Doctor Who (1963–1989)
6 user 1 critic

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)




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?


Two weeks prior to the start of production, Peter Davison was asked to film what he believed to be a promotional trailer for Australian television. In fact, this was a ruse concocted by John Nathan-Turner. In reality, when Davison arrived on location, he was surprised to find Matthew Waterhouse (Adric), Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding already there in full costume. Davison was even more surprised to discover that they were accompanied by Eamonn Andrews, and that he was the subject of This Is Your Life (1955). 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

Poisoned Minds
6 November 2019 | by A_Kind_Of_CineMagicSee all my reviews

Review of all 4 parts:

This adventure involves Tegan coming under the control of the Mara, who had remained dormant in her mind since their adventure in the previous season (Kinda) where they had previously taken her over. They influence her to get the Doctor to take the TARDIS to Manussa to attain the 'great crystal' which can bring the Mara back into physical form.

Janet Fielding as Tegan gets a really strong story where she can show her dark, possessed side as well as her struggle to fight the mental effects of the Mara. She does really well. Nyssa is given a prominent role too but I enjoy her less in this adventure. Peter Davison is strong as The Doctor and support cast Martin Clunes, Colette O' Neil,John Carson and Johnathan Morris are all good too.

The story starts interestingly and is all done well with some menace, some fun and some decent ideas. The first two parts are the strongest. Parts 3 and 4 are a little more muddled and the resolutions are slightly disappointing to me but it is still an enjoyable, slightly dark serial overall.

The effects are average but the filming is pretty good with director Fiona Cumming doing well. Christopher Bailey's script is decent and not dumbed down.

My ratings: Parts 1 & 2 - 8.5/10, Parts 3 & 4 - 7/10. Overall - 7.75/10.

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