KINDA

Part One

KindaSue: Kinda.
Me: It’s Kinda, actually.
Sue: As in Kinder Surprise?
Me: Yes.
Sue: Why the weird titles all of a sudden? What happened to Planet of the Whatsits or The Whatsits of Doom? You know where you are with a title like that.

On the planet Deva Loka, all the stinky kids are chilling outside the TARDIS.

Sue: I thought Nyssa was supposed to be dead or something?
Me: No, she has a migraine.
Sue: Give her a hot water bottle and a copy of Hello! and she’ll be fine. We’ve all been there.

The Doctor knocks up a delta wave augmenter with his sonic screwdriver. Adric is concerned that the Doctor will be lost without it.

The Doctor: Why? We won’t need it.
Sue: Of course you’ll bloody need it! You always bloody need it. You’d be completely ****ed without it. I bet he wishes he has it with him before we reach the first cliffhanger.

In a dome in a jungle, a scientist named Todd is trying to convince her colleagues that the indigenous life forms on the planet pose no threat to them.

Sue: Oh look, it’s a Liver bird. And she’s looking pretty hot, too. Look at that cleavage.
Me: I’m trying hard not to.
Sue: If I was in Doctor Who, that’s the role I’d like to play: a hot scientist with a clipboard.
Me: I don’t know if the special effects budget could stretch to that.

How I didn’t get a cushion in the ribs for that, I’ll never know.

Sanders is in charge of this dome and he gives his second-in-command, Hindle, a good dressing down.

KindaSue: Shut up, you ‘orrible little man! This place hasn’t been the same since Lofty disappeared!

The Doctor, Tegan and Adric explore Deva Loka while Nyssa sleeps. They stumble across some wind chimes hanging from a tree.

Sue: They’ve landed in Mike Oldfield’s back garden.

Adric wanders off and he finds an empty armoured suit in a clearing. The Doctor drags him away from it.

Adric: What the…?
Sue: He was going to say **** but he managed to stop himself just in time. What a pro.

Adric slams the door shut and the vehicle suddenly springs into life.

Sue: What is wrong with Adric? Has he been taking stupid pills? He hasn’t been the same since he left Castrovalva.

The Doctor and Adric are escorted to the dome where they meet Sanders, Hindle and Todd.

Sue: At least you can reason with this lot. If this was a Tom Baker story, the Doctor would have been banged up in a cell before his feet could touch the ground.

KindaMeanwhile, Tegan has fallen asleep under a tree. The camera zooms into her eye.

Sue: What the hell? This is a bit weird. Is this one going to be trippy? Oh, I do hope so.

I’m seriously impressed when Sue recognises the double helix around the neck of the Kinda, long before Todd points it out. Frankly, I’m amazed. What could Sue know of molecular biology?

Meanwhile, Tegan’s head has been populated with some very strange characters.

Sue: It’s Keith from the Prodigy and – no, wait, don’t tell me… It’s… It’s… Lou Beale from EastEnders! Blimey, that takes me back a bit. “Arfur! Arfur!”

Tegan is slowly driven mad.

Sue: I’m really sorry but this has turned into a bad student film. It’s a bit pretentious.

At least the sets in the dome meet with Sue’s approval.

Sue: The sets are brilliant. It’s been put together like a German Huf Haus.
Me: I’ll have to take your word for it.
Sue: It’s prefabricated. It looks like a real lab where you could actually get some proper work done. I’m really impressed with the design of this story. It feels real.

When Aris makes his first appearance, I have a little a wager with Sue:

KindaMe: If you can tell me where you’ve seen this actor before, I will do the washing-up for a whole week.
Sue: He is very, very familiar. It would help if he spoke. I’m sure it’ll come to me later.

Back at the dome, Hindle has a dicky-fit, smashing up Todd’s lab in the process.

Sue: The prop guys are probably having kittens and praying that they don’t need another take.
Me: What do you think of the actor playing Hindle?
Sue: He’s a bit hammy but he has a very interesting face so he’s getting away with it.

Sue has never seen a single episode of The Bill, so there’s no point going down that road.

A laughing man joins Tegan in her head.

Sue: (Singing) Ashes to Ashes, Funk to Funky…

He manages to freak both Tegan and Sue out.

KindaSue: He reminds me of Joffrey from Game of Thrones. And I want to punch him in the face as well. I have to say, the acting is very good in this episode. I really like the way the tone keeps shifting as well, from the brightly lit scenes in the dome to the really dark stuff in her head, it’s a nice contrast. It’s well directed.

The episode concludes with Hindle proclaiming that he has the power of life and death over everyone.

Sue: Wow. That was intense. Hey, it’s not bad, this. Peter Davison is very good. He feels like a proper Doctor now.

 

Part Two

KindaWe meet Mary Morris as Panna.

Sue: Proof that they didn’t have Botox in the 1980s. I bet she was a looker back in her day, though.

When we finished this episode, I gave Sue a picture of Mary in her prime.

Sue: I thought so. Stunning. Bloody good actress, too.

She still can’t place Aris, though.

Sue: It’s really bugging me now. His name is on the tip of my tongue. Have I seen him in a film or a television programme?
Me: TV.

She won’t get it. Not in a million years.

KindaPanna: The not-we must know how it is with the Kinda.
Sue: The not-we. You call me a not-we on the front page of this blog.
Me: This is what we call people who aren’t Doctor Who fans.
Sue: Normal people, you mean?
Me: If you like.
Sue: I don’t mind being called a not-we. I’ve been called a lot worse. On the blog, in fact.
Me: I’m not sure if you are still a not-we or not. You’ve seen more 1960s episodes than many fans.
Sue: I am definitely not a we.
Me: You answered three questions on Mastermind yesterday.

The three answers she got right were: Daleks, Castrovalva and Shada. She hasn’t even seen Shada!

Sue: So I’m almost a we?
Me: You are probably more of a wee-we.
Sue: Don’t push it, Neil.

KindaTodd and the Doctor decide its time they escaped from the dome.

Sue: Nerys Hughes is brilliant in this. She’s really showing Tegan up. This is how you play the companion role, love. With a bit of decorum.

Hindle is becoming increasingly unstable.

