View Poll Results: How would you rate Time and the Rani?

Voters
19. You may not vote on this poll
  • 10: LOYHARGIL!

    0 0%
  • 9: Geniuses everyone of them

    1 5.26%
  • 8: Leave the girl! It's the man I want!

    2 10.53%
  • 7: A little portentous perhaps?

    5 26.32%
  • 6: Absence makes the nose grow longer

    1 5.26%
  • 5: I have no feelings one way or the other

    0 0%
  • 4: As substantial as the Rani's scruples

    1 5.26%
  • 3: Insolence could cost your people dearly

    4 21.05%
  • 2: Drawn the short plank

    1 5.26%
  • 1: What monsterous experiment are you dabbling in now?

    4 21.05%
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  1. #1
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    Default Rate and Discuss: Time and the Rani

    September 1987- a new Doctor burst onto the screens in a tumbling TARDIS heading towards Lakertya...

    But what do you think fo this much maligned story? What do you remember of this turbulanet time in Doctor Who's history?

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiHart View Post

    But what do you think fo this much maligned story? What do you remember of this turbulanet time in Doctor Who's history?

    Si xx
    W.T.F?

    After all the hype of Colin's dismissal, I honestly thought that the show would start picking up from here. I saw this and thought it was panto season come early! I was very disappointed with Time and the Rani.
    Iím being extremely clever up here and thereís no one to stand around looking impressed! Whatís the point in having you all?

  3. #3
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    I simply adore Time and the Rani. It was the first story I saw on broadcast in 1988 in Australia. I remember being thrilled that day at school (complete with my beige cat mittens), as there was new Doctor Who that night (and, somehow I knew, a new Doctor).

    Time and the Rani is not a multi-layered postmodern masterpiece- it's a fun romp, free of the baggage of continuity that had typified so much of the series since 1983. Yes, the Rani returns, but prior knowledge of her character is not required.

    Time and the Rani is fun and inoffensive. I don't get the hate for it, especially on the grounds that it somehow 'damages' Doctor Who. Sylvester acquits himself very well, especially considering that he was thrust into a characterisation he didn't quite agree with. Despite the screaming, this is probably the strongest story for Mel, as she's the one who has to befriend the natives, rally them up, and rescue the Doctor!

    It's not going to win any awards for excellence, but it's a story with a beginning, middle and end- and it's a lot of fun.

    Oooh, coconut macaroons!

  4. #4
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    Time and the Rani is great fun. It's a well made story, full of colour and imagination, although the dialogue often stinks. For the first time in years they leave behind dingy greys and browns and horrid corridors and do something that looks pretty good. The Rani's Lab is a nice set, even if it's shot rather statically. There are some astonishing effects tried out here- the Rani's bubble traps are very cool and rather well done, the modelwork is excellent- look at the Rani's base for instance or the asteroid- compared to the cheap work seen in Terror of the Vervoids the pervious year this is outstanding stuff.

    I think we're hitting the series in transition here- no-one is quite sure what McCoy is going to be like and he was only cast shortly before they started making the story, so obviously he's not going to be able to do all the things he wants yet. Everyone is pulling together to see the show through... some of the performances might be a bit OTT, but that's dogged the show through the years.

    What this is, is fresh and shiny and new. After sitting through the Trial, this was wonderful- colourful fun. Not the greatest story in the world, but definitely not the worst. If nothing else, it's never boring.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  5. #5
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    Ah, the episode of Doctor Who that stopped me watching Doctor Who. It gets no better with time.
    Creator of Doctor WHeasel and sometime political radical

  6. #6
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    This was where I began watchibg in black & white because it clashed with my mum's beloved Corrie.
    It was a tricky time for Who, (the first story since the hiatus was written for another actoir wasn't it?) and as said, McCoy was pushed straight in. The title sequence, at the time, astounded me. It was an interesting story with a peaceful, subseviant race being exploited and controlled, just accepting their fate. The Rani's plan of wiring the greatest minds in the universe into the huge brain was quite macabre. Though plugging in the Doctor without considering the size of his ego was a bit foolish.
    McCoy acquitted himself well, first time out. His amnesia and disorientation probably meant he didn't have to find his character straight away, giving him time to develop over subsequent stories. Brandynigma mentioned the lack of continuity to the past, though there weas of course the homage to the previous Doctors during the costume changes. Today, I still think the bubble traps effects work very well.

    There were flaws to the way this story was made. To kick off, the shoddy way in which the BBC treated Colin Baker meant the regeneration was a bit hurried and contrived- concussion? And dressing up Kate O' Mara as Mel for the impersonation was a mistake. Bonnie should have been given the chance to play an evil side.

