Doctor Who (1963–1989): Season 20, Episode 5 - Snakedance: Part One - full transcript

The Tardis lands on Manussa where Tegan once again gets possessed by the Mara, who plan to break into the physical world.



We're not where we're supposed to be.

-Where are we?
-I don't know.

There are traces of anti-matter.

-Oh, highly unlikely he's still alive.

It's not a navigational malfunction,

-Shall I wake Tegan?
-No, no, there's no danger.

Although it's puzzling.

It's very puzzling.

"Planet G 139901KB
in the Scrampus system.

"Local name, Manussa, type 314-S.


"Atmosphere, 98% terra-normal.

"Gravity, 96% terra-normal."

Well, at least we can breathe the air.
I suppose that's something.

-You look different.
-Yes, Doctor.


The question is, how did we get here?

There's more.

"Third planet in the Federation system.
Status: colony.

"Former homeworld Manussan Empire,

"Former homeworld Sumaran Empire,

"Present economy,
subsistence agriculture and tourism."

-Former homeworld...
-Manussan Empire.

-No, no, the other one.
-Sumaran Empire.

This is serious.
Someone's been playing around.

-Who set the coordinates?
-Well, you did.

No, no. Earlier, I was trying to teach
both of you to read the star charts.

Now, one of you actually read out
the coordinates for me to set.

-Who was it?
-I can't remember.

It was Tegan.



Tegan, what's the matter?
What happened?

It was the dream.

The dream? What dream?

I can't... I can't remember.
I can never remember.

But you've had this dream,
this particular dream, before.

-Doctor, stop it.
-Haven't you?

-Always the same dream?

Yes, I think so.
The images fade so quickly.

But the same feelings of fear remain?

Doctor! It doesn't matter.
You're awake now, it was only a dream.

No, it wasn't, somehow.

-She means it.

I think she could be right.

Lon, you're not dressed yet.
Ambril will be here in a moment.

He promised to show us the caves
this morning. Had you forgotten?

-No, Mother, I hadn't forgotten.
-Well, then, we must make the effort.

-Must we?
-Well, of course we must.

-It is expected of us.

You are the Federator's son. Come along.

-What's wrong?
-The Federator's son is bored.

Now then, Tegan. Where are we?

-Very simple question, where are we?

-Well? Aren't we on Earth?
-No, we're not. So?

-Well, how should I know?


Please, Tegan. Think.
Reach into the back of your mind.

-Are we on Manussa?

-Are we?
-Yes, we are.

How did I know that?

Manussa, formerly homeworld
of the Sumaran Empire,

which may or may not ring a bell.
Does it, Tegan? The Sumaran Empire?

I agree Ambril can be rather trying.

On the whole, you know,
I preferred his predecessor.

Now, what was the man's name?

He was completely dotty,
but much more fun!

It's not just Ambril, Mother.
It's all of it.

There's ceremony in everything,
it's all such nonsense, isn't it?

-Is it?
-Of course it is.

And all so long ago.
The Mara was destroyed 500 years ago,

and yet we're still celebrating it. Why?

Oh, once every 10 years.

It occurs to me that
the whole thing is kept going

solely to remind the people here

how much better life is
under the rule of the Federation.

-And so it is.
-Is it?

(SCOFFS) Of course it is.

Life under the Mara must have been
gruesome in the extreme.

I mean, look.

Oh, it is grotesque.

You ought to take more interest
in our heritage.

-Well, it's the root of our culture.

The legend of the Return. Although...

Now, what was the man's name?
The Director before Ambril.

He didn't think it was just a legend.
He thought the Mara really would return.

Am I now supposed to take
the ramblings of a madman seriously?

-Oh, he didn't ramble.
-The Mara was destroyed,

not banished to another dimension.

It won't return in a dream,
or in any other form.

-If you say so.
-I think I just have.


Well, it made a good story.
Quite made my hair stand on end.

Ambril's predecessor
was rather good value.

Even if he was talking nonsense.

-Is this necessary?

We must recover Tegan's dream,
and simple hypnosis is the quickest way.

-But why must we?
-Dreams are important, Nyssa.

Never underestimate them.

Once a man fell asleep,
dreamt he was a frog.

When he woke up, he didn't know if
he was a man who'd dreamt he was a frog

or a frog who was now dreaming
he was a man.

I'm still possessed, aren't I, Doctor?

That Mara from the world of the Kinda

is still inside my head
somewhere, isn't it?

-We'll have to see.
-But you think so!

-It does seem likely, I'm sorry.
-But where?

Well, obviously below the threshold
of conscious thought.

I would imagine that when awake,

your mind is still
strong enough to resist,

but in sleep, it loosens its grip
and the battle is joined.

-In my dreams?

The battle for what?

For control. Come over here.

That's why you misread the coordinates.

It's possible the Mara seized temporary
control and brought itself home.

Now, insert the earpiece, try to relax,

and when switched on,
listen to the sound.

