Having just edited The One With The Snake, aka Kinda, that left me with just one more Peter Davison edit to do and, since it was a sequel, I decided that the next one I tackled should be The Other One With A Snake, aka Snakedance. This is a much better story than Bailey’s first one, and yes I know it’s got Doc Martin in it, or that bloke from Men Behaving Badly depending on how old you are, but I’m much more interested in that Ambril bloke who clearly think’s he’s David Attenborough…

snakedance coversOkay, so the cossie they put Martin Clunes in at the end is even worse than That Coat, but the fake snake in this one is a lot more convincing, which admittedly wouldn’t be hard. And we’ve got Brian Miller, Mr Elisabeth Sladen, in there too, as well as some old hermit who thinks he’s Richard Hurndall…

As per usual in Classic Who, we get two plotlines to follow, the Doctor and his lesbian friends on the one hand and Lon & his Ma on the other. Unfortunately, they have Clunes play him as a complete spoilt brat with no redeeming features whatsoever, which has two effects – one, I don’t give a toss about him when he joins the Mara and two, he gets the Adric treatment. If he had been played a bit more likeable, that would have meant something when he gets seduced by the Mara. As it is, he’s a git from the off so all his scenes prior to setting out for the caves get cut.

snakedance dwmWe get the Dr & the girls to the cave after about six and a half minutes and six minutes later we get to the fortune teller’s tent and the skull in the crystal ball. The thirteen minutes of part two that made it into the final edit gives us the six faces of delusion, Tegan legging it into Brian Miller’s booth, Lon getting snaked and her eyes going all funny before we hit part three, which is where things start to go wrong. Bailey lets us know that he doesn’t have enough plot to go round by having the Doctor locked up for a whole episode simply so he can give us lots of exposition and backstory for the Mara’s origins. It’s called info-dumping and it’s a cardinal storytelling sin.

doctor-who-complete-history-39It would have been a lot better if the Doctor had met Dojen and got all that from him, especially if the old fella had started to doubt that he was right in the first place, in much the same way as Unstoffe did for Binro. That way you get the drama the TX version lacks. And then, to make matters worse, Bailey has the Doctor spend a huge chunk of part four sitting on his arse with Richard Hurndall while all the really interesting stuff is going on back at the cave. So, since you can’t avoid the Doctor getting locked up until the bloke from the sitcom Bread lets them out, I cut back eps three and four as much as possible so that the Doctor gets to the cave a helluva lot quicker than he did in the original!

With this fan edit, the Peter Davison Era is done, giving us a run of completed stories all the way from The Brain of Morbius to Delta And The Bannermen. Once again the crap one-word title gets changed to something more Who-y and relevant to the story’s subject matter.



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