disc

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Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Davison ... The Doctor
Janet Fielding ... Tegan
Sarah Sutton ... Nyssa
John Carson ... Ambril
Colette O'Neil Colette O'Neil ... Tanha
Preston Lockwood Preston Lockwood ... Dojjen
Martin Clunes ... Lon
Brian Miller Brian Miller ... Dugdale
Hilary Sesta Hilary Sesta ... Fortune Teller
George Ballantine George Ballantine ... Hawker


The TARDIS lands on Manussa where Tegan once again gets possessed by the Mara, who plan to break into the physical world.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fifth doctor | celery | australian | See All (3) »


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Release Date:

18 January 1983 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was Martin Clunes's first TV role. He admitted in an interview on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross (2001) that he thought he was good at the time but looked back on his performance as "rubbish". He and Ross were also amused at the cheapness of Doctor Who at the time, with Ross estimating an episode cost just 37 pence. See more »


The Doctor: Dreams are important, Nyssa. Never underestimate them.
See more »


Referenced in Doctor Who: Time Crash (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Disappointing Sequel
31 January 2014 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

The Tardis makes its way to the Planet Manussa but all is not well on the ship . Tegan suffers horrific nightmares and finds The Mara has repossessed her

This is a sequel to the previous season's Kinda and is again written by Christopher Bailey . Apparently it still contains a subtext of Buddhist and Hindu philosophy but I found this difficult to spot , probably down to the fact I find Snakedance difficult to sit through . It's no means a bad story but in comparison to the previous year's drama featuring The Mara it's missing vital elements . I always found myself comparing it to Kinda and how inferior it was to the 1982 story

One element missing is a dominating show stopping performance that Simon Rouse gave as Hindle and while we get familiar well known faces in the cast they are a distraction rather than an advantage . Martin Clunes did go on to become a household name in his starring role of MEN BEHAVING BADLY but his role here as Lon is often wheeled out in BEFORE THEY WERE FAMOUS type shows and it's easy to see why because he does look like a camp transvestite

This sums up one of the problems with a programme like DOCTOR WHO - it's very difficult to make a convincing alien exotic race but it's very easy to make a laughable one and here director Fiona Cumming fails to convince the audience they're watching an alien race living on an alien planet . The design and make up distract from the drama and while Snakedance might merely be okay as a sequel to one of the greatest dramas the show has given us it's rather lacklustre and perhaps goes to prove some stories don't need returning villains

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