The Rani, the Time Lord villain created by Pip and Jane Baker in the 1980s, is to make her first appearance on audio in Doctor Who: The Rani Elite, out in December.
She will be reunited with the Sixth Doctor and Peri, in a story set written by Justin Richards and set in a galactic university.
The character has had three appearances on television in Mark of the Rani (1985), Time and the Rani (1987) and Dimensions in Time (1993), each time played by the late Kate O’Mara.
“The Rani’s return was very much prompted by Kate,” says producer David Richardson. “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 leapt at the opportunity.
“Justin 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.”
In her latest body the Rani is played by Siobhan Redmond, whose many leading television credits include Between the Lines, The High Life, The Smoking Room, Taggart and Holby City.
“We’d worked with Siobhan a few months ago as a different character in Revenge of the Swarm,” continues David, “and we fell in love with her. She’s a smart, delightful person and also an amazing actress – she’s the perfect choice for this new, slightly different version of the Rani.”
The Rani Elite is available to pre-order now, and can be purchased as part of the main range subscription package.
Nick Briggs presents a live-with-no-frills Podcast, recorded live at Gallifrey One, the Doctor Who convention in LA. Special guests Jason Haigh-Ellery, Amy Pemberton and Sue Cowley.