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Old 19-12-2010, 15:08   #1
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[DVD Video Review] Doctor Who: Time And The Rani

Comments attached to the DVD Video Review 'Doctor Who: Time And The Rani' on Movies @ The Digital Fix

Sylvester McCoy makes his debut as the Seventh Doctor in an adventure that sees the return of an old adversary, the evil Timelady The Rani. ...

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Old 19-12-2010, 15:08   #2
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There's a good reason why more Pertwee stories remain to be released on DVD than any those of any of Doctor, and it's not just the fact that the production team was stable throughout that period. Several of them have particular restoration challenges - episodes that need recolouring (an entire serial in the case of Mind of Evil and half of one in the case of Ambassadors of Death) or reverse-standards-converting. Also, he was the second-longest-serving Doctor so there were more stories to begin with (leaving aside the number of Hartnells and Troughtons that no longer exist). And anyway, it's my understanding that the release policy has been to release a mixture of all seven Doctors each year, rather than season by season or anything chronological - and it makes commercial sense not to release all the classics at once.
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Old 20-12-2010, 04:13   #3
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Point taken. It's certainly true, there are more issues in releasing Pertwee material, but the restoration challenges haven't deterred them after releasing all of Colin's oevre. The Planet of the Daleks being a case in point. Obviously there's a myriad of reasons as to why one serial is released over another, but within the wider point I was making, the 'behind the scenes' issues is certainly among them. The biggest? Maybe not. We can only guess, especially now the Restoration site is 'archived'. Let's not forget that Sylv's stuff is not yet complete, though he had quantitively less screen time than Colin (only by one four parter though), and the 7ths era overall was less turbulent. I guess it's a balancing act. Delving into the whys and wherefores of 2Entertains policy was not the point of the review, but I knew when writing the review I may have been called on it. I could've left the para out altogether, but in the end I took a certain standpoint mainly to let the piece flow better as a 'scene setter'. I'm gonna leave the para in as pre Twin Dilemma, Pertwee was under represented - not the case now though, making the argument, I feel, a valid one (especially since another facet of 'commercial sense' is the extras, which a lot of Who fans value, especially when you've got a good Eric Saward/JNT set -to to report. Fair enough?
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Old 20-12-2010, 06:32   #4
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Thanks for this review. I remember watching Who at the time and getting the overwhelming impression that no one really seemed to care anymore. Everyone appeared to know this was the case and it was as though we were all waiting for someone to put the old thing out of its misery. A pity as I quite liked McCoy and thought he was onto something as the Doctor. Have to agree with your comments about Langford also - awful, just awful.
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Old 20-12-2010, 13:52   #5
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Thank you Mike. I remember being excited to see this new version of DW, then suddenly I became very embarrassed as the title sequence appeared (and a pathetic regen didn't bode well either). Who back in those days was like a pair of Gola trainers - cheap and unfashionable.
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Old 20-12-2010, 14:47   #6
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Great review, David.

Yeah, this one is a turd and the writing was indeed on the wall for the show at about this time. It was almost as though the series was recommissioned (not to mention cut-down and deliberately put up against Coronation Street) in order to kill the thing off definitively, so the public wouldn't want it back and the clobbering it took in the ratings when up against the opposition on ITV was probably engineered to allow Grade to declare that viewing figures had dwindled past the point when continuing the show was not a viable option.

The Wilson Bros
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Old 20-12-2010, 16:35   #7
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Was never a Corrie kid, but as RTD pointed out, in many ways fans of Who were more likely to be Corrie fans than say Star Trek fans. Though it could be argued that it was Time and the Rani that turned Who fans into Corrie ones as they desperately reached for the remote to turn to any other channe,l rather than suffer this hideous vision in pink

Cheers for thumbs up , Bros...
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Old 22-12-2010, 17:05   #8
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I think the problem with Mel was not necessarily Langford's fault. I mean, what was the character of Mel? What do we know of her? She was a computer programmer from Pease Pottage, but that's not a character. There was virtually nothing on paper for her to work with.

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Old 22-12-2010, 20:48   #9
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The problem with Who then was the producer John Nathan-Turner and his crew who seemed they were making some end of the pier pantomime every week. Who was truly dreadful under his direction and I am sure he was kept in place because the powers that be be knew he would destroy it. Not only was it cheap (which maybe wasn't his fault) but it was scripted, acted, designed and directed what seemed to me at the time by a bunch of amateurs. It was to everybody but a small group of hardcore fans an embarrassment.
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Old 22-12-2010, 22:26   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by RossyG
I think the problem with Mel was not necessarily Langford's fault. I mean, what was the character of Mel? What do we know of her? She was a computer programmer from Pease Pottage, but that's not a character. There was virtually nothing on paper for her to work with.
I maybe wrong, but I don't think that was ever mentioned in the show. Her character was designed by JNT, with a whole page of backstory that included the programmer stuff that - I think - only really came to light through press releases and JNT The Companions book.

After all, she never had an introductory story as she was parachuted into Terror of the Vervoids as the Doc's future companion. Then at the end of Trial of a Timelord he just went off with her (cue brain melkt as the ramifications of this sink in), and all we really knew was that she was a fitness freak and wanted to cattleprod Colin Baker into an exercise bike/carrot juice regime.

As for Bonnie - well it was her fault for taking the job, but that's all you can really fault her for. She was a person for whom 'jazz hands' were a daily activity, which is fine if you're on the Royal Variety Performance, but a supposedly serious drama? At that point I think JNT was thinking more about his loss-making yearly Pantomimes (that actually ate into Doctor Who rehearsal time).
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Old 22-12-2010, 22:39   #11
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Oh, by the way, one thing I will always love Bonnie for is for the first cliffhanger of Vervoids - she screamed in the Key of 'F' to match the 'sting' of the Doctor Who theme music. What a pro!
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Old 12-02-2011, 22:30   #12
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I actually liked McCoy in the first episode. He had two or three dodgy moments but I don't mind the Doctor being a bit mad in his first episode. I remember Kate's line 'this is idiotic' being rather apt though. How had the man who had produced Tom's last season, played it straight with Davison etc, produced this. It goes to show how important the script editor was as well. It is a very poor story though. I remember thinking 'they sacked Colin for this?' I enjoy Twin Dilemma far more than this because at least Colin's performance is so good.

I don't think Langford was that bad. A companion in the Katy Manning mould BUT she was already known and disliked for other appearances on TV which didn't help her.

My 5 year old loves McCoy. Of the old Doctors he and McGann are the only ones he's interested in. I have to admit I've seen McCoy in a new light watching them with my son. He certainly captivates the youngsters, which is important of course. Tom captivated me at 5 and I live in hope that when my son is a little older he will do the same for him. At the moment a McCoy will hold his attention, a Baker will not.
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Old 13-02-2011, 07:07   #13
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Hmm, I see what you're getting at, but JNT's (and Cartmell's) stated aim was to grab the teenage boy demographic, so for a 5 year-old being into Slyv would not be considered success on their terms. I'm glad your little 'un is in to Who now, but if he stays a fan, Tom Baker's first 3 seasons will be the stuff he really gets into. I'd put money on it...
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