Sue: So has Hindle been possessed by the Kinda? Just like his boss was when he opened that box earlier?
Me: No.
Sue: I’m really confused, then.
Me: Hindle is just insane. He’s having a nervous breakdown.
Sue: Right. So he isn’t possessed by anything?
Me: No.
Sue: It isn’t very clear. That’s my only problem with this story so far: it’s too complicated.

The battle for Tegan’s mind continues.

KindaSue: It’s basically a video for a New Romantic song. I definitely won’t forget this in a hurry.

Hindle is convinced that the plants are out to get him.

Sue: He’s been watching far too much Doctor Who. I’m surprised he hasn’t confiscated the Doctor’s celery.

Adric has heard enough. He switches sides.

Sue: Oh no, not again! Adric! What are you doing?
Me: I think he’s just pretending this time.
Sue: After last week’s fiasco? Not bleeding likely. I’ve gone right off Adric. I gave him every chance and I feel like he’s just chucking it back in my face.

Tegan is talking to herself.

Sue: This must have been a bit heavy for the kids.
Me: I was 12 when I saw this. It scared the shit out of me.
Sue: I’m not surprised. It’s very disturbing. The psychological stuff is much more frightening than lumbering monsters.
Me: Imagine coming out of this story straight into Terry and June. The change in gears gave me mental whiplash.

KindaIf two Tegans set Sue’s teeth on edge, then 10 Tegans is pure torture.

Sue: I’ll have a ****ing heart attack if I have to listen to 10 Tegans all whining at once. Please make it stop.

Tegan gives in and she allows her body to be used by the laughing boy.

Sue: This is very intense. Confusing but intense. Ooh, he’s putting his snake in her. And he didn’t even buy her dinner first.

By now, Hindle is several coupons short of a toaster.

Sue: Mad bastards are always the best villains. It feels more real. I definitely won’t forget this performance in a hurry. I can’t take my eyes off him. Even when Peter Davison is on the screen.

High praise, indeed.

Sue: I’m not following the plot, though.

Oh.

When Tegan seduces Aris, I have to pause the DVD.

Sue: Okay, I give up. Who is it?
Me: Are you giving up the chance to make me do the washing-up for a week? Oh well, that’s life.
Sue: Tell me who it is.
Me: We rang the Gas Board and they said, “I’m sorry, but this has nothing to do with us”.
Sue: He worked for the Gas Board?
KindaMe: No, he was on That’s Life!. He was one of Ester’s boys.
Sue: Glyn Worsnip?
Me: No! The other one.
Sue: Cyril Fletcher?
Me: Does he look like Cyril ****ing Fletcher? No, it’s Adrian Mills.
Sue: Oh yeah, so it is. I used to watch That’s Life! every Sunday night; I knew I recognised his face.
Me: Can I press Play again, please?
Sue: Yes. The acting in this story is so good, even a bloke from That’s Life is bloody good in it. That’s how good it is. Why did he give up acting?

Sanders arrives back at the dome with a present for Hindle.

Hindle: What is it?
Sue: It’s a Kinder Surprise.
Me: Well done, Sue.
Sue: I’ve been dying to say that ever since we started this. I’ve been biding my time.

KindaThe Doctor, Sanders and Todd are placed in a cell with the Kinda box.

Sue: That’s a lovely box. If I had to buy some Doctor Who memorabilia, that’s what I’d get.

The episode concludes with the Doctor opening it. Todd screams.

Sue: Bloody hell. I can’t go to bed on that cliffhanger. Stick the next one on.

 

Part Three

KindaSue: Why isn’t Adric doing something to stop the mad ****er? You said he was just pretending this week. He’s just standing there watching!
Me: Maybe they should have given Adric a holiday instead of Nyssa.
Sue: Who?

Ouch.

Sue: Nerys Hughes is the only companion the Doctor needs. They have great chemistry together and she isn’t hysterical.
The Doctor: (To Todd) You ask a lot of questions.
Sue: See! She’d be perfect for you. Take her with her, you fool. And leave the rest of them here. Let Mike Oldfield put up with them for a bit.

Aris tries to hide his tattoo.

Sue: Do Doctor Who fans have snakes tattooed on their arms? I bet they do. It’s either that or a Dalek, I suppose, and that would be pretty boring.

KindaHindle is never going to get that toaster.

Sue: I thought he couldn’t get any crazier, but he has. It’s an incredible performance. It could have been terrible but it works. I love his catchphrase.

The Kinda jester puts on a special performance for the Doctor.

Sue: Is it Stuart Fell? Because, well, you know.

Sue doesn’t comment for a while. I’m not sure if it’s because she’s captivated or confused.

Me: Are you okay? You’ve been very –
Sue: SILENCE!

Hindle wants to play with Adric.

KindaSue: What does he want Adric to measure? No, don’t tell me. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

The Doctor meets Panna. She’s very rude.

Sue: She’s brilliant, isn’t she? Even she would be a better companion than Tegan. Can you imagine it? The Doctor would have to lead her around and she’d keep insulting him and… actually, that’s a stupid idea. She’d make a great Yoda, though. They would have saved a bomb on muppets if they’d hired her instead.

The Doctor and Todd prepare to have a shared hallucination.

Sue: They’re going to drop some magic mushrooms, aren’t they?
Me: Don’t take the brown acid!
Panna: Wherever the wheel turns, there is suffering, delusion and death. That much should be clear, even to an idiot.
Sue: That joke will never get old.

Panna and the Doctor discuss the legend of the Mara.

Me: Are you following this, Sue?
Sue: SILENCE!

The Doctor and Todd share a vision.

KindaSue: David Bowie would have loved this story.

By the end of it, Sue has been baffled into submission.

Sue: Answers on a postcard, please. Okay, I admit defeat. I’m lost. I haven’t got a clue what’s going on any more. I’m enjoying it but what the hell was that all about? Why the modern clock on the plinth? And why the hot coals?
Me It wasn’t hot coals. That was just a video effect.
Sue: Oh, my head hurts.

We decide to save the final part of Kinda for the following day, when Sue’s brain has had a chance to cool down. Now, if only I still had that delta wave augmenter I knocked up last Christmas.

 

Part Four

KindaSue: That’s where the cliffhanger should have been. When the screen went white. The director missed a trick, there.

