Kate O Mara/Siobhan Redmond
FIRST MET THE DOCTOR:
Mark of the Rani (1985)
LAST MET THE DOCTOR:
Dimensions In Time (1993)
click on images to enlarge
Ushas, better known as the Rani, was a renegade Time Lord. She knew the Doctor and the Master when all three were young.
Tthe Rani was one of the Doctor’s peers from the Time Lord academy, the Rani was a master chemist but lacked the morals to use her abilities properly. She first appeared in Mark of the Rani, and then Time and The Rani
She dominated the planet Miasimia Goria by stopping the natives sleeping and increasing productivity.
The Rani was the same age as the Doctor. ( Time and the Rani) As a Time Tot, the Rani played hide and seek with the First Doctor, with the Ninth Doctor claiming that his skill at finding her “drove her nuts”. ( Weapons of Past Destruction)
Ushas felt that she was never forgiven for the incident with the President’s cat and opted out of Time Lord society. She took a TARDIS and settled on Miasimia Goria. (Divided Loyalties)
When this backfired she visited various points in Earth’s past to steal the chemical that induced sleep.
Later, she kidnapped famous geniuses throughout time and attempted to create a giant brain to use as a Time Manipulator on the planet Lakertya. However she was defeated by the Doctor and taken prisoner by her former slaves, the Tetraps.
Kate O Mara was The Rani in two stories, and Kate O Mara also reprised her role in Dimensions In Time
After these events occurred, the Tetraps faced a food shortage crisis, while Urak managed to have the Rani put on trial, with the death sentence. She would have to solve the food shortage, otherwise her sentence would commence. Two human and two alien prisoners were to be test subjects for the Rani’s experiments in an attempt at solving the crisis. The Rani, however, teamed up with the four “guinea pigs” and managed to escape the planet. Each then went their separate ways, with the Rani swearing to teach Urak a lesson and retrieve her TARDIS from him
The Rani was an evil (or, arguably, simply amoral) scientific genius whose villainy came not from the usual variety of lust for power and suchlike, but from a mindset that treated everything (including morality) as secondary to her research. She was known to enslave entire worlds in order to have a ready supply of experimental subjects and a place to carry out her experiments uninterrupted. Her major interest was in altering the biochemistry of other species.
After these events occurred, the Tetraps faced a food shortage crisis, while Urak managed to have the Rani put on trial, with the death sentence. She would have to solve the food shortage, otherwise her sentence would commence. Two human and two alien prisoners were to be test subjects for the Rani’s experiments in an attempt at solving the crisis. The Rani, however, teamed up with the four “guinea pigs” and managed to escape the planet. Each then went their separate ways, with the Rani swearing to teach Urak a lesson and retrieve her TARDIS from him.
After these events occurred, the Tetraps faced a food shortage crisis, while Urak managed to have the Rani put on trial, with the death sentence. She would have to solve the food shortage, otherwise her sentence would commence. Two human and two alien prisoners were to be test subjects for the Rani’s experiments in an attempt at solving the crisis. The Rani, however, teamed up with the four “guinea pigs” and managed to escape the planet. Each then went their separate ways, with the Rani swearing to teach Urak a lesson and retrieve her TARDIS from him. (The Rani Reaps the Whirlwind)
The Rani later regenerated. In her new incarnation she once again encountered the Sixth Doctor and Peri Brown, although she had expected his seventh incarnation. She masqueraded as Professor Baxton at the College of Advanced Galactic Education a foremost authority of Moral Philosophy. The Doctor questioned her about her theories in one of her lectures. She tested the students and used the tests to find suitability for her experiments, some of the students she experimented on were Lizzo and Reev and tried to experiment on Miklev. The students were experts in their fields. She was making a biodigital interface controller. She was using a Sidelian Brain Scanner in her techniques, which was moving memories from one brain to another. The Rani then used Peri in her experiments, due to Miklev was concussed. She also killed her accomplice, the Vice Chancellor. The real Professor Baxton was used as the overseer of the network of the students’ brains. She was using the students’ minds in order to calculate the minor events she would need, in order to create the massive events she wanted, in effect reverse engineering chaos theory. She hated the Doctor calling her Ushas and reminiscing about The Deca. When the Doctor tricked her she fell down through the floor on the way to her TARDIS, she gloated in her part in the Doctor’s next regeneration. (The Rani Elite)
