NYC, 1977; uploaded by YourArf.
Day: February 27, 2013
Doctor Who: Kinda
Still pretty out of it with a head cold, so here's another old Who review. Originally posted Brontoforumus, 2009-09-07.
Kinda (the first syllable is pronounced like "kin") is a Fifth Doctor serial. I checked it out because I read on Tardis Wikia that it's one of Moffat's two favorite serials. After watching it, I don't quite share his enthusiasm, but I understand why he likes it.
The high concept is Dr. Strangelove set in the Garden of Eden. The Doctor lands on an unspoiled planet with apparently-primitive natives, and finds a military expedition sent to survey it. The second-in-command of the crew goes crazy, takes over, and decides he's going to blow up the world, while an evil entity enters the world through Teagan's dreams and launches an attack to force his hand.
The highlight is that dreaming sequence. It's some Lewis Carroll fever-dream shit, and precisely the kind of thing you'd expect from a Moffat episode. The other Moffat-y bits are the sense of confinement, of an oncoming and implacable enemy, and of a crew going crazy, as well as characters who speak in riddles. And lots of iconic imagery.
In the end, my main problem with Kinda is that I just don't like the Fifth Doctor very much. He's got this air of helplessness and incompetence about him. During several of the sequences where he's at Hindle's mercy, I found myself thinking, "#3 would have just judo-chopped the motherfucker."
The last episode of the serial has the most straightforward story, and suffers from it. The final confrontations with the antagonists are somewhat anticlimactic. The ending does redeem itself a bit by being one of those nice oldschool short-and-sweet Who goodbye scenes that is utterly unheard of in the RTD era.
Ultimately, there are some great damn ideas in Kinda, and it's a perfectly solid serial, but I certainly wouldn't call it one of the best. Worth a rental if you're still getting discs from Netflix, but it's not available for streaming and I wouldn't pay the $20 Amazon is charging for it.