Saturday, 27 June 2015

The Mark of the Rani

Richard Grant@richyg360 just like to say this is on of my favourite Colin baker episode when he was the Doctor
Catriona Scott@blakesbabe7 We introduced our daughter to Dr Who with this story and Planet of Fire when she was 5 and it remains one of her faves still.

Stories set in the past always played to the BBC's strength for costume drama & the fantastic location helps. 
50dw50@50dw50 and shot on film, makes everything look better
Steve Powner ‏@StevePowner  The beginning of this story always feels very authentic the workers finishing the workday at the mine and great music too: )

Great direction and this big high shot makes it feel like there's some budget!

Who's that dog? That's not Pepsi! What's going on here then?
50dw50@50dw50 its a zygon, has to be!

As soon as they get inside the bath house the production values plummet, sadly.

The miners are suddenly incapacitated by gas...

And we're with the Doctor & Peri arguing in the TARDIS with the Doctor bellowing something 3 times. Saward autopilot engaged. 

Peri suspects a Time Lord, the Doctor a Dalek.

Gas masked men move the unconscious miners, who now seem to have a nasty red mark on their necks...

The Doctor and Peri are up on the slag heap. Professor not sighted.

They were aiming for Kew gardens apparently.

What on Earth is Peri wearing?
50dw50@50dw50 the worst of her terrible outfits!

Mark Walker@Mark_Walker I suppose they had to match The Doctor's outfit!

50dw50@50dw50 no idea why, if they wanted Dr Who to stand out she should have worn reserved things, maybe she had gone mad?

Didn't they have to make her outfits more colourful to be in the same sort of colour range for the cameras?

"Hoist up your skirts Peri, off we go!" Crikey.

The revived miners have got a bit rowdy and are acting like hooligans... or luddites, anyway.

Some lovely stuff for Peri here about environmental concerns. They should've built that up & made stories relevant to her.
50dw50@50dw50 nice they had not forgotten what she was supposed to be studying.

The Doctor's worried that there aren't any birds around...

...which Peri attributes to a particularly efficient (and creepily moving) scarecrow.

 The rowdy miners attack a cart on the road.

The characterisation of the 6th Doctor is the best yet to this point.

The scarecrow knocks off after a long shift in the field and shambles into town...

The Doctor's scanner goes nuts when they pass the old crone by the bath house...

The crone suspects she's being followed, and sure enough the scarecrow - in reality none other than the Master! - arrives on her doorstep.

I'm going to have a "be kind to the Master" day today.

So let's say he *hadn't* been waiting in a field dressed as a scarecrow on the offchance the Doctor's TARDIS would land... but having forced them to land (as stated by the Rani later on), followed, then quickly grabbed the scarecrow as a disguise so they didn't notice him when they started moving in his direction - so he'd only been dressed as a scarecrow for mere seconds?

50dw50@50dw50 maybe the drum were very loud that day and he wanted some quiet place to stand without being disturbed....

The Doctor wants to meet George Stephenson but has a bit of trouble with the local bouncers.

The Doctor's keen on meeting not just George Stephenson but also the other geniuses... genuii... er, yeah.

But his name's not down so he's not coming in, till Peri explains he's a bit eccentric. Like they couldn't tell.

The Doctor's convinced there's happenings a-going on...

...especially when their canine jailer tears off at the sound of an enemy at the gates.

The Master's zapped that poor dog. He's lucky the RSPCA haven't been invented yet.
50dw50@50dw50 i remember being annoyed it just vanished and did not shrink, i was a bloodthirsty youth!

Peri notices the curious incident with the dog in the... er, day.

Tawks funny dawn hi? Hwooold hard? Thou shalt have a fish-eye on a little dishy when the boooooot cwomes in! No, no stereotypes here, not at all...

Now the Master's winding up the miners to go after the Doctor in his "vulgarly coloured coat"!

Say what you like about P&J, they really got Colin's Doctor, he's so much more "Doctorly" on their watch.

The Doctor is rescued from the miners by Charlie Hungerford off of Bergerac.

Mark Walker@Mark_Walker they were rather reserved at trying to knock the Doctor off the chain!

For the 45min eps Saward seemed to think it was desirable to do ponderous scene setting before starting any plot, which always seems to result in an old 4 x 25 minute story becoming the 1st 25 minutes slowed to death to stretch over the 1st 45 minutes and then the last 3 episodes squeezed into part 2. Result, almost without fail = big ol' mess.

Lord Ravensworth notes that the Doctor's never done a day's work in his life. Yet he claimed expenses from UNIT.
50dw50@50dw50 thats a bit rich from a Lord!

Ravensworth says the local Luddite attacks seem worse than elsewhere and the men suffer personality changes...
50dw50@50dw50 the workers are revolting!