Panna is dead but her consciousness has been passed to a girl named Karuna.

Sue: Now I’m really confused.

It’s so confusing, Peter Davison almost falls over.

Sue: Peter is such a pro, he just keeps going. It’s an acting masterclass, this week.

Hindle’s psychosis plumbs next depths.

Sue: Did the kids enjoy this, really? Wouldn’t they have preferred a big monster than a mental illness?

Be careful what you wish for, Sue.

Aris commands the Kinda to build their own version of the not-we’s TSS machine.

KindaSue: Are they making an outside toilet?

Aris growls.

Sue: His teeth remind of the red stuff dentists used to give you so they could check for tooth decay.
Me: Yes, I know what you mean. They used to come into our school to do it.
Sue: Don’t tell me – and you all ran around the playground pretending to be possessed by the Mara, yes?
Me: Are you telepathic, woman?

The Doctor finds Tegan. He wants to know what she did to Aris. She’s reluctant to tell him.

The Doctor: Now come on, Tegan, you must tell me.
Sue: (As Tegan) Okay, I got all sexy on his ass! Happy, now?

KindaAdric gets into the TSS machine and he blasts Aris.

Sue: (As Aris) I’m on fire! I’m on fire! Seriously, I am on ****ing fire! Why hasn’t the director cut yet?

The Doctor drags Adric out of the machine.

Sue: Adric is such a twat.

Finally, everything is right with the universe again.

Sue: I just don’t get it. One minute he can create whole worlds, the next minute he can’t even drive a tank. It makes no sense.

When Adric and Tegan start bickering, Sue delivers the final blow.

Sue: What is Adric looking at? Is it the director? He really can’t act, can he? I’ve given him more than enough chances. I think the problem is the guest cast are showing the companions up. Adric is out of his depth.

KindaHindle finally snaps.

Hindle: You can’t mend people!
Sue: That’s very profound. Because he’s broken.

Hindle opens the Kinda box and the Doctor disables the explosives.

Sue: That was a bit of an anti-climax.

But it isn’t over yet.

The Doctor explains to Tegan how the Mara can’t face itself.

The Doctor: Do you see?
Tegan: No.
Sue: Thank God it’s not just me. This makes no sense.

The Doctor instructs the Kinda to surround Aris with mirrored solar panels.

Sue: He could easily get through that gap. What’s he waiting for?

KindaAnd then the snake turns up.

Sue: They are trying.

It gets bigger.

Sue: They are really trying.

And bigger.

Sue: Oh dear. What a shame.

Once the Mara is defeated, Sue gives her verdict on the snake.

Sue: It wasn’t too bad. I think the jester was more annoying than the snake. I didn’t really have a problem with it. But I was making this back then, I would have stuck with the small one. That was more scary. It’s not the size of the snake that’s important, it’s what you do with it.

A little later, I show her the CGI replacement on the DVD.

Sue: Wow. That’s incredible. It’s very sympathetically done. They even kept the really annoying strobing effect.

Hindle and Sanders take a stroll in the jungle.

Sue: Hang on. Isn’t Sanders still mad?
Me: Well…
Sue: He is. He lost his mind when he opened the box, didn’t he? I bet he’s wearing a skirt by the end of the week.

KindaTodd and the Doctor say their goodbyes.

Sue: Oh, just take her with you!
Todd: Paradise is too green for me.
Sue: She’s practically begging you to take her with you!

The Doctor returns to his companions.

Sue: **** Nyssa.

 

The Score

Sue: I really liked it but I didn’t understand it. The other problem I have with it is that the Doctor was sidelined too much. I wouldn’t mind but it’s too early to be doing that to this Doctor. The acting was brilliant but Adric has to go. Yeah, I kinda liked it.

Me: You’ve been dying to say that, haven’t you?

7/10

I am bitterly disappointed. Kinda is a 9 at the very least.

Sue: Maybe I’d enjoy it more if I saw it again.
Me: With a score like that, you won’t be seeing any more snakes for quite some time.

 

Coming Soon

 

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Comments

  1. Silent Hunter  September 17, 2012

    Amazed Sue hasn’t seen any of ‘The Bill’? Perhaps you should introduce her?

    • Lewis  September 17, 2012

      Adventures with the Wife in Sun Hill?

      • Frankymole  September 17, 2012

        Never mind the Bill, what is she doing not watching Richard O’Sullivan’s “Adventures of Dick Turpin”? Simon Rouse *and* great carpentry!!

  2. Dave Sanders  September 17, 2012

    Could have been worse, they could have landed in Keith Richards’ back garden. Actually from the blissed-out natives, they probably did.

  3. Lewis  September 17, 2012

    Kinda is a 9, but a 7 is a decent score too 🙂

    I wonder what Sue will make of Serial 6D after this one. I know it’s an odd point, but I agree on Sue with the titles. One-word titles are just boring! Sort it out, JNT.

  4. Broadshoulder2  September 17, 2012

    “Sue: I’ll have a ****ing heart attack if I have to listen to 10 Tegans all whining at once. Please make it stop”

    The terrible trio finally wear Sue down. I was struggling at this point I am afraid. Buck Rogers was beginning to be far more alluring. Not a fan of Kinda I am afraid.

    • Broton  September 17, 2012

      Wasn’t Buck Rogers on Saturdays though?

  5. Andrew Ford  September 17, 2012

    I remember hating this story when it was first on – I was about 13 or 14, I think. Now I think it’s fantastic. Sue’s opinion of Adric and Nyssa seems to echo those of most of the fans that I knew at the time. I’m surprised that she didn’t pick up on Richard Todd being in it.

    • Neil Perryman  September 17, 2012

      Why? Has he been in EastEnders?

      • Andrew Ford  September 17, 2012

        Ha ha! Richard Todd in Eastenders. Now there WAS a wasted opportunity.

      • chris-too-old-too-watch  September 17, 2012

        To me he’ll alway be Robin Hood (Robin Hood, riding through the glen, etc etc etc)

        • Andrew Ford  September 17, 2012

          I think that was Richard Greene. Although Richard Todd did also play Robin Hood in a film, as I recall. They are similar in looks, voice, acting style etc.

