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YMMV / Doctor Who S24 E1 "Time and the Rani"

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  • Narm: The story starts with what is widely considered the worst regeneration, beginning with the TARDIS being shot down and then the Doctor regenerating, apparently from banging his head on the console. Colin Baker understandably refused to participate after being fired, so the first part of the scene has