Friday 7 May 2010

The Mark of the Rani

The Master, the Rani and the Sixth Doctor fall out with each other during the industrial revolution.

In its historical theme and more leisurely pace, this story is unusual for this era of Doctor Who. It also lacks the violence that characterised Colin Baker stories.

There are some historical inaccuracies, such as the fact Luddites never attacked pit machinery.

Colin Baker put in a splendid performance as the Sixth Doctor. Nicola Bryant puts in a depressingly moany performance as Peri.

Kate O'Mara really shines as the Rani and she has some of the best lines. The Rani is a much more interesting villain than the Master. It is a shame that we only got to see her again in the very underwhelming, Time and the Rani. Anthony Ainley also came across rather well.

Pip and Jane Baker's dialogue is a rather mixed bag, but it still allows the Doctor, the Master and the Rani to shine. The interplay between them is the best part of the story. The Rani mocks the Doctor and the Master's rivalry as though they were unruly schoolboys. I rather wished they had reminisced about their time at the academy; I can just imagine the Master pulling the Rani's pigtails!

Seeing the inside of the Rani's TARDIS is very cool. Shame about the dinosaur prop.

As much as the human trees looked really naff and rubbery, the idea of mines that turn the victim into trees is rather cool.

It has been suggested that the plot about the Rani would have come across better if the viewer was showed the planet that the Rani rules. However, Doctor Who has always relied on the imagination to carry such things. Had we seen the planet Miasimia Goria, it would inevitably have looked naff.

It is hard not to be disappointed by the fact that the one of the great inventors mentioned that we meet is George Stephenson. Wisely, Doctor Who tends to avoid showing historical characters, but Gawn Grainger does a good job of portraying the famous engineer.

All those Geordie accents are not very easy on the ear. The luddites in this story were a rather annoying lot.

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