          • chris-too-old-too-watch  September 17, 2012

            He did, “The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men” in 1952

        • Glen Allen  September 17, 2012

          I BEG your pardon
          *rude*
          🙂

          • Andrew Bowman  September 17, 2012

            He was very good in The Dam Busters. Sorry, that’s all I got on that topic!

  6. Mark Faulkner  September 17, 2012

    I think 7 is a very fair mark on first viewing. It wasn’t until I saw Kinda again, when the DVD was released, that I fully re-appraised it for the excellent story it is and like you, Neil, I think it’s a 9 now. That’s the beuaty of Doctor Who – it withstands repeat viewing to fine-tune the missed details.

    • Alisaunder  September 19, 2012

      Maybe I need to see it again but I mostly remember being a bit bored watching it. But then again I didnt like Warrior’s Gate till I saw it the second time and Got It. The one Im waiting for Sue to see involves well lit undersea corridors.

  7. Lewis  September 17, 2012

    Sidenote: Were Kinder Eggs available when this story went out?

    Also, why did JNT want the three companions to .. fuck about? We don’t really get a sense of joy and fun until Mel comes around (love her or hate her, it’s true), and it’s a shame.

    • Lewis  September 17, 2012

      And, is it just me who prefers Nyssa? Even Davison said Nyssa made a great companion. If she’d been given more to do, without Adric and Tegan, it would’ve been good, because Nyssa and the Doctor enjoyed spending time together… which is more than can be said for the other two, really.

      • Gavin Noble  September 17, 2012

        No, I loved Nyssa. She’s great in a few stories time. She worked better with Davison’s Doctor than Adric or Tegan ever did.

      • Wholahoop  September 17, 2012

        Nope, I fancied the pants off Nyssa. Shame it took till Season 20 for that to happen 🙂

      • Smith  September 17, 2012

        I’ve always loved Nyssa. The serial in which she leaves is the only Doctor Who story that manages to make me tear up.

      • Noodles  September 17, 2012

        Although, if rumor is to be believed, the reason Davison wanted Sarah Sutton to stick around is that he was boffing her behind Sandra Dickinson’s back.

        For the record, she’s always been my favorite in this era, although I’ve never been able to work out whether that’s because I think she’s a good character or whether it’s just because she’s so very, very pretty. I was definitely head-over-heels with her at the time, even though she knows so little about telebiogenesis.

        • Glen Allen  September 17, 2012

          WHAT? Where the hell did that come from?

          • Frankymole  September 17, 2012

            The same make-stuff-up factory as the rumours about Pertwee/Manning, Waterhouse/Nathan-Turner, and Troughton/everybody, presumably.

      • Thomas  September 19, 2012

        I’m curious in that I honestly like all the 80’s companions, so yeah, Nyssa’s good for me, too.

    • chris-too-old-too-watch  September 17, 2012

      Unfortunately, the companions have all been transformed into the generic “Companion” (see Ian, Barbara, Vicki et al), where they have no character, no motivation and only exist for the “What/Where/How/Who/When/Why Doctor” role

      • Lewis Christian  September 17, 2012

        Take Ian and Barbara out. They were outstanding, and a far cry from “generic companions”!

        • Frankymole  September 17, 2012

          One problem that might’ve arisen, had Nyssa become the sole companion, is that she was too clever by half (the reason Liz Shaw was ditched). Every Zoe needs a Jamie, and every K-9 needs a Leela. Without that the show has no-one for “da kidz” to identify with, and to ask dippy questions that the audience require answers to, apparently.

          • Lewis Christian  September 17, 2012

            True, but then get rid of Adric or Tegan so there’s just one alongside Nyssa.

            Oh, wait… 😉

          • encyclops  September 17, 2012

            I’m guessing by your phrasing that you don’t buy into that rationale 100%, but for the record I never identified with the “normal” characters even when I was one of “da kidz.” I loved Liz Shaw and Romana, and I liked Nyssa even more then than I do now. I’d much rather watch characters who are smarter than I am, so I have something to aspire to.

          • Frankymole  September 19, 2012

            True – I don’t buy into it 100% (Romana and Liz Shaw are two of my favourite companions, and Leela was no idiot either); it was the stated BBC policy at one time (Barry Letts, for all his solid drama credentials, was not perfect – though I love Jo Grant. Maybe more for what Katy Manning made her than the idea of a ditzy assistant…).

            I was going to add “every Roberta Tovey needs a Roy Castle” – and the “getting them into trouble” was originally Sydney Newman’s brief for Susan, but that movie pair turned the usual expectation on its head, making little girl Susan the genius and Ian the comic relief. Perhaps Nyssa alone would’ve worked, but it would’ve been a fairly po-faced team. Davison’s Doctor being exasperated by Tegan and Adric is comic relief, certainly – and much needed in the 80s, when the stories got more serious.

          • Matt Sharp  September 19, 2012

            Without that the show has no-one for “da kidz” to identify with, and to ask dippy questions that the audience require answers to, apparently.

            I’ve often wondered about that – are we supposed to be identifying with the only 20th century human in the team, then? Tegan? Who spends pretty much the whole time she’s adventuring in space and time moaning that she’s missing out on her air-hostessing job? She’d rather spend her life flying backwards and forwards to Australia than exploring the galaxy…

            Doing nothing but flying backwards and forwards to Australia sounds like purgatory to me, to be honest. I think whoever it was who came up with the idea must have believed that it was still regarded as an exotic job, even though that idea must have been 20 years out of date even then. Mel’s never-actually-mentioned job of ‘computer programmer’ seems oddly old fashioned, too.

            I think the Graham Williams era proved pretty well that if you really need an audience identification figure, you can easily write one into the script. I know I certainly never felt ‘alienated’ by the Doctor and Romana’s discussions, and I certainly never resented the appearance of the likes of Professor Rumford, Duggan and even Doctor Todd as proxy companions.

        • John G  September 17, 2012

          “Take Ian and Barbara out. They were outstanding, and a far cry from “generic companions”!”

