Time and the Rani
After being attacked by the Rani, the TARDIS crash-lands on the planet Lakertya. On the floor of the console room, The Doctor begins his sixth regeneration… In his post-regenerative confusion The Doctor is separated from his young companion Mel and tricked into assisting the Rani in her megalomaniac scheme to construct a giant time manipulator. Lost on the barren surface of the planet, Mel has to avoid the Rani’s ingenious traps and her monstrous, bat-like servants, the Tetraps.
She joins forces with a rebel faction among the Lakertyans, desperate to end the Rani’s control of their planet. The Doctor must recover his wits in time to avoid becoming a permanent part of the Rani’s plan to collect the genius of the greatest scientific minds in the Universe…
- Time and the Rani was the first story in season twenty-four of Doctor Who. It marked the debut of Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor (McCoy also briefly portrayed the Sixth Doctor for the regeneration sequence). An all-computer animated opening titles sequence was introduced with this story, along with a new arrangement of the theme tune by Keff McCulloch, an appropriately electronic rendition composed entirely on a Prophet 5 Synthesiser. Kate O’Mara made her second and final televised appearance (not including the charity special Dimensions in Time). Bonnie Langford continued to play Melfor the rest of the season.
- Mel is an admirer of the work of the scientist C. P. Snow, who dealt with thermodynamics.
- The Raniintends to go back to the Cretaceous and save dinosaurs from extinction.
- Loyhargil is an anagram of “holy grail”.
- The working title for this story was Strange Matter.
- This is the first time The Doctor is seen regenerating at the beginning of a serial, as opposed to its end (barring recap footage, of course).