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The Doctor's encounter with fellow Time Lord The Rani, was a reunion of sorts for them both. Colin Baker and Kate O'Mara had played adversaries in the top rated 1970's BBC drama The Brothers in which Colin was a loathsome city banker and Kate the feisty head of an air freight company. Their roles were reversed for this Doctor Who story, for it is Kate O'Mara who is cast in the darker role as she attempts to drain a chemical from brains of the workers in Lord Ravensworth's mine. Onto the scene also steps The Master, played by Anthony Ainley, who wants to get in on the Rani's plan and also exact revenge on The Doctor whom thought the Master dead on the planet Sarn. Sadly it is the unneccessary inclusion of the Master which spoils an otherwise good yarn. Ainley had by this point in his tenure abandoned any hope of three dimensional playing and is out acted in every scene by the brilliant O'Mara. The location scenes add much to the atmosphere of this Sixth Doctor tale, but of course the real talking point among fans is the rubber tree which makes it's appearance in the final stages of the story with The Rani's land mines turning human tissue into fauna. I'm sure that today with the wealth of special effects available the effect would be stunning but here it just looks like a sequence left over from Rentaghost. Peri is at the height of her whining and bickering persona here, and it does make it look from afar as if the pair are really not enjoying travelling with each other. A fault that season 22 suffers from all too often. On the plus side, the futuristic TARDIS of the Rani is a masterpiece of design and it's a pity it was never seen again, even when the Rani returned during Sylvester McCoy's era. There is much to enjoy in Mark Of The Rani, only marred by a few minor faults and that irritating Master.


The industrial age: Not the place for a holiday.

An old slag heap. Plus The Doctor.

Anthony Ainley tries to get into TV Centre for another pointless appearance in Doctor Who

The Rani had been to IKEA. The Doctor was mad jealous.

The Brothers reunion wasn't the happy occasion everyone had hoped.

The Mark Of The Rani is available on BBC DVD (Regions 1, 2 & 4).

Another adventure for everyone's favourite Time Lord. The Doctor (Colin Baker) and Peri arrive in the north of England during the Luddite uprisings, and discover that brilliant but amoral Time Lord the Rani is stealing the chemical which promotes sleep from the mine workers' brains. The Master is also in town, planning to use the disruptive Luddites to deprive the Doctor of his TARDIS and destroy him once and for all.

Starring: Peter Childs, William Ilkley, Terence Alexander, Colin Baker, Hus Levent, Kate O'Mara, Nicola Bryant, Gary Cady, Richard Steele, Gawn Grainger, Anthony Ainley. Directed by: Sarah Hellings.

Thanks go to the Potteries Prydonians - Steve Worman and Paul Wood - for their help, Ron Brunwin for supplying artwork and Garry Jones for being a regular stalwart of the news section.
Extra special thanks go to the mighty Colin Baker himself for casting his mind back and helping catalogue his career.