          Hear, hear! I don’t know how things would have worked out with Nyssa as a sole companion, given Sarah Sutton’s limitations as an actress – look how Sue completely forgot about her while she watched this story. Perhaps if she had had more to do her confidence would have blossomed, but we’ll never know. She does have a decent chemistry with Peter though, as evidenced the most by Arc of Infinity – what chemistry they may or may not have had behind the scenes is not something I propose to comment on…

          • Thomas  September 19, 2012

            Sutton’s acting is on the whole find, IMO- she’s just not given very much to work with. Like, at all. And on the off-chance she does get a bigger role, she’s stuck saying stuff like “Topping!”.

        • chris-too-old-too-watch  September 18, 2012

          No, I’m not going to “take out Ian and Barbara”. Admittedly at the start of their tenure and for most of their time in the series they were excellent, however even they deteriorated into the generic companion role towards the end of their stay. Jamie was one of my favourites, but even he started going against character. Sarah-Jane (now this will get the net buzzing) is incredible and Lis Sladen superb, but there were some times when she did things totally against character and only put in for sake of the plot, not because it was something she’d be able to do (e.g. sharpshooting in Pyramids).
          Please don’t misunderstand me: I’m not attacking individual companions or actors. I’m attacking slapdash writing and back characterisation by the writers. All too often something needs to be done or said, so it’s given to anyone available, whether or not it’s consistent with their character, and all too often that’s the companion.

          • Thomas  September 19, 2012

            Of course, that’s likely because strong character development and consistency didn’t start becoming important in Doctor Who until the Williams era (last year of Hinchcliffe at the earliest). Once you hit Romana you really start to see characters acting within the bounds of their personalities, though admittedly with setbacks here and there (I’m looking at you, Destiny of the Daleks).

    • Noodles  September 17, 2012

      What about “Black Orchid”? The first episode is basically the TARDIS team having a laugh with each other.

      • Lewis Christian  September 18, 2012

        True, but it’s a rare moment. 90% of the Davison/Baker era is just bickering.

  8. matt bartley  September 17, 2012

    Great entry (fnarr fnarr). Sue’s increasing hatred of Adric is hilarious, as is her utter dismissal of Nyssa. But did she not recognise Lee Cornes?

    • Lewis  September 17, 2012

      Well someone had to slip that joke in 😉

      • Gavin Noble  September 17, 2012

        You mean ‘Adventures with the Wife in Grange Hill’?

  9. John S. Hall  September 17, 2012

    Did you tell Sue the story about how Matthew Waterhouse supposedly gave Richard Todd (one of the few Oscar-nominated actors to have appeared in “Doctor Who”) advice on television acting…?? 😉

    • Nick Mays  September 17, 2012

      The old chestnuts are always the best….

      It’s a story that Janet Fielding and Peter Davison and “I-should-have-been-Adric-both-Waterhoiuse” love to re-hash time and time again. It’s a bit like that old toffee about Andy Murray allegedly saying he hated England.

      And in both cases, I daresay youth and inexperience were the causes.

      • Andrew Bowman  September 17, 2012

        I understand that Matthew Waterhouse was berating himself, and looking at Richard Todd for confirmation. We’ve all done it; telling ourselves off while looking at someone else, in an attempt to not take oneself too seriously. It may well have been youth talking, but I’m more inclined to believe Matthew’s own account of the events rather than listen to testimonies of those who where a few feet away at the time.

  10. John Callaghan  September 17, 2012

    Neil, your restraint at not leading Sue down any Kate Bush-related garden paths is commendable!

    And I’ll say it again: the incarnation of false fears looking like a puppet snake is entirely appropriate. In this brave story, they could have gone with Tegan saying “but it’s just a rubber snake!” And everyone laughs at it. The end.

  11. Chris Orton  September 17, 2012

    Neil, did you tell Sue the Matthew Waterhouse telling Richard Todd how to do acting story?

    • Neil Perryman  September 17, 2012

      We watched the documentary, so yes, she knows.

  12. Paul Shields  September 17, 2012

    I think Sue’s on to something – if Adric starts behaving out of character after Castrovalva, perhaps that’s not really Adric but some kind of block transfer projection bollocks replica? Perhaps the real Adric is still on board the Master’s Tardis. And you know what that means…

    • chris-too-old-too-watch  September 17, 2012

      Several posibilities:
      1) He’s still alive and will re-appear as Capt Jack’s love interest in 50th Anniversary special
      2) He escapes from the Master in 1960’s Britain, becomes a science teacher, changes his name to Ian and goes on a long sabbatical
      3) Is responsible for driving the Master entirely mad for his return

      • Cracked Polystyrene Man  September 18, 2012

        For a moment there I thought that old guy in DINOSAURS ON A SPACESHIP was going to be Adric. The boy genius survived all along and built a spaceship, stuffed it with the last of the dinosaurs, and launched himself into space to wait for the Doctor to come back and get him.

        • Frankymole  September 19, 2012

          And the Doctor then blows him up at the end. Sweet.

          • Wholahoop  September 20, 2012

            There’s nothing necessarily wrong with giving the fans what they want

            PS are you saying in one of your earlier replies that “Pertwee/Manning, Waterhouse/Nathan-Turner, and Troughton/everybody” are not true, ‘cos they must be the source for at least 3/4 of the stories on the Teaspoon and an Open Mind site !!! (so I have, erm, heard. Not read it myself of course)

          • Frankymole  September 20, 2012

            I don’t even know what that site is. But if it’s just a hotbed of unfounded salacious rumours, I’m glad I don’t!

          • Andrew Bowman  September 20, 2012

            It’s a fan fiction website, doing things ranging from two line skits to full-blown novels. Worryingly, there is a *huge* amount of what’s known as slash-fiction; essentially all the characters go to bed with each other. It is very, very disturbing!

  13. Gavin Noble  September 17, 2012

    Totally agree with Sue with this score. I don’t know why fandom rate this story so highly. It’s good but not great in my books.

    I am looking forward to the next review because the next story is one of my favourite Davison’s.

    • Dave Sanders  September 17, 2012

      It kind of tries too hard – it’s all very LOOK AT ME with the symbolism and New Romantic video effects. Hindle is brilliant because he’s exactly as hatstand as he needs to be, and all the better for not being under the Mara’s influence. But apart from the Doctor, Todd and Panna/Karuna, nobody else is told to reign it in much, so however well-acted the guest cast is, it’s the three ‘normal’ ones who look like the calm eye in the storm and thus the most important characters in the story, when in fact they’re not.

