New to Doctor Who or returning after a break? Check out our guides designed to help you find your way!



Time and the Rani was the first serial of season 24 of Doctor Who. It marked the debut of Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor. Kate O'Mara made her second and final televised appearance as the First Rani (not including the charity special Dimensions in Time).

It was also the series' first exploits with computer-generated imagery, a relatively limited technology at the time. An all-computer animated opening titles sequence was introduced with this story, along with a new arrangement of the theme tune by Keff McCulloch, an appropriately electronic rendition composed entirely on a Prophet 5 Synthesiser. The logo of the series was also changed into a three-dimensionally animated part of the title sequence and became the series logo that would stay in use until the early 1990s.

Following the circumstances of Colin Baker's exit from the role, the Sixth Doctor was made to immediately regenerate into the Seventh Doctor at the start of this story, as the The Ultimate Foe was the last story to feature Colin Baker in the title role, but not the last story to feature the Sixth Doctor himself, and because of the story immediately beginning with the Doctor's regeneration into the Seventh Doctor, this would make Time and the Rani the final chronological appearance of the Sixth Doctor properly in universe, though not played by Colin Baker himself. Baker was offered the chance to reprise the role of the Sixth Doctor in a proposed regeneration story, but he declined; he instead asked to be given a full season for his departure, but the denial of this request prompted him to turn down the reprisal. As a result, a pre-credits sequence was added into Time and the Rani featuring the Doctor's regeneration, with McCoy portraying both the Sixth and Seventh Doctors (to hide this, his face remained hidden until the end of the regeneration sequence).

The cause of the Sixth Doctor's regeneration is not explicitly shown on-screen, although he is seen being thrown across the console room as the TARDIS is pulled down during flight by the Rani. Spiral Scratch and The Brink of Death both provide narratives for the Sixth Doctor's regeneration, with both retroactively leading into the events of this serial.


The First Rani has returned after her last encounter with the Doctor, with yet another malicious scientific scheme.

Taking advantage of the post-regenerative trauma the recently regenerated and unstable Doctor is going through, the Rani hopes to achieve control of an approaching asteroid composed entirely of strange matter.

Can the Doctor figure out he is being used for the Rani's evil experiment, and what is behind the door the Rani won't allow the Doctor past?


Part one[]

Sixth regeneration

The Sixth Doctor regenerates.

While the TARDIS is flying through space, it is assaulted by multiple energy beams from the planet Lakertya, before being captured in a tractor beam. A native watches the TARDIS land nearby.

The First Rani and her servant break into the TARDIS, where they find both the Doctor and Mel are unconscious from the forced landing. On the Rani's orders, the beast ignores Mel and turns the face-down Doctor around, revealing that he's covered in a swirling spiral of blurry colours. In the following moment, the features of this Doctor fade along with the light, leaving a freshly regenerated new incarnation in place of the old Doctor.

In the Rani's lab, it is revealed that she has used the Tetraps to force the Lakertyans into helping kidnap an array of genius scientists throughout time, including Albert Einstein, Louis Pasteur, and Hypatia. She now also requires the Doctor. Angered by the incompetence of her workers, the Rani scares away a female Lakertyan.

The Doctor and Rani fake Mel TandtheR

The new Doctor and "Mel" (the Rani).

The Doctor recovers from the crash and seemingly is continuing a conversation his previous incarnation was having with Mel. He then notices that he is no longer in the TARDIS, has just regenerated and recognises the Rani. Angered by her presence, he wonders what kind of monstrous experiment she is up to now. He takes up his umbrella to strike her. The Rani knocks him out with a laser gun and injects him with an amnesia-inducing drug. She disguises herself as Mel. Once the Doctor recovers, she attempts to convince him to repair some broken machinery in "his" lab. Beyond the lab is a closed-off chamber.

7th shows off new outfit Time and the Rani

The Doctor reveals his new outfit.

Mel has meanwhile been left behind in the TARDIS. She encounters, and eventually wins the trust of, the young hot-headed Lakertyan Ikona, who is eager to dispatch the evil Rani and liberate his people.

