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Old 03-10-2012, 09:00
daveyboy7472
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So here we go then. The beginning of the McCoy Era and for imo the worst Season of Doctor Who in the showís entire history, though Iím sure others will disagree.

So where do I start with this story? Most of my opinionís on it are mainly negative but Iíll get the few positive points across first. The main one being Sylvester McCoy, who despite acting a clown for most of the story, does what he does all Era long from start to finish and that is able to rise above the dross and put on a show. Yes he was a million miles away from the Dark Seventh Doctor in this but the important thing was that he was at least likeable on his debut, unlike his predecessor. And he is quite funny at times with his misquotes,especially when connected to the Rani's brain. Also looked remarkably like Colin Baker in the regeneration scene-until he was turned over and then it was what it was, McCoy in a wig!

The other thing that is good is Kate OíMara as the Rani, who despite the dreadful script, also puts on a show and proves that she more than capable of being the sole villain, unlike her debut. She also plays a better Mel than Bonnie Langford!

I also thought Donald Pickering and Wanda Ventham played their parts well as Beyus and Faroon respectively.

As for the rest of it, well, where do I start? The new titles were okay but the music, not a big fan I'm afraid. Mel screamed her way through the story, the tetraps were just plain awful. The incidental music was crap as well, as it was for most of this Era. And the new effects just didnít make up for the lack of quality in the story, though it did have itís funny moments such as when The Doctor meets the real Mel for the first time. Even then, though, thereís a problem. Mel was designed specifically for the Sixth Doctor, a keep fit freak to get him into shape. With all that gone, I felt there wasnít really much she had in common with the Seventh Doctor.

As for the story, well the Rani's plan seems daft to say the least. A big brain, some geniuses and an asteroid. Just ridiculous. I preferred her plan in the previous story where she was more the clinical scientist, though saying that she was even less compassionate in this story.

I haven't really got that much more to say on this one. I suppose it's hard to blame Pip and Jane Baker as the story was a Sixth Doctor one in essence, written before he was sacked so all the necessary changes in the script as well as all the changes behind the scenes probably didn't help.

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Old 03-10-2012, 13:06
Larry1971
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There is not really an aful lot you can say in Time and the Rani, favor it is for me one of the worst stories in both classic and new series.The regeneration was crap and Mccoy's pratt falls were truly embarrassing and Bonnie only ever opened her gob to scream as for the plot it rivals some of The Master's for daftest plot ever award. What's more sad is that The Rani, in her debut story was a very strong if emotionally cold character yet here she had become a female version of the panto Master we had seen over the last few seasons.The new credits were ok despite the wink and the new version of the theme tune was a vast improvement on Trial..

But lets give Time and the Rani some praise it does have one of the best lines ever when The Rani, says "leave the girl it's the man I want"..I bet there are a lot of men who would of loved Kate O'mara to of said that to them..
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Old 03-10-2012, 14:18
adams66
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Hmmm... I don't want to kick Time And The Rani too hard - as we know it was made under incredibly trying conditions. Incoming script editor Andrew Cartmel had to assemble a season of Doctor Who from scratch, in a very short time, with no idea who would be Who; JNT was forced to recast the Doctor with no proper regeneration; budgets were being cut; the BBC had little or no faith in the show at all.
Not a good time to be making Doctor Who.

So - the good points. It looks great! Excellent visual effects (those bubbles are terrific), imposing monsters (ok so the Tetraps aren't terribly scary, but the costumes are pretty impressive), decent location work, a solid cast, Kate O'Mara (and especially KOM's impression of Bonnie / Mel, which is simply brilliant!)

On the downside the story is rather wobbly, the big brain thing is rubbish, and McCoy clowns around embarassingly for three episodes, before suddenly figuring out how to play the Doctor and giving a pretty good performance in the last part. You can virtually see Sylvester struggling with how to cope with this role until a lightbulb switches on above his head and he finally susses it out.

But, sadly, this story colours many people's view of McCoy, which is a shame, as he improves in leaps and bounds after this story and by the end of this season he's well on his way to being one of the most impressively alien Doctors we've ever had. For me, McCoy always worked extremely well as the Doctor - yes he was prone to over emoting occasional words, and he didn't always convince when required to be really angry, but in general he seemed far more like the Doctor than Colin Baker ever had. Much as I like Colin, both as an actor and as a person (he's a genuinely lovely chap) his Doctor always seemed somehow rather false. Colin's later interpretations of role (Big Finish etc) have proved that he was more than capable of delivering the goods, given the right material. But that's the crucial part - on TV he was so rarely given material that suited him, and that bloody coat undermined just about everything he did. That he was generally more than ok, and sometimes really good, is a measure of what heroic acting Colin had to be capable of, to be able to rise above the generally dire dialogue and the stupid costuming. But... even so, he didn't feel Doctor-ish enough to me.

Sylvester, on the other hand, once he's got all the comedy pratfalls out of the way, actually seems just right as the Doctor. That feeling only increased as McCoy got stuck into the part and I'd argue that he's one of the best Doctors we've ever had.
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Old 03-10-2012, 14:35
chuffnobbler
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Another example of the Bakers doing textbook DW scriptwriting. This story is almost a parody of DW because it's so totally DW!

