First Rani

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In her first incarnation, Ushas, better known as the Rani and known more formally as Ushas of Miasimia Goria, was a renegade Time Lady and member of the Deca. A brilliant but cold neurochemist, she knew the Doctor and the Master when all three were young, and became an enemy of the former and an unwilling ally of the latter.

Biography[[edit]]

Youth and exile[[edit]]

The Rani was the same age as the Doctor. (TV: Time and the Rani) As a Time Tot, she played hide and seek with the First Doctor, with the Ninth Doctor claiming that his skill at finding her "drove her nuts". (COMIC: Weapons of Past Destruction)

Some accounts gave the Rani's original name on Gallifrey as "Ushas" (PROSE: Divided Loyalties, A Brief History of Time Lords) while another stated that the Scrolls of Gallifrey gave her true name as simply "Rani": unlike the Doctor and the Master, who had already acquired their nicknames at the Academy, she was an exceptionally successful and well-behaved student. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey)

Like all Time Lords, Ushas was taken from her family at the age of eight for the selection process in the Drylands. Staring into the Untempered Schism as part of a Time Lord initiation rite, Ushas was reported by one Time Lord historian to have been driven mad by what she saw in the Schism. (PROSE: A Brief History of Time Lords)

One account suggested that at the Academy, Ushas belonged to the Deca, (PROSE: Divided Loyalties) being their most intelligent member. (AUDIO: The Rani Elite) She and her nine friends from the Deca were part of the Prydonian Chapter and attended the Prydonian Academy. (PROSE: Divided Loyalties) In another, which agreed that she was the most skilled student of her group of friends, she belonged to the Patrex Chapter. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey)

She was taught by Sendok, Borusa, Franilla, and Delox. (PROSE: Divided Loyalties)

At the Academy, she was "good at everything", but at chemistry especially, (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) with neurochemistry being her specialty. (PROSE: Time and the Rani) River Song suggested that the Doctor might have had a crush on the Rani at the Academy. (AUDIO: The Bekdel Test) Mortimus once tried to ask Ushas out, but was so harshly rejected that he came to believe that she wasn't interested in dating at all. As a result, he was, to Magnus's amusement, oblivious to the affair which later developed between Magnus and Ushas. (PROSE: Divided Loyalties)

Ushas was on an Academy research project when the Doctor was expelled from the Academy. (PROSE: Divided Loyalties) The Doctor was invited to her 94th birthday party. (PROSE: The Death of Art) The Seventh Doctor and one of his future selves once reminisced about their graduation party, where the Rani was present with a giant mouse she'd created. (COMIC: Party Animals)

On the day that the Doctor left Gallifrey, Ushas and the Master were desperate to know where he went. When retired CIA agent Maris was hired to find the Doctor, they used a chronal mine to kidnap her. They interrogated Maris on the whereabouts of the Doctor and were displeased when she told them she didn't know. They were about to kill her when her employer extracted her from the area. (PROSE: Celestial Intervention - A Gallifreyan Noir)

The last of the trio she formed with the Doctor and the Master to turn renegade and leave Gallifrey, the Rani was forced into her exile as a consequence of her having conducted an experiment (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) which resulted in some of her lab mice growing to an enormous size. The mice ate the Lord President Pandad IV's pet cat. They also bit the President himself, triggering a regeneration, (TV: The Mark of the Rani) and devouring Socra, Pandad's Chancellor, and a CIA agent. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) Feeling that she would never be forgiven for the incident, Ushas opted out of Time Lord society, becoming a renegade. She took a TARDIS and settled on Miasimia Goria, (PROSE: Divided Loyalties) under the name of "the Rani". (TV: The Mark of the Rani)

Life as a renegade[[edit]]

The Rani's notoriety made her the second most wanted criminal in the galaxy, after the Master. (AUDIO: Requiem for the Rocket Men)

Presence in Earth history[[edit]]

While the Rani certainly did not share the Doctor's fondness for Earth, which she considered a "miserable planet," it was the focus of several of her research projects. She was also disdainful of humans themselves and called them carnivores because they ate animals. At some point, she had visited Earth in the distant past and acquired several tyrannosaur embryos. (TV: The Mark of the Rani)

The Rani brought industry and a caste system to Miasimia Goria and became its ruler, based in a palace decorated with statues of herself. She began a Great Experiment (AUDIO: Planet of the Rani) to heighten the awareness of the Miasimia Gorians (TV: The Mark of the Rani) and make them into geniuses. (AUDIO: Planet of the Rani) However, the process made them unable to sleep and caused mayhem, leading the Rani to leave the planet to find a solution.

