The Mark of the Rani

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The Mark of the Rani
It’s the Bush Tucker Trial of a Time Lord, pet.
 

I'm A Celebrity...Before we tackled The Mark of the Rani, there were some surprises in store for us in the jungle. The first shock came on Friday night when it became clear that Colin Baker couldn’t wait to leave. The second shock arrived on Saturday when Sue saw Colin topless for the first – and hopefully last – time (“He needs Helen’s fake tan more than she does!”), and this was followed by the revelation that the ex-Doctor was in the bottom two when it came to public votes.

Where was fandom when Colin needed you? I bet you didn’t buy ‘Doctor in Distress’, either.

Sue: I’m not that surprised. I mean, he’s done bugger-all, hasn’t he? But he’s 69, so what did you expect? He’s done extremely well just to get this far.

Colin’s fate would be determined on Sunday night. The could survive if he won a bush tucker trial. Would Colin bow out gracefully or would he fight to the bitter end? The only thing missing from Saturday’s cliffhanger was the Doctor Who theme music.

I'm A Celebrity...Colin’s opponent on Sunday was Eric Bristow, and when the ex-Darts Champ knew he was up against Colin, he smugly declared that the actor would be the one going home.

Sue: **** you, Bristow.

But there was still hope. Colin and Eric each had to pick a female assistant to help them. Eric chose Colin’s best friend, Rosemary (the swine), so Colin was left with Charlie Brooks. This resulted in the most exciting Doctor Who/EastEnders crossover since Dimensions in Time.

The contestants had to stick their hands into a series of holes full of snakes, spiders, and other assorted critters. At one point, Colin was savaged by a Macra, and Ian Levine is currently editing this sequence into something non-canonical.

Colin’s only hope was Rosemary Shrager, the short-tempered chef with a fan base larger than the ex-Time Lord’s. Yes, I know. While Colin’s plucky assistant, Charlie, did her very best, Rosemary made a pig’s ear of Eric’s chances. Or was that dinner the night before? Either way, she was hopeless.

I'm a Celebrity...Sadly, Eric wiped the floor with Colin.

Colin’s fatal mistake was that he took up too much time searching for the stars that would result in meals for the camp, whereas Eric ignored those in favour of the stars needed to survive.

Sue: Colin sacrificed himself for the greater good of the camp. He went out a hero. He’s glad to be leaving. He’s lost loads of weight. He must be chuffed to bits.

Me: He has to spend a week in a luxurious 6-star hotel before he can fly home. I hope he doesn’t pile it back on.

Sue: He’s done very well. He should be proud of himself.

 

Part One

Sue: Pip and Jane Baker?

Me: They’re Doctor Who‘s first – and last – husband and wife writing team.

Sue: I bet she comes up with the ideas and he just writes them down.

The Mark of the RaniThe story begins with some miners emerging from a pit.

Sue: It’s outside. It’s on film. It’s good. There’s a bloody mine in it, but at least it’s a proper mine for a change. I think I’m going to like this.

As the miners stroll back to their village, Sue sings Dvorak’s New World Symphony at them.

Sue: Where is this set? Is it Yorkshire?

Me: Try a bit closer to home.

Sue: Durham?

Me: It’s supposed to be Killingworth, although they shot it in Telford, I think.

Sue: Oh, I know Killingworth, it’s north of Newcastle. Hang on a minute, those accents aren’t right at all…

Sue is a North East lass. This could get rough…

Sue: I couldn’t give a shit. I’m not a Geordie. I’d be upset if I was, though. I think it’s funny. Why-aye!

The miners march to the local bath house.

Sue: We had a clothes horse like that. It reminds me of the time the debt man came visited and me Mam decided to hide behind it. I would have been seven or eight, and I had to open the door and tell this strange man that my Mam had gone to the shops and he said, “Tell her to take her feet with her the next time she goes out”. It was embarrassing.

Me: Why-aye, it were reet grim oop North, like, pet.

Sue: Stop it.

The miners are suddenly overcome by noxious fumes.

Sue: Somebody is interfering with miners. That can’t be good.

The Mark of the RaniMeanwhile, the Doctor and Peri are taking the TARDIS to Kew Gardens when they are diverted by a time distortion.

Sue: That isn’t a great look for Peri. I don’t like her hair. She doesn’t suit her hair up at all. The dress isn’t exactly flattering, either.

Ha! If she thinks that dress is bad…

Sue: Is the Doctor wearing a different cat on his coat this week?

Me: I’ve told you before, stop looking at his coat. You’ll go blind.

The TARDIS arrives in Killingworth in search of the time distortion. Sue is more concerned with Peri’s distorted sense of fashion.

Sue: What the hell is she wearing now? Is she trying to be more garish than the Doctor? Wow. I bet the dads weren’t happy with this after the last couple of costumes. Oh look, she’s wearing the wrong shoes again. Will she go back inside the TARDIS so she can change them? No? I thought not.

Peri struggles to follow the Doctor through the mud.

Sue: I have no sympathy for her whatsoever.

When the miners emerge from the bath house, they quick run amok. They attack an innocent man’s potatoes.

Sue: This will be the Bigg Market in 200 years.

The Doctor and Peri walk past a field with a scarecrow in it.

Sue: This is where you might end up if you stop playing the Doctor, Colin.

The Doctor and Peri encounter the surly miners as they attack a man driving a horse and cart.

Sue: They sound more Ashington than Killingworth. The further north you go, the more you tend to roll your r’s. It’s an amusing attempt but it sounds like some from Yorkshire trying to speak Scottish.

Me: Not genuine, then?

Sue: Let’s put it this way, Colin is the only person speaking with their real accent in this scene.

The Mark of the RaniYou’ll never believe who strolls into town…

Sue: He looks like the Master a bit… Hey! It is the ****ing Master! What’s he doing back? Oh no, and it was going so well.

Me: The Master disguised himself as a scarecrow. Can you believe it?

Sue: No, I don’t. You’re just being silly, now.

The Doctor arrives at the pit yard but a guard keeps him at bay…

Sue: His accent is more authentic. He was definitely born north of Watford.

Some of the best minds in the country – including Michael Faraday and Humphry Davy – are heading to Killingworth for an important meeting.

Sue: So the Master is mucking about with the Industrial Revolution for no readily apparent reason. OK, I think I’ve got it.

The Doctor and Peri find themselves in the company of a “vicious” dog.

Sue: Colin’s more of a cat person but he needn’t be worried. That dog is as soft as muck. You can tell by looking at its eyes. It might have a bark on it buy it would probably lick you to death before it ever bit you.

Even so, the dog still growls at the Doctor.

Sue: I think dogs are colour blind, but the Doctor’s coat is still confusing the hell out him, poor thing.

The Master uses his Tissue Compression Eliminator to kill the dog. Yes, the Master’s weapon finally lives up to its name!

