Doctor Who: Season 22, Episode 5

The Mark of the Rani: Part One (2 Feb. 1985)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Family
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 150 users  
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In a 19th century mining village, a renegade Time Lady known as The Rani is draining brain fluid from local men, turning them savage and berserk. It is here The Master plans to coerce her ... See full summary »


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Title: The Mark of the Rani: Part One (02 Feb 1985)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Anthony Ainley ...
Terence Alexander ...
Peter Childs ...
Gary Cady ...
Richard Steele ...
Hus Levant ...
Edwin Green (as Hus Levent)
Kevin White ...
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In a 19th century mining village, a renegade Time Lady known as The Rani is draining brain fluid from local men, turning them savage and berserk. It is here The Master plans to coerce her help in his vengeance upon The Doctor while also establishing a power base for controlling Earth's future. Written by statmanjeff

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Release Date:

2 February 1985 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Rani was inspired by neurochemist friend of the writers who held a very secular view of life. See more »


When the Doctor dangles above the pit, one of his three attackers falls in. A moment later there is a close-up of three pairs of hands aiming weapons at him. This shot belonged to an earlier part of the sequence, before they arrived at the pit. See more »


The Rani: [after the Master evaporates one of her servants] You and the Doctor are a well-matched pair of pests. You bring nothing but trouble. Now I need a new assistant.
See more »

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The BBC wishes to acknowledge the co-operation of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum. See more »

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User Reviews

Three Time Lords for the Price of One
15 August 2010 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

"The Mark of the Rani" is a good two-parter from the weakest period of DOCTOR WHO -- I don't find Colin Baker's performance engaging, nor is he aided by the particolored outfit that producer John Nathan-Turner saddled him with. Bolstered by a lot of on-site shooting, Anthony Ainley as the Master and Kate O'Mara in a dynamite debut as renegade Time Lady 'The Rani', this comes off as a good one, led by one-shot WHO director Sarah Hellings and a well-researched, if under-written script by Pip and Jane Baker.

Although nominally set at a conference of now-eminent British scientists and engineers about 1820, only George Stephenson, the developer of an early steam-powered locomotive, figures prominently, although some Luddites show up to suggest the chaos of the era. Most of the script concerns itself with the conflict between the Doctor and the bickering duo of the Master and the Rani.

In terms of performance, I find the Doctor and the Master a little monotonous as they slang each other in the same disdainful tone of voice. O'Mara's outright contempt for the boys is a welcome relief, and the script suggests, without delving into the subject, the societal conflicts between the Doctor's humanism, the Master's hunger for power and the Rani's soulless scientist that might have reflected the concerns of the era. Perhaps a longer serial, linking the social crisis and the conflict between the Time Lords might have made this a better pair of episodes but, given the general poverty of the era, this is, nonetheless, exciting: more than good-enough fun.

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