He thought the only people
who knew the truth about the Mara

were the snakedancers.
Once, he even took us to visit them.

It was miles from anywhere,
way up in the hills.

It was all wildly unofficial.
We had to go in disguise.

Can you imagine your father in disguise?

-(SIGHING) Even then...
-And did they?

-Know the truth about the Mara.

It was so dark and they were so dirty,
it was difficult to tell.

Oh, they were frightful.

They were all covered in ash,
some of them were almost naked.

They lived entirely on roots
and berries and things,

and they put themselves into trances.
It was quite disgusting.

They handled live snakes, I remember.

-Something to do with their religion.

And what did Father think?

The Federator, as usual, was not amused.


Come in.

Good morning, my lady Tanha.

Good morning.

-Are we ready?
-I'm afraid not quite.

I beg your pardon. In that case, I'll...

No, no, no. Please stay.
My son can dress quite quickly.

-What's this?
-That, my lord, is a small token

in honour of your presence here
deputising for your father.

I trust you approve?

Thank you.

-Exquisite, isn't it?
-Is it a fake?

AMBRIL: Oh, no, my lord,
it's an original.

One of a pair from my collection.

Seven hundred years old,
from the middle Sumaran era.

I unearthed it myself.

-Did you really?
-Yes, my lord.

Oh. Here, then, catch.

-Oh, my lord, really.



-DOCTOR: Where are you now?
-In Deva Loka, the Kinda world.

What are you doing there?

It's so horrible.

Is that thing inside my head?

If you must know, I climbed a tree
and dropped apples on its head.


I will never agree to what you ask!


Am I free of the Mara now? Forever?
Am I?

You must go deeper, Tegan. Much deeper.

Where are you now?

I'm in my garden, silly.

Everything grows in my garden.

People always come back.

If I close my eyes,
I want them to come back, and they do!

It always works.

I can tell lies, too.

People don't always notice,
so I'm safe here.

DOCTOR: How old are you?

I'm six, silly.

(INHALES) Tegan,
now you must leave your garden.

-Oh, why?
-And go still deeper.

Deeper and further. Much further.

Can you hear me?

Now, I want you to go into the dream.

-Why not?

Because I mustn't!

MAN: How about you, sir? Madam?

Step this way, if you'd be so kind.

I invite you to take
the most exciting journey of all,

the voyage inside,
the journey to meet yourself!

I address you in the silence
of your own hearts.

I offer my personal challenge.

May you bear witness
to what the Mara shows.

Dare you gaze upon the unspeakable?

Dare you come face-to-face
with the finally unfaceable?

Children, half-price.

Tegan, you're perfectly safe.
You must go into the dream.

Where are you now?

Snakemouth Cave.


DOCTOR: Out where?

I'm outside. I'm being fed the spirit.

-Go in.
-No, mustn't!

Tegan, you must go into the cave.
We need to know what's there.

Something in here.

Over there.

Mustn't look.

Mustn't ever look!
I'm safe if I don't look.

-DOCTOR: Tegan...

You're perfectly safe, you must look.
We need to know what is there.

(IN DEEP VOICE) Go away!

Come face-to-face
with the truth about yourselves!

In the hall of mirrors,
come along, please.

You, sir. For instance, you.

Now, you have the look of
a humble seeker after life's truth.

-Do I really?
-Of course you do.

-Now, if you'd care to step inside...
-Do you know who I am?

No, young man. Do tell us, who are you?

Oh. I beg your pardon, my lord, my lady.
I'm sure I didn't mean to...

-Well, what's in there?
-In, uh...

What exactly does one face
in your shoddy little booth?

-Uh, mirrors, my lord.

Distorting mirrors, that's all.
People are amused.

-Are they?
-Generally, my lord.




That voice. What was it?

The Mara,
speaking through Tegan's mouth.

On Deva Loka, you said a physical change
took place when possessed by a Mara.

It does, as mental resistance weakens.
But this time, I can prevent it.

-With this.

It inhibits the production of
brain waves associated with dreaming.

-Then what?
-We must find the cave,

Snakemouth in the dream.

-It's a real place?
-Oh, yes.

What's more, I would guess
it's somewhere nearby.

And the entrance
to the cave system itself.

I'd forgotten how impressive it is.


Now, she will be experiencing
total exclusion of all outside sound.

-So, you must be her ears.
-She can't dream now, she's awake.

Dreams are occurring in the mind
all the time.

Come on, we must hurry.

-The cave system itself...
-(ECHOING) Hello!

It's a natural geological formation
worn out of the solid rock

over hundreds of thousands of years
by the action of an underground river.

-(ECHOING) Hello!

The chamber of the Mara
is the largest natural cavernous fort.

But many of our most important
archaeological finds...

Big, isn't it?

-AMBRIL: I beg pardon, my lord?
-This place, it's big.

-Yes, I suppose it is.
-Isn't it?

(ECHOING) Hello!


Tegan, are you all right?


I was right, it seems. There's a cave
system nearby that fits the description.

