Stories:
2827
Members:
710
Submitted Reviews:
7661
Reviewers:
324
< Vengeance On Varos
The Two Doctors >

The Mark of the Rani

Rating Votes
10
7%
6
9
6%
5
8
17%
15
7
35%
30
6
15%
13
5
14%
12
4
6%
5
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
6.9
Votes
86
Director:
Writer:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: TCar96Review Date: 11/25/16 10:52 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

One where I've just got to be a contrarian - call it personal bias blinding me to defects - but I just LOVE Mark of the Rani. For 90 or so minutes, I was taken back to childhood visits to Beamish (and, dare I say.. the panto?). MOTR is certainly not playing in the same league as anything like Genesis, or Enlightenment, but it's not trying to. In the same vein as City of Death as far as I'm concerned, it's a fun romp and nothing more. Insofar as it's romp-ish: 10/10!

Gorgeous locales, hilariously over-affected dialogue and brutally rammed in references and puns; it's less 'historical' more pastiche cramming. As a result it's clear, likeable, if not a one-note guest cast and of course, clear, likeable, if not certainly one-not guest villains!

The Rani as far as I'm concerned is simply and starkly characterised by her amoral scientism, perfectly clashing with the Master's by-this-point parodic meglomania. Save the sob stories of childhood psychoanalysis for Virgin & BBC Books - in isolation there's a simply wonderful double act that leaps off the screen. The same can be said for the Doctor and Peri and who at their most affable and playful in this story. Verbose pomposity and brashness, but also a sorely needed dose of compassion - Colin shines.

For two 45minute episodes we're treated to melodrama and flat-out bonkers twists and turns that are incredibly well handled. With the exception of the tree's arm; the Rani's dinosaur and an out of era chair in the village, production values are simply excellent. The very stating of the former two, being a testament in itself to the playfulness of this serial.

I've yet to research this serial, and it may well be a totally failed attempt at crafting a penetrating piece into labour-relations and the historical significance of great men in the age of capital... from where I'm sitting, it comes across as fun Saturday-night Who, trying to please and scoring full marks.

Take off the blinkers, and next time you're in a fowl mood - pop this on rather than City of Death. In the right mindset I can't for the life of me understand why no fan would do anything other than cheer the reappearance of the Master and rejoice in his seeming response to the urge of every viewer to TCE a rabid dog!

The fact that this can exist within months of the Caves of Androzani is why I love Doctor Who. My issue is when Doctor Who fails to achieve its goals - not whether those goals are to thrill or to terrify. Again, lump MOTR in with Pirate Planet and City of Death for your next 'sunday-afternoon-feeling' viewing of a classic serial, I reckon you may be surprised and come to love this underrated gem as much as I do!
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
5
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
3
Replay Rating:
3
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: AlfredReview Date: 10/3/15 5:04 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Pantomime quality acting from Ainley, Colin Baker and Kate O'Mara. Add to this the fact that Peri puts in her usual average acting performance and what you have is that the four main actors have effectively put the kibosh on this story.

The story's stronger points are the setting in the historical mining town and the mysteriousness of the Rani in the first episode.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
5
Plot Rating:
3
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
5
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 5/24/15 9:16 pm
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

So Pip and Jane Baker have their stories criticizes for being bad, but their first Doctor Who outing, while not very good, is by no means bad and has a lot to like about it.

Colin Baker has mellowed a lot since his turbulent first appearance in the Twin Dilemma and although he still bickers with Peri, he and Nicola Bryant act more like good old friends than enemies. Kate O'Mara is also great as the titular Rani, an exiled Time Lady chemist who has come to Earth to extract chemicals from humans during the Luddite revolts near the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. O'Mara works great as a villain in her first appearance and works great with Anthony Ainley's Master who is also having a ball. Their fate at the end always brings a smile to my lips for the sheer insanity of it. Even the supporting cast is enjoyable and the direction is great and is a real shame that Sarah Hellings was never brought back to direct for Doctor Who again. The set design looks great as well, especially the Rani's TARDIS which everyone agrees is one of the best designed TARDIS's.

Sadly there are some major problems with the story that cause it to go from a good story to an average story. The time the story is set (1820s) in is too late to take place during the Luddite revolts (1811-1816). This is really a problem because the timing of the revolts played a big part in why they took place. Also although Part One sets up the story really well, Part Two destroys any sense of realism the story had before. It isn't the fact that the Rani has T-Rex embryos, but that she has land mines that turn people into trees. This takes you right out of the story and brings the score down.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 3/19/15 3:08 am
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Mark of the Rani introduces us to the Rani, an exiled Time Lord bent on extracting the hormone that allows humans to sleep which turns Ludites into very violent Ludites. She needs the hormone to regain control of a planet she controls. The Master arrives to take advantage of this and lure the Doctor to his death and take over the minds of geniuses key to the Industrial Revolution.

The story's weaknesses are painfully obvious. The Master and the Rani are both villainous time Lords and don't have a decent plan between them. While watching this, my wife looked me at me and held up a bottle of melatonin and asked if the Rani was trying to steal this. It might not have been exactly that, but it does seem this is a pretty silly thing for a chemical genius to steal. There are some rotten accents, and a few silly plot turns like the Master and the Rani hoping to destroy the Doctor's TARDIS by throwing it down a mine shaft.

However, the strengths of the story still make it a winner, even it's by a narrow margin. The location shooting is very nice. For about 20 minutes, we see Colin Baker in a different coat. And then there's the interplay between the Rani and the Master. The Master is practically cartoonish at this point in his obsession with the Doctor throughout the Davison years. The Rani is a true scientist who doesn't care one iota about the Doctor and the Master's silly duel but is made to care by the Master.

The Rani is a great concept for a character, and may have gained more prominence with a better introduction story.

Colin Baker once again turns in a superb performance. This story highlights the moral nature of the Doctor as exemplified when he risks his life to save a group of miners headed for disaster. Still, you do have a reminder this Doctor is not one to fool with when he gets his hands on the Master's weapon and when he's ordering the villains around, they listen.

I also have to praise the Rani's TARDIS design. Aside from Season 14's wooden design, this was the best looking TARDIS in the classic series.