Not only do they allow Mel to have adventures and be intelligent, but they also allow her to disconnect the ankle-bomb things. She does this efficiently, effectively and bravely.

Also, the cliffhangers are excellent, as they are in all of the Bakers' scripts.

The Tetraps look great, and are revealed bit-by-bit, in proper DW monster style. The alien location is oen of the best quarries the show ever used, and the bubble traps are fantastic.

Some of this story is a bit wonky, the Rani's planning is a bit offbeam, some of the dialogue is a bit OTT, and there's some iffy design, but this story has "DOCTOR WHO" stamped through it to its very core.

Watching it on DVD recently, I expected to hate it. I hated it when it was first on telly. I actually rather enjoyed it, and it was then that I realised that I have grown up sicne the show was originally on. As a serious teenager, anything with fun in it must be dismissed as rubbish. As an adutl, I am happy to embrace this story as "camp old nonsense" with moments of genius.
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Old 03-10-2012, 14:45
TRT1968
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I don't know if I should admit it on this particular forum, I've had death threats when I blogged about it, but I do feel terribly, terribly guilty that I alone was behind the demise of classic Dr Who.

You see, back in my youth, I would cycle everywhere around my home county of Lancashire. One day in 1985 I just happened to be passing the Palace Theatre on my way into Manchester when a lorry turned out of a side road and forced me onto the pavement where I swerved and braked violently to avoid crashing into a group of three people standing outside the theatre. It wasn't until a few minutes later when my head had cleared that I realised that one of the group that I had avoided killing to death under the wheels of my bike was Bonnie Langford herself, who was appearing in Peter Pan there. It was the very next day that the press release appeared announcing her casting in Dr. Who.

I know. I know. I'm sorry. If I could go back and change it, I would, but it's a fixed point in space/time now... I only hope people can forgive me.
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Old 03-10-2012, 15:36
iamthemaster
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Time can be rewritten
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Old 03-10-2012, 15:48
sovietusername
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I've only been able to watch a couple of scenes in this, it's realy cringeworthy stuff. Hate it. S McCoy obviously a good actor and actually enjoyable to watch here despite the rest of it, but Bonnie Langfords awful and, despite how much everyone seems to like the Rani, Kate O' Mara's no better. I didnt like her in her previous story and I dont here, awful villain in 2 awful villains. Also, while McCoy's good (just as C Baker deserved a better end, McCoy deserved a far better opening for his Doctor) I much prefer the 6th Doctor. He deserved a much better end that the final few scenes in the rushed "The Ultimate Nemesis" + McCoy dressed up as him in this stories opening scenes after he died falling of his bicycle thing (if the 6th Doctor died when the Rani attacked the TARDIS, how come Mel was unharmed?). Awful, awful, awful, and really unfair to both Baker and McCoy
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Old 03-10-2012, 18:16
DiscoP
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I actually don't mind this one too much. I can even overlook McCoy behaving like an idiot for most of it. I think it's a work of art compared to the next one that's coming up
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Old 03-10-2012, 22:05
daveyboy7472
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I actually don't mind this one too much. I can even overlook McCoy behaving like an idiot for most of it. I think it's a work of art compared to the next one that's coming up
I'd rather a New Doctor act like a clown than trying to strangle someone, it sits better with me and is at least in keeping with the humorous side of The Doctor.

As for the bit I've highlighted, you will love my opening post for tomorrow......
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Old 03-10-2012, 22:12
meglosmurmurs
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I don't think any story has ever made me cringe so much - the plot, the acting, the sets ect. I don't think anyone taking part in this story ever takes it seriously.

The whole thing is like a bad dream, and I tend to watch it sat with my mouth open .
Clearly Mel accidently mixed up some magic mushrooms in the Doctor's carrot juice and sent him on some sort of bad acid trip.

I would go so far as to say this is my least favourite story of all, especially in the sense that it promises so much and that Colin Baker was got rid of in order to produce THIS!!!!

The good thing is that the season gradually gets better, though not much. But it really is quite amazing that in just 3 seasons the 7th Doctor's era manages to transform itself from a bubblegum pantomime nightmare to a sophisticated eerie gothic drama.
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Old 03-10-2012, 22:34
Face Of Jack
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Oh Dear - what can I say? I was disappointed with the loss of Colin Baker (I wasn't too impressed by the previous series either, to be honest!)
This was just a joke. I was quite impressed with the Tardis crashing, and those bubble things....but that's about it. Kate O'Mara did the best she could, and so did Sylvester and Bonnie.....as much as they could. It was just trashy in my eyes......and all done on OB (which makes it look cheaper than ever!). If they had done clips outside on film, it would have helped make it look more professional!!
The opening credits were ok.....but the new music was a bit yukkky!! Lordy knows what Delia Debyshire would have thought!
This was the beginning of the end for me. I think I only watched another 2/3 stories after this properly!
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Old 03-10-2012, 22:52
Old.Tallen
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Remove Kate O'Mara, remove the name "Rani" and it'd be pretty much unwatchable.
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Old 03-10-2012, 23:20
John_Strange
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McCoy always rose above the material he was given to work with, and as time went on he would give the role real authority. (His few minutes in the Eighth Doctor Film are superb, everything goes downhill after he leaves the Tardis.) This is a car crash of a first episode for him, but he manages to save it at the end; I agree there does seem to be a moment where he "gets" the character. The real lost opportunity was to get rid of Mel, there was no reason why the new series could not have begun with a new Doctor/Companion Team (perhaps apart for Langford's contract) and everything would have been better for it - the Doctor is always defined by his companions. Unfortunately we would have to wait till Ace turned up for things to improve. It was a long wait. Too long.