In the meantime, the Doctor has returned to the TARDIS to change his clothes as he finds the clownish outfit of the Sixth not a fitting match for his new persona. After trying several outfits including those of his previous incarnations, the Doctor walks out from behind a clothes rack wearing the Second Doctor's fur coat, but opens it to reveal his new outfit, which the Rani finds befitting of a Time Lord.

As Mel and Ikona flee from a Tetrap, Mel trips one of the Rani's traps. She is encased in a large bubble and thrown over a cliff.

Part two[]

Mel's bubble lands safely in a lake, and Ikona is able to free her. They flee from Urak.

Mel feels Doctor's pulse Time and the Rani

Mel feels for the Doctor's double pulse.

The Doctor and the Rani return to the lab, where the Doctor finds the problem and instructs "Mel" to return to the TARDIS and retrieve a tool. While doing so, the Rani orders her minion to kill Mel. Once the Rani returns and gives the Doctor the device he needs, he sees one of the mineral plates inside the device is broken. The Rani tells the Doctor that she can get a replacement from the locals, contradicting her earlier statement that they were not advanced enough for the Doctor's technological knowledge. The Doctor catches this as she leaves, realising that he has been duped. While the Rani leaves, Mel enters the lab and the Doctor mistakes her for the Rani. Mel, not recognising the Doctor due to his new face and clothes, wonders what he has done with the Doctor. After Mel mentions carrot juice and the Doctor responds with his great hatred of the beverage, they soften towards each other. He finds that she doesn't have a double pulse as a Time Lord would, and they accept that they are who they say they are. Mel says she knows about regeneration but is still surprised to find his appearance and height completely different. His memory now apparently fully returned, the Doctor apologises, fearing that being easily duped does not bode well for his new incarnation.

Mel and Farroon Time and the Rani

Mel and Faroon watch the entrance to the Rani's base.

They decide to find out what the Rani has been planning. In an inner chamber, Beyus and Faroon show them an enormous brain that channels the kidnapped scientists' mental ability into a single gestalt mind. An asteroid composed entirely of strange matter, a very rare and super heavy material is passing nearby. The Rani has constructed a fixed-trajectory rocket to collide with it at the approaching solstice. The only known substance that can destroy strange matter is strange matter itself, so she is using the brain to discover a lightweight substitute.

They return to the laboratory, and Faroon takes Mel to safety. The Rani returns, ready to take the Doctor to the brain, but he escapes into the Tetrap pit. She can't find him, but he is surrounded by Tetraps.

Part three[]

The Doctor is able to escape from the Tetraps when Beyus feeds them. In the laboratory, the Doctor removes a part from the Rani's machine, then leaves, right before the Rani returns. She sounds an alarm.

Meanwhile, Urak captures Mel, paralysing her with his venom. The Doctor meets Ikona and narrowly escapes from one of the Rani's traps. A Tetrap is caught in it instead.


The Doctor is captured - Time and the Rani - BBC

Mel and Beyus try to free the Doctor

Ikona shows the Doctor the Centre of Leisure and explains that his people have become indolent. The Rani, angry at Beyus' lack of cooperation, turns on the globe in the Centre of Leisure, releasing killer insects. Faroon tells the Doctor that the Rani has Mel. The Rani offers a trade — the part he stole for Mel. However, when he makes the trade, Mel is revealed to be a hologram.

The Doctor needs to get back to the laboratory to stop the Rani. He and Ikona try to bluff their way, but the Doctor is surrounded by Tetraps once again.

The Rani feeds the Doctor's intellect into the brain, and it starts working, as the Doctor's brain suggests a new approach to the problem.

Part four[]

To the Rani's annoyance, the brain starts spouting bad puns and nonsense. However, once disconnected, the Doctor inadvertently provides the brain with the means to determine the needed substance: Loyhargil.

Doctor with headphones on Time and the Rani

The Doctor – captured and placed within the Rani's systems.

Upon impact, the strange matter would form a shell of chronons around Lakertya, causing the brain to expand to fill the entire surface of the planet, converting it into a Time Manipulator. With this, the Rani can change the course of history and control the randomness of evolution throughout the universe. The Rani also casually mentions that she intends to leave the Doctor, Mel, the Lakertyans and the Tetraps to die on the planet during this process, but Urak overhears this, alarming him.