The Master goes to the bath house...

...he's rumbled that the "old" washer woman is none other than the Rani!
Mark Walker@Mark_Walker interesting as she's kind of introduced as a character we should already know about.
True. Though to be fair the Master himself came with a ready-made back story in Terror of the Autons, I suppose!
50dw50@50dw50 i assume the production team knew the audience were familiar with the idea of renegade timelords.
"I'm indestructible. The whole universe knows that!"

The Master has a proposition for the Rani... but she tells him to clear off. "No wonder the Doctor always outwits you."

Steve Powner ‏@StevePowner  Kate O'Mara is so good as the Rani, putting down the Master only she could do it with such style.

The Doctor hears testimony from some of the locals about the changed temperament of their husbands, sons and brothers...

The Rani is a genius chemist & unlike the Master's penchant for unreliable hypnotism, she uses mind-controlling maggots. 

She's extracting chemicals from people's brains. Hence the rise in Luddite aggression.

"Fortuitous would be a more apposite epithet!" Unless, y'know, you want to just say what you mean.

Pete@other_pete *Takes extra swig of tea*#PipNJaneDialogueDrinkingGame
50dw50@50dw50 i love they way they gave the Timelords polysyllabic words and the humans dialect.

I think it's a mistake; disconnects the audience and generates ill will towards characters we're supposed to root for.

50dw50@50dw50 i adored it as a pretentious teenager! Besides most of it is said by the camp as christmas villains.
Pete@other_pete *adumbrates seperate epistopic interfaces of your spectrum*

AKA, "here's a clip-show wot I made."

The Master co-opts the Rani by stealing some rather suspect looking brain fluid from her.

Clever bit of detective work from the Doctor, rumbling that the trouble makers looked clean...

The Rani tries to ditch the Master almost immediately but her slaves nearly break the container of "brain fluid"... she has to remotely terminate their employment.

The Doctor disguises himself by dirtying up his face & swapping his multi-coloured nightmare for an old miner's jacket.

It's a vast improvement but somehow I don't think it would have done for his whole era...!

50dw50@50dw50 when you know what was on the soil its a bit off putting #dog

Yes; Colin gets inadvertently shit-faced here. Still manages to walk straight and not slur his words, though. Professional. :-D

Down the mine, the Master's trying to flog an admittedly well-drawn bit of TARDIS fan art. 

He drew that in the dark? Must drink a lot of carrot juice, carrot juice, carrot juice.

Meanwhile, the Doctor's been captured by the Rani.

"Your regeneration's not too attractive," she tells him. Cheeky.
Steve Powner ‏@StevePowner Once again The Rani straight to the point poor Dr 6! Colin Baker is great in this story clearly enjoying it.

Canny security from the Rani, making the Doctor's imprisonment dependent on his morals. "If he moves, kill him. No, wait. Don't kill him, kill this one!

Peri's managing to be more pro-active in this story too, following the Doctor to the bath house when he takes too long.
Chris Cwej ‏@chriscwej  and actually gets to do some botany later.

They really ought to have gone for some stories relevant to her and that interest, ironically Vervoids would've suited her!
Chris Cwej ‏@chriscwej  now I have an image of Peri on the Hyperion 3 treadmill!

Peri's surprised not to see a crispy fried Master, "get on with it!" says the Rani.

As per the Master's instructions, the miners take the TARDIS for a ride. How did they get it on that cart?

The Rani says Peri's brain is as good as anyone's for draining.

The Doctor says the results would be "too ghastly to contemplate."

Now imagining a hyperactive Peri...

Not sure why the Rani's scanner has a fish eye lens. Seems a bit silly.

Lisa P & Andrew T ‏@lisacartman Given where the story is set, the script probably describes it as a "Why-aye" lens... 

The Doctor tries to set the Master and the Rani against one another by saying the pictures are photoshopped.

He "tried it once but never succeeded". Yes, I remember that crap CGI pyramid he tried to do in Logopolis.
Chris Cwej ‏@chriscwej he gets better at it by the time he becomes the Valeyard.

At the Master's urging, the miners give the TARDIS the shaft.

50dw50@50dw50 i never understand why they threaten something we know is indestructible

So having tricked them into pushing him outside the Doctor's hit on an escape plan...

...but Peri shoves him down the hill... 

...straight into the path of the Luddites! They're going to send him down the mine, imaginative lot that they are.

Cliffhanger! The Doctor was getting the shaft in more ways than one in 1985. Looking at you, Grade.

Total cheat of a cliffhanger resolution as we see that he was never in danger at all - George Stephenson himself stops the cart.

Ravensworth's men scare off the miners...

...and the freed Doctor retreats to Stephenson's workshop.

