‘Kinda’ is a very different story in a season of different stories. However, it works on so many levels unlike ‘Castrovalva’, and that is because, purely and simply, good writing. Good writing, good ideas and good characters. Good exposition, a good mix of action in there with it, Christopher Baily’s first Doctor Who story is the first Peter Davison story I have liked.
There is a point to the story, unlike Bidmead’s rubbish which is a scientific concept gone awry. It has its fault, principally in production values and the fact that the giant snake at the climax of the story is rubbish, and that is a major issue because it’s the resolution and end of the show and that needs to convince your audience. The CGI version on the DVD is obviously a much better rendition of a giant snake, but perhaps they were asking too much of the production team initially. Still, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect a better effort than what they originally gave the viewers.
|The Doctor enters the dome.|
But let’s forget that. The script is complicated without being convoluted, which is very important for Doctor Who because once you’ve got a convoluted script the amazing production values will simply not get you out of that hole. Baily’s script has the two stories combined really. That of the Mara coming, and ancient force which comes to the Kinda world via Tegan’s dream. The ideas of collective dreams are great, the strength in collective dreaming is what prevents the Mara from coming through. Janet Fielding gets some great stuff as well.
|Simon Rouse is brilliant as Hindle.|
In the dome we have the plot of two men who have gone completely mad. The Doctor but principally Adric have the job of humouring them both. Hindle is wonderfully portrayed by Simon Rouse,who would go on for a very many years in ‘The Bill’. His madness is not underplayed at all, but you never get the sense of over-acting. In fact it’s an incredibly believable performance. Richard Todd as Sanders loses his mind when he opens the kinda box, but it’s a very different kind of looney to Hindle. It’s great that someone with such a resume as Richard Todd threw himself into the role so wholeheartedly.
|Mary Morris as the 'Old Woman'|
Nerys Hughes was great support as Todd, and Mary Morris played the old woman Panna, and her look was absolutely amazing. Peter Davison’s performance is his strongest yet. Mathew Waterhouse finds Adric in distressing situations again, as he always seems to week after week. I feel quite sorry for the guy to be honest. I think he did his best but his character appears to written just to whine, complain and get into stupid situations. This story is no exception sadly and it would have been nice for a writer to take his character and develop it!
|The Doctor shows the fool a trick,|
Having said that it’s better than Nyssa – who was written out of this story at the start and only reappears once the whole thing is dealt with. This linked in apparently with her fainting at the end of the previous story. She uses a machine called a ‘delta-wave augmenter’ to give her some proper sleep. Very weak pointless bizarre stuff.
The sets were as good as you could hope for when doing a jungle for video in a small studio. They weren’t great and it would have been much better if they used filming and Ealing Studios, but this one was completely studio bound, as was ‘Four to Doomsday’. The dome sets were good, but you never really believe you’re on an alien world. The Kinda, the locals, also don’t exactly
|This is NOT the CGI snake.|
‘Kinda’ though is an engrossing, interesting, at times funny story. It’s offbeat in some ways, larger than life in others and easily the best story since Peter Davison took over.