She was sent to Teccaurora Penitentiary, a prison for her misdemeanours. 97 years after her imprisonment, she became the governor of the prison. Using the prison as her base of operations, she used the prisoners to power a time corridor to Miasimia Goria. She took Constance Clarke with her and was appalled at the state the planet was in, but was delighted that Raj Kahnu became a success, the only one of her experiments to work correctly. She showed some emotion when she thought that Kahnu was dead, but was put on trial by her subjects on Miasimia Goria, where the Doctor said he would take her back to Gallifrey. She pleaded with Kahnu to show some compassion in sentencing her, but instead tried to kill him. She escaped in a TARDIS survival pod that her previous incarnation had left there. (Planet of the Rani)
Father Kreiner killed the Rani and the clone of the Master and kept their heads as trophies during the events of the Second War in Heaven. (Interference – Book One) However, many aspects of the War took place in another timeline due to the Eighth Doctor’s intervention, therefore leaving the ultimate fate of the Rani unknown. (The Ancestor Cell)
At the time of her death in 2014, O’Mara was in negotiation with Big Finish Productions, producer of fully licensed audio dramas based on the Doctor Who franchise, to reprise the character. Producer David Richardson said:
The Rani’s return was very much prompted by Kate … Her agent contacted me and said that she would love to reprise the role with us, and when I mentioned this to executive producer Nicholas Briggs and script editor Alan Barnes they lept at the opportunity … Justin [Richards] wrote The Rani Elite for us, and we were just a few weeks away from recording when the terrible news reached us that Kate had passed away. At first, we were not sure what to do—until Kate’s agent again got in touch again, and said that it had been Kate’s wish that we proceed with a new incarnation of the Rani.
Scottish actress Siobhan Redmond was subsequently cast as a new incarnation of the Rani, first appearing in the 2014 story The Rani Elite. In this Sixth Doctor audio adventure, the Rani attempts to reverse engineer Chaos Theory using the collective minds of the academic elite attending the College of Advanced Galactic Education. Her meeting with the Sixth Doctor is out-of-sequence, similar to television stories featuring River Song, and it is the first audio adventure to reference the Deca, specifically Ushas (the Rani’s previous moniker) and Mortimus.
Redmond’s incarnation of the Rani returns in the 2015 audio drama Planet of the Rani, having been imprisoned for 90 years and then escaping to seek her revenge against the Doctor. She arrives on the planet Miasimia Goria, a world she once ruled over, where the current leader, Raj Kahnu, regards her as his mother whilst also harbouring deep contempt for her. Kahnu, a genetically engineered humanoid who resides inside the body of a mechanical cockroach, later allows the Rani to leave the planet in a TARDIS survival pod that her previous incarnation had left there.
The Rani’s TARDIS
Unlike the Doctor’s TARDIS, the Rani’s TARDIS has a fully functional chameleon circuit, and can still disguise itself wherever it lands. It can also be opened with the Doctor’s TARDIS key.
In Mark of the Rani, the Rani hides her TARDIS (disguised as a cabinet) behind a screen, and has managed to link it to, as the Doctor says, a Stattenheim remote control, which he describes as “genius”. It is in this TARDIS that she and the Master get trapped with a gradually growing Tyrannosaurus rex embryo.
In Time and the Rani, her TARDIS appears as a reflective pyramid. She is eventually trapped by the Tetraps in her TARDIS. In Dimensions in Time, for scenes set inside the Rani’s TARDIS, the Doctor’s console from the original series was set inside a TARDIS console room mock-up constructed for a recent fan convention as the Rani’s original console room for the series had already been destroyed.
The Mark of the Rani (1985) by Pip & Jane Baker
Time and the Rani (1987) by Pip & Jane Baker
Dimensions in Time (1993) by John Nathan-Turner and David Roden (charity episode)
The Rani Reaps the Whirlwind by Pip and Jane Baker
The Rani Elite by Justin Richards (New incarnation portrayed by Siobhan Redmond)
Planet of the Rani by Marc Platt
State of Change by Christopher Bulis (Virgin Missing Adventures)
Divided Loyalties (appears in flashbacks) by Gary Russell (BBC Past Doctor Adventures)
Race Against Time by Pip & Jane Baker (Find Your Fate)
Something Borrowed by Richelle Mead
Rescue by David Roden (Doctor Who Yearbook 1995)