Wednesday, December 02, 2009

#5 Remembering Past Who Episodes - The Mark of the Rani S22

Well, well, it's been 3 days since my last post! I was already worried about the state my blog was in. Anyway, I'm back with a review. And of a pretty fab episode as well. 'The Mark of the Rani' was the episode I chose to choose Monday night. It's fast-paced, the plot is brilliant, and more importantly... it is also great fun!
19th Century England. That's what you get when you watch this episode... and you get the feeling that you're actually there. Ironbridge was the shooting location, and a pretty good one, too. Doubling as Killingworth (fascinating name, by the way), it's one of the most fantastic locations you can visit when you're in England. There's a museum there and all, but that's not exactly what we want to see: what fascinates me the most about Ironbridge is the fact that it is all there - in other words, you can visit all the places the DW team recorded in. The bath house is there (surely not under that name), all the other buildings are there, and it sort of gives you a more palpable input into the marvellous world of the Timelord. I talk about it with nostalgia and yet I haven't been there. Yet.
Now, mixing two renegade Timelords is a dream come true. I love it when the baddies team up... it just shows how strong the Doctor is! Jane and Pip did an outstanding work with the character of the Rani, played by Kate O'Mara. I can't think of a better actress myself to play the part. She was spot on. And Anthony Ainley, as the Master, was convincing, although I wasn't too thrilled with his acting in this episode. Colin once said that Anthony was a bit bummed because he felt that the Rani overshadowed the Master... which is partly true. She was a brilliant scientist, and although she admitted that 'scientists don't make mistakes', she did before she was banned from Gallifrey. But that's a whole different story. Because the Rani ruled this planet, and with the planet its aliens, she needed something that made them restless, something that made them go on and on and on. The only way she could do that was by getting from human brains a hormone that promoted sleep. Having said that, some people in the village, after being submitted to such, started acting violently. No wonder, really. The victims were then left with a spot on their necks, known as 'the mark of the Rani', hence the title.
Colin Baker's acting was superb, although I'm not sure I'm *that* into this regeneration of the Doctor: he's more aggressive, more arrogant, too full of himself, as far as I go. But that's my problem. His acting was fantastic, and although I liked Nicola's when I first saw the episode, this time I thought it wasn't that good. She has a lack of personality to her, I think. She gets immensely better, though. That dress was horrendous... I hated that pink dress with that yellow coat.
Anyway, I don't want to spoil you. I do love this story, and Colin's lines are very funny. I think that if you like the 19th Century, you'll most probably love this episode. It's a must see! You get to see the Master and the Rani, and keep your eyes peeled for the Rani's TARDIS, it is spectacular.

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