It's, uh, this way.

AMBRIL: This wall constitutes
an invaluable record of the Sumaran era.

Of course, academic interpretations
as to its precise meaning do differ.

But by paying scrupulous
attention to detail

and not allowing our imaginations
to run away with us,

we can form the glimmerings of an idea
as to what the pictograms may mean.

What about the legend of the Return?

-The legend, my lord?
-Mmm. Do you have an opinion?

-AMBRIL: Yes, I'm rather afraid I do.

The legend of the Return is nonsense.

Pure superstitious nonsense,
invented by the people

simply to give themselves something
with which to frighten their children.

It has no basis, either speculative
or proven, in historical fact.

Extraordinary, isn't it?


DOCTOR: It's the cave from her dream.

Now, there's nothing to be frightened...


Doctor, she can't hear you.

Nevertheless, Ambril, your predecessor
apparently believed in the legend.

Yes. Now, what was that man's name?

-His name, my lady, was Dojjen.

Oh, yes, of course! That was it.

NYSSA: What are we going to do?

She won't go any further.
She's too frightened.

Well, you'll have to stay with her.
I'll go into the cave alone.

I'm afraid Dojjen came to believe
so many things.

He became very erratic towards the end.
The real work here was sadly neglected.

-The real work?
-Yes, my lord.

Oh, you mean poking about in the ruins
and digging for trinkets.

Classified, my lord.

I have tried to re-establish our studies
here on a strictly scientific basis.

And I'm sure we're all truly grateful.

Shall we proceed
to the chamber of the Mara?

Exquisite, isn't it?

-What was in its mouth?
-The Great Crystal, my lord.

Purely decorative.

-Where is it now? Is it lost?
-Oh, no, my lord.

It was removed from its socket
when the Mara was destroyed.

Traditionally, its safekeeping
is the responsibility of the Director.

-At present I have that honour, my lord.

The image of the Mara
is sculpted out of solid rock.

It is, as you can see,
in the form of a snake. A rearing snake.

The imagery is consistent
with the middle Sumaran period,

with only insignificant variations.

In Sumaran III period, the head has
a tendency to be less pronounced.

-But in general...
-Oh, do be quiet!

Just for a moment.

It is horrible!

I'm very glad the legend of the Return
is just a story.

It is, isn't it?

No, I'm afraid it's not!


-Excuse me.
-Oh, no, thank you.

-No, really, not at the moment.

Yes, it's very good.



Tegan! Tegan!

(GRUNTING) There's no need for this.

This is a private view,
you have no business to be here.

-Have him thrown out.

At least let the man have his say.

Why, my lord?
The man's clearly deranged.

-Is he?
-Of course he is.

Lon, I really think the Director
should deal with this.

-Director? Director of what?
-Research effort into the Sumaran era.

Are you indeed?
Then you may be able to help!

I think not!

-Throw him out.
-Just a moment, Ambril.

It has been suggested that
I take more interest in our legends.

Release him.




And where, according to you,
is the Mara now?

At present, it exists as a latent mental
force in the mind of my companion.

Does it?

It's using her dreams
to increase its power.

Eventually, it would take over
her mind altogether.

But I've put together a device
to inhibit this temporarily.

Oh, how very resourceful.

Why don't you come and meet her?
She's outside.

-My lord, I must insist...
-Very well.

-Show us.
-Certainly. Follow me.

My lord!

-Is this your companion?

-Nyssa, what's the matter?
-Doctor, she's gone.

-She's gone, apparently.

-She took fright.

It all happened so quickly.

You've disappointed me, Doctor.
I should have you punished.

Come on.

No, let them go. What's the point?


There, that's better.
You can hear me now.

No, I mustn't take it off.

Whyever not? What is it, anyway?
What's it do?

I can't...

I can't remember.

I mustn't, that's all. Where am I?

You passed out.
They brought you in here.

-Are you feeling better?

Oh, this is hopeless.

-What state was she in?

(SIGHS) Well, let's go back
to the Tardis.

She might try and find
her way back there.

Who are you, please?

I see into the future.

I expect it was all the people.


"I expect it was all the people."

Of course. That's what it was.
It's easy to get confused in crowds.

Anyway, I'm glad you're feeling better.

-In that?

Do you see into the future in that?


Well, between you and me, not really.
I don't.

I pretend.

I flutter my fingers,
gaze deep into the ball,

-and then...

Then I make something up.
Whatever comes into my head.

Whatever I think they want to hear.
After all, they're paying.

Doesn't do any harm.

Mind you,

it's surprising what does come
into your head.

Sometimes, I surprise myself.

-Is it surprising?

-What's the matter?

-What's wrong?
-What is it?


(IN DEEP VOICE) Is it? Well, look now!

-Where can she be?

As long as she's wearing
the anti-dreaming device,

she should be safe.

-And if she's not?
-I don't know. I just don't know.

Why has the Mara returned?
Why now, after so long?

What does it want?


Look now.