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The Mark of the Rani
Well I've always enjoyed this story and this watching just reinforced that. Yeah, there are problems but I've always tended to overlook them. Part one, as almost all Colin stories aspire to, is inspiring and very, very good. THIS is the way to introduce a new villain and THIS is the way to treat the Rani. Every other appearance by her tends to reduce her to the I want to rule the world villainess one dimensional charcter. Here, she's very much a 3d character IMO. She doesn't want to rule the world, or change time or do anything that fools like Ming the Merciless and the Master and Dr Evil want to do: she has reasons and good ones. She is amoral but not totally evil and not for evil's sake. I still hate her for what she does to Luke and the others but not as much as I hate the Master for killing the dog and the dog's owner. I hate when they have animals die in media but whatever...
The location work is just amazing and looks like...well, not like DW. It's just so back then, back there and looks great. On the negative side, I can't really understand the miners alot of the time and need subtitles. In fact, some slang and dialects of British sound more foreign to me than French, Japanese, and Chinese! Scottish, also sounds sometimes like an alien language but that's my problem.
Peri's dress: she should have nipped back into the TARDIS and changed it pronto,however, it does make her fit into the past more easily than the things she wore in ATTACK and VAROS. She and the Doc do disagree but not terribly or am I just getting used to their horrid fights? And insults? I don't care: they both work here and in this I found myself routing for them one hundred percent, which I can't always say I did with Peri. And as for the Doc in MINDWARP...more on that later or later on that more...or whatever...
I like all the actors here, the sets are great, some of them borrowed from TENKO. Why the Master was dressed as a scarecrow I don't know and why the birds didn't sing I don' t know....perhaps they smelled the foul thing known as the Master. Frankly, I love the whole Master/Rani/Doctor banter between all of them, two of them, and their encounters with poor Peri ("who is this brat?" "I have a score to settle with Miss Brown" "A hyperactive Peri is too ghastly to think about"). There are some great lines here from all involved especially Peri, the Rani, The Master, and the Doctor ("Where is that idiot?" "I assume your talking about the Master..." "I begin to understand why the Master finds you such a threat") and so on. While it's clear the Doctor and the Rani know each other, it's not THAT well. I mean they certianly have not crossed swords as much as the Doctor and the Master if at all.
ON ANOTHER NOTE : since I want to write a fan fiction about it, does anyone know the nature of the aliens or the world Miasimia Goria. The Master speaks of it intrigingly as the aliens there have useful ...uses and they must have some special talents he alludes to but never reveals. Does any other spinoff explain these aliens or that world? I looked and looked but found nothing. It's another annoying particular of DW to mention something and then never expand on it and even more annoying that some writer somewhere obsure will touch on it but never let anyone know as in RACE AGAINST TIME, the Rani Choose Your Own Adventure. If anywhere I imagine it would be there but I can't find that.
Anyway HERE the Rani is markedly different from the Penquin...I mean the Master. The Master is insane as the Rani claims. Why she couldn't stop him earlier just proves how powerful he really is, blackmailing her. Kate O'Mara carries herself well in this and proves apt to play such a Time Lord/Lady. She's no lady though. The slugs are digusting and remind me of STAR TREK 2. The cliffhanger is a bit awkward and I like that the Doctor doesn't show the Master any worry...a tip of the hat to Colin for not showing any worry but bluffing that he thnks it is another illusion on the Rani's screen (he doesn't, he's bluffing so that the Master can't gloat over his worry and then kill him after that satisfication). The Doc knows the Master won't kill him until he's humiliated and worried...so the Doc remains calm. That bit is always missed somehow when one talks about this story. Of course, he should be more worried about Peri...but he does show it some how ("Peri, keep back" "And get out...")
A good story and Luke Ward is another in a long line of hunks this season, many of them blond...