Friday, February 5, 2010

6D3 - Snakedance 3

After crashing every party and ranting like a loon over the course of the first two episodes, the only way to stop The Doctor in Episode Three was to lock him up. As a result, The Doctor, later joined by Nyssa, spends almost the entire duration of this episode behind bars, relying only on Chela to bring him Dojjen's journal and eventually break him out.

Also, for a storyline that should, for all intents and purposes, focus intently on Tegan, Janet Fielding is scarcely seen on screen for the bulk of this episode, as Tegan remains in the secret cave with the Showman waiting for Lon to lure Ambril into the cave.

No, it falls to the trio of Lon, Tanha, and Ambril to carry the show, but really, it seems as Snakedance has been their show all along anyway. If ever there was a "Doctor-lite" story in the classic series, it's this one. Fortunately, all three characters are extremely well acted and are thoroughly interesting. Ambril and Lon form an amusing double in some scenes. My favourite moment in their relationship is when Lon stops to watch the Punch & Judy show in the market on Manussa while an anxious Ambril awkwardly waits to be led to the secret cave full of antique treasures. Through it all, the expression on Lon's face is one of complete boredom. No one can look bored with conviction quite like Martin Clunes.

One thing of note with Snakedance is that they have three very weak episode cliffhangers. They're more weird than climactic. A globe exploding? Tegan's red eyes? Weird, but those two don't top Lon's sudden blood lust at the end of Episode Three, or Nyssa's rare bloodcurdling scream. Snakedance is a story that would actually benefit from being a complete story sans cliffhangers, as the ones that we're presented with seem forced and tacked on.


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