Mark of the Rani part 2
We finally get to meet George Stephenson in the second episode of this story when he helps rescue the Doctor from being thrown down a mineshaft which would be a rather ignomious end for the timelord and, also the end of the show as we know it, so it was just as well that he turned up when he did.
Gawn Grainger’s George Stephenson was the best thing about this episode and he does make a welcome addition to the cast. We learn a bit more about the Master’s plan which it seems is more important to the story than the Rani’s plan which is a bit annoying when the story is called Mark of the Rani and not Mark of the Master, which is might as well have been called when you think about it.
The Rani might as well not be there as she is only a pawn in the Master’s overall plan. It is a real shame that the Master had to be in this story as I am not sure that his presence actually improved it at all but in the end his storyline was the one that actually took over the story in the end and not necessarily to the benefit of the story.
As I said the presence of Stephenson in this episode did lift the story a bit and it is a shame that he wasn’t in it longer. In fact when I watched this recently I had forgotten that Stephenson wasn’t in it until the second episode and I was quite disappointed that we didn’t see that much of him as I seemed to recall that he was quite an important part of the story, which shows how the memory can play tricks on you.
I did think that the story was very well, and imaginatively, directed when compared to some of the other stories of this era, which made the story look interesting and I was quite impressed by the way that Peri was treated in this story as she was more like the character as she was originally conceived and was a little less whiny that she had been before and I think that Nicola Bryant was at her best in this story as she was given far better material than she had been given before.
I liked the character of the Rani and I think that Kate O’Mara was very good in the role but I do think that it was a shame that she didn’t get a story to herself. No matter how much I like the Master and Anthony Ainley’s performance as the Master I really do wish that he hadn’t been in this story and had a separate story that focussed on his part in this story and let the Rani be the main villain, as that would at least have been quite unique in this story as there was a female villain and the story was co-written and directed by a woman which did give the whole thing a different dynamic, which really didn’t need any needless extras forced upon it.
Having said that the story isn’t that bad, it is just that it could have been so much more.