OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 571
STORY NUMBER: 120
TRANSMITTED: Tuesday 09 February 1982
WRITER: Christopher Bailey
DIRECTOR: Peter Grimwade
SCRIPT EDITOR: Eric Saward
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 8.9 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Mara Tales (Kinda / Snakedance)
Karuna leaves Aris' party of Kinda tribesman and returns to the cave. The Doctor tells her that Panna is dead but she says she is Panna. While Hindle, with Sanders' aid, builds a cardboard city populated with cut out people Aris has the Kinda construct a wooden replica of the TSS. With it he confronts the real TSS, badly controlled by Adric, which opens fire on Aris, injuring him, before the Doctor calms Adric down and releases him. The Doctor & Todd confront Hindle, who has hidden in a box pretending to be a jack-in-a-box and blames Sanders for ruining the surprise. Becoming distraught when one of the cut out men has it's head ripped off he goes to destroy the dome, but Todd distracts him with the box of Janna which he opens bathing his face in light. The Doctor traps Aris in a ring of mirror like solar panels causing the snake tattoo to crawl off and become giant size before being banished from the corporeal world. Todd transmits a report that Deva Loka is unfit for colonisation and the Doctor, Adric & Tegan, reunited with a recovered Nyssa, leave in the Tardis.
Hmmm. Either I have completely missed the point or Kinda is a lot simpler than people make out, all the plot seems obvious to me. In places I find some of the acting superb, Simon Rouse in previous episodes, but here the cardboard city and boxes just reminds me of Play School putting me off rather.
And what point does the TSS serve? There's little it does that couldn't just have been a man wandering about in the jungle. Yes OK in this episode it injures Aris but you could accomplish it some other way, say Adric pushing past him and knocking him over. It strikes me that it's an element inserted into the story as "a robot for the kids". Probably cost a quid or two as well.
Then there's the snake. Hated by Doctor Who fans everywhere as an example of "a bad effect ruining an otherwise good story". I look at it and think there's not much wrong with that. But the popular voice prevailed and an alternate CGI version was created for the DVD.
Kinda was repeated the following summer on 22nd to 25th August 1883 a week *after* the Visitation, the next story but recorded first, was repeated. A similar situation affected the previous winter's Five Faces repeat season where Carnival of Monsters was shown before Three Doctors.
The story was novelised by Terrance Dicks in 1984, released on video in October 1994 and on DVD, with it's sequel Snakedance, as part of Doctor Who - Mara Tales Boxset.