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< 193. Masters of Earth
195. Mistfall >

194 - The Rani Elite

Rating Votes
10
14%
9
9
14%
9
8
33%
22
7
26%
17
6
9%
6
5
3%
2
4
0%
0
3
2%
1
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
7.8
Votes
66
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: GuiannosReview Date: 10/30/18 1:12 am
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

I've always thought that The Rani as a character was underserved by her television appearances. The concept of a morally bankrupt but not necessarily evil renegade Time Lords has so much potential that was never tapped. As such, I was very excited to see the character reintroduced in Audio form.

In a bit of timey-wimey plotting we have Colin Baker's 6th Doctor meeting The Rani after Mark of the Rani but from The Rani's perspective the story takes place sometime after Time and the Rani. This bridges the gap satisfactorily as to why 6 would be matching wits with her without creating any continuity issues. Still, the plot has a disappointing amount of overlap with Time. If this were a replacement story following the alternate storylines from the Lost Stories forward this would be a huge improvement over Time. The Rani's (relatively similar) scheme is far better baked here and she comes across as a more compelling character overall. However, without ignoring her second television appearance and taking it as her next plan I can't help but wonder why she would be bothering to try something so similar with less of a payoff.

Ultimately this story is flawed but has a lot of good moments.

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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
3
Plot Rating:
2
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
1
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: charlieboyReview Date: 11/27/16 7:15 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Very disappointed with this.
Not convinced by the side-effects of the brain transference. Why would the body age? Nor with the sudden change on conscious of two of the characters.
The ending and capture of the Rani, was awful. Confusing and contrived!
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 12/4/15 11:14 am
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

This story was born from Kate O'Mara contacting Big Finish wishing to return to the role. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, and Big Finish had already obtained the rights from Pip and Jane Baker. Siobhan Redmond is like a Paul McGann version of the renegade Timelady, her performance is assured but laid back, perhaps a little too much.

When the Rani originally appeared on our screens she simply wanted to conduct unethical experiments, not engage the Doctor in a battle of wits. The next time we saw her she wanted revenge, a vague motivation but valid nonetheless. I am not sure what she wanted this time, she had a plan, and I understood what she was trying to achieve, but what was her motivation exactly? She lured the Doctor to The College of Advanced Galactic Education under the pretence of receiving an honorary degree in Moral Philosophy, and he was a necessary part of her plan, so revenge? However, what would she have done with the fruits of her plan? I am being deliberately vague there so not to spoiler it.

When I started listening to the story I was wowed by the performances and production values. After a while, it digressed into a series of captures and talks at gunpoint. The Doctor and Peri are left in a room that they are able to escape from because the walls are designed to be moveable; that applies to the whole building. So, the genius Rani didn't think that perhaps the Doctor might work out a way to engage that feature and she didn't attempt to block it? Not exactly left in the room with a key, but hardly reinforces the idea of a tough opponent.

The Rani is using technology to remove the consciousness of students and supplant them with the minds of her aged clients. Slight Problem. The old minds are causing the young bodies to age - not keen on that idea, myself. The people who have taken over the bodies of the students have second thoughts when the Doctor holds up a mirror to their actions. OK, makes sense, but again a rather loose motivation to ascribe. One minute they are fine with body hijacking and now they are not.

It's a real shame that Justin Richards poor characterisation and the stilted plot held this back because apart from that it's really quite enjoyable. The music is superb and the direction flawless. I would have liked it if they would have filled the Rani's back story a little more like they did with the Valeyard in 'Trial of the Valeyard'. Do we need another mysterious Timelord? Instead, the Doctor calls the Rani by her true name, which I didn't catch or care about, and we find out the Doctor's test scores from the academy. Double Gamma, if anyone cares. A real missed opportunity here; I do hope 'Planet of the Rani' is better. There wasn't much that was, 'Elite' about this.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: kfb2014Review Date: 6/6/15 1:07 pm
2 out of 4 found this review helpful.

Right lets do a little history lesson, the Rani for anyone who doesn't know is a Timelord turned bad. She is also a women, well at least in the TV series and here we are presented with a female. I wonder of there is some old 60's sexism hanging over around this. However that said she is a nasty, selfish piece of work. The sort of person who is the anthesis of what the Doctor is. Ok that is enough of a character explanation. The Doctor as been invited to the CAGE to get a honorary doctorate, however something is a miss with the facility and more so with the top students, they all seem a little phased and not coherent. Someone it appears might be robbing them of more than just their minds, and, it doesn't take long for the Doctor to work out who, and, why...

Smashing little adventure here with good old No.6 at the helm, and also what a wonderful thing Big Finish were allowed to do, as this was written with the original actress in mind to play the Rani, however sadly Kate O'Mara died before they could record, however her estate gave he green light for the production to go ahead, which is wonderful news, and what a good pick the guys and girls at Big Finish did, with, giving the role to Siobhan Redmond, a much underrated in my view actress, whom, I have to say I have seen at the RSC some years ago, and she was knock out then as well.

Her characterisation his a homage and yet adds some facets only she could bring to the role, and that I think holds us in good stead for more outing perhaps with her in the future. Colin and Nicola are the foils that they are with each others and in the ins and outs with the Rani we see that she, the Rani is not a nice peace of work what so ever. Evil to the core

Great outing for Siobhan Redmond as the Rani and loved the whole thing