The giant brain - will Rani succeed? - Time and the Rani - BBC

The Rani's plan is foiled.

The Lakertyan leader Beyus sacrifices his life to destroy the brain and delay the launch long enough for the rocket to miss the asteroid. The Rani escapes in her TARDIS but finds it overrun with Tetraps who "invite" the Rani to accompany them to her homeworld.

On Lakertya, the Doctor and Mel say their goodbyes with the people they had befriended and helped liberate from the Rani. The Doctor gives Ikona the antidote to the Rani's killer insects, but Ikona pours this away on the ground — explaining that his people must solve their own problems from now on if they are to survive. Before going into the TARDIS, Mel tells the Doctor that his new self is going to take some getting used to, to which he replies, "I'll grow on you, Mel, I'll grow on you."


Uncredited cast[]



Cultural references from real world[]

  • The Rani has abducted Hypatia, Louis Pasteur, and Albert Einstein.
  • The Doctor names Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Louis Pasteur, Elvis and Mrs. Malaprop among the Earthling personalities who would not be born if the Rani's plot would be achieved.
  • Mel is an admirer of the work of the scientist C. P. Snow, who dealt with thermodynamics.
  • The Rani intends to go back to the Cretaceous era and save dinosaurs from extinction.
  • On Earth, strange matter was discovered by a Princeton physicist in 1984.
  • The Doctor frequently misquotes numerous common sayings, including "absence makes the nose grow longer" (instead of "absence makes the heart grow fonder"), "fit as a trombone" (instead of "fit as a fiddle") and "time and tide melts the snowman" (instead of "time and tide wait for no man") among many others.


The Doctor[]


  • The Rani injects the Doctor with a drug causing amnesia.
  • Ikona throws away the antidote for the killer insect poison.

Particles and substances[]


  • In the confusion after the regeneration, the Doctor mentions the temporal flicker in Sector Thirteen, a bicentennial refit of the TARDIS to book in, and Centauri VII.
  • Tetrapyriarbus is the homeworld of the Tetraps.


Time Lords[]

  • The Doctor's special subject at university was thermodynamics.
  • The code to open the door is 953, which is the Doctor's and the Rani's age.
  • The Doctor confirms that he is in his seventh persona.


  • A radiation wave meter is in the tool room of the Doctor's TARDIS.
  • The Doctor steals a microthermistor from the Rani's laboratory.
  • The Rani employs a hologram of Mel to deceive the Doctor during a hostage exchange.


  • A navigational guidance system distorter was employed by the Rani to attract the Doctor's TARDIS on Lakertya. It would have worked on any passing spaceship.
  • The Lakertyans are blackmailed with the menace of killer insects.

Story notes[]

