Doctor Who, for much of the late 80s, was spotty at best. Maybe that’s why Kate O’Mara’s Rani isn’t as revered as the other legendary baddies. The Rani is a Time Lady, the same alien race as The Doctor, who was a cold, EEEVIL scientist. O’Mara played The Rani in “Mark of the Rani,” “Time and the Rani,” and “Dimensions in Time.” Those three stories are hardly the pinnacle of Doctor Who stories.
In “Time of the Rani,” O’Mara shows her acting range deceiving the newly-regenerated Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) into thinking he’s talking to his high-pitched companion, Mel. In the above clip, the BBC only provides the last few moments of Seven and Rani-as-Mel. The scene’s a rare amusing moment in the overall “Time” serial; O’Mara briefly IS Bonnie Langford (the screaming actress who plays Mel).
Kate O’Mara passed away on 30 March. While the geek crowd may know her as one of The Doctor’s many opponents, older American TV viewers may remember her on Dynasty. British audiences may be familiar with her many talents on stage and screen. According to the Daily Telegraph’s obituary, she wanted to return as the Rani during Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary.