Roots: The mythical ever-devouring snake Ouroborous. The Naga is a serpent of Asian myth. Dada Dusaki says the shackles of the Mara fall "Like scales from our eyes", paraphrasing Saul's epiphany on the road to Damascus. The Tempest Act IV, (i) ("We are such things as dreams are made on") The carnival music plays Lara's Theme from Doctor Zhivago.
Dialogue Triumphs: Turlough on Tegan's possession: "It's not contagious, is it?"
"I am supposed to be foretelling the future but it kept coming out all wrong. Imagine that - the signs are all better, I could be out of a job!"
"Even the purest thoughts are never truly pure"
"Paradise was never so ripe for the plucking!"
"There was a young lady from Traken, who picked the wrong doorway to darken. But due to her blunder she's now going under, a place for the TARDIS to park on"
Double Entendres: "It's time for me to do something about my other half"
Continuity: Manussa has roses, palm trees and tuk-tuks (although taxis are also used). There is mention of "her lands and colonial worlds". Tzumin is a local headache pill. The great snake is one of the ancient emblems of Manussa. As one of the native Manussan holy men Dada Dusaki is protected by law. He is a snake herder (there's a tribe of them in a reservation among the Naga hills.)
Dr Henrik Karam is an eminent neurologist and uses state of the art neural probes and crystal scanning techniques in his practice. His scanner works on the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, the 'awake' parts of the brain. The machine's crystals are artificially cultured sapphires like the Mind's Eye, the largest of which was made by the university's Faculty of Advancement simply to see how large one could be made. Matter realisation interprets mental images as physical realities, although all previous animal forms in the 'dreamweaver' were mutated and misshapen except the numerous snakes (and Bala).
Tegan finds Christmas cake (she's not sure from which Christmas) in the TARDIS kitchen. The TARDIS database has a history section. The TARDIS Library includes a great volume (even the pages are heavy) entitled 'An Universal Guide to Fable and Demonology Written at the End of All Time". It is alphabetical, and among its entries includes Manticore, Maribu (see: Links) and Mardi-Gras. According to the TARDIS databank this is Manussan year 2215, but the overthrow of the Mara by Sumaran Empire was 2326
Nyssa says the goodness on Traken is more robust and less forced than on some other worlds.
Turlough says there were always snakes about when he was growing up and he knows how to distract them (Tegan is useless for a rural-dwelling Australian!). He has never heard of the Mara
Tegan's father had a sheep farm with two thousand head of merino. He flew a single engine Cessna Skyhawk - flying over the farm was one of Tegan's favourite memories, though she also remembers trips to the beach as a little girl.
Location: Manussa, centuries before the rise of the Sumaran Empire and the events of Snakedance. New Year's Eve.
Links: At the beginning of this story the Doctor still possesses the mind's eye from Manussa. He intends to catch up with Dojen (Snakedance), though this is of course well before his time. Kinda, Time Reef (Maribu) Nyssa mentions Terminus (Terminus) and, of course, Traken (The Keeper of Traken)
The Bottom Line: "Time will heal her, but time is scarred"
Sadly, not up to the standard of Christopher Bailey's originals, but the bar is high. There are some likeable characters here though, such as Bala, and Dada Dusaki transcends his early apparent stereotype to become something quite noble and endearing. Davison, as usual, seems to relish the opportunity to play the villain, and does so with a fairly generous spread of ham here