30 years ago this month, a new villain appeared on our TV screens, quickly becoming one of the Doctor’s most unpredictable foes – the renegade Time Lord known as the Rani.
The Rani first made her appearance in the Doctor Who episode, The Mark of the Rani, back in February 1985, played by Kate O’Mara (who sadly died last year). She appears in The Sixth Doctor Sourcebook and The Seventh Doctor Sourcebook too, so we thought we’d take a closer look at this fantastic character!
The Rani appeared in two of the Doctor’s best-loved adventures – The Mark of the Rani (as seen in The Sixth Doctor Sourcebook) and later in Time and the Rani (found in The Seventh Doctor Sourcebook), where she was responsible for the Sixth Doctor’s regeneration.
You can download the Rani’s character sheet, taken from The Seventh Doctor Sourcebook, here.
Not every renegade Time Lord wants to rule the universe, or even try to stop those who do. Some leave Gallifrey simply so they might pursue their interests in peace and without interference. This is true in the case of the Rani, a contemporary of both the Doctor and the Master at the Prydonian Academy. Unfortunately the interests she wants to be left alone to pursue are possibly far more horrific than anything the Master might consider
The Rani is a gifted biochemist, able to manipulate the stuff of life almost on a whim. On the one hand she is looking to create the perfect life form, but on the other she just enjoys taking apart anything biological to see how it works. She is a mistress of all kinds of biology, able to augment her servants or create deadly insects and diseases. Her most complicated experiment linked several stolen geniuses together so she might calculate the right equations to grow a living, planet-sized time manipulator. With such a device she would be as a goddess, able to go to any point in a species’ history and remake it to her design.
While beautiful and intelligent the Rani is utterly amoral. Anything that isn’t Gallifreyan is a ‘lesser species’ to her. To her they are no more worthy of concern than an ant. No pain or torment she inflicts with her experiments is great enough to stir her conscience. There are Nazi doctors who showed more concern for their patients.
The Rani finds both the Doctor and the Master extremely tiresome. Whenever she runs into one, the other can’t be far behind, and both of them have a tendency to mess up her carefully organised experiments. Their battles across time and space are met with a withering stare, as an elder sister might tire of her younger brother’s childish antics. She sees their conflict as a pointless squabble that is frankly beneath both of them, and wishes they would do something more useful. Even their goal to control or save the universe seems like a waste of time and effort to her. Controlling the universe would only be an annoying distraction, and saving it a hobby she simply doesn’t have time for…
You can also download the full episode write-up of The Mark of the Rani (from The Sixth Doctor Sourcebook) here.
Both The Sixth Doctor Sourcebook and The Seventh Doctor Sourcebook are available in all good gaming stores now.
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