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  1. #1
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    Default Time and the Rani - Thirty Years On

    Thirty years ago Doctor Who "burst" back onto our "screens" with the TARDIS suffering tumultuous buffeting (although it might have just been a tumultuous buffet that triggered the regeneration) as the amoral Rani shoots it down with a handgun.

    On the debris-strewn TARDIS floor Mel and the Doctor, whom we've all come to know and blame for the 18 month hiatus, lie unconcious. The Rani swaggers into the TARDIS accompanied by a furry monster. "Leave the girl," she sneers with contempt. "It's the man I want." As the outrageously costumed buffoon is turned over by a clawed hand, his face glows strangely and his hair falls off, disturbingly implying that the sixth Doctor was wearing a wig the whole time.

    A NEW ERA WAS BORN!

    I recently re-watched Time and The Rani. There are some good aspects to it, but the whole thing is skewered by the shocking dialogue. It's hard to imagine a human being saying any line from the script in a real conversation. Half the time it seems the actors don't understand what they've been given to say and they're just trying to get through it.

    So what's good about it? It feels fresh and exciting. Turn the volume down and it looks like an exciting adventure. The effects are 1987 modern and quite ambitious. It's impossible to imagine them trying anything as complex as the spinning bubble traps back in the days of Pertwee, or even Davison. The Tetraps look great and so does Kate O'Mara, even when she's pretending to be Mel. The Lakertyan outfits are silly, but the make up is pretty good. The production team really know how to work miracles on a shoe-string budget.

    Time and the Rani is a shaky start to the McCoy era (literally at the end of episode 3 where they plug him in to the giant brain) but it is fun... I ... guess?

    What are your thoughts on Time and the Rani @ 30?
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  2. #2
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    I might just give it another try. On previous attempts I've struggled to get far past the first episode, but maybe I should try to approach it with a fresh outlook as if I had never seen it before.

    I wonder what someone who was only familiar with the new series and was watching this as their first example of the original series would think? Rather then us boring old Pertwee fans (ie myself! ) who couldn't believe what we were seeing at the time?

  3. #3

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    I still like it. I drifted off during the last series of Davison and only saw as much as ten minutes of Season 22.
    But the cancellation made me twitch and realise I DID care! So I resolved to follow it fanatically as I could from there on in. I would like to see the script for "Strange Matter" (That was it originally wasn't it?) just to see how different it was.
    And yeah, the ill fitting wig... Well in hindsight we could have had The Doctor hit the ground running with no regeneration. But would the fans have accepted it?
    Oh well. The wig is on us and we have to live with it.

  4. #4
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    I like it! Because it does, as Rob, says feel (felt) fresh and new and different. It's got Pip & Jane's oddly-phrased dialogue, but for all that it's a story that looks for the most part really good, and rattles along at a fair pace.

    I always love Doctor Who best when it feels brand new, when you could absolutely forget there was x-years of history behind it. And TATR, even all these years later, feels just like that.

  5. #5
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    For all its problems, the first episode made a huge impression on me as an 8 year old. The spinning bubble traps were genuinely scary.
    Whilst I would agree that the best of the Seventh Doctor's TV era was very much waiting in the wings there was a lot to enjoy in season 24.
    Hard to believe that it's been 30 years since Sylvester became just as much my Doctor as Colin was and still is.

  6. #6
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    I adored it at the time and I adore it now too. It seemed so bright and fun, like the sun coming out after Colin's era, which seemed dark and drab so much of the time.

    Yeah, it's far from perfect. The dialogue stinks, but there's an energy to it that drags it along.

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

  7. #7
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    Pip and Jane, your verbosity has been noted (in other words, this is Doctor Who, not Shakespeare's adaptation of Call My Bluff!). It does still manage to be fun, and to have a bit of science in it, even if some of it is a bit wonky.

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