Sue: Right, that’s a mark off my final score. There was no need for that.

The Mark of the RaniMe: He killed a man as well.

Sue: I’m not bothered about him. Would you show the Master zapping an innocent baby in a cot? It’s the same thing as far as I’m concerned.

The Master enlists the help of three surely miners, including a man named Jack Ward. Sue is laughing too much at their accents to follow what they’re saying.

Sue: Young Michael Palin on the left is the worst. Is he having a laugh? “Where is he, dost tha know?” Pathetic.

These miners attack the Doctor and he ends up dangling above a pit.

Sue: The one gently tapping the chain with the shovel, what do you think he’s trying to achieve? This is really badly directed.

Me: It’s directed by a woman.

Sue: Is it? Shit. Bang goes my theory about getting women to work on the show.

The Doctor is saved in the nick of time by Lord Ravensworth.

The Mark of the RaniSue: He’s famous.

Me: Did you watch Bergerac when it was on?

Sue: Is that the one set in France?

Me: That would be a ‘No’, then.

Lord Ravensworth gives the Doctor the once over…

Ravensworth: Well, you’ve certainly never done a day’s labour in your life, and I suppose it is possible you might even be a gentleman.

Sue: Posh git.

Ravensworth describes some the trouble he’s been having with the working class oiks recently.

Ravensworth: They become savage, go berserk, seem to suffer a complete change of personality.

Sue: He could be describing the Doctor.

The Master burns his way into the bath house.

Sue: Why does the Master have the coolest gadgets all of a sudden? And why is he still alive?

The Mark of the RaniThe Master comes face to face with the Rani.

Sue: Oh, it’s her. She’s famous, too.

Me: It’s Kate O’Mara.

Sue: Oh yeah, I definitely know the face. What is she best known for?

Me: Dynasty. But she hasn’t done that yet. At this point she was probably best known for a soap opera set on a cross-channel ferry called Triangle.

Sue: That doesn’t ring a bell. Sorry.

Me: Triangle was one of the posh channels, so you won’t have seen it. She was also Colin Baker’s rival in The Brothers. Colin Baker was in The Brothers, you know.

The Rani doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and that goes double for the Master.

Sue: I like her. She’s very good. A strong and independent character. I like it.

The Rani is extracting chemicals from the miners’ brains.

The Rani: The aggression is an unfortunate side effect.

The Master: Unfortunate? Fortuitous would be a more apposite epithet.

Sue: Eh?

The Mark of the RaniLuke Ward tells the Doctor how his favver hasn’t been right ever since he had a bath.

Sue: Look at the size of his packet! Blimey, those trousers are tight.

That screen grab on the right still makes me chuckle.

Sue: Even Terry Wogan would have drawn the line at wearing a pair of trousers that tight.

The Doctor decides to mock Peri’s accent.

The Doctor: I am about to follow what you would term as a hunch.

Sue: Hurnch? Hurnch? She’s not French, you know! The Doctor should have told Peri to speak with an English accent this week, so she’d blend in with her surroundings. That way, Nicola could have had a week off from talking with that silly voice.

The Doctor disguises himself as a dirty miner.

Sue: This is a much better look for Colin. Quick! Burn his coat!

The Doctor slaps some mud on his face. I feel duty-bound to tell Sue that Colin accidentally covered himself in dog shit.

Sue: Was it the same dog the Master killed? There is no justice in the world.

The Rani mocks the Master’s propensity for stupid, badly thought-out plans…

The Rani: It’ll be something devious and overcomplicated. He’d get dizzy if he tried to walk in a straight line.

Sue: It is OK to side with her, isn’t it?

The Doctor follows the miners into the bath house and he is overcome by the Rani’s gas.

Sue: She should advertise this place as a steam room. It would be a lot less conspicuous.

The Mark of the RaniWhen the Doctor wakes up, he is tied to the Rani’s table. He recognises her immediately.

The Rani: You were expecting to see the Master?

The Doctor: Not exactly. He was burnt to a crisp the last time I saw him.

Sue: Yeah, how did he get out of that, exactly?

The Rani admits to interfering with Earth’s history.

Sue: Was she responsible for all the football hooligans in the 1980s?

The Rani was exiled by the Time Lords.

Sue: Gallifrey breeds its fair share of nutters, doesn’t it? Didn’t they realise that exiling her would result in a mess like this? Are they completely stupid?

Peri is surprised to see the Master again.

Peri: I thought he was dead.

The Mark of the RaniSue: So did I! So, how did he escape, then? It’s really bugging me, now.

The Rani spares Peri’s life.

Sue: Kate O’Mara is very orange. And I thought Helen Flanagan had gone overboard with the fake tan.

The Master claims he will miss the Doctor when he’s gone.

The Master: You are indeed a worthy opponent. It’s what gives your destruction its piquancy.

Sue: Does anyone really talk like that?

The Master has arranged for Jack Ward and his surly mates to drop the Doctor’s TARDIS into a mine shaft.

Sue: So what? I thought the TARDIS was supposed to be indestructible. It’s not as if they’ve thrown it into a volcano.

Me: No. You definitely wouldn’t be able to come back from something like that. Not without a bloody good explanation.

Peri pushes the Doctor’s stretcher away from the Master, but it starts to roll down a hill.

Sue: Gary did that to me when I was in my pram, once. He was jealous of me, I think. I almost died me but he changed his mind at the last moment and he chased after me before I hit any traffic.

The Mark of the RaniThe Doctor hurtles down a hill on a stretcher.

Sue: It’s turned into Last of the Summer Wine.

Jack: Away we go!

Sue bursts into laughter.

The episode concludes with the Doctor heading towards the mine shaft…

Sue: That’s was pretty good. Considering the Master’s in it, it wasn’t bad at all.

top

Part Two

Sue: What kind of name is the Rani?

Me: It’s Urdu.

Sue: Is it Urdu for ‘Bitch’?

The Mark of the RaniMe: No, it means Queen or Mistress.

Sue: Close enough.

The Doctor is saved by a famous figure from history.

Sue: I never knew that George Stephenson was Welsh. I thought he came from Wylam.

Me: Hark at the George Stephenson expert over there.

Luke tells Peri all about his favver’s strange behaviour.

Sue: He got a massive love bite, pet. It really is the Bigg Market out there.

If you don’t know the North East that well, trust me, that was hilarious.

The Master turns Luke to the Dark Side with the help of some maggots.

The Mark of the RaniSue: Why doesn’t he just hypnotise him? He’s never had to feed worms to people to control them before. That’s a bit crap.

The Master convinces the Rani to rule the Earth with him, even though she already has a planet of her own.

Sue: You can never run too many planets, that’s what I always say.

The Rani dispenses with her slaves.

