OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 593
STORY NUMBER: 126
TRANSMITTED: Wednesday 26 January 1983
WRITER: Christopher Bailey
DIRECTOR: Fiona Cumming
SCRIPT EDITOR: Eric Saward
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 7.4 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Mara Tales (Kinda / Snakedance)
Tanha interrupts and questions the Doctor, which allows him to escape with Nyssa & Chela. The Doctor uses the crystal to summon Dojjen and, as the ceremony starts with a giant snake costume winding it's way through the market streets, the Doctor confers with Dojjen telepathically through the Snakedance ceremony. Lon breaks character from his role in the ceremony, smashing a fake crystal and takes the real one to place in the snake's mouth and as he does so all present are affected by the Crystal's power. The snake Tegan carries grows to giant size and feeds off the fear of the crowd. The Doctor uses his crystal to find the still point inside him and resists the Mara with Dojjen's telepathic help. He removes the great crystal, severing the Mara's power, killing the snake and freeing Tegan from the Mara's power.
Finally the Doctor gets to do something in this story, but it's very little and very late. He's a curiously inactive figure during this story. The episode is decent enough and well made but it's nothing special. Lots of people like Snakedance but I just can't get into it. Of the two Christopher Bailey Mara tales I much prefer Kinda. The previous two stories had huge flaws whereas this one just leaves me cold.
One last face we recognise. Brian Grellis , playing the Megaphone Man who's directing the ceremony was under makeup as the Vogan Sheprah in Revenge of the Cybermen and Safran in The Invisible Enemy.
Snakedance was novelised by Terrance Dicks in 1984. It was released on video in December 1994, just after it's prequel Kinda. Both stories were released on DVD in the Doctor Who - Mara Tales boxset on 7th March 2011.