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Doctor Who: Time And The Rani DVD Review

Kate O’Mara’s performance as the Rani makes “Time And The Rani” worth watching.

The story begins with the Rani causing the TARDIS to crash which in turn causes the Doctor to bump his head and regenerate into his seventh form. Shortly thereafter, the Doctor and Mel wind up on the planet Lakertya where the Rani is hatching an evil scheme to create a time manipulator by using great minds from throughout history as well as the local inhabitants. Can the Doctor overcome his regeneration issues and stop the Rani from controlling time?

Much like “The Twin Dilemma,” “Time And The Rani” has unjustifiably received a bad reputation over the years as one of the worst “Doctor Who” episodes. While I think most fans will agree the plot/story is lazy and that the sparkle gun, the regeneration sequence, Mel, and the “falling” acting is pitiful, “Time And The Rani” is still far from one of the worst episodes thanks to Kate O’Mara and Sylvester McCoy.

Despite having to deal with the typical problems that regeneration amnesia poses to storytelling, Sylvester McCoy does a bang up job in his first outing as the Seventh Doctor. Not only does he do a fine job of making his Doctor unique, but he also excels at creating chemistry with both friend (Mel) and foe (The Rani). Speaking of the Rani, Kate O’Mara steals the show here as the villainous Timelord the Rani. Despite the character’s non-sensical world domination plot (which is not Kate O’Mara’s fault), the Rani proves to be a worthy villain for the Doctor. I particularly loved when she impersonated Mel for a lengthy period of time to try and fool the amnesiac Doctor.

Even though the episode was shot in yet another rock quarry, the production values are notably impressive for classic ‘Who.’ Not only did the episode boast some decent CGI and physical F/X, but some of the sets and costumes were pretty impressive for ‘Who’ as well.

Summary: Ignore the hate for “Time And The Rani.” It’s not a perfect episode, but it’s still worth watching.

Video/Audio:

The fullscreen picture quality is impressive. Generally, this is a stand-out transfer for a classic episode although there are a few scenes that look less than stellar.

The Dolby Digital Mono audio track is sufficient. The dialogue and music are as clear as can be for a Mono track which is all you can really ask for.

Extras:
* “Doctor Who” series 6 trailer, photo gallery, Radio Times Listings, and info text.
* “7D FX”- A behind-the-scenes featurette about the physical and CGI visual f/x.
* “Lakertya”- A brief featurette about what Lakertya was originally going to look like.
* “Blue Peter”- A quick introduction of Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor on the show.
* “Hot Gossip”- An interview with Kate O’Mara, Sylvester McCoy (and others) talking about their time on set.
* “On Location”- On set interviews with the cast for the BBC Breakfast Time program.

* “Helter Skelter”- A featurette about the new opening title sequence for the 7th Doctor.
* “The Last Chance Saloon”- A documentary about the tough times for “Doctor Who” in the 80’s and how BBC tried to revitalize the show with the 7th Doctor era.
* Commentary by Sylvester McCoy, Bonnie Langford, and Pip and Jane Barker. A charming, laid back commentary with plenty of humor and behind-the-scenes information about the episode.

June 13, 2011 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , ,

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