The Mark of the Rani
2 February 1985
Anthony Ainley (The Master), Kate O’Mara (The Rani), Terence Alexander (Lord Ravensworth), Peter Childs (Jack Ward), Gary Cady (Luke Ward), Richard Steele (Guard), William Ilkley (Tim Bass), Hus Levent (Edwin Green) , Kevin White (Sam Rudge) , Martyn Whitby (Drayman) , Sarah James (Young Woman) , Cordelia Ditton (Older Woman) , Gawn Grainger (George Stephenson) .
|Written by||Pip and Jane Baker|
|Directed by||Sarah Hellings|
|Produced by||John Nathan Turner|
The Mark of the Rani sees the Doctor pitted against not one, but two evil Time Lords – his old enemy The Master (played with great relish by Anthony Ainley) and the glamorous yet deadly Rani (Kate O’Mara). When the Doctor and Peri arrive in North East England in the early 19th Century, they discover groups of violent men rampaging around the countryside, smashing up machinery. What’s causing this strange behaviour? And does it have anything to do with the presence of famous inventor George Stephenson?
- This story had working titles of; Too Clever By Far and Enter The Rani.
- The music score for this story was provided by composer Jonathan Gibbs. John Lewis was originally hired to compose the score, but a sudden onset of illness — which ultimately resulted in his death — prevented him being able to finish the work and forced the production team to give the assignment to Gibbs just after Lewis had completed scoring the first episode. Lewis’ score for the first episode was included on the DVD release.
- The following was credited in both episodes: “The BBC wish to acknowledge the cooperation of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum.”
- This was the last story of the original series of Doctor Who to be directed by a woman. The next such occasion was the 2007 Tenth Doctor episode Blink (directed by Hettie MacDonald).
- The Mark of the Rani was shown in 4-25 minute episodes in the USA, Australia and New Zealand. The Rani was conceived as a new, ongoing villain, however the character only appeared once more in the series, two years later in Time and the Rani.
- Kate O’Mara later reprised the role for the charity special, Dimensions in Time (which is considered non-canonical) and the spin-off audio production The Rani Reaps the Whirlwind for BBV and for Big Finish. The possibility of the Rani returning to the revival series has been a source of fan speculation since 2005, with virtually every female character from Rose Tyler to Donna Noble to Lucy Saxon being considered possible Ranis-in-disguise.
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