Sue: Poor Josh. He was my favourite character.

The Master notices the mark on Josh’s neck.

The Master: The Mark of the Rani.

Sue: Yes, I know. We get it, thanks.

Sue sighs deeply.

Sue: The sets are wonderful, and the location is very nice, but there’s something missing. I can’t put my finger on it but this is doing nothing for me. I’m bored.

The Mark of the RaniAfter some fannying around with mustard gas (“They let it escape into the street where it can kill everybody else. Clever.”), but she does perk up when the Doctor enters the Rani’s TARDIS…

Sue: Now this is what I call a TARDIS! The Doctor must be insanely jealous. All you need is a woman’s touch. I love the big spiny thing in the middle, it’s much nicer than the phallic thing that thrusts up and down on his. It looks like she might have had some help from the Daleks when she designed it, there are bumps all over it. Oh look, she’s even got a cocktail cabinet in the corner. That’s cosy.

The Rani enter hers ship with the Master in tow.

Sue: Imagine what would it would be like if these two ever got it together and had children.

Me: Do I have to?

The Master plans to use the results of the Rani’s experiments to take over the universe.

Sue: So the Master is basically jumping on the Rani’s bandwagon. He’s so incompetent he has to hijack other villain’s plans, now. He really is useless. Why is he still alive?

The Mark of the RaniWhen the Doctor leaves the Rani’s TARDIS, he points in one direction and follows the other.

Sue: Hey! That’s Peter Davison’s gimmick! Get your own gimmick!

When the Doctor returns to the village he examines Jack Ward.

Sue: He looks like Arthur Fowler after he stole all the Christmas money.

The Doctor: They’ve been robbed of the power of sleep.

Sue: Just show him this story. That will sort them out. I’m definitely feeling drowsy.

Charlie Hungerford offers the Doctor the use of his gun, but the Time Lord declines.

Sue: He’s changed his tune. Maybe he is making an effort to change after all.

The Doctor reaches the deadly dell of doom.

The Doctor: Doesn’t feel right.

Sue: I know what you mean, Colin. There’s something missing from this story. A spark of something. I can’t put my finger on it.

The Doctor threatens the Master with his own TCE.

Sue: It didn’t take him very long before he brandished another weapon. I knew he wouldn’t change.

The Mark of the RaniMeanwhile, down in the dell, Luke sets off one of the Rani’s mines…

Sue: Nice explosion, but the continuity is a joke. That tree wasn’t in shot before he blew up.

Seconds later, the penny drops…

Me: And you thought the actor playing Luke was wooden before.

Sue: Who designs a mine that turns people into trees? Who wakes up one morning and thinks, I know what I’ll do, I’ll create a mine that turns people into trees. What would be the point?

Even though Luke is now a tree, he still manages to save Peri from suffering a similar fate.

Sue: Oh. My. God. I’ve heard of tree hugging but this is ridiculous. It’s turned into a pantomime. A weird pantomime in a forest. Made by students.

Sue has lost all patience.

Sue: This is what happens when man and wife work together. It’s shit.

The Mark of the RaniThe Rani leads Peri safely out of the minefield. At one point, she tells the Doctor’s companion to jump.

Sue: Why does she have to jump? She could walk around it! You can see it. It’s right there. Look!

The Master and the Rani argue about morality.

Sue: Get a room!

The Doctor entrusts Peri to look after the Rani and the Master for him.

Sue: Is he taking the piss? Peri against two Time Lords? How long do you think she’ll last?

Minutes later, Peri is overcome by fairy dust.

Sue: What a surprise. Peri is being written as an idiot.

The Doctor is captured by angry miners. They tie him to a pole and carry him back to the dell. And then… Oops!

The Mark of the RaniSue: That is the stupidest thing I have ever seen in Doctor Who. Ever. I like wood, I really do, but this is putting me right off.

The Doctor escapes from the minefield with the help of a stick.

Sue: What does wood turn into if he touches a mine with it? Will the Doctor find himself holding a severed arm?

The Rani and the Master escape in her TARDIS, but the Doctor has sabotaged it. They are heading for the most primitive reaches of the universe.

The Doctor: Hardly the setting for a harmonious relationship.

Sue: I don’t know. I think they’ll be alright when the Master admits to himself that the Rani is the one wearing the trousers.

Me: And very nice trousers they are too.

Sue: Leave the fashion comments to me, love.

The Mark of the RaniNot only has the Doctor fiddled with the Rani’s brakes, her dinosaur fetuses are growing as well…

Sue: Why did she decorate her TARDIS with dinosaur babies in the first place? What happened to some nice pot plants?

The Doctor’s TARDIS has been retrieved from the pit. It took 40 men to get it out.

Sue: Now that I wanted to see.

The Doctor and Peri prepare to leave. Lord Ravensworth wants to know what the Doctor and his companion do in their strange box.

The Doctor: Argue, mainly.

Sue: That was the best line in the whole story.

The TARDIS dematerialises.

Ravensworth: Where’ve they gone?

The Mark of the RaniStephenson: Where indeed? You know, I always said he was a strange sort of fellow.

Sue: And now they’ve ruined it.

The credits roll.

Sue: I bet we never find out how they escaped from those dinosaurs. I feel cheated.

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The Final Score

Sue: What a mess. Why was the Master in it? The Rani would have been better off on her own. He just got in the way. There were too many characters and none of them seemed to connect. What was George Stephenson’s role in that story, exactly? What was the point? It looked nice – the location was lovely – but the direction was flat and the script was appalling. I still like Colin, though.

Me: So what are you going to give it?

Sue: Let’s see… One mark off for the dead dog, one mark off for the Master, another mark off for the direction and another for the accents. A mark off for completely wasting George Stephenson and another mark off for the trees. Where does that leave us?

Me: 4/10.

Sue: Knock off one more for being boring.

3/10

Sue: We’ve done four Colin Baker stories. I can’t believe we’re already half-way through his Doctor. This is easy.

The experiment continues…
 

Coming Soon

Next update due: Friday 30th November.

 

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Doctor Who – The Mark of the Rani [DVD] [1985]

Price: £7.85

4.0 out of 5 stars (37 customer reviews)

 

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Discussion

  1. Gary Gillatt  November 26, 2012

    Colin vs Eric. It was ever thus.

    • John G  November 27, 2012

      Good one! I really thought Colin would stick around for longer, but it is clear that he had had enough by the end and wasn’t trying very hard to get airtime, which is probably why he ended up in the bottom two. I’m hoping Ashley wins now…

      • Thomas  December 2, 2012

        He was actually kicked of, though- probably would’ve stayed on at least a couple more years had it been up to him.

        • Thomas  December 2, 2012

          Shit, ignore that comment. Missed the context.

