Sunday, June 10, 2012

Doctor Who-The Mark Of The Rani
                           Deciding that it was time to do a Doctor Who story that moved away from some of the intense and often sadistic plot lines of the precious couple of Doctor Who serials,it was decided at this point to do something of an historical episode. Or rather an historical setting. Considering what was happening during this time with miner strikes in England,the setting chosen was during the Luddite Revolution of 19'th century England,at which time George Stephenson would begin the industrial revolution in the UK. This invited the opportunity to introduce a new villain to the program. With The Master,Rassilon,Romana and Omega as the hugely significant time lords portrayed in the program another was introduced to another,another "time lady" in the persona of the Rani.


                            The Rani,a time lady exiled from Gallifrey for her unethical practices is on Earth during key periods of it's development using the planet as a template for her scientific experiments. Upon his accidental arrival with Peri during the Luddite revolution he is surprised to find the Luddites acting far more aggressively than expected. And suddenly George Stephenson's presence is suddenly clouded by secrecy. It isn't long before the doctor is captured by the Rani only to find that the Master has been aggravating events,even to the displeasure of the unethical Rani. Using a group of engineered maggots to heighten intelligence but depriving sleep,hostility runs amok until the doctor manages to reprogram the Rani's TARDIS while her and the Master are still inside,staving them off and keeping human history intact for the moment.


                            As it turns out the Rani is an excellent protagonist. Not so much a villain as an unfeeling scientist,she has a complex and domineering personality at odds both with the doctors moralizing and the Master's sadism and megalomania. She has no interest in power or ambition. She just sees no value in life beyond her own outside what they can contribute to her scientific interests. This actually gives a lot more weight to the moral compass of the doctor. And particularly at a time when it seemed the sixth doctor might represent a weakening of that compass with his sometimes confrontation manner,this episode showcased that aspect of his personality was in fact alive and well. It was clear even by the end of this episode,with being such as fascinating character, that the Rani would make another appearance in the show
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