The Rani visited Earth at various points in its history to extract chemicals from the brains of select human specimens. Because the chemicals in question enabled the human brain to sleep, and because the absence of these chemicals made her victims as violent and uncontrollable as those from her previous experiments, the Rani deliberately chose periods of social unrest to visit, using the violence to conceal her presence and its consequences. She visited the Trojan War, the Dark Ages, the American Revolutionary War, and finally the Luddite riots in the village of Killingworth during the early 19th century where she used the local bath house as her base, posing as the old woman in charge of the premises. (TV: The Mark of the Rani) Around this time, the Rani travelled to Shildon, where she encountered Panda. (PROSE: From Wildthyme with Love)

The Tremas Master and, shortly after, the Sixth Doctor, interrupted her work. The Doctor sabotaged the navigational system of the Rani's TARDIS, trapping the Master and the Rani inside as time spillage caused the tyrannosaur embryos to grow at a dangerous rate. (TV: The Mark of the Rani)

On Terra Nova[[edit]]

The dinosaur grew to such a size that it broke its neck on the ceiling, but the Rani had been left adrift in her TARDIS when the Tremas Master escaped from her by detaching the console room from the rest of her TARDIS. Shortly afterwards, from the Doctor's subjective point of view, the Rani was also trapped along with the Sixth Doctor on Terra Nova, which the entity known as Iam had created. She had in the meantime tried and failed to manipulate the political situation existing between the three children of that reality's version of Cleopatra VII. However, she did manage to escape Terra Nova, by using the entity to create a new TARDIS console room to replace the one the Master escaped in. (PROSE: State of Change)

On Koturia[[edit]]

On the planet of Koturia, the Rani went by the name of Lania. She was genetically modifying pterodactyls in order to take blood and tissue samples of Koturians for the purpose of learning about Phasing. She believed that she could learn of a way to control the outcome of a regeneration by learning how Koturians control their appearance when they Phase. She immersed herself in Koturian culture and became engaged to Jonos, an upper-class Koturian. However, their marriage ceremony was crashed by the Sixth Doctor and Peri Brown, the former of whom was invited as an old friend of Jonos's father, Evris Makshi. Although they were too late to stop the physical ceremony, it failed to result in Jonos completing his Phase because both bride and groom have to be in love with one another for the Imori stone to work and the Rani was only pretending to be in love with Jonos. Although the Rani claimed to be immune to emotion, the Doctor believed she felt some kind of emotional attachment to her work, as she did beg him to not destroy her research by saying "please." (PROSE: Something Borrowed)

Alliance with the Tetraps[[edit]]

The Rani communicating with Urak from her base on Lakertya. (TV: Time and the Rani)

On the planet Tetrapyriarbus, the Rani decided to employ the Tetraps, led by Urak. With them, she invaded the peaceful planet Lakertya and put into motion a complex plan to abducted eleven scientific geniuses from across time and space, including Albert Einstein of Earth, to harness the strange matter needed to make Lakertya into a Time Manipulator in order to correct what she considered to be errors in the universal timeline, with the death of the Tetraps and Lakertyans being a small price to pay.

Finally she decided to "collect" the Doctor and attacked his TARDIS, (TV: Time and the Rani) with concentrated beams of a radiation lethal to Time Lords, (AUDIO: The Brink of Death) wounding the Doctor enough to trigger his regeneration into his seventh incarnation. Disguising herself as the Doctor's companion, Mel Bush, the Rani used amnesia drugs to convince the Doctor that her project was actually his in order to better ensure his cooperation in completing her work. Once the Doctor had finished the calculation, the Rani confined him with the other geniuses and channelled their intellects into a giant artificial brain which she believed could find the answer as to how to create a lightweight substitute for strange matter, since strange matter was incredibly heavy and could only be destroyed by strange matter. When it was devised, she sent a missile containing the substance aimed at a strange matter asteroid. However, the Doctor, using his unstable mind as a virus, destroyed the brain and redirected the missile. Urak lead the Tetraps against the Rani when he learnt she planned to betray them, and they placed her under house arrest in her TARDIS on Tetrapyriarbus. (TV: Time and the Rani)

When the Tetraps faced a food shortage crisis, Urak managed to have the Rani put on trial. When she was given the death sentence, Urak bargained with her to solve the food shortage or her sentence would commence, giving her two humans and two alien prisoners as test subjects for the experiments that would solving the crisis. The Rani, however, teamed up with her 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. (AUDIO: The Rani Reaps the Whirlwind)

Gathering her Menagerie[[edit]]

The Rani mocks the Doctor after capturing his first incarnation. (TV: Dimensions in Time)

Some time later, arrived on the planet DV Acrol 8. There, she rescued a young humanoid named Cyrian from a troop of Cybermen and took him on as her travelling companion, though in effect he became her servant. During their travels, the Rani taught him enough about the workings of the TARDIS for him to operate the control console. (PROSE: Rescue)

During their travels, the Rani hatched a plan to harness the power of a time tunnel and gain control over galactic evolution. To do so, she collected a vast menagerie of all sentient-life forms from across space and time inside of her TARDIS. The last specimen she required was a human from Earth. Knowing that the Doctor would attempt to stop her, she set out to incapacitate him in all of his incarnations. After successfully capturing the First Doctor and the Second Doctor, the Rani trapped the Seventh Doctor and the rest of his predecessors inside of a time loop in Albert Square. Fearing that he had figured out her plan, she released her a collection of her specimen into the Square. To finalise her menagerie, she captured Romana II, mistaking her for one of the Doctor's human companions. Since Romana II was a Time Lady, however, the Rani's computer lacked a human specimen and instead had two "Time-brains". After Romana escaped, the Doctor took advantage of this error and forced her computer to overload, resulting in her TARDIS being sucked into the Time Tunnel. (TV: Dimensions in Time)

The Rani's hobby[[edit]]

The Rani developed an affinity for Earth's plant life and posed as a florist there to gather floral specimens. She experimented on them to make them stronger and thus able to survive on "her planet". A slight error in the fertiliser (as she put it) soon resulted in at least two of her test subjects mutating into gigantic, carnivorous "plant monsters".