      Snakedance, by taking exactly the opposite approach, is a far better example of how to do the same story with a sense of subtlety.

  14. chris-too-old-too-watch  September 17, 2012

    Interesting mark Sue. I know from original the TV transmissions we were all totally baffled as to what was going on. And even more baffled when virtually nothing was explained by the end. The acting more than made up for this and on repeated viewings, came to the conclusion that you don’t have to explain everything to get a good story.

  15. Gavin Noble  September 17, 2012

    Have to give a mention to Glen Allen for his trailers – I look forward to them as much as the the blog these days.

    • Glen Allen  September 17, 2012

      Aww cheers for that. I’ve had a bit of fun with the next couple. Probably a bit TOO much fun 🙂

      • solar penguin  September 20, 2012

        Just as long as you don’t make any puns about “Peter bowling and batting, and Janet fielding.”

        • Andrew Bowman  September 20, 2012

          He will now! 🙂

  16. Wholahoop  September 17, 2012

    I agree that it is a complicated storyline, but it’s still a good storyline despite that. I have to say that the guest actors really earned their corn in this story, particularly the dome dwellers and Panna/Karuna. In summary, a sumptuous visual feast, very 80’s in terms of style. 7/10 is OK. I won’t say goodbye, just Kinda Lingers 🙂

  17. John S. Hall  September 17, 2012

    So I’m not the only one who’s noticed that since Christopher HAMILTON Bidmead left as Script Editor (and post-“Castrovalva”) that the writing / characterisation for Adric has gone right down the drain?? 😉

    I suppose “in-universe” it could be explained by Adric not getting on as well with Davison’s Doctor as he did with Tom’s Doctor, plus the sudden presence of Nyssa and Tegan (to whom the Doctor pays more attention, the squeaky wheel getting the grease and all that…) making the Alzarian more prone to prattish behaviour, and so on… 😉

    • Thomas  September 19, 2012

      I would definitely attribute it to Bidmead’s leaving. Both Adric and Nyssa are difficult characters to work with, so I think once he left the writers just didn’t know what to do with them. A shame, too, because both their acting steadily increases- it’s just hard to notice with how they’re written (Adric especially- if I started watching him from Four to Doomsday I would just detest his character).

  18. Paul Mc Elvaney  September 17, 2012

    “Neil: Maybe they should have given Adric a holiday instead of Nyssa.
    Sue: Who?”

    Wow. Harsh. She’s not THAT bad, is she? Maybe she just looks good compared to that prick, Adric in my eyes. I’m sorry but I just cannot stand that boy no matter how hard I try…

    • Dave Sanders  September 17, 2012

      I like Nyssa, for the same reason I like Ohio; she’s not ‘boring’, she’s NORMAL.

      • encyclops  September 17, 2012

        She’s not normal, which is why I like her. But she never really got a story like Tegan got in “Kinda,” unless you count the one coming up this season that everyone except me hates. As with Adric, I don’t blame the actor or the character, but the writers.

        I can’t really imagine the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa travelling together. Who would get them into trouble?

        • Dave Sanders  September 17, 2012

          Big Finish.

        • Paul Mc Elvaney  September 17, 2012

          I think there are a heap of Big Finish audios with just the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa. I’ve no idea how well they go together but it mustn’t be too bad if they’re still making them…

          • Paul Mc Elvaney  September 17, 2012

            Ah, I’ve been beaten to it. Oh, well!

        • John G  September 17, 2012

          I like that story too…

        • Thomas  September 19, 2012

          Yeah, they did do Spare Parts, which is excellent in every way, so it could be done.

        • Paul Greaves  September 21, 2012

          The Fifth Doctor and Nyssa work so well together, it’s just that Whiny-Adric and Shouty-Tegan are such shameless attention seekers. The Big Finish audios prove that when actually written for properly Nyssa is an excellent companion. Poorly treated on screen but given fresh life on audio.

          http://thetimevault.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/companion-piece-two/

  19. Andrew Flegg  September 17, 2012

    > Adric wanders off and he finds an empty armoured suit in a clearing. The Doctor drags him away from it.

    Aha! I’ve always been jealous of people on this blog who can remember their first time with a story, or their first Doctor Who memory. But this is mine. I don’t remember anything else about the story, but I’ve got a _very_ vivid memory of being scared of being trapped inside the TSS.

    I’ve not seen it seen I was four, but there it is: http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Total_Survival_Suit

  20. simon  September 17, 2012

    Sorry…Didnt like this. I thought it was weird when it was first broadcast. I like the monster of the week. This for me is when Doctor Who started to loose its fun. From Toms brilliant darkly gothic first few seasons, to the fun years…then from that to this? No thanks. I liked Castrovalva, mostly because we got to see more of the inside of the Tardis. Four to Doomsday was rubbish. So was this. I liked the next story a lot, and the one towards the end..with the…you know the one I am talking about. But other than that the whole season felt flat to me, and its obvious that they are trying so hard after Tom. But Peter Davidson just comes across as bland, no matter how good the girls think he looks. There are one or two other good stories in his run, but no where near as many as Toms….oh well.

  21. Matt Sharp  September 17, 2012

    What is wrong with Adric? Has he been taking stupid pills? He hasn’t been the same since he left Castrovalva.

    I believe I have an explanation for that – the Master attempts to trap Adric in a Hadron Web, but didn’t realise that his machinery also came equipped with an over zealous auto-correct facility and he’s been entirely infused with a completely different type of energy instead, one that means that he’s no longer thinking with his brain and another part of his anatomy has taken over.

  22. Roderick T. Long  September 17, 2012

    How I didn’t get a cushion in the ribs for that, I’ll never know.

    Because she naturally thought you meant the clipboard.

  23. Steve O'Brien  September 17, 2012

    I cherish Kinda more than my balls.
    Maybe Sue will like Snakedance more. Rob Shearman loves Snakedance and Sue loves Rob Shearman.

  24. Jennie  September 17, 2012

    Tegan with pink teeth and the snake scared the hell out of me when I first saw this. I’m sure I’ve had dreams about being in the void with the old couple….

    For what it’s worth, I like Nyssa as well.