  • The concept of creating a weapon by collecting the minds of all the great thinkers, including the Doctor's, was also used in the then unfinished and unbroadcast story Shada. Both stories involve the Doctor using his stolen consciousness to counteract the weapon.
  • Loyhargil is an anagram of "holy grail".
  • The working title for this story was Strange Matter.
  • This is the first story to feature computer generated images (CGI) for the titles and many of the effects (including the TARDIS's flight through space in the pre-title sequence).
  • For the title sequence, Sylvester McCoy's face and hair were painted silver. The designer of the title sequence revealed some 23 years later that this was not necessary. He did not reveal this to the show's producers at any point during that time. (DOC: Helter-Skelter)
  • The Radio Times programme listing for part one was accompanied by a black-and-white photograph of the Doctor on the surface of Lakertya, with a head-and-shoulders inset of the Rani, with the accompanying caption "The TARDIS materialises with a new Doctor at the helm! Sylvester McCoy is the seventh in line of intrepid Time Lords, who tonight comes face to face with the Rani (Kate O'Mara) / BBC1, 7.35 p.m. Doctor Who". (original published text)
  • One reason for the story's problems was that Pip and Jane Baker had no idea who would be playing the new Doctor or how he would be characterised — and, at least when they started work on the project, the series had no script editor for them to discuss things with.
  • Colin Baker declined to return to his role for the regeneration sequence at the beginning of the story. As a result, Sylvester McCoy donned a wig and the Sixth Doctor's costume and briefly appeared (as a body double, with face hidden) as the Sixth Doctor, making him the first actor to play (technically) two different incarnations of the Doctor. McCoy also spends much of the early part of the story clad in the Sixth Doctor's outfit.
  • io9.com ranked the Sixth Doctor's death as the second weakest death in science fiction history.[1]
  • Sylvester McCoy protested about wearing the question mark jumper. It wasn't until his reprisal of the Seventh Doctor in the 1996 Doctor Who movie that his campaigning to discard the pullover was generously granted. He instead wore a red waistcoat, and was ironically "killed" before he could get any significant screen time wearing the aforementioned garment.
  • In this story, the Seventh Doctor wears braces on the outside of the pullover, with it tucked into his trousers. Sylvester McCoy admitted it was a regrettable choice. He said it did injustice to the appearance of his tummy, giving him a "beer gut" look. For future stories, the actor instead kept to wearing his braces over his shirt, and had the pullover over that, as is more traditional.
  • During the regeneration, the exercise bike the Sixth Doctor rides in Terror of the Vervoids is visible in the TARDIS control room. In DWM 409, in an article on regeneration, the writer suggests that the Sixth Doctor's "mortal" injury may have been caused by him falling off the bike.
  • This is the first time the Doctor is seen regenerating at the beginning of a serial, as opposed to its end. (barring recap footage)
  • This would be the last time a TARDIS other than the Doctor's was shown on-screen until the charity special Dimensions in Time. In televised Doctor Who terms, another TARDIS would not appear until the "Junk TARDIS" in TV: The Doctor's Wife.
  • In a behind-the-scenes interview featuring Sylvester McCoy, he jabbed at having to wear Colin Baker's oversized wardrobe before switching into his Doctor's new clothes. Aside from donning the loud colours of his predecessor, the costume was tailored to Baker's height, 6ft (183cm), which loosely fit his smaller height of 5ft 6in (168cm). He humorously protested about "getting lost for three days" inside the floppy fabrics.
  • This is the third TV story to use a pre-credits sequence, and the first to not use any archive footage for it.
  • This is the only Seventh Doctor story whose writers also wrote for a previous Doctor.
    • Additionally, since Rona Munro is the only writer from the 1963 incarnation of the programme to return for the 2005 incarnation, this is the only televised story to feature a writer from the era of any of the first six Doctors returning to write for an incarnation of the Doctor from the Seventh onwards.
  • In the Rani's final scene, the script had originally called for Kate O'Mara to be hung upside-down like the bat-like Tetraps. During filming, O'Mara, who was on antibiotics at the time, was hung in this position for longer than needed and, after O'Mara complained of a horrible pain behind her eyes, was hastily let down when it was discovered she had popped a blood vessel in her eye. As a result, the scene in the final product had O'Mara hanging from her arms instead.
  • Donald Pickering makes his third and last appearance in the series. This is the only time where he is not a villain and that his character dies.
