Sunday 16 September 2012

663 Time and the Rani Part Four

EPISODE: Time and the Rani Part Four
TRANSMITTED: Monday 28 September 1987
WRITER: Pip & Jane Baker
DIRECTOR: Andrew Morgan
SCRIPT EDITOR: Andrew Cartmel
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 4.9 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Time and the Rani

Influenced by the Doctor the brain starts speaking gibberish and the Rani has the Doctor removed from the system. He & Mel escape, trapping the Rani. He examines the brain trying to work out why the Rani is trying to explode the asteroid. She escapes and explains her plot to change Lakertya into a time manipulator. The Doctor & Mel escape and got to stir the Lakertyans into fighting back. The Rani retreats to her Tardis to monitor the lift off of the missile and asteroid explosion. The Doctor sabotages the missile with the Lakertyans' help. The Rani detonates explosives she had attached to the Lakertyans, but the Doctor had removed them, attaching them to the brain which is destroyed and the delayed rocket misses the asteroid. She flees in her Tardis while the Doctor frees the captured geniuses and takes them home in the Tardis. The Rani discovers the Tetraps in her Tardis who rebel against her and take her prisoner.

I'm sorry but that's a load of rubbish. The bit where the Rani started explaining her complicated plan nearly made me cry it was just such tosh. Oh well. It's done, I don't have to watch it ever again and everything from this point onwards is a lot better. It's just not what the show needed to launch a new Doctor especially after the poor Twin Dilemma. Once again casual viewers took away a bad impression of a new Doctor that stuck. Fortunately it's easily the worst Sylvester McCoy story for me, but thankfully I never have to watch it again now!

Over the summer before this story aired, from 6th July – 31st August 1987, the BBC broadcast it's new science fiction police series Star Cops, starring David Calder as Nathan Spring. Revelation of the Daleks actor Trevor Cooper (Takis) was also in the show playing Colin Devis. The series was created by Chris Boucher, the writer of Face of Evil, Robots of Death & Image of the Fendahl. Vengeance on Varos/Trial of a Timelord 5-8 writer Philip Martin also contributed scripts and Doctor Who director Graeme Harper directed several episodes. Stuck in a very odd time slot - 8:30 - 9:30 on a Monday night on BBC2 and somewhat a victim of the schedulers causing me to miss two episodes it got low ratings and wasn't renewed for a second season.

Time & The Rani was novelised by it's original authors and was the only Sylvester McCoy story to get a hardback release before the Hardback prints were discontinued. An early proof cover for this book exists showing the Tetraps hanging in their lair.... unfortunately the picture is upside down so they're standing! Time & the Rani is the only Seventh Doctor story to get a hardback release. It was released on video in July 1995 and on DVD on 13th September 2010.

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