You know, maybe it’s just my TV’s screen is too nice, but it sure is a bit jarring when I watch an episode of Doctor Who featuring aliens who are supposed to be primitive tribal types, but then I can easily see the actor’s fillings when his character tosses his head back in agony.
Then again, this serial also says some kind of alien intelligence can possess people, but when that happens, the new host seems to have lipstick smeared around his or her teeth.
That’s basically what happens to Tegan. The alien intelligence Mara tortures her into submission, but that’s what happens when an alien telepathic menace just makes exact mental copies of you and you end up arguing with yourself endlessly over which one is real. You’d probably agree to just about anything by then.
Point is, she wakes up with a snake tattoo and some red teeth, but then she passes it along to some Kinda dude, and then he can talk. Male Kinda can’t talk. They communicate telepathically, and apparently they think talking sucks.
Female Kinda can talk, and we see a blind old woman tell a sighted young woman to give Sanders a mystery box that doesn’t work well with men. And sure enough, Sanders opens it and…something happens.
But that’s not a problem. Presumably, whatever happened to Tegan is a problem, but Sanders isn’t a problem. Not right now. The real problem is Hindle is mad as the metaphorical hatter, and the Doctor only just now seems to remember he left Tegan sleeping in an alien jungle. Then again, that puts him ahead of Adric who assumes she’s fine and not being driven insane by some weird albino psychic monster man.
Instead, we get to see a bit more of Hindle’s madness. The two Kinda hostages seem to be taking orders from him, but he thinks there’s an enemy out there, and he wants Adric, Todd, and the Doctor to recognize that fact. The Doctor tries to play along, but he only does so well as Hindle just accuses the trees of sending spores their way and he wants to use fire and acid to clear an area around the settlement until the mothership comes back in what Todd calls another six seasons.
That sounds like a long time. Besides, the Doctor has a bigger concern. See, if the Kinda are more sophisticated than they appear to be, what about the enemies that they have that no one has seen yet?
You know, besides Tegan, but the Doctor would know that if he didn’t leave her sleeping under a tree in a mystery jungle.
Anyway, Adric is better at playing along, but worse at passing a key to the Doctor. They got caught, and now Hindle wants to hurt Adric. The only thing that saves them is Sanders’s return, offering Hindle the box as a present, but Hindle is so crazy and Sanders is so…not him…that Hindle not only won’t open the box, but he’ll put Sanders, Todd, and the Doctor in a cage to open the box while Hindle watches from another room…or else.
So, naturally, the episode ends with the Doctor opening the box.
I sure hope Gwyneth Paltrow’s head isn’t in there. For one thing, that box is far too small for an adult human’s head…