  • Despite taking place in the Sixth Doctor's future, this story sees the use of his red cravat and waistcoat, instead of his yellow cravat and multi-coloured striped waistcoat.
  • This serial was originally written with the Sixth Doctor in mind. Originally, he was to have regenerated at the end of this story instead of at the start; the script had the Doctor staying behind at the Rani's headquarters to ensure nothing went wrong with the missile strike, but the ensuing explosion causes him to regenerate. However, Colin Baker refused to come back for anything less than a full season, but the BBC executives responsible for his sacking would only permit one serial. Neither party could come to an agreement, hence the Sixth Doctor's unceremonious demise; following Baker's departure, it was hastily rewritten to accommodate the Seventh Doctor.
  • The original pre-title scene had Albert Einstein kidnapped by the Rani.
  • Pip and Jane Baker drew upon their 1986 Find Your Fate book Race Against Time, in which the Rani tries to build a Time Destabiliser in order to reshape the universe to her design. This, in turn, was based upon rejected ideas submitted to the production office in 1984.
  • Andrew Cartmel didn't get along at all with writers Pip and Jane Baker, who repeatedly told him that as a novice with no prior TV experience he had no business trying to advise them on anything other than what was or wasn't feasible on the show's budget — which was actually the thing he was least qualified to advise them on — and didn't even always take his advice on that front. In particular, they refused to remove a scripted scene where King Solomon is abducted in the midst of the argument over who is the rightful mother of a baby just as his guard prepares to split it in two with an axe so as to give one half to each "mother"; the Bakers refused to back down on this until John Nathan-Turner pointed out that if neither he nor Cartmel were familiar with that parable, odds are most viewers at home wouldn't be either.
  • John Nathan-Turner originally preferred not to include the regeneration. Urak would turn over the unconscious Doctor to reveal his new face, the Doctor having already regenerated. However, Nathan-Turner later changed his mind. Andrew Morgan wanted to use a clip of Colin Baker, but Nathan-Turner refused.
  • Andrew Cartmel has said that there were many things he disliked about the script which lacked depth. "This was a story which wasn't about anything — and, frustratingly, it was Sylvester McCoy's debut." After seeing part one, his agent rang him and said, "I thought you were one of the good guys!"
  • George Baker, Kenneth Colley, John Fraser, Michael Gothard, Don Henderson, Ronald Lacey, T.P. McKenna and Clifford Rose were considered for Beyus.
  • Jill Bennett, Isla BlairAdrienne Corri, Judi Dench, Anna Massey, Barbara Murray, Colette O'Neil, Ingrid Pitt, Barbara Shelley, Sylvia Syms, Fiona Walker and Billie Whitelaw were considered for Faroon.
  • Kate O'Mara, at the time famous for her role in Dynasty, was eager to return to the series and wrote to John Nathan-Turner from Hollywood: "I can't stand the eternal sunshine...You've got to help me. I want to be in a gravel pit somewhere in the pissing rain, changing in a caravan in front of twenty nosey crewmembers".
  • According to Pip and Jane Baker, John Nathan-Turner wanted the story to be set on an alien planet, have a new monster and a giant brain.
  • John Nathan-Turner felt the story was interesting, if not highly complex, with lots for the Kate O'Mara to do.
  • Several character names were plays on words - Ikona (“iconoclast”), Beyus (“obey us”), Lakertyan (“lacertian”, meaning lizard-like), Tetrap (from the prefix “tetra” and referring to the monsters' four eyes) and Loyhargil (an anagram of “Holy Grail”).
  • Urak was named in reference to Uriah Heep from David Copperfield.
  • Pip and Jane Baker weren't keen on Sylvester McCoy, feeling he was too jokey. They particuarly disliked the spoon-playing, with Pip complaining, "Where would a Time Lord learn to play the bloody spoons?"
  • Sylvester McCoy enjoyed the opportunity to play the spoons on Kate O'Mara's décolletage.
  • Tetrap is an anagram of pet rat and a play on tetra, meaning four. They were a merging of two creatures that Pip and Jane Baker thought were the most horrible - bats and rats.
  • Pip and Jane Baker justified the Rani impersonating Mel by noting that it should have been played seriously, but Kate O'Mara found it difficult to impersonate Bonnie Langford while she was onset.
  • Sylvester McCoy said that his first scene with the tetraps was the most ridiculous thing he'd ever done. To which John Nathan-Turner replied, "You ain't seen nothing yet".
  • Andrew Morgan thought that the pink sphere weapons were static and dull and that he had been ill-advised. He was new to effects work and felt bullied by the effects people into making decisions that affected the look of the show felt it was one of the worst jobs he ever did.
