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7 - 28 September 1987

Average Viewing Figure: 4.6M


The newly regenerated Doctor must stop, The Rani from taking control of the Universe whilst masquerading as Mel


Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Bonnie Langford (Melanie), Kate O'Mara (The Rani), Mark Greenstreet (Ikona)

Donald Pickering (Beyus), Wanda Wentham (Faroon), Karen Clegg (Sarn), Richard Gauntlett (Urak), John Segal (Lanisha)

Peter Tuddenham, Jacki Webb (Special Voices)

Uncredited Cast

Tom O'Leary (Einstein), Cenydd Joeenz (Pasteur), Helen Garton, Christoper Holmes, David Ianson, Karen England,  Ian Durrant

Paul Page-Hansen, Lea Derrick, Ricardo Mulhall, Mark Carroll, Paul Goddard (Geniuses), Ricardo Mulhall, Lea Derrick

Paul Page-Hanson, Mark Carroll, Ian Durrant, Paul Goddard, Tony Randall, Chris Chering, Darryl Brook (Tetraps)


Pip and Jane Baker (Writer), Ron Grainer (Theme Music), Keff McCulloch (Theme Arrangement/Incidental Music)

Dick Mills (Special Sound), Tony Redston (Production Manager), Ann Faggetter (Production Associate)

Joy Sinclair (Production Assistant), Joanna Newbury, Christopher Sandeman (Assistant FLoor Managers), Ian Dow (OB Lighting)

Doug Whittaker (OB Sound), Alastair Mitchell, John Hawes (OB Cameramen), Colin Mapson (Visual Effects Designer)

Dave Chapman (Video Effects), Sue Thorne (Vision Mixer), William Dudman (Film Cameraman)

Richard Wilson (Technical Co-ordinator), Alec Wheal (Studio Camera Supervisor), Hugh Parson (Videotape Editor)

Henry Barber (Studio Lighting), Brian Clark (Studio Sound), Kew Trew (Costume Designer), Lesley Rawstorne (Make-Up Designer)

Andrew Cartmel (Script Editor), Oliver Elmes (Graphic Designer), CAL Video (Computer Animation), Geoff Powell (Designer)

John Nathan-Turner (Producer), Andrew Morgan (Director)


Filming Locations

  • Cloford Quarry, Cloford, Somerset

  • Whatley Quarry, Whatley, Somerset

  • Westdown Quarry, nr Chantry, Somerset

  • Television Centre: Studio 1

  • Television Centre: Studio 8


  • Faroon [dies destroying The Rani's artificial brain]

  • Beyus [dies while trying to destroy The Rani's artificial brain]

  • Sarn [killed by one of The Rani's force-bubble traps]

  • Lanisha [killed by one of The Rani's deadly insects]

  • Tetrap [killed by one of The Rani's deadly insects]

  • Lakertyans [killed by The Rani's deadly insects]

Production Days

  • 10 days between Saturday 4 April - Tuesday 5 May 1987

Production Errors

  1. It is plainly obvious that Sylvester McCoy doubles for Colin Baker before the regeneration sequence

  2. If the Tetraps have eyes on the front, sides and back of their head, why do they turn around to look for something or someone? Surely their back eye would be sufficient enough to complete the task

  3. When Mel saves Ikona from the second bubble trap, Sarn's death scream can be heard, even though the character was previously killed in the first episode

  4. During the story, Mel continually slides down hills, and even sits in dirty pipe at one moment. It is curious that her trousers remain visibly clean

  5. How exactly can the Rani check The Doctor's heartbeat by placing a hand on his chest? 

Working Titles

  • Strange Matter


The whole thing feel like leftovers from the previous years which mesh to together to form an oddly impressive realised production, in some respects but does not have the drive to stand out from the crowd. The direction and music have not aged well and are reminiscent of their time. The alien Lakeyrians are very bland, a human crossed with a reptile while the Tetraps are slight better. The plot is very muddled in which The Rani impersonates Mel to fool The Doctor. Not even the cartoonish, childish, clumsy personality of Sylvester McCoy’s incarnation would be fooled, he shown to be a genius in later serials. McCoy clearly loves the role and will continue to do in his short three years. Kate O’Mara again shines but has nothing interesting to do whilst battling an intelligent script bogged down with poorly blocked fight scenes best fitted for the theatre, silly shenanigans, terrible CSO shots and a giant brain which can speak. Some good production values and designs here and there but nothing worthy of your attention for very long. **

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