          >.>

    • Mark Faulkner  November 27, 2012

      COLIN WAS ROBBED!!! … of decent storylines… of support from the Director General… of a decent costume… of a decent departure… of support from the fans (until now)… oh, and a place in the jungle! Boo!

  2. Jason  November 26, 2012

    I’ve been watching all these 6th Doctor episodes for the first time, and I have to say, the only ones I even remotely liked were the Pip and Jane Baker ones. Mark of the Rani has some cheese-factor, but I love the idea of a bad Time Lord who isn’t just out to cause mischief for the hell of it, but is a scientist whose practices and experiments are considered unethical.

    Plus her TARDIS console was pretty bitchin. ;)

    • DPC  November 27, 2012

      Yup. Cool TARDIS (exterior and interior).

      Yup. Cool character of the Rani.

      Yup. Sixie’s ethics and mannerisms make up for the cheese and plotting. He’s always had a moral streak, despite his eccentricity, but (to me) he shines in this one, and it’s clear he loathes the Rani’s lack of scruples.

      • Dave Sanders  November 28, 2012

        There’s actually rather more to the Rani than is apparent on first viewing, and despite the apalling directorial decisions and utterly disengaging characters (except for her), this is probably The Mark Of The Rani’s single biggest offense; the core of this story when you read between the lines is one really clever joke, but the punchline is undermined at every turn and doesn’t come across when those lines are scribbled in thick black marker pen with dialogue that reads like a trendy English teacher pretending to be Nev Fountain pretending to be the Dictionary Corner on Countdown.

        Sue speaks for all of us in the way she sides with the Rani and her withering put-downs, but the character dynamic that’s being missed here is that the Master and the Rani totally deserve each other; because in their own ways, they’re just as ridiculously inept. The Rani may keep her goals efficiently simple and straightforward, but her ruthless and ice-cold scientific detachment is what completely lets her down time after time, both on-screen during her stories and elsewhere referred to in the background details, because it blinds her understanding of how an emotional train of thought actually works – how it can be applied, how people will react, and conseqently her own ability to see what every emotional sentient being (even the Master) can see; to take one look at her own plans objectively and immediately go ‘that’s bonkers’. At the same time as she mocks the Master’s deviousness, it doesn’t, for example, cross her mind that after she explains about the extracted sleep chemical, the Master may immediately want to steal it. What’s more this purported lack of emotional self-involvement is a total sham anyway, because as much as scorns the concept of revenge as meaningless, she is just as self-assured in her own cleverness as the Master, and gets just as WHY AM I SURROUNDED BY IDIOTS or I’LL GET YOU FOR THIS emotional herself once everything falls to pieces. Meanwhile, the bombastic, overemotional and buffoonish Doctor totally outwits them both with consumate ease just by being himself, once he has a handle on what’s going on.

        It’s a joke that actually comes across rather better in the gibberish that is Time And The Rani. Kate O’Mara observed it herself; she tries to get one over on Colin Baker by turning him into an easily-exploitable idiot, but totally fails to anticipate what this new bumbling persona may actually do. Once you factor this into the equation, then Dimensions In Time makes about as much sense as it’s ever going to.

  3. Barry Stavers  November 26, 2012

    I had a feeling Sue might struggle with this one. I’m originally from Durham and even as a 15 year old, I chucked like feck at the accents, the trees, etc etc.

  4. encyclops  November 26, 2012

    It’s amazing how much better the next few seasons look if you can somehow strip Pip ‘n’ Jane out of them and replace them with non-embarrassing writers. 3/10 seems exactly right for this misfire, and the Rani gets most of those points all by herself.

  5. Gavin Noble  November 26, 2012

    Sue: That is the stupidest thing I have ever seen in Doctor Who. Ever. I like wood, I really do, but this is putting me right off.

    Don’t be put off Sue – those trees were made out of as much wood as Benton’s pint glass!

  6. Robert Dick  November 26, 2012

    Clive “Lofty” Anstruther. Bastard.

    • Robert Dick  November 27, 2012

      Everest, Jimmy. Everest.

  7. Warren Andrews  November 26, 2012

    As the only story that Pip and Jane Baker worked on fully with a script editor, it’s the biggest mess – that says something about Saward.

    People always moan about the inclusion of the Master but the Rani’s plot would be over in 25 minutes, the only reason anything happens is due to the Master.

    “Sue: Is it Urdu for ‘Bitch’?” – LOL

    • Paul Greaves  November 26, 2012

      I don’t think you can really blame Eric Saward for this, given that they followed it up with Vervoids, Ultimate Foe and Time and the Rani! Cartmel doesn’t have much good to say about P&J either. Personally, I prefer this to Vervoids and Ultimate Foe but I do have an unsettling fondness for Time and the Rani…

      • Jay  November 26, 2012

        There’s a bit on one of the Seven documentaries where Cartmel’s talking about how he had to tell them their idea of the Rani kidnapping King Solomon to steal his wisdom was ridiculous, and then they’re sitting there beaming, “we liked OUR ideas!” They’re either completely outside reality…or evil geniuses. Either way they’re always smiling….while I cry over tree-mines, magic maggots and a dildo gun. They seem to have a thing for plantifying people.

        • Nick Mays  November 26, 2012

          I remember another TV review show they were on shortly after “Time and the Rani” was screened and they were grinning like lunatics until a viewer phoned in and said how childish their story telling was and how shit JN-T was as a producer. They got all affronted then, but burbled something like such a viewer reaction being “untypical”.

          One of the best things Andrew Cartmel did as Scrip Editor was to jettison them as writers at the earliest opportunity.

          As for their novelisations… “Amsalp! Amsalp!” I mean, need I say more?

          I bet they’re still waiting for the Moff to call them to arms for the new series, figuring that RT-D hadn’t got their number…

          • Wholahoop  November 27, 2012

            Their novelisation had the impressive Tetrap language as being english words spoken backwards. I recall someone in the Manchester Local Group wrote “Tahw a daol fo skcollob” in their review of Time and the Rani, apologies for getting ahead

          • Frankymole  November 27, 2012

            They got an on-screen roasting in 1986 from Chris Chibnall, who criticised one of their stories for having too much running down corridors. With no hint of irony, Chiball went on to write “42″. His diabolical “Hungry Earth” also has a very Pip’n'Jane feel to it…

      • Jay  November 26, 2012

        Oh and disguising yourself as a SCARECROW in order to……..I don’t know…..and then meet up with The Crone.

      • Dave Sanders  November 26, 2012

        I know Sue’s pining for an explanation about the dinosaur, but whatever you do, NOBODY SHOW SUE THE TIME AND THE RANI NOVELISATION. ANY OF IT. AT ALL. EVER.

        That actually warranted about a dozen spurious exclamation marks, but I couldn’t get any because Pip & Jane had already wasted them all.