  • Sylvester McCoy felt that the story wasn't as bad as it was portrayed, but concedes that as it was written for Colin Baker, it was like a coat that didn't fit.
  • Mindful of the budget, John Nathan-Turner asked Pip and Jane Baker to ensure that location filming could take place near London, prompting them to think in terms of the woodlands near their home in Ruislip. Sarn's death, for example, originally occurred when the bubble-trap in which she was snared collided with a tree. However, designer Geoff Powell feared that such a setting would look insufficiently otherworldly, and he encouraged Andrew Morgan to reimagine the planet as a barren, rocky wasteland.
  • In the original script, the Doctor was attacked by a giant spider during his meeting with Ikona. Pip and Jane Baker added this as a dig at Colin Baker, who was arachnaphobic.
  • The original script featured flashbacks to The Mark of the Rani and the Rani's trial by the Time Lords.
  • The Tetraps originally had a gargoyle-like appearance. Their original look survived in the statuary outside the Rani's headquarters.
  • Pip and Jane Baker originally envisioned the Rani's headquarters as a Gothic castle.
  • After location filming had been completed, the cast and crew threw a party where people did their pieces - Sylvester McCoy played the spoons and Bonnie Langford sang. Jonathan Powell suggested that McCoy's Doctor should play the spoons, something that Pip and Jane Baker were against. McCoy recalled that John Nathan-Turner told him at said party that his Doctor should play the spoons, prompting McCoy to laugh, thinking he was either joking or drunk.
  • Wanda Ventham's son Benedict Cumberbatch (then eleven years old) accompanied her to the set.
  • Although the set for the Rani's console room had been retained for future use after The Mark of the Rani, it had been damaged during its two years in storage. Instead, a model was constructed into which actors could be inserted via chroma key.
  • The title was inspired by JB Priestley's 1937 play Time and the Conways.
  • This story has the dubious distinction of being ranked as Doctor Who Magazine readers' least favourite Seventh Doctor story in all four of their major polls, in 1998, 2009, 2014, and 2023. (DWM 592)
  • The events of this story and the regeneration were going to be referenced by Mel as a brief monologue during The Giggle, but it was cut.
  • Wanda Ventham and Donald Pickering previously appeared in The Faceless Ones.
  • This is the only season opener written by a woman, as Attack of the Cybermen's Paula Moore pseudonym is largely agreed to mostly be Eric Saward, with no real contributions by any female writers.
  • The Tetrap nets originally had the ability to stun or kill rather than merely trap people.
  • The mask for Urak was designed to be different from the others that would be worn by extras. The mask worn by Richard Gauntlett had a fibreglass jaw that could rest on his face, which would move whenever he delivered his lines. The eyes were also designed so they could be controlled via remote control. Another Tetrap head was made that was controlled entirely by animatronics. This head had a fully operational tongue which could extend out of the mouth.
  • The bulk of the design work whilst on location was the erection of the Rani's fortress, which was built into a mountain. The overall design was based on proposed designs for The Captain's bridge drawn up by visual effects designer Colin Mapson, who returned for this serial, which turned out to be his final contribution to the show.
  • To create the splashes of water caused by The Rani's bubbles hitting the water surfaces, wilderness boats were used whilst on location to create the desired effects. The boats were eventually hidden by video effects when the bubble traps were inserted into shots during post-production.
  • To create the impression that the bubble traps were hitting and colliding with rocks and mountains, explosive charges were carefully detonated whilst on location. The same effects were carefully used whenever a character unintentionally triggered the traps.
  • One of the Tetraps' guns was a fully operational prop made from aluminium. The prop contained compressed air, which was able to fire to fire a net. The rest of the Tetrap guns were simple dummy props based on the fully operational prop. The glitter was added in post-production.
  • The insects released from the Rani's rotating silver sphere were video effects added during post-production. In order for the threat to be fully understood by viewers, certain lines were dubbed over the footage which highlighted the danger they posessed.
  • The giant brain prop was fully operational and made from fibreglass and latex which made up the upper and lower surfaces. Between the layers, the production team used several condoms, into which air was blown. The unusual component created the pulsating effects.