Passing by, the Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler saw the creatures escaping from the florist shop and made their way inside. The Doctor was stunned to come across the Rani once more, while she, for her part, readily recognised the Doctor and began to deride this latest regeneration of his, which she described as "a scrawny little thing". The Doctor retaliated by finding the fact that the Rani had essentially adopted gardening as a "hobby" utterly adorable.

While the Doctor formulated a plan and explained it to Rose, the Rani created an antidote for her overpowered fertiliser, curbing the plant monsters' aggressive tendencies and shrinking them to a small enough size to fit inside her TARDIS. When the Doctor announced this exact same plan as his own idea, only to realise that the Rani had already done it, he was momentarily stunned, but also impressed. As the Rani left the timezone with the tamed plant monsters, the Doctor bid her a fond goodbye. His subsequent, outspoken admiration of the Rani's intelligence was shortly followed by an assurance that he "couldn't stand her" to a jealous Rose. (COMIC: Untitled [+]Loading...["Untitled (10DY3 12 comic story)"])

Death[[edit]]

Through unknown circumstances, the Rani later regenerated into her second incarnation. (AUDIO: The Rani Elite)

Other realities[[edit]]

A psychiatrist Rani. (COMIC: The Glorious Dead)

In a alternative timeline, the Rani cooperated alongside the Master, the Monk and Drax to try to destroy the world using a DNA recombinator, turning the human race into a gestalt consciousness that could be used as a weapon to conquer the universe. (PROSE: The Quantum Archangel)

In Theta Stigma's universe, the Rani was a psychiatrist who gave him advice for 5 cents. (COMIC: The Glorious Dead)

Appearance[[edit]]

In her first incarnation, (PROSE: Time and the Rani) the Rani was slim, with tanned skin, and big hair that was sometimes curled. She dressed lavishly, wearing knee-high boots, tight leather trousers, and voluminous patterned tunics. With each outfit, she wore colour-coordinated nail varnish and eye shadow, and various rings and bracelets. (TV: The Mark of the Rani, Time and the Rani) When meeting the Tenth Doctor, the Rani wore a long blue floral-patterned dress. (COMIC: Untitled)

Personality[[edit]]

The Rani squabbles with Rose Tyler. (COMIC: Untitled)

The Rani was a brilliant 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 highly intelligent but extremely arrogant, narcissistic, ruthless, powerful and intensely cruel. 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. She was also capable of linking a remote control to a TARDIS, something that other Time Lords had not been able to manage themselves.

While she did appear evil, she found the Master to be truly evil and therefore stupid. She also said that his plans were so overcomplicated that if he walked in a straight line he would get dizzy. She didn't have a good impression of either of her old classmates when she encountered the Master and the Sixth Doctor. What evil she did she felt was necessary to her work. When the Doctor tried to convince her not to experiment on humans, she called them carnivores and asked if they ever thought of the lesser species when they sunk their teeth into a lamb chop; she had a conscience of some kind, as she was later willing to destroy her test subjects intending to kill the Doctor. (TV: The Mark of the Rani)

According to the Seventh Doctor, the Rani had nothing but contempt for all other Time Lords since her banishment from Gallifrey. However, after hearing this, the Rani bluntly stated that her contempt started long before her banishment. (TV: Time and the Rani)

Behind the scenes[[edit]]

  • Kate O'Mara portrayed the Rani in all of her television appearances including the 1993 special Dimensions in Time. In this story, the Rani traps all seven of the Doctor's incarnations and fellow companions in the East End of London.
  • It was never made clear on-screen as to whether Kate O'Mara was the first Rani or simply the first one covered by the series. However, Pip and Jane Baker's novelisation of Time and the Rani confirms that the Rani is still in her first incarnation.
  • Plans were underway to bring back Kate O'Mara as the Rani for new Big Finish Productions audios, but O'Mara passed away a few weeks before recording. Upon being assured by O'Mara's agent that she'd wished them to continue the project without her, Big Finish cast Siobhan Redmond as a new incarnation of the Rani.[1]
  • When BBV Productions was in negotiations with the estate of Pip and Jane Baker for the rights to the Rani, it was planned that the Rani Reaps the Whirlwind novelisation would establish the story as the Kate O'Mara incarnation's final adventure, adding a special regeneration scene by James Hornby as an epilogue. However, by the time the novelisation was printed, the plans for further BBV Rani stories had fallen through and Hornby had decided to cease associating with BBV, leading to the regeneration scene being taken out of the book.[2]

Footnotes[[edit]]