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Doctor Who: The Mark of the Rani


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2 new from CDN$ 567.19 4 used from CDN$ 74.99


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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : Parental Guidance (PG)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Nov. 7 2006
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GRUQME
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #50,701 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

Doctor Who: Mark of the Rani, The (Episode 140) (DVD)

Amazon.ca

Fans of the Colin Baker-era Doctor Who (which is somewhat underrepresented on DVD) will be pleased with this terrific and well-liked serial from 1985 that pits Baker's Doctor and Peri (Nicola Bryant) against not one but two formidable foes against the backdrop of the Industrial Revolution in 19th-century England. The villains in question are the Doctor's longtime antagonist, the Master (Anthony Ainsley), who despite appearing to perish in 1984's Planet of Fire is back for more world domination, and the Rani (UK TV vet and former Hammer starlet Kate O'Mara), a cold and calculating renegade Time Lady whose experiments on the population of a mining town are turning the citizens into savage killers. Scripted by the husband-and-wife team of Pip and Jane Baker (who wrote three additional Doctor Who serials, as well as for Space: 1999), Rani is a literate and exciting Baker episode, well buoyed by O'Mara's elegantly evil performance and clever touches like the Doctor's brainstorming session with real-life engineering legend George Stephenson.

Chief among the wealth of extras on the Mark of the Rani DVD is a commentary track featuring a typically charming Baker and Bryant, who are joined by O'Mara; Baker, in particular, shines here by giving a considerable amount of production information along with personal reminiscences. "Lords and Luddites" is a 43-minute featurette about the serial's conception and production (narrated by UK television personality Louise Brady) that's chock full of interviews with the cast and crew, including the Bakers and composer Jonathan Gibbs (who is also profiled in a short interview piece), who replaced John Lewis, who died during production (both composers' soundtracks are offered in isolated music tracks). A battery of deleted and extended scenes, a return jaunt to the production locations, related clips from the children's TV programs Blue Peter and Saturday Superstore, and the by-now standard photo gallery, text-only information track, and PDF files for the Doctor Who Annual and Radio Times listings round out the supplements. --Paul Gaita