  25. encyclops  September 17, 2012

    Wow, lots of Kinda hate (or at least indifference) in the comments! It’s a solid 10/10 for me, snake and all (I can reel off 5-10 Doctor Who monsters/effects that look far worse without even trying). I loved it as a kid AND as an adult, and it’s one of few stories that reveal new layers when you’re old enough to understand them. For example, as a kid I thought the arm-snake was just a snake.

    I was fascinated by this story before I ever saw it, because I’d seen the novelization (or novelisation if you like) in the bookstore and I read it as, “well, it’s kinda Doctor Who and kinda not.” Which turned out to be true; it’s definitely not Standard Operating Procedure and thank goodness for that.

    I wish we lived in a world where Doctor Who merchandise included the Box of Jhana. I’m with Sue: I would buy that in a heartbeat.

  26. Glen Allen  September 17, 2012

    Im of the “didnt get it as a kid and appreciate it now” brigade.
    Do we have a brigade? If not we should have…with eyepataches for everyone.
    Bearing in mind last weeks “adventure” this is light years ahead of it and I recall being really impressed with Nerys who like most others I guess I’d only seen in the Liver Birds (Was District Nurse before or after this?- Cant be arsed to google. Not important)
    But his (and to a lesser extent the next story) really impressed me

    • John G  September 17, 2012

      A little bit after, I think – I certainly remember watching District Nurse circa 1984-85.

  27. Jazza1971  September 17, 2012

    When I watched this as a 10 year old I really disliked it. I found the snake embarrassing and the plot was stupid (because I didn’t understand it really).

    Now, I love it. A solid 10/10 for me these days.

    I was quite stupid in my youth. I wasn’t a fan of “Genesis of the Daleks” on first broadcast either as I found Davros to be boring and felt the daleks weren’t in it enough. It’s good to re-evaluate things.

    • encyclops  September 17, 2012

      There are a lot of Dalek stories I appreciate more than I love because they’re typically so depressing. Genesis is brilliant but it’s not exactly fun to watch.

      • Frankymole  September 19, 2012

        It has a certain dark humour – “no tea, Harry” – but yes, genocide is not very entertaining…

  28. Richard Lyth  September 17, 2012

    7/10 is fair enough for the first viewing, it’s so dense it takes a few watches to really appreciate everything that’s going on.

    I was six when this first went out, and I don’t remember the giant snake, but I was absolutely terrified by the snake tattoo going from one person’s arm to another. To this day I’ve never trusted people with tattoos…

  29. Quoyre Greghenry  September 17, 2012

    I didn’t like it when I was little, because there weren’t monsters or laser battles. There were “themes” and jungle natives. These days, of course, I think it’s one of the best of all Davison adventures.

  30. solar penguin  September 17, 2012

    Sue’s got a point about the weird titles. In fact, this is the fourth title in a row without the letter E. (What, you mean you’re not sad enough to notice these things!?!)

    • John G  September 17, 2012

      “It wasn’t hot coals. That was just a video effect.”

      This is certainly up there among your funniest posts (and most risque, too). I am also most amused by how violently Sue has turned against Adric, like a spurned lover. I can sympathise, as this is the story which, above all others, hopelessly exposes Waterhouse’s lack of acting ability. It is the only time though that Adric really annoys me, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can recover any favour with Sue in the time he has left…

      As for Kinda itself, I think Sue’s score is perfectly fair for a first time viewing. It is hard to understand everything that’s going on (I don’t fully understand it all myself) but the story has a dreamy, hypnotic quality which, along with the generally excellent acting, carries you along and renders agonising over the plot slightly redundant; the rubber snake and dodgy-looking jungle don’t matter either. These more abstract, cerebral stories also really seem to suit the fifth Doctor’s personality, and Davison rises to the occasion with a fine performance. Credit to Janet Fielding too for doing an excellent job as possessed Tegan – I think this is where she really began to settle down and I have a feeling Sue will come to like her more as we go on. Perhaps not much more after the next story, though…

      • John G  September 17, 2012

        Sorry, didn’t intend the post above as a reply to solar penguin, but the E-free titles were a very good spot!

  31. Philippa Sidle  September 17, 2012

    I thought it was a bit too much on the weird side when first broadcast, and sadly I’ve never seen it since. Wow! This blog is really making me realise what a lazy fan I am.

    What I do remember enjoying/ seizing on desperately was the tiny, tiny hint of URST between the Doctor and Nerys Hughes’ character. Was it really there, or did my fevered teen girlbrain make it up?

    • Frankymole  September 18, 2012

      The fact Nerys gives him an apple is a bit of a giveaway considering they’re in Paradise…

      • Philippa Sidle  September 18, 2012

        Ah yes. These days, we have full on companion snogging, nekkidness and rising crumpets. In those days, we had to make do with a coyly gifted apple.

        • Frankymole  September 19, 2012

          And that sort of thing caused plenty o’ trouble in the olden days!

    • Wholahoop  September 20, 2012

      I had never heard of URST until I read about it on this site. What an educational site

  32. Ryan Hall  September 17, 2012

    Didnt think it would take sue long to suss Adric …

    This story kinda proves the therory of a younger doctor / older assistant team working , todd works so well with him , its the same as now , every time matt smith is paired with a older character it just works so much better than the 2 misrable pair he’s stuck with…but alas.

    i dont think i really enjoyed tegan’s character till later on…after she stops moaning.

    i do remember the “fade to grey” video bits with the mara and tegan as a kid and being terrified of the giant snake ( i hate snakes ).

    • jamieskilt  September 17, 2012

      They managed to pull off the same trick a couple of seasons later, pairing Davison with another ex-Liver Bird, Polly James.

    • Cracked Polystyrene Man  September 18, 2012

      I entirely agree. Davison needed an older companion like Todd and Matt Smith’s Doctor would work much better with an older companion as well.

      Matt Smith is a great actor but the youth of his companions gives them a shallowness that gives him little to act against and show his strengths. Like Davison, I think Matt Smith is a great choice for the role but his talents are being wasted.

    • Piers Johnson  September 18, 2012

      The Fade to Grey video is all about a man being bitten by his snake makeup when it comes to life, I bet they nicked the idea for Kinda from it.