      • Lewis Christian  November 26, 2012

        You’re fond of Time and the Rani?

        I love you, Paul!

      • DPC  November 27, 2012

        TatR has a strange appeal to me as well… and, yes, like others I too agree the Rani is far better used in her debut story… but it’ll be fun to get to talk about that story when it happens. :D

        • Dave Sanders  November 28, 2012

          She’s not. She’s better used in TATR – see my comment above about her own personal joke.

  8. Richard Matthews  November 26, 2012

    Think the novelisation of ultimate foe explained the escape from the dinosaurs is that they grew so big they broke their spines on the roof of the rani’s tardis.

    At least in this one the rani is a serious character and not written like she was in time and the rani.

    • Nick Mays  November 26, 2012

      What I want to know is, how did the Rani get the dinosaur’s corpses out of the control room? (That’s assuming the dinosaurs didn’t fall on her and the Master to start with)!

      Oh, I supposed they used the TCE and flushed ‘em down the time loo or something.

  9. Jazza1971  November 26, 2012

    “Me: They’re Doctor Who‘s first – and last – husband and wife writing team.

    Sue: I bet she comes up with the ideas and he just writes them down.”

    :D

    • Dave Sanders  November 26, 2012

      *cough* THE ARK *cough*

      • Jazza1971  November 26, 2012

        “Although credited, Lesley Scott – Paul Erikson’s wife at the time of the story’s production – apparently made no contribution to the scripts”, according to David J. Howe and Stephen James Walker in “The Television Companion” anyway.

        • Neil Perryman  November 27, 2012

          Yeah, Dave, you idiot.

          • Dave Sanders  November 28, 2012

            Ooh, nerrrRRRRRRRRrrrrrrr. *handbags*

  10. charles yoakum  November 26, 2012

    this one is about right for me, score-wise. there is something missing, a sense that anyone there is really interested in the script for one. no one really takes it seriously. Were this a tom baker story, we’be be talking about all the nice banter on the Doctor/Sarah Jane scenes and hoping for a good guest star that week. But there is such a lack of chemistry on this one that its hard to care. stupid miners.

  11. James P. Quick  November 26, 2012

    I always liked the Rani. Though, must say, I read the word was Hindu for “priestess”. *shrug* Ah well. Still a nice name. Pity Time and the Rani sort of ruins everything. Though, to be fair, that’s due to the fact all of Season 24 was done at last minute because JNT was told, “Oh, you thought you were going to be given another show? Ha! Fat chance.” when he was supposed to be leaving the series. Still, I suppose everyone in the comments knows that. They seem like a pretty well-informed lot.

  12. Ritch Famous  November 26, 2012

    love it!

  13. jsd  November 26, 2012

    “This is what happens when man and wife work together. It’s shit.” – META!

    I used to like this story when I was a kid, but then again, I was a kid. What the hell did I know?

    Watching it as an adult I do feel the same as Sue that some spark is missing. I’d say 5/10 but probably a lot of that is nostalgia. And yes, the trees are idiotic.

    • DPC  November 27, 2012

      The tree was okay as a concept… UNTIL it was able to bend over and save Peri. That’s when it went to pieces. Metamorphosis from animal to vegetable matter is a cool idea, but giving it such anthropomorphic properties (on cue) was a really bad cop out… some of WHO’s modern day stories use lame copouts, but TMotR’s bendy-trees is on par, if not worse compared to some…

  14. Dave Sanders  November 26, 2012

    Sue: Imagine what would it would be like if these two ever got it together and had children.

    Neil: Do I have to?

    I bet somebody has. And written it down. A lot.

  15. Fuschia Begonia  November 26, 2012

    “I never knew that George Stephenson was Welsh. I thought he came from Wylam” – priceless!

    I was made to watch the first half of this story because of a certain Tachyon TV commentary. I refused to watch the second half; it appears I made the right choice…

  16. Erik P  November 26, 2012

    Surprised Sue didn’t comment on the Rani kneeing the Master in his love-spuds. I remember being shocked by that even when I was a kid.

  17. Wholahoop  November 26, 2012

    Mutton dressed as lamb would be the apposite epithet as far as I am concerned. 3/10 is generous

    Although I did laugh out loud when broadcast at the sight of the Rani kneeing the Master in his Time Testicles when her Tardis was going out of control at the end. Typical male trying to take over the driving at the first sign of a problem

  18. Block Avobenzone  November 26, 2012

    “Tell her to take her feet with her the next time she goes out” was my biggest chortle of this story, and it wasn’t even connected to the story. Sue should become an after-dinner speaker.

    I quite liked MotR at the time – my auntie from Spain was due to arrive during episode 1, and I was 10 years old – but watching it since it bored me to tears. Why did anyone ever think a) Pip & Jane could write or b) should be hired to do so for national primetime television?

  19. Lewis Christian  November 26, 2012

    A mark knocked off because the Evil Character does an Evil Thing (kills a dog)? This is madness :p

    It’s not great, this, but it aint bad. The main thing that lets P&J down is the bad plotting (but 99% of Who is precisely that) and… yep, the dialogue. If someone had rewritten the dialogue, it’d be 10x better.

    • DPC  November 27, 2012

      I can handle (most of) the dialogue, and the plot is fairly novel (for WHO of the era). What drags it down is Peri being inconsistently handled; good with her botany for one moment, then dimwitted the next. Falling for the Rani’s obvious ploy was cringe-inducing.

      • Dave Sanders  November 28, 2012

        And totally in keeping with the joke at the heart of the story. The Sixth Doctor just wants the two of them off the planet, and knows perfectly well Peri can’t handle the two of them; he’s using the Master and the Rani’s own overconfident superiority complexes against them, so that when, as anticipated, they leg it back to her TARDIS (and to come up with something else needlessly diabolical if the Master gets his way), they’re too full of themselves at having got away to bother to check whether the Doctor might have employed his own ingenuity in the meantime. The Master and the Rani cover their tracks by laying traps for the unwary, but in a straight battle of wills both of them are rubbish for the same reason Dick Dastardly is rubbish – it’s all offense with those two, and no defense.

        • Dave Sanders  November 28, 2012

          Also I should mention; the Doctor knows they won’t harm Peri, because in the moment they’ll lack the foresight to think Peri is worth the time or effort to dispose of. That’s the entire justification to his bluff ploy – it seems pretty clear to me from his attitude afterwards that he intended for Peri to fail, isn’t the slightest bit disappointed, and had every confidence in her turning up again perfectly safe.

    • Frankymole  November 27, 2012

      They didn’t really hurt the dog in the filming, anyway. Let’s hope Sue doesn’t have to go and see “The Hobbit”, where animals really were harmed during production (though not by the principal crew themselves).

      • Dave Sanders  November 28, 2012

        That should be the benchmark for a good review score by Sue: ‘no animals were hrmmed-at during the raking of this production’.

