The Mark of the Rani
Episode / April 10, 2017

Aired 2 – 9 February 1985 ‘The Mark of the Rani’ is something of an underrated Doctor Who story, light on plot and eventually falling into pantomime territory but also making for an excellent debut for the villainous Time Lady the Rani while also portraying the bombastic and argumentative Sixth Doctor in his most heroic and compassionate light yet. With the inclusion of the Master in a more subservient and subsidiary role as well, ‘The Mark of the Rani’ does sometimes feel like it has a lengthy list of certain things it is trying to achieve and incorporate, but the facetiousness and cheekiness of the script remains a highlight that manages to serve as a beacon of optimism and levity within an ever more dangerous universe. This is a far from perfect characterization for the Sixth Doctor, but ‘The Mark of the Rani’ makes significant strides in toning down the overwhelming brashness and arrogance that has come to define the character in his early stories. He regularly interacts with Peri in a fashion that isn’t completely demeaning even while he revels in taking the opportunity to teach her a lesson, but he also shows remorse at the plight of the…

Planet of the Rani
Audio / January 10, 2017

Released October 2015 The return of the Rani to the Doctor Who universe in 2014’s ‘The Rani Elite’ was a cause for tremendous celebration, tempered by the unfortunate passing of the great Kate O’Mara. Fortunately, with a regeneration and the confident Siobhan Redmond taking up the mantle, the calm arrogance and amorality of the renegade Time Lord was once more wonderfully brought to life and simply begged for another story. ‘Planet of the Rani’ shows the aftermath of the Doctor sending the Rani to prison at the conclusion of ‘The Rani Elite’ while also deftly incorporating a seemingly throwaway line in ‘Mark of the Rani’ stating that she once ruled the planet Miasimia Goria. With Constance Clarke at his side, the Sixth Doctor travels to Teccaurora Penitentiary to attend the Rani’s parole hearing after working through his backlog of emails. Of course, despite the Doctor’s earnest hope that the Rani has a shred of decency and goodness in her, events quickly take a more sinister turn as the Rani’s escape attempt one hundred years in the making quickly comes to fruition. Unfortunately, the manipulation and deaths of the numerous people needed to make her escape a reality are never fully…

The Rani Elite
Audio / December 16, 2016

Released December 2014 The Rani is one of the great unexplored villains of the Doctor Who universe, only appearing in two televised serials and a handful of spinoff material. Another renegade Time Lord, her thirst for knowledge and experimentation at any cost makes her a uniquely-positioned threat who can challenge the Doctor intellectually as well as cunningly. With the passing of Kate O’Mara- the only actress to have played the Rani- in early 2014, the odds seemed stacked against the Rani ever making it to the audio medium, but ‘The Rani Elite’ proves that the essence of the character can live on thanks to her Gallifreyan roots and the great work of Siobhan Redmond. Pitting the Doctor against an intellectual equal always works exceedingly well for Colin Baker’s Sixth incarnation in particular, and that is most certainly the case in ‘The Rani Elite.’ Drawn into the CAGE, the College of Advanced Galactic Education, with the promise of an honorary degree in moral philosophy, the Doctor proudly bursts onto the scene only to discover that he has led Peri into a trap with a not-yet-invented Sidelian brain scanner at its core. As Peri soon finds herself in the clutches of another…

Time and the Rani
Episode / February 6, 2016

Aired 7 – 28 September 1987 Any Doctor’s first story always carries extra weight. While it may not necessarily be perfect or even indicate what the years to come will ultimately be like, it must afford the new lead the opportunity to step out of his predecessor’s shadow and prove that the show is in capable hands going forward. Following the backlash and outcry that arose during Colin Baker’s tenure as the Sixth Doctor, a fact due much more to production decisions and several weak scripts rather than the actor himself, ‘Time and the Rani’ also had the extra weight of needing to completely reinvent the franchise on the fly to show that the programme was capable of change to meet some semblance of public approval. Unfortunately, even without the lofty goals of the serials comprising The Trial of a Time Lord, ‘Time and the Rani’ can hardly be deemed a successful first adventure for Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor following a hasty regeneration scene in which Colin Baker understandably refused to appear after unceremoniously being let go. However, just as the regeneration itself was quite rushed, so, too, was the entire scripting process by all accounts. While writers…