    Really though , it is a fun story and not a terrible start to the new era, and Sylvester McCoy became one of my favourite Doctors.

    7 out of 10

  7. #7
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    Gareth a non-TATR fan? I'm surprised!

    I think your views on this story may be affected by whether you were a fan during the Colin Baker era and saw it on first transmission. (This is a theory, feel free to knock it down!) I came to it through the videos, years after it was broadcast. Knowing what came after and how the show developed, it was easier to accept Time and the Rani as an energetic, fun-filled four parter.

    At the time however, the fans would have looked at this as the future of Doctor Who and naturally assumed that from now on, all of the stories would be like this. (I admit that three years of stories like Time and The Rani would have been an eye-watering slog!) So a fan at the time might look at the more camp and comedic elements of the story with embarrassement.

    There's a lot about this story that is brilliant. The Tetraps are great monsters, they're agile, genuinely menacing and while they all-too-obviously can't really fly, the 360 degree vision is a neat gimmick and works well on screen. They're almost on a par with the new series monsters - they certainly more convincing than the rubbery Judoon.

    The effects are smart, there's some lovely models and some not-so-lovely-but-we-can-forgive-them-because-its-1987 CGI. The killer bees are rubbish, but they're not on screen for long.

    As for the dialogue - most of what the Rani says is unnatural or excessively verbose, but then that's the point. Its not really bad dialogue. And they have made an effort to make all the groups of characters sound different. Mel speaks in a different way than the Rani, the Lakertyans are different again as are the Tetraps. It's really only the Rani that comes out with the most unnatural lines, but this is deliberate. And to be honest the dialogue is always interesting and memorable, even when it sounds wrong.

    The major, major problem with Time and The Rani is one that skewers the entire production - and that's the lighting. It is one of the most horrendously over-lit stories in Doctor Who history, and that's saying something. If it had been literally darker, it would have given the story a much slicker feel and taken away the 'Pantomime' styling that it gets accused of.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  8. #8
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    This was Doctor Who for a slightly younger audience and why not? The show had catered to "the fans" for far too long, and kids had put up with wordy, dreary stories steeped in complicated back story and plot. When TATR arrived it was bold, fresh and colourful - and easy to understand. The Doctor bounded around and the the monsters were scary (Urak is vile - sneaky, sinister and a bit creepy; especially when, for example, he begs the Rani to let him execute a few more of the native population). Even as an adult, it's surprisingly thoughtfully made - look at things like the cuts between the action and same thing happening on various scanner screens, or the way the Tetraps are carefully shot so you see flashes of wings, feet and shadows before they eventually appear.

    Can't see why there is ANY hate at all for this story - it's like a Doctor Who comic strip come to life!

    And if this story "stopped you watching Doctor Who" - well, why would anyone not give the series another try the next week, knowing a different story would soon be along. Mind you, if you prefer continuity laden snooze-fests like "Arc of Infinity" to something that's jolly, pacey and full of interesting special effects, then maybe the series wasn't for you.

    Si.

  9. #9

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    Ok the music veers from inspired to awful but this story is a lot of fun.the rani is fantastically ott and the impersonation of mel is hilarious.especially when scowling or making asides behind the doctors back. A well made dodgy story that is defo a guilty pleasure.

  10. #10
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    From interviews since then, it seems apparent that Time and the Rani isn't the opening story that Cartmel or McCoy would have chosen, if they'd had the time - it's a commissioned script hanging over from the Baker era. But I don't think you can guess that from what's on screen - just like Rose almost 20 years later, it seems to be a story with so much breezy confidence, happily determined to be unashamedly and unapologetically what it is. At the time, and now, I loved the way this season seems to both sweep aside the continuity-heavy times that had gone before, and also stick two fingers up to what Doctor Who was supposed to be.

    And I agree with all the praise TATR is getting on this thread. 23 years on, I've still never really seen a convincing argument as to why it's (supposedly) such a rubbishy story.

    Bits I particularly like:

    -the pre-credits scene
    -the new titles, simply astounding at the time
    -McCoy's costume
    -Faroon discovering Sarn's body, tremendously moving
    -the cliffhangers
    -the mystery of what's behind the door..... and the revelation it's a giant brain, brilliant!!

  11. #11

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    Awful. I'll give it a 3 because the effects are quite good, and the whole thing looks quite nice. Well apart from all the costumes and makeup. I can remember thinking that they were just deliberately taking the mick with the new theme tune at the time, and I was only 8. It's kind of grown on me over the years, but at the time it seemed like it was being played for laughs on a kazoo.

