50 for 50 — The Greatest Stories in Doctor Who History — #49

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Number 49 in our countdown goes to another Fifth Doctor story that often gets remembered for all the wrong reasons. Well, when I say reasons, I really should say one reason.

That being a a large origami snake.

Yes, that very unconvincing prop seems to be the one thing that overshadows everything else when fans remember this story. But look beyond this, and we see a story that is brimmed full of existential ideas that Buddha himself would be proud of, clever direction that gives us multiple Tegans and dark dream sequences, a masterclass in how to act “going off your rocker” in two completely different ways and, of course, Janet Fielding giving her finest performance as Tegan. Her Mara possessed air hostess is truly chilling and shows what a fine actress Ms. Fielding is and how sadly wasted her talents often were during her time on the show. So forget that rubbish snake.

Kinda is an intelligent science fiction story that’s brimming over with clever ideas and wonderful performances and features a threat so good that JNT decided to bring it back later. It even gets a name drop from the Tenth Doctor many years later.

“Open the box!” Kinda does that and more. — Steve

Alan’s #49 — The Greatest Show in the Galaxy
Andy’s #49 — Frontios
David’s #49 — Mindwarp

Kickoff week for 50 for 50 continues tomorrow with #48.