5 Reasons The Rani is the Most Awesome Time Lord: A Tribute to Kate O’Mara
Yesterday we received word that the actress Kate O’Mara has passed away at the age of 74 following a short illness. O’Mara has been a staple on cinema and television screens since the early 60s and has literally dozens of theatre credits, but unless you’re a fan of Dynasty her name may not immediately ring a bell. Oh, and she was The Rani.
The Rani was the biggest loss when the classic Doctor Who series got axed, as she was lined up to be a recurring uber-baddie. Instead she appeared in two serials, and has on many a fans wish-list for a reboot (it was also suspected that Clara may have been The Rani in a new regeneration). During her two conflicts with the Doctor she proved one things: she was the best damn Time Lord to appear in the series. Today we pay tribute to Kate O’Mara by listing the five reasons why.
#5 – She (Possibly) Knocked Boots With the Doctor
Over the years the Doctor has had a healthy number of young women throw themselves at him. This process has been helped by his tendency to travel with part-time models in recent times.
But…they never close the deal. The Doctor is a lone wolf most of the time, with only Professor River Song being the only real commitment he’s made in the past 1000 years.
The Rani, on the hand, totally did the Doctor.
Ok, it’s never explicitly said, but it’s plenty hinted at. The Rani is so awesome she managed to melt the frostiest Time Lord in the galaxy.
#4 – She Ran With The Master
The Master remains a popular and deadly villain, but he’s not cool any more. The modern Master is nowhere near as badass as his original incarnation. He was straight up evil, slick, diabolical and downright cool. He never needed a fake wife, or an airship. He had his wits and some awesome sword fighting skills. He needed no-one.
But when The Rani showed up, he became second fiddle. They played each other as much as they played off each other. At a time when the series regulars were starting to feel stale The Rani was a breath of fresh, evil air.
#3 – She Was All About the Science
The world of fiction is awash with mad scientists. And they’re all male. When you hear the phrase ‘mad scientist’ you’re picturing a man. Doc Brown, Doctor Frankenstein…
The Rani was as mad and as scientific as they get. The reason she’s exiled is because the biology experiments she conducted on her mice turned them in to giant monsters who ate the president’s pet cat (and a chunk of the president). Nothing gets in the way of her batshit insane experiments. If allowing a race of peace loving people need to be eradicated in order to test a hypothesis, then unlucky for them. They’re getting crushed under the wheels of research.
#2 – She Had the Best TARDIS
The design is undeniably awesome. It’s dark, minimalist and has style dripping off the walls. It embarrasses the Doctor’s and the Master’s TARDIS’s. Most importantly the control deck is surrounded by her collection of stasis locked tyrannosaurus rex foetuses. Why? Because when she breaks them out they will rapidly grow to full size and kick all of the ass.
#1 – She Killed the Sixth Doctor
Killing the Doctor isn’t an easy task. It was several generations before the Daleks had a hand in it and they’ve never been directly responsible. Even The Master only managed it once despite trying for literal eons. The Rani bumped him in to a new regeneration on their second meeting. More than that – she killed the SIXTH Doctor.
I love Doctor Who. I’ve dedicated bookshelves to my collection, almost as many as Batman. I can never answer the ‘which is your favourite Doctor?’ question because I like all of them. Except Six. He’s terrible. He tried to strangle his companion and generally acted like a dick. I get that the producers intended him to turn around eventually but what we saw was BAD.
So solid work Rani. You blasted that jerk right out of the air and ushered in the era of the Seventh.
Rest in Peace Kate O’Mara. And thank you.
I so wish they would bring back The Rani! What a great female arch villain! But actually to #5 point… In addition to River Song, I think we can definitely count Queen Elizabeth I as “knocking boots” with the Tenth Doctor (and marrying her!). It was hinted at in “The Shakespeare Code” and pretty much confirmed in “The Day of the Doctor.”
Yes, that should be credited. Although he initially though she was something else!
I totally forgot about The Rani. My lasting memory of the character is her being trapped by the space bats from ‘Time and The Rani’.
Great article and a fine tribute!