After the enjoyable ‘The Rani Elite’, it was inevitable that Siobhan Redmond would return and it happened just a few months later. There is something different about the Rani as a Timelord compared to the Doctor and the Master. I think its because there isn’t necessarily any malice in the Rani’s plans. Ok they are morally dubious but she doesn’t have aspirations of global domination. With Michelle Gomez making the Master a woman it seemed like Big Finish were following suit and Siobhan Redmond was a good choice and managed to do that most difficult of tasks and step into Kate O’Mara’s shoes. I was glad that there would be another opportunity for her to play the role.
The second story for Constance Clarke isn’t quite as good as Criss-Cross to be honest, I can’t quite work out why it doesn’t work. It’s certainly not due to the performances because Colin Baker and Miranda Raison are on good form and Siobhan Redmond is still impressive as the Rani but they still cant make the story work. There were periods of time during the story where my mind did wander and it became quite difficult to really engage with the story. It’s a rare mis-fire for Marc Platt who overall has a good track record such classic stories as Spare Parts and the Tomstardis Award winning story The Silver Turk.
The supporting performances are good with Olivia Poulet’s name as the most notable for being in the BBC comedy The Thcik of It. She has been in Requiem for the Rocket Men and will soon be in the Mrs Peel colletion for the Avengers range. There was something good aboiut her performance and it was one that could have ended up with her being in the TARDIS.
Planet of the Rani suffers from the middle story problem where it doesn’t quite have the impact that the opening story or the final story. It’s certainly not terrible but its worth revisiting purely to hear the performances. Hopefully the Rani will be back because she has now proved twice that she works well on audio and Siobhan Redmond is the perfect choice to play her for many years to come.