      • Jazza1971  September 18, 2012

        Just watched the “Fade to Grey” video. Very interesting! They better watch out, Visage can be rather litigious when they feel their copyright has been infringed!

  33. Martyn Alner  September 17, 2012

    I’m starting to wonder if I’m just visiting the site for the Glen Allen trails…very funny they are. Apparently there is some blog above each one about some Doctor Who thing or other.

  34. DPC  September 18, 2012

    “Sue: Of course you’ll bloody need it! You always bloody need it. You’d be completely ****ed without it. I bet he wishes he has it with him before we reach the first cliffhanger.”

    Hehehehe…

    A shame about the low review, but I must admit it DOES take a re-watch or two to really adore it… but the story is so enthralling that re-watching is far more a treat to do…

    She was remarkably kind about the original snake… 🙂 And in total agreement re: the improved CGI version…

    Not keen on the Glen Allen trails, though – oh, they’re actually top-notch but I can’t post rebuttals because the trails are for the next story! 😀

    • Robert Dick  September 18, 2012

      The Next Times don’t really do anything for me, they seem popular though. Fair enough. They’re a bit clever-clever for me.

  35. Paul Lenkic  September 18, 2012

    Kinda is only a 9/10 in retrospect after many viewings. I never liked this story as a kid and my appreciation for it grows on each viewing. So I reckon 7/10 for a first viewing is a very fair score.

  36. fromEssex  September 18, 2012

    I was about 10 in 1981, which I think this is and was also freaked out by the Mara sequences. Quite scary really, although I wasnt, but still had nightmares, or dreams at least…

    But I dont think I really appreciated it as a whole until I bought the dvd q few years ago. That’s when could understand how good Simon Rouse’s performance was.

    I can remember really loving the Davison era, having got a bit tired of Tom after season 14 really (apart from season 18 when I got back into it.)

  37. fromEssex  September 18, 2012

    Apologies for the typos above. I’ve had a few drinkies earlier.

  38. Jay  September 18, 2012

    “I just feel so useless.”

  39. Piers Johnson  September 18, 2012

    I’m going to start a blog of my own “Avengers with the Wife instead” to go with my Steed & Mrs Peel fixation.
    Sadly, she likes Doctor Who & Dangerman more…

    (send me better derivative blog titles!)

  40. BWT  September 18, 2012

    Richard Todd, Nerys Hughes, Simon Rouse, Mary Morris (yes, she did have the X factor). This is Dr Who turned up to 11. With performances like this, who needs a plot or SFX? I love it and always have done – one of Davo’s best.

  41. DamonD  September 18, 2012

    Love Kinda, definitely one you need to see again to appreciate though. It doesn’t stand around to explain much, like Warriors’ Gate and Ghost Light, so it’s more like hanging on for dear life the first time around.

    Another good example of something where a quality supporting cast helps out a ton. A fair few stories get scuppered on that score, your lead(s) can be tremendous but if they’re surrounded by terrible or plank-like acting it’s always going to hurt things.

    • Frankymole  September 18, 2012

      Yes, those of us lucky enough to see Kinda on first transmission got a chance to see it again around a year later when it was repeated. That’s something this experiment can’t really duplicate (similar with having the Target books, available to mull over stories). Sue’s experience is different to a fan, who doesn’t have to go through the show at such a breakneck pace without much time to pause for reflection – then again, many of us didn’t get to see the older shows until decades later, so it’s swings and roundabouts.

  42. Neil Perryman  September 18, 2012

    The snake is out of the bag:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0571298109/223

    Full details in the next update.

    • Tim Parker  September 18, 2012

      Is that correct? Your book is being published by Faber & Faber? I’d expected a book to be released at some point, but I’d assumed it would be published by ‘Macra Publications’ or whatever small press deals with most of the burgeoning ‘Who website spin-off’ market these days. It’s a testimony to the two of you (but mainly Sue) that you’ve managed to interest a publisher of Faber’s calibre. Congratulations, I look forward to buying a copy.

    • Paul Mudie  September 18, 2012

      Excellent! That’s a pre-order for me! 🙂

    • Philippa Sidle  September 18, 2012

      Fantastic! Congratulations! *pre-orders*

    • DamonD  September 19, 2012

      Oh fantastic! Even with reading all of these so far, I’ll definitely order a copy. Good news 🙂

  43. Paul Mudie  September 18, 2012

    “Adric is such a twat.”

    That’s the t-shirt quote right there! 😀

    I’m afraid I’m not really a fan of this one. It tries to be terribly clever but it veers into pretentiousness once too often for my liking. Still, I appreciate the attempt to do something a bit deep and different, and mad Hindle is quite magnificent. Sue is right – Nerys would have been a wonderful companion!

  44. CJJC  September 18, 2012

    “They’ve landed in Mike Oldfield’s back garden.”

    Ah, but Wind Chimes Part One or Part Two? You may as well go for Part Two – it’s much longer so represents better value for money.

    • John G  September 19, 2012

      The Wind Chimes (parts one and two) has got a memorable video as well, albeit the computer graphics used look rather dated now! Sadly I don’t think any Who story has ripped that one off…

  45. Professor Thascales  September 19, 2012

    “Hindle is convinced that the plants are out to get him.

    Sue: He’s been watching far too much Doctor Who.”

  46. DPC  September 19, 2012

    Sue: Of course you’ll bloody need it! You always bloody need it. You’d be completely ****ed without it. I bet he wishes he has it with him before we reach the first cliffhanger.

    —-

    Hmmm…

  47. Doug  September 19, 2012

    Neil,

    I have just learned that Janet Fielding is the latest companion to be battling cancer:

    http://www.doctorwhonews.net/2012/09/janet-fielding-battles-cancer.html

    Very sad. 🙁

    • DamonD  September 20, 2012

      Very depressing, I can only give my best wishes towards her beating it.

  48. LeRoi  September 20, 2012

    Viewed ‘Kinda’ just once about a year ago and considered it among the top 5 of those I’ve seen, which is about half of the surviving original series.
    Expect if Sue were asked to name 5 she’d be willing to watch again this would be one.

    Good luck with the book!

  49. Tom Wake  October 6, 2012

    Is there a particular HHGG connection to “The Visitation”, or was it just a random choice for the trailer music?