Last edited by John_Strange : 03-10-2012 at 23:39. Reason: Grammar
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Old 03-10-2012, 23:41
DavetheScot
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Well, Sylvester at least got a better start than Colin. Bad as this story is, at least the Doctor doesn't try to throttle Mel (though maybe some might have liked that?) nor are any of the cast quite as bad as the twins in Twin Dilemma.

However, being not quite as bad as Twin Dilemma (or Time Flight) isn't really much of an accolade and it's hard to think of any other stories that are worse.

It's a weak story, Bonnie is at her worst here as Mel and Sylvester hasn't yet found his feet (something he didn't really do until the next series)
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Old 04-10-2012, 00:06
Lady of Traken
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As Face of Jack puts it : Oh dear.This story feels like the production team just fell out of love with our hero.When you see Sylvester in a blond wig and a monster from Sesame Street in the first minute you know this is going to be a rocky ride. I know that there were behind the scenes issues but as a regeneration story Pip & Jane were out of their depth ( but I did like their Vervoids story)

It was a missed opportunity to skip the regeneration completely if Colin wouldnt understandly come back. Maybe they should have had Mel wake up and taken the story from her point of view meeting this stranger saying he is the Doctor.

Okay being on the kind side I do like the bubble traps which are a neat idea andthe death of Faroon is touching. The outside filming actually is fairly nice to look at compared to the boring studio sets which reflect the budgetary cuts at the time.

I dont really blame the supporting actors asthey do their best with a really weak script which doesnt have any pace or suspense.at all.They are all professional. I had a huge crush on Mark Greenstreet so he is forgiven.for literally only being allowed to run around for 90 minutes!

If the script is taken as a character led piece rather than an action romp then I dont thinkthe leads shine.Bonnie is terribly miscast as a companion to Sylvester. I'm sorry to say she just seems to scream constantly here and by her casting seems to reflect how light entertainment the show was considered to be at that time.

I have mixed views about Sylvester in this story as his comedic talents seem to take over what little story there is.Sylvester playing the spoons on Kate O Mara's cleavage sets the tone as seemingly slapstick and there is all the nonsense of Kate dressed as Mel. Okay she does do a wicked impersonation of a simpering obliging Mel type companion but she seems to be also taking the mickey to be polite.

A poor start unfortunately....
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Old 10-10-2012, 19:13
doublefour
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Just a couple of paragraphs or so from me on this, daveyboy style when you donít like a story.
Poor start to what I regard as a strong era and a Doctor I like.
However, plot poor, production poor, I just hate the Tetraps even the name seems a bit naff. Kate OíMara is a quality actor as proved in her previous performance, and the Rani character I like just as much as the Master, the Black Guardian, Valeyard or Borusa as a Time Lord foe.
There is a bit of the bland quarry about the sets, the effects and music score do nothing but further irritate in watching also.
The only positives are some brief moments of the Doctor although he is a bit giddy or indeed silly. The Brain idea is okay, and some of the action scenes are acceptable, oh yes Mel is awful in this. The Mel character is just an undeveloped screamer, compare the development the next companion Ace gets it is unfair on the character. As actually I quite like the actor and would have been more highly regarded if she was given something decent to do in her time on the show.
What I like about the McCoy era although itís poor start it just gets better and better IMO. Culminating in a candidate for one of the best seasons of Classic Who. Unfortunately the rest of the first season is a slow burner starting with PT next. Time and the Rani in the scheme of things is bottom ten material and my worst 7th Doctor story
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Old 10-10-2012, 19:28
kyllerbuzcut
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Was there any indication in this episode that The Rani's real name might have been Rory Williams?



Sorry, couldn't resist


I do remember liking McCoy. I was still pretty young when these episodes where on TV though and have only caught the odd bit here and there since. I MUST try and watch a few episodes.

Maybe if I spent a bit less time on here................
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Old 10-10-2012, 22:03
Horny Nimon
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My parents and sister had always slagged me off for being a 'nerdy' Doctor Who fan, so imagine my suprise when we sat down to watch the start of a new Dr who season and indeed a new Doctor Who! Within 10 minutes of winking silver face credits, paper and comb sounding theme music and the lead actor pratting around tripping over the furniture my father uttered " what utter sh*t" and turned it over to ITV! I actually felt really embarressed watching it and it was a relief to have it turned off, fortunately i had videod it and watched it later. Part one is still abysmal but settles down after part 2 into a standard if a little dull Dr Who story. I did warm to Sylvester during 'Paradise Towers' though.
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