Doctor Who – The Mark of the Rani

by Alan Rapp on April 6, 2013

in Home Video

  • Title: Doctor Who – The Mark of the Rani
  • Wikipedia: link

Doctor Who - The Mark of the RaniIn honor of the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who we continue to look back at some old episodes of the series. Although Colin Baker‘s run as the Sixth Doctor was short, and not without its share of controversy, there are a few Doctor Who gems during his three-year stint on the show. One of the best, “The Mark of The Rani” pits The Doctor as his companion Peri (Nicola Bryant) up against not one but two evil Time Lords when The Doctor begins investigating a time distortion and a series of deaths (each bearing an unusual red mark) during the Luddite rebellion in the 19th Century.

Although she only appeared in two episodes of the series, the Rani (Kate O’Mara) is a fan favorite. Just as devious as the Master (Anthony Ainley), the Time Lord arrives in the coal town of Killingsworth to steal neurochemicals from the miners in order to continue her immoral experiments which have left the entire population of the planet Miasimia Goria without the ability to sleep. The Master and the Rani come to an uneasy alliance based on lies, deception, and blackmail, targeting The Doctor.

With help of a local inventor (Gawn Grainger) the Master and the Rani attempt to speed up the Industrial Revolution in order to give the Master a suitable planet to rule and give the Rani smarter minds to extract all the brain chemicals she needs. The Doctor thwarts their plan, but the villains escape to fight another day (although not before The Doctor sabotages the Rani’s TARDIS giving the Time Lords one hell of a bumpy ride).

“The Mark on the Rani” marks the only time in The Doctor’s history where he’s had to face and outwit a pair of Time Lords both out for his head. The episode is also memorable for the Rani’s TARDIS (from which the current Doctor seems to have stolen some style tips) and her jars of preserved dinosaur embryos. The episode certainly has its goofier moments (as the old series was known for), most notably the landmines that turn victims into trees.

The single-disc DVD includes commentary from Baker, Bryant, and O’Mara, a documentary look back at the episode, deleted scenes, an interview with composer John Gibbs, alternate scores, a photo gallery, a documentary on the history of Ironbridge Gorge, a return to the locations where the episode was filmed, and deleted and extended scenes.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

troop April 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Colin Baker is under appreciated as the Doctor and this is a really good episode.

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winning loser April 27, 2013 at 10:53 am

I totally agree that both this episode and this doctor don’t get the respect they deserve.

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