  20. Neowhovian  November 26, 2012

    Oh, bummer. I like this one.

    Well, OK. When you point out all the plot holes, yeah – it’s kind of pathetic. But sadly, I think it’s actually one of the best of Colin’s era. And how can you NOT love the Rani? <3 <3 <3

    I guess that's why I'm able to forgive this one so much. ~shrug~

    • Wholahoop  November 28, 2012

      Labelling it as one of CXb’s best may be true but hardly does him any favours :-)

      Also the Rani is excellent in this, it’s just a pity her later appearance(s) are so pantoesque

  21. DPC  November 27, 2012

    The Master is supposed to be cruel! One mark off the score for that made whimper! :(

    “Sue: He looks like the Master a bit… Hey! It is the ****ing Master! What’s he doing back? Oh no, and it was going so well.”

    That’s how I felt. “Huh, how’s he back? Why? Ugh!” It was almost made up for as the Rani’s heckling of him was quite entertaining…

    The Master is good at hypnotizing, but it usually wears off over time (e.g. “Terror of the Autons”, et al). I can see why he would borrow the Rani’s creation…

    “Piquancy” is a cool word, but some lines did get OTT with the verbiage… it is somewhat stilted at times, yet another part of me enjoyed it. As Colin has said in the past, he wanted people to go to their dictionaries. I didn’t need him to tell me that as I had my own dictionary, but it’s cool that was the intent. It’s not smooth slick drama, but as Doc6 loves English and literary figures, all of this is part of the trademark to his era. And I yum it up all the time… :)

    Yeah, I can’t stand “the tree” either…

    “Get a room” = LOL!!!

    The Rani was a great creation. Not like the Time Meddler (wants to ‘help’ societies advance faster and get rich for fun), or the Master (vile and destructive and that’s how he gets his jollies), the Rani is a scientist that just doesn’t care. Everyone and everything to her is a potential lab experiment to her. She’s worse than unethical and she’s worse than immoral. She’s amoral. And that should scare anybody.

    To me, the Time Lord arguing made up for a lot of inconsistencies, and the Rani as a character is fresh and novel, but I can see why Sue dislikes it.

    • Wholahoop  November 27, 2012

      “As Colin has said in the past, he wanted people to go to their dictionaries. I didn’t need him to tell me that as I had my own dictionary, but it’s cool that was the intent. It’s not smooth slick drama, but as Doc6 loves English and literary figures, all of this is part of the trademark to his era. And I yum it up all the time… ”

      I liked the 6th Doctor’s quote quotient, “Gather ye rosebuds….” whilst jiggering the Rani’s Tardis being very enjoyable however the Master seems to be dealt some real clunkers in this script.

      I once heard someone say language should be used to express not impress otherwise you could come across as a bit of smartarse. If you are reading Pip & Jane please take note, or as you might say “it would be greatly appreciated if you could partake of the appropriate scrivenings”

      • Frankymole  November 27, 2012

        The line about the Master’s plan, “it’ll be something devious and overcomplicated. He’d get dizzy if he tried to walk in a straight line,” is rather good though. Worthy of the series at its best.

        • Nick Mays  November 27, 2012

          I seem to recall the ‘Time Team’ feature in DWM had one of the team break the cardinal rule (i.e. that of foreknowledge of the series) and comment on the Master’s bonkers machinations in this story thusly: “God! The drums must’ve been loud that day!”

          • Hector  November 27, 2012

            I thought that was in reference to King’s Demons?

          • Nick Mays  November 27, 2012

            Oh well, it may just as well have been. ;o)

            I believe that TT member the wunnerful Mr Clayton Hickman uttered those immortal lines. He was the longest serving Editor of DWM, doncha know? (Now, where have I heard something that before…?)

        • John G  November 27, 2012

          I don’t know why, but I do like the way Anthony Ainley says “sweetmeat” in this story…

    • Matt Sharp  November 30, 2012

      ‘As Colin has said in the past, he wanted people to go to their dictionaries.’

      The master of this is of course Bob Holmes – reading his 1,500 funny words in ‘The Doctor Who File’, the only one I had to look up was ‘gallimaufry’, which is used to describe the acting profession in general and the cast of ‘The Two Doctors’ in particular (naturally, it’s a perfectly chosen word to to describe the acting profession in general and the cast of ‘The Two Doctors’ in particular) which seems to be about the right balance.

      The Pip & Jane method (which apparently consisted of taking a fairly mundane sentence, then finding the longest associated word in a thesaurus even if it means something subtly but vitally different) is pretty much an object lesson on how not to do it.

  22. John Miller  November 27, 2012

    I really like Mark of the Rani, and I think 3/10 is far too low. Since I’m not from “Oop North”, the accents never bothered me. The Master/Rani pairing(and squabbling) works really well, and also gives the death blow to a certain section of fandom’s, ahem, beliefs about The Master.

    Sue may also be the first person whose first viewing of this story didn’t elicit a comment about crossbeams going askew…

    Oh, and considering what story is next, here’s a piece of dialogue from Mark of the Rani that will hopefully prevent certain comments next time:

    ”MASTER: Brilliant. You’ve discovered the means of operating a Tardis by remote control.”

    • Nick Mays  November 27, 2012

      I know how Sue feels about the northern accents though. I’ve lived Oop North for over 20 years now and accents are worn like a tribal badge of honour, by ‘eck…

      Mind you, back in the day, I often used to find myself checking out accents on Dr Who and getting quite annoyed if someone from Surrey was speaking with a Kent twang, or a story set in Wiltshire had Somerset accents. It ruins the realism of the thing! ;)

    • Merast  November 27, 2012

      True, it’s a nail in the coffin for anyone who think it’s just the Doctor and the Master who took a TARDIS and left Gallifrey. There are plenty of different Time Lord nutters out there.

      • John Miller  November 27, 2012

        Still hobbling around with that old chestnut are you? I said I wouldn’t comment on that, so I won’t. But I will comment on your comment on it, which is to say…Get a life.

        And everyone knows there are only 4 British accents anyway:

        1)Toff
        2)Cock-er-nee
        3)Groundskeeper Willie
        4)cloth cap

        • nkx9  November 27, 2012

          You missed:

          5) Yokel!

        • Merast  November 27, 2012

          I’m a Doctor Who fan, life is but a dream.

      • Frankymole  November 27, 2012

        It’s also interesting how many Time Lord exiles do not own TARDISes (according to Douglas Adams, retired Time Lords can live off-planet but may not keep a TARDIS; whereas the exiled Doctor had his disabled). Azmael were TARDIS-less, and so apparently was K’Anpo; Romana went solo without one (though K-9 claimed he could help her build one); Drax seems to have dismantled his at least temporarily, Morbius presumably had his impounded, the War Chief is mentioned in the books as dismantling his to build SIDRATs… Oddly, Omega managed to get one sent to Anti-Matter-land by his mate Hedin. The Rani seems to have the best of the bunch, not just in looks but in performance!