  • Part one - 5.1 million viewers
  • Part two - 4.2 million viewers
  • Part three - 4.3 million viewers
  • Part four - 4.9 million viewers


  • Colin Baker refused to film a regeneration sequence. (Partially true. In an extra found on The Trial of a Time Lord DVD box set, Colin Baker said that when he was asked to film a regeneration sequence, he agreed as long as he was allowed to do a full third season playing the Doctor, at the end of which he would then regenerate. The production office never contacted him again.)
  • Several myths exist surrounding how the Doctor regenerates. One is that he falls off his exercise bike, while another has it that the Rani's TARDIS collided with his. (The exercise bike is still standing during the attack and falls facing away from the Doctor, and the Rani's TARDIS remains on the planet throughout the serial. Most fans accept The Brink of Death as the official explanation.)
  • Peter Tuddenham and Jacki Webb (Special Voices) are not credited in Radio Times for part three. (They are credited in the Radio Times programme listing for part three, but the "Special Voices" credit is quite easy to miss as on this occasion it appears in smaller type alongside the production crew members.)

Filming locations[]

  • Cloford Quarry, Cloford, Frome, Somerset (Exterior of Rani's base)
  • Westdown Quarry, Chantry, Frome, Somerset (Location where the TARDIS lands)
  • Whatley Quarry, Whatley, Frome, Somerset
  • BBC Television Centre (TC1 & TC8), Shepherd's Bush, London

Production errors[]

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • The overhead microphone is visible in part one after the disguised Rani introduces herself as Mel. The boom operator seems to be having trouble following the Doctor's erratic movements.
  • When Mel saves Ikona from the second bubble trap, Sarn's death scream (she had been killed earlier by the same trap) can be heard very briefly.
  • Mel slides from hills and sits in a cave-like pipe, yet the seat of her white trousers remains very clean.
  • In part three, when the Rani searches for the Doctor outside of the building, she wears red trousers instead of the white ones from earlier.
  • During the first shot of Mel imprisoned in the Tetrap lair in part three, the part of the lair visible behind her moves slightly to the right and then descends a few inches, revealing that it is just a backdrop.
  • Sylvester McCoy's face is briefly visible as he's rolled over just before the regeneration begins.
  • The title sequence for part four erroneously uses an earlier version with more transparent, reddish photographs of Sylvester McCoy's face rather than the more opaque, bluish-silver ones. (The correct title sequence has been substituted for the VHS and DVD releases.)


Home video and audio releases[]

DVD releases[]

A restored version of this story was first released on DVD in Region 2 as a one disc set on 13 September 2010. Region 4 release came out 4 November 2010 and Region 1 on 14 June 2011.

Special Features[]

  • Commentary by Sylvester McCoy (the Doctor), Bonnie Langford (Mel), and Pip and Jane Baker (Writers)
  • The Last Chance Saloon - Cast and crew reflect on working at a critical time when Doctor Who was given its last chance. Includes Sylvester McCoy's audition footage for the Doctor, with an appearance by Janet Fielding
  • 7D FX - An examination of the visual effects used throughout the story
  • Helter-Skelter - An interview with the creators of Doctor Who's first CGI title sequence
  • Lakertya - An investigation into the way the planet changed in nature from script to screen
  • Hot Gossip - Kate O'Mara (The Rani) recalls the fun of working with friends
  • On Location - Guy Michelmore from BBC Breakfast Time interviews Sylvester McCoy, Bonnie Langford and Kate O'Mara
  • Blue Peter - Janet Ellis introduces Sylvester McCoy
  • Radio Times Billings (PDF DVD-ROM - PC/Mac)
  • Production Information Subtitles
  • Photo Gallery
  • Coming Soon Trailer - Revisitations
  • Easter Eggs:
    Baker to Mccoy2

    The CGI version of the regeneration, with Colin Baker added in.

    • CGI Regeneration sequence, with Colin Baker's face digitally added in place of McCoy's to make it authentic. To access this hidden feature, press left at 7D FX on the Special Features menu to reveal a hidden Doctor Who logo.
    • Eye-Sore. To access this hidden feature, press right at Blue Peter on the Special Features menu to reveal a hidden Doctor Who logo.
    • The Name'sh McCoy, Shylveshter McCoy. To access this hidden feature, press left at PDF Materials on the Special Features menu to reveal a hidden Doctor Who logo.

Editing for the DVD release was completed by the Doctor Who Restoration Team.

VHS releases[]

This story was released on VHS as follows:

  • Region 2: 3 July 1995
  • Region 1: September 1995
  • Region 4: October 1995

Digital releases[]

  • The story is available for streaming in Canada & the US through BritBox or Amazon Instant Video in the UK.

External links[]