Stephenson thinks Luke will outshine him. History - and the Master - might have something to say about that...
50dw50@50dw50 a nice attempt at pathos

"History and the Master" - good title. Like "Events and the Meddling Monk" or "Time and..." Oh, hang on...

The Master employs the Rani's maggots to make Luke his undercover agent.

The miners take another pop at the Doctor...

...but he gets the jump on them.

Periphery, Peri!

The Rani ditches her hideout in the bath house & dispenses with her servants. 

Ravensworth wants to call off the meeting of geniuses.. genii... brainy types. Luke sabotages him.

"The Rani simply sees us as walking heaps of chemicals". Great summation of her amoral modus operandi.

The Doctor susses that Turner isn't really the Rani's style and decides to move the screen from a safe distance.

Great effect with the volcano churning out the mustard gas.

Why does the key for the Doctor's TARDIS work on the Rani's?

Love the set of the Rani's TARDIS console room. 

The Master never really got his own, poor sod.

That central column is bloody noisy though. The Rani's TARDIS takes off with the Doctor still aboard as the Rani summons it to the mine.
50dw50@50dw50 it really is a brilliant set, such a shame they never used it again.

The Rani decides to lay another trap. Looks like some kind of landmines.

50dw50@50dw50 despite all her posturing she over-complicates things as much as The Master.

This seems to have run out of steam a bit, ironically.

A nice little revisit from Colin of Troughton & Davison's ignore-the-result-of-the-coin-toss routine there.

Still under the influence of the Master, Luke tries to persuade Stephenson to go to the glen.

Peri isn't too impressed by the Doctor's reappearance.

So the Master and the Rani are trying to bump off Stephenson, and have laid a trap in the glen...
50dw50@50dw50 instead of JUST SHOOTING HIM!

...where, coincidentally Peri is looking for herbs to make a sedative for the miners.

If sleep's a "power" I'm surprised no-one's tried to recruit me for the Avengers yet, 'cause let me tell you... Zzzzzzz.

Has to be said there's some lovely direction on this one; particularly in the location scenes.

The Doctor gets the drop on the dastardly duo of renegades.

The landmines transform people into trees. Rubber trees, if I'm not mistaken.

50dw50@50dw50 nope really realistic, lord of the rings style killer trees! (if you squint)

No they ent! (I'm sorry, I'm so, so, sorry...)

Worse than that, Luke-tree is seemingly still sentient and grabs Peri with a rubbery branch. 
Mark Walker@Mark_Walker some things transcend being turned into a tree!

50dw50@50dw50 the filthy swine!

Mark Walker@Mark_Walker you're channeling Panda now!

My new favourite euphemism...!

50dw50@50dw50  he has been channeling me!

No channelling before the watershed! :-P

I know there was a recurrent theme of villains lusting after her ever since Sharaz Jek, but blimey...
Steve Powner ‏@StevePowner  Got to love a rubber tree lol. Still a great story. Watch out for the T-Rex too! lol.

Having forced the Rani to safely retrieve Peri...

...the Doctor leaves his companion to escort them into the mine to rescue the TARDIS as he attempts to keep the miners from getting wood.

A less Doctorly moment there, as our Col seems to threaten the Master with a bunch of fives...

It's been 5 minutes so the miners give the Doctor grief, and tie him up.

The Rani fakes a coughing fit, and instead of reaching for her tablets she gets some sort of knockout powder.

When his captors are turned into trees, the Doctor cleverly uses the pole he was tied to to sweep the minefield.

He heads to the mine where he finds a recovering Peri.

When the mine starts to collapse around them the Rani & the Master escape to her TARDIS...

...but of course the Doctor's sabotaged the console.

The Master's nuts...

For a scientist, the Rani's safety practices are bloody rubbish. 

I mean, T-Rex embryos in the console room? 

Really? No goggles or anything?

With the supervillains disposed of...

...and the brain fluid recovered...

...all that remains is to say goodbye.

Peri's eyeroll at the Doctor's " a rocket" line is great, as is "argue mainly!".

Steve Powner ‏@StevePowner  Good story, very underated well acted and fun just how Doctor Who should be, loved it.
 Paul Cooke ‏@paulpcooke  It's the trees that do it. Some fans can't get past the odd failure in a show. Odd, really.

Chris Cwej ‏@chriscwej  like the Kinda snake...
Steve Powner ‏@StevePowner  I love the show that much I can even forgive it The Myrka! it's the stories that shine thru

Joey ‏@docoho  Mark of the Rani is brilliant fun - 'fortuitous would be a more apposite epithet!' :-)

A J ‏@badwolf7010  i love the ranis tardis shame it was only used once

Yep, easily one of Colin's best & feels like "proper traditional" Doctor Who during this controversial period. Don't think they should play it safe all the time but this had the right vibe of fun to it.

Coming Soon... Time and the Rani 

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