        • John Miller  November 27, 2012

          Where does it say ANY of that, Mr Rigelsford?

        • Merast  November 27, 2012

          The Rani has a smashing console room in this story, i heard they wanted to re-use it someday but never did for reasons i’m not too familiar with. It’s certainly better than the subsequent Time and the Rani and Dimensions in Time versions.

          • DPC  November 27, 2012

            After a subsequent event in 1985, the set was probably junked. :(

  23. michael from tin dog podcast  November 27, 2012

    As a wallsend lad who spent a fae bit of time in killinworth I cant help but crack up at the accents. I feel like an american watching peri!

    cheers mmg-s

  24. chris-too-old-to-watch  November 27, 2012

    Good mark for the Rani herself (once met her in York), and quite right about removing points for the accents. Damned southerners, they seem to think all you have to do is add “ee bye gum”, “pet” and “och aye the noo” and that will cover all dialects from Nottinghamshire to John O’Groats.
    This episode always reminds me of the ITV comedy “Brass” – can’t think why (aye)……

    • Frankymole  November 27, 2012

      You’re telling me. I’m still smarting over John Levene being said to have a “Somerset” accent!!

      • chris-too-old-to-watch  November 27, 2012

        I think you mean “Zummerzet” (copyright BBC 1934)

      • Andrew Bowman  November 29, 2012

        That may have been me who made that blunder! I can only apologise for the ongoing smarts that my ignorance has caused! ;)

        • Frankymole  November 30, 2012

          That be foine. Didn’t bovver I.

  25. dlee  November 27, 2012

    The tree mines may well and truly be Sue’s “jump the shark” moment.

    • Frankymole  November 30, 2012

      As they were for many viewers at the time!

  26. Merast  November 27, 2012

    It’s a reasonable story, but i think Sue is right about the Master just getting in the way. It would have been better to have brought him back much later, probably at the end of Classic Who, seeing as it’s so aptly named. I wonder what she’ll think of the next Rani adventure? I’m usually the only one who likes it.

  27. Paul Mudie  November 27, 2012

    “Who wakes up one morning and thinks, I know what I’ll do, I’ll create a mine that turns people into trees.”

    This made me chortle! :D

    I agree with Sue. This one has a nice setting and the Rani started off as a promising character, but the story doesn’t amounted to anything, and the silly rubber trees are just laughable. Not only that, but poor Nicola is made to wear a horrible outfit that makes her look like a bullfrog! Unforgivable.

  28. Noodles  November 27, 2012

    A couple of points. Firstly, I actually think that this is Peri’s most becoming outfit. “Becoming”? Sorry, I went a bit Pip and Jane there. But, yeah, I think it’s hawt.

    Secondly, it’s not Colin’s natural accent. He’s a Manc who learned to speak RP as part of his training to be an actor.

  29. James Hellyer  November 27, 2012

    Sue was right. “Bergerac” was set in France, for one season anyway.

  30. John G  November 27, 2012

    “We’ve done four Colin Baker stories. I can’t believe we’re already half-way through his Doctor. This is easy.”

    Hmm, I wonder if Sue will still be saying that after she has sat through the next two stories! I thought she was a bit harsh on Mark of the Rani. It is by no means flawless, particularly in the tree department, but the location work is lovely and the story does provide some light relief amongst the darkness and violence of so much of Season 22. The Rani is an excellent creation, with Kate O’Mara clearly relishing the role, while the interaction between the three Time Lords is also well-handled – it reminds me a bit of those classic Chuck Jones cartoons of the early 1950s where they had Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd and Daffy Duck all trying to get the upper hand over the others. Another good performance from Colin too – I like the Doctor’s enthusiasm when he is discussing engineering with Stephenson. Even I, however, cannot excuse the sheer hideousness of Peri’s dress…

    • John Miller  November 27, 2012

      Isn’t Peri’s dress intentional though? As an American in her early 20′s raised on tv and Hollywood, that may well be what she thought dresses of the period were really like. Sort of like Marty’s “cowboy” outfit in Back To The Future 3.

      • Nick Mays  November 27, 2012

        I don’t pretend to be an expert on early 19th Century ladies’ fashion a la Jane Austen BUT… Peri’s actual dress looks authentic for the period and the jacket she’s wearing on top may well have been a very fashionable item back in the 1820s/30s. Certainly the puffed/slashed sleeves were meant to be a very bold statement for a young lady to make.

        Presumably she got the dress and jacket from the Tardis wardrobe, so it’s most likely ‘authentic’.

      • Wholahoop  November 27, 2012

        IIRC the outfit was chosen for a planned visit to Kew Gardens in the same time period which did not happen as the Master diverted the Doctor’s Tardis to, what was it called, Killingworth?

      • John G  November 27, 2012

        That’s a good point John, but it’s still hideous to look at!

    • DPC  November 27, 2012

      The Chuck Jones analogy ROCKS! It is a more evolved take on the same trope – Bugs would never lambaste Daffy about getting dizzy if he walked in a straight line, but the sentiment clearly matches the character. The Master has always been Daffy…

      • Chris  November 27, 2012

        I must declare, this incisive recaputilation of the sagacious episode, The Mark of the Rani, Susan, is one of your more admirable and incisive endeavours. Please keep up the good work…. er…. uh…. I mean “doughty travails.”

      • Dave Sanders  November 28, 2012

        The Rani isn’t Bugs Bunny though – the Rani is a cleverer but only slightly more self-aware Elmer Fudd. Colin Baker is Bugs Bunny, but he’s the fallible and slightly-wrong Bugs from Rabbit Rampage, in which the Duck Amuck joke was replayed from the other side.

        (cartoon nerd mode disengage)

        • Dave Sanders  November 29, 2012

          ‘Cleverer but only slightly more self-aware Elmer Fudd’ = Marvin The Martian. THAT’S who the Rani is.

          • John G  November 29, 2012

            Yes, Marvin and the Rani are a good fit. I would also have Colin down as the Bugs equivalent, appropriately enough given his association with carrot juice…

          • Dave Sanders  November 29, 2012

            The REAL Marvin The Martian of this period is of course, Michael Grade. “I’m going to destroy Doctor Who. It’s been blocking my view of LWT. Isn’t that lovely?”