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Hamlow on Sept. 8 2002
Format: VHS Tape
England, 1826--the toil and drudgery of the coal miners is emphasized with the opening elegiac music. Jack Ward and his companions go to the bath house to wash, but suddenly, gas seeps through the walls, sending them to unconsciousness. They reemerge alive, but with red circles under their ears, and acting violently. They kick a food stand, knocking down its contents and a young boy.
The Doctor and Peri are en route to Kew Gardens, but the TARDIS is pulled of course to 1826. There, they try to find the source of the time disturbance and trace it to the Rani, who like the Master is a renegade Time Lord and an old classmate.
This is a semi-historical story, as they meet George Stephenson, the engineer whose Blucher locomotive hauled coal from Killingworth colliery. The Doctor tells Peri: "How would you like to meet a genius?" She says, "I thought I already had."
The Rani, who has been taking the brain fluid enabling men to sleep throughout history, treats humans as "walking heaps of chemicals." "There's no place for the soul in her scheme of things." Result: the men become restless and violent. When the Doctor argues that humans haven't done any harm to her, she counters with: "They're carnivores. What harm have the animals in the fields done them, the rabbits they snare?... Do they worry about the lesser species when they sink their teeth into a lamb chop?" Point to the Rani there. She's so callous, the Doctor angrily tells her "They should never have exiled you. They should have locked you in a padded cell!"
The Master is also here. Not only has he improved his compressor so that its victim totally vanishes, he wants to use the Rani's skills to continue his feud with the Doctor.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Denis LeBlanc on Feb. 4 2009
Format: DVD
Though not the best, still a very good Doctor Who serial. The special features alone are worth the purchase.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 41 reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Three Time Lords for the price of one Sept. 8 2002
By Daniel J. Hamlow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
England, 1826--the toil and drudgery of the coal miners is emphasized with the opening elegiac music. Jack Ward and his companions go to the bath house to wash, but suddenly, gas seeps through the walls, sending them to unconsciousness. They reemerge alive, but with red circles under their ears, and acting violently. They kick a food stand, knocking down its contents and a young boy.
The Doctor and Peri are en route to Kew Gardens, but the TARDIS is pulled of course to 1826. There, they try to find the source of the time disturbance and trace it to the Rani, who like the Master is a renegade Time Lord and an old classmate.
This is a semi-historical story, as they meet George Stephenson, the engineer whose Blucher locomotive hauled coal from Killingworth colliery. The Doctor tells Peri: "How would you like to meet a genius?" She says, "I thought I already had."
The Rani, who has been taking the brain fluid enabling men to sleep throughout history, treats humans as "walking heaps of chemicals." "There's no place for the soul in her scheme of things." Result: the men become restless and violent. When the Doctor argues that humans haven't done any harm to her, she counters with: "They're carnivores. What harm have the animals in the fields done them, the rabbits they snare?... Do they worry about the lesser species when they sink their teeth into a lamb chop?" Point to the Rani there. She's so callous, the Doctor angrily tells her "They should never have exiled you. They should have locked you in a padded cell!"
The Master is also here. Not only has he improved his compressor so that its victim totally vanishes, he wants to use the Rani's skills to continue his feud with the Doctor. The Rani has nothing but contempt for the Master and even mocks the rivalry between them: "It obsesses you to the exclusion of all else.", "You're unbalanced--no wonder why the Doctor always outwits you." She even says of his schemes: "It'd be something devious and overcomplicated. He's be dizzy if he tried to walk in a straight line." Indeed, the Master is a bumbler here compared to the clever and efficient Rani. I wouldn't want to tangle with the Rani.
The interior of the Rani's TARDIS alone is worth watching this episode, as is a feature of it revisited at the end of The Two Doctors. Let's see, goofs and other things: The cliffhanger to Part 1 is effective, there's a small added scene when the cliffhanger is repeated in Part 2, which elicits a "Oh, come on!" Peri has a nice apricot dress, but as for that yellow top... urgh! And the Luddite riots ended in 1816, a decade earlier.
Kate O'Mara makes the Rani more formidable than the Master and easily carries this story. Other honors go to Gawn Grainger as Stephenson and as Terence Alexander as Lord Ravensworth, head of Killingworth. One of the Sixth Doctor's best stories, with the harsh 1820's replicated remarkably well.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A class act from an under-rated era. Oct. 26 2000
By G.Spider - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
This is an example of semi-historical Dr Who at its best. There is a grown-up and interesting storyline, the appearance of a famous character from human history (in this case George Stephenson), the setting is charming and realistic, and the sets look great. The scenes between the three Time Lords (the Doctor, the Master and the Rani) are well-written, the bickering between them providing touches of amusement, and there is a genuinely gripping cliff-hanger.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Coolness extreme July 14 2000
By David Cole - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
The Rani, an exiled time lord scientist, has quietly been infiltrating humanity over millenia: Trojen wars, Luddite Riots, America's Independence War, et cetera... she becomes involved in the Master's latest attempt to kill the Doctor as the Master is blackmailing her with a vial of fluid she has been collecting.
The master is back and is in production-continuity order. (the last 4 years of the show, the Master comes back and nobody wants to explore the idea that the Master could have died at one encounter but thanks to time travel the Doctor can meet him before he dies!)
There are some historical dating problems, but history itself is usually falsely written anyway and this is *entertainment* and *science fiction*.
The Doctor is arguably at his best here and somehow is a more interesting adversary for the Master than the 5th Doctor.
The Rani is cool and calm and pokes great fun at the Doctor/Master rivalry and it's brilliant.
Get some wine and sit back, it's not an action piece but does indeed entertain.
Oh, and check out the Rani's TARDIS interior. Definitely a highlight given the show's low budget...
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A great part of an excellent season... May 26 2000
By Rick Lundeen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This season, the 22nd of the show, is arguably second ONLY to Tom Bakers first three years under Philip Hinchcliff's 'Gothic' era. This episode is a good representative of the season with it's realistic, grity feel, haunting soundtrack and excellent performance by everyone invovled. A shame some people just don't 'get it' but they probably weren't around for the hey day of the show anyway and preferred the more MTV style added into the McCoy adventures. This adventure, along with the Two Doctors, Vengeance on Varos and Revelation of the Daleks (when they get around to putting it out) are all MUST buys as part of one of the greatest and most misunderstood seasons in the history of the program.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
"He'd get dizzy if he tried to walk in a straight line!" Aug. 5 2007
By Crazy Fox - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
As a story, "Mark of the Rani" is all over the place. Well, in a way. Every bit of the action takes place in or around a single coal mine in Killingworth, England, some time during the early 1800's--the very cusp of the Industrial Revolution. And the plot is fairly straightforward, too: The Rani, a renegade Time Lord scientist, is going about her own business performing unethical medical experiments on Earthlings when along come the Master and the Doctor, the one trying to force her into an alliance, the other trying to stop her after discovering her cruel if clinically efficient work. And yet, given such a unified setting and uncomplicated premise, all the characters involved seem to wander here and there, back and forth, around and around, endlessly criss-crossing the mine's environs--as if the writers would get dizzy if they tried to pen a straight plotline. In this case that's a plus, though, maximizing the incredibly authentic and historically accurate location shots to great advantage. "Doctor Who" has often benefited from BBC expertise in historical dramas, and they've done so here in spades.

