THIS STORY TAKES
AFTER THE TV STORY
"FOUR TO DOOMSDAY"
AND PRIOR TO THE TV
'KINDA' VHS VIDEO
A beautiful, paradise
planet, Deva Loka. Its
Kinda, are a gentle
primitive people. On
the surface, a perfect
place to colonize. But
if it is so perfect, why
is the colonization
one by one? Unaware
of this, the Doctor
and his companions
choose to rest on
Deva Loka. Enchanted
by the beautiful
Chimes, "the place of
dreams," Tegan sleeps
and falls prey to the
Mara, a malevolent
force out to steal her
mind. But just what
are its ultimate evil
1st february 1982 - 9th february 1982
Writer and lecturer Christopher Bailey’s Kinda is one of the fifth Doctor’s most fondly remembered serials. Surreal, subversive, and disturbing in a way that Doctor Who never really had been previously, there is no denying the significance of Bailey’s script.
Generally I admire stories that break new ground. Laden with both Buddhist and Christian references, Bailey’s story is at times quite high-brow. It was even the subject of a scholarly publication, Doctor Who: The Unfolding Text, which examined the way in which Kinda explores certain symbols and themes, as well as elements of Jung’s philosophy. Indeed, Bailey uses the idea of the Mara, an evil subconscious entity that seduces dreamers into serving its will. The scenes inside Tegan’s mind where she faces various manifestations
of the Mara are shot beautifully and give Kinda a sense of mystique that you will struggle
to find in many other televised stories.
However, save for the scenes that I have mentioned above and the odd skit featuring the ludicrously clichéd character of Sanders and the paranoid and deranged Hindle, the rump
of Kinda is overwhelmingly sub-standard. The realisation of the jungle is appalling; just plastic trees and bushes shot indoors, a replica of an unremarkable forest. It would have looked much better had they just driven down the road and shot the serial in a proper forest!
Furthermore, for the most part the storyline is incredibly uninteresting. The Doctor does a bit of flirting with Nerys Hughes’ Todd, Adric goes off on a rampage in the TSS Machine, and Nyssa has a little nap because the Doctor has so many companions that the writer simply couldn’t fit them all in. Only Janet Fielding’s strong performance as the possessed Tegan makes Kinda saves the production; it’s worth the purchase price alone to hear her speak without that Ozzie accent!
Perhaps I’m a bit too hard on Kinda because my old videotape is degraded beyond almost all watchability. Maybe when the BBC finally get round to releasing this one on DVD I might be able to write a more objective review, but somehow I doubt it…
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2007
E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
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