  31. Paul Kirkley  November 27, 2012

    Soppy old sod that I am, I’ve found it weirdly emotional watching Colin Baker on I’m A Celeb. It brought it home to me that, you know what? I’ve missed having this guy around since he was dealt that injustice 25 years ago. The chance to get reacquainted with him has been a pleasure, and it’s been gratifying to witness the growing consensus of what a Top Bloke he is (Holly Willoughby said she loved him so much she wanted to cry – which is a bit weird, but probably worth a line on his resume). Of course, most fans already knew this (see, if Neil doesn’t mind, my recent chat with him at http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Whats-on-leisure/Choice/Colin-Baker-time-gentleman-04072012.htm) but it’s nice to see the rest of the world joining in. He was probably a bit understated to go the distance, but it’s clear his stint in the jungle hasn’t done him any harm at all.
    And yes, The Mark of the Rani is a bit shit. But I still love it.

  32. Ollie  November 28, 2012

    The first episode is pretty damn good, maybe the best singular episode from the 6th era. The second episode runs out of steam a quater of an hour in and it’s all dealt with far too easily and The Master just gets in the way. That is what I think about this serial.

    Have a good night. x

  33. DamonD  November 28, 2012

    Stop tapping the chain!

    The goodwill seemed to drain rapidly away from the tree mine onwards. MotR has some nice elements, like the location filming for one, but it’s just rather ambles along.

    I’d argue it’s the low point of the Master as well, 80s version at the absolute minimum. His dialogue is at its most risable, Ainley turns in a rather flat performance and he’s awkwardly shoe-horned into the plot anyway.

    • Dave Sanders  November 28, 2012

      He’s basically the exact same Master at this point that Jonathan Pryce takes the piss out in Curse Of The Fatal Death.

  34. Polarity Reversed  November 28, 2012

    Ahem, Bigg Market.
    Works both ways like, but…

  35. Cracked Polystyrene Man  November 28, 2012

    You mention going blind if you keep looking at Colin Baker – I was in danger of the same thing as I gazed lovingly at Nicola Bryant.

  36. Glen Allen  November 29, 2012

    Im too scared to comment anymore in case I’ve forgotten that in paragraph 5 on page 372 of a fan magazine sometime in the past it was hinted that The Rani might have done something “with hilarious consequences” and that strange people may now argue about

  37. Gareth Lee-Thomas  November 30, 2012

    It doesn’t quite work does it?
    The main theme is about the rights and wrongs of Industrial development.
    Or perhaps it’s a class reunion.
    Or maybe progress is accidental and incidental.
    Or it could be that a pastoral existence can only be enjoyed in the context of dirt and grime and bath houses?
    In fact, played with the right level of feeling and drama, it has all the traits of a true classic.
    Alas, the Master waits. Impatiently. In a field. Disguised as a scarecrow.
    The story doesn’t take us on a journey, instead it tends to sign post the ideas. Like a guidebook to the story rather than the experience itself.
    On the other hand, it was never going to be a Kubrick epic – it’s just classic Who.
    It only needed an old hand to step in, strip it back to 1 or 2 simple ideas and all the other elements would work themselves out. The three archetypes of the The Doctor, The Rani and The Master, representing three points on the moral compass is an excellent linchpin for the story but because the other elements don’t really fit they become cartoonish. I think if Bryant were given the chance to tell the story in a believable fashion, (How does Peri feel? What seems to be happening? How does she react to the main characters decisions?) then this had every chance of working.
    I do remember as a kid thinking that the Rani became more interesting than Peri (just cooler and sassier). On reflection (and without being lewd) more focus on their interplay and a richer character for Peri would, IMHO, have cut it.
    I just listened to the podcast with the Levene incident. It was a simple request, he kept getting it wrong. Why would he say that HE is listening to the wife in ?space [sic] ? Pint of Guinness in the face – only thing for it! I do admire how human and fallible he is though. Not sure I would hold it together in the face of the Sue factor. I would probably just grin like a fool.

    • Polarity Reversed  November 30, 2012

      Re Levenegate:

      I got the impression he was having trouble hearing her properly/her accent. Ultimately though, it was surely just a handheld recorder version of a request for an autograph, and he doesn’t come out of it well.
      IIRC, “It should have been called Ian” was totally bemused by NeoHu’s fan advances and pleasantly went along with it all like a lamb.

      Still, I’ll let Bentons be Bentons. And with any luck, next time N&S are at one of these shebangs they’ll be drinking champagne, which actually improves a decent suit…

      • Neowhovian  November 30, 2012

        Yes, I’m not sure Wm Russell quite “got” that we all thought Ian should’ve been the hero. But he was getting paid for me to have my picture taken with him and to give me his autograph, and I was clearly being complimentary somehow, so he was very pleasant. :)

        Neil, have you seen the “Living with Levene” extra on the Claws of Axos: SE DVD? If so, what did you think of Toby Hadoke’s conclusions about Levene? (If not, I’d love for you to go watch it and comment.)

  38. John Callaghan  November 30, 2012

    You have to face your fears, Glen. We’re here for you.

  39. Alex Wilcock  December 6, 2012

    Catching up a bit to celebrate no-longer-the-end-of-Doctor-Who-Day (Survival Part Three) and our ****ing ISP giving us the Internet back – more later…

    Best line in this:
    Sue: He looks like the Master a bit… Hey! It is the ****ing Master! What’s he doing back? Oh no, and it was going so well.

    Biggest (as it were) missed opportunity:
    Sue: Look at the size of his packet! Blimey, those trousers are tight.
    And yet Sue didn’t notice that when Luke got wood the leafy branches at the top must have been Luke’s arms, the roots his legs, so what’s the thick ‘branch’ half-way up that seems drawn to Peri…?

    Rather than starting Gangsters we’ve been watching our Brass box set. As you know (with its Mark of the Rani / Two Doctors / Return of the Jedi crossover).

    Sue: Imagine what would it would be like if these two ever got it together and had children.
    The Rani thought of that. That’s why she kneed him in the bollocks.

    Sue: This is what happens when man and wife work together. It’s shit.
    I thought the incredibly self-referential Doctor Who was next season?

    Sue: I don’t know. I think they’ll be alright when the Master admits to himself that the Rani is the one wearing the trousers.
    Me: And very nice trousers they are too.
    Sue: Leave the fashion comments to me, love.

    I’m with Sue on that. And I notice in the next story Neil wasn’t with the mad woman in ogling Dastari – yet he’s clearly been to the same outfitter’s as the Rani. It doesn’t suit him, either.

    I don’t think the direction’s as bad as Sue says, but still – the location filming’s fine, the music often rather lovely and Gary Cady’s very pretty… But they’re all, in effect, the scenery. And when you spend your time paying attention to the scenery when the ‘main action’ is either painfully slow or just grating, the story’s beyond hope, isn’t it? Just look at the climax: ‘I’ve twiddled some knobs so they, um, drive away, and, er… Look! Dinosaurs!’

    • Frankymole  December 6, 2012

      “Look! Dinosaurs!” The only thing we’re missing now are the snow goons. Oh, hang on, Xmas 2012!!