Which means of course that this storyline is a pseudo-historical, an unusual genre highly characteristic of this show throughout its long and (now) continuing run--you could almost say unique to it--with a futuristic science fiction premise set in some interesting time in Earth's past (okay, more often than not England's past, but you know what they say, write what you know). "Mark of the Rani" is a prime example in fact, including as it does an actual historical figure as a character (George Stephenson, self-made man and engineer responsible for innovating the public use of steam locomotives on railways) and skillfully incorporating aspects of this time frame into the plot. Also characteristic of the show, this storyline includes the obligatory unconvincing special effect puzzlingly superfluous to the plot but without which the show would lose some of its charm (the tree. You'll know it when you see it).

As for the Doctor, Colin Baker is in top form in this story: wittily sarcastic and yet almost boyishly curious, benignly arrogant and yet profoundly ethical without being a boring prig about it. His rapport with Peri almost seems plausible here too, though Peri is still, well, Peri--annoying and unconvincing. The Rani on the other hand is a great character, a formidable opponent and a believably complex villain--in her own mind and according to her own standards she's doing nothing wrong and feels no more guilt about harming humans in her scientific experiments than we do about mice. Kate O'Mara gives a wonderfully superior performance here and totally brings this interesting character to life. And her Tardis is a masterpiece of design and craftsmanship (more than making up for the tree effects-wise)--funny how it follows the same basic structure as the Doctor's Tardis and yet seems like the Gallifreyan equivalent of the latest model of a Lexus to the Doctor's old beat-up '66 Dodge. Breathtakingly beautiful and yet decorated with disturbingly preserved pickled specimens--the perfect symbol of her personality. As for the Master, though, my, how the mighty have fallen. Anthony Ainley does pretty well here, not hamming it up so much as sometimes, but we've degenerated from Roger Delgado's suavely sinister mastermind and even from Ainley's scheming cackling villain who inevitably reminds me of the overdone bad guys in the early silent films to...comic relief! It's all over for you as an arch-enemy and nemesis when you're mainly there for the laughs. But there he is, the constant butt of the Rani's derisive remarks and sarcastic jokes, and by this point in the show's history the part that really stings is that she's pretty much right. He's a bungler throughout the story, and every time she's about got the Doctor and company up a creek, he screws it up somehow--making it even more comical that he persists in wondering why she doesn't want to be partners in crime!

In short, what we have here is a very Doctor-like Doctor along with his (diminished) arch-nemesis and a new renegade Time Lord (just how many are out there anyway?) in a finely crafted and well-written pseudo-historical sci-fi adventure with lots of wandering around in realistic outdoor locations and highly creative and/or authentic sets, all topped off with one really fake special effect as if to say, hey, nobody's perfect. This without doubt is quintessential "Doctor Who"--watch and enjoy!


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