    I think the rest of Season 24 was a very refreshing change and a move in a more imaginitive direction (even if it was all a bit too sugary on the surface) that would lead to a couple of great seasons after that. But this first story was just a dreary hangover to the dull and predictable stories that had dominated the series since Eric Saward started getting bored. And Pip and Jane... well I'm very glad this was the last time they would blight the series.

  12. #12
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    To show you the different ways people view this story, I heard criticism recently that the regeneration was in the pre-credits. As of the "What WERE they thinking type" (this was possibly on the DVD)

    But that TOTALLY misses the point of what "Time and the Rani" is about. It's a fresh new start - it's ready to throw away the past and build a new series. It tosses out the opening scene to get us quickly where we need to be, so it can move on and tell a different story. In terms of where Season 24 was heading, of what attitude this series NEEDED to have, chucking off the regeneration before the titles was possibly THE most perfect start to Season 24 imaginable.

    Si.

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    Absolutely. And given that Colin definitely wasn't going to be in it.... what alternative would there be? That regeneration scene works perfectly where it is, before the brand new opening titles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinggoose View Post
    Ah, the episode of Doctor Who that stopped me watching Doctor Who. It gets no better with time.
    Well said! My feelings exactly!

  15. #15
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    Yes, but why Kenny. What's actually so bad about it?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Si Hunt View Post

    And if this story "stopped you watching Doctor Who" - well, why would anyone not give the series another try the next week, knowing a different story would soon be along.

    Si.
    You've got a point there, Si. I did try the series week after week, but with Paradise Towers following on from this there were certainly no early signs of improvement!

    By luck though, BBC Video was releasing a few videos at the time which reminded me just how good the series once had been, and kept me hopeful of better times to come in the future...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Curnow View Post
    Yes, but why Kenny. What's actually so bad about it?
    The bad acting is a start. The pratfalls, the rolling R's the whole "not taking it serious" thing. I just prefer my Doctor Who a bit more serious than this and I'm not knocking anyone who likes it. Season 24, with the possible exception of Delta and the Bannermen, was just not for me.
    Iím being extremely clever up here and thereís no one to stand around looking impressed! Whatís the point in having you all?

  18. #18
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    I always felt that the "fans" expected Doctor Who to grow up with them. When it went back to being for kids, they didn't like it. Why should Doctor Who have got "a bit more serious"? There were a whole generation of pre-teens coming through that deserved their own version of the series. Fortunately we loved it!

    Si.

  19. #19
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    And I'm sorry but "they weren't taking it serious" is a bit silly too. Doctor Who has never been an entirely serious show- there have always been moments that are silly or funny in perfectly serious stories, and so I don't buy that as a criticism. Maybe it's not to your personal taste, but criticising Doctor Who for being silly is a bit harsh!

    Si xx
    Last edited by SiHart; 2nd Dec 2010 at 11:01 AM.

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  20. #20
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    Tell you what Mr McCow - if someone lends/buys me a copy of TATR I shall give it the full Doctor Wheasel treatment and a second go!
    Creator of Doctor WHeasel and sometime political radical

  21. #21

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    There's a difference between lighthearted and/or comedy moments, and not taking it seriously.

  22. #22
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    Well yes, but I'm not convinced they aren't taking things seriously in Time and the Rani. OK, Kate O'Mara might be a little ott at times, Sylvester is finding his feet but otherwise moments liek Faroon mourning Sarn's death or the Doctor's melancholy moments when he realises he's meeting the real Mel for the first time or the attention to how Lizard people might move wouldn't have happened.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  23. #23
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    It's totally taken seriously. As Si said, is the moment where Faroon and Bayeus find Sarn's skeleton taken seriously? Yes, it is.

    One thing JNT never did is send Doctor Who up. Even "Dimensions in Time" is played straight!

    Si.

  24. #24
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    OK, "serious" maybe the wrong description so I'll say "Darker" instead. I'm a first three seasons of Tom Baker fan, and Season 24 is just too light hearted and played OTT for me. I don't think I'm being harsh at all. I dislike this season immensely and that's that. I've tried re-watching and it's never grown on me the same way that the Key to Time season has never grown on me.
    Iím being extremely clever up here and thereís no one to stand around looking impressed! Whatís the point in having you all?

  25. #25
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    We just like different kinds of Doctor Who, Duncan. I quite honestly love The Key to Time more than most Hinchcliffe stories.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

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