OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 661
STORY NUMBER: 149
TRANSMITTED: Monday 14 September 1987
WRITER: Pip & Jane Baker
DIRECTOR: Andrew Morgan
SCRIPT EDITOR: Andrew Cartmel
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 4.2 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Time and the Rani
The bubble Mel is in crashes in the water and doesn't explode allowing Ikona to free her. They go to the Rani's fortress where Mel wonders what the giant ramp on top of it is for. The Doctor identifies the problem with the machine is a circuit board made of the wrong material and The Rani, still successfully disguised as Mel, goes to fetch a replacement and locks the Doctor in the lab. Ikona distracts the Tetrap guard who mistakenly captures hi mistress as Mel gains entry to the fortress and the lab. She encounters the regenerated Doctor but they manage to establish their identities and the Doctor discovers the Mel he has been with is the Rani. The Ikonan leaders Faroon & Beyus free the Doctor. They take Mel to safety and the Doctor stays to confront the Rani. He then flees the lab, hiding in the Tetraps layer and escaping the pursuing Rani but is surrounded by her bat like guards.
Horrible. Dialogue like a late afternoon children's show, bad acting ruining any hint of emotion, such as when Sarn dies, and horribly intrusive loud music by Keff McCulloch. And another stupid sparkler gun!
Of the cast of this story Donald Pickering, playing Beyus, had been in two previous Doctor Who stories: He was Eyesen in the last two episodes of Keys of Marinus and Captain Blade in all six episodes of the Faceless Ones which also featured Wanda Ventham, here playing Faroon, as Jean Rock. After her first appearance Ventham went on to appear as Thea Ransome in Image of the Fendahl. Outside of Doctor Who she was Colonel Virginia Lake in all the UFO episodes that didn't feature George Sewell as Colonel Alec Freeman (and one of the ones that did where he inevitably flirts with her!) She's also the mother of Sherlock lead actor Benedict Cumberbatch who, I believe, in a masterful piece of casting is due to appear shortly in a villainous role in the modern Doctor Who. Mark Greenstreet, playing Ikona, was an up & coming actor at the time who went on to stain his CV with the BBC's Trainer.
You're reading this blog entry on 14th September 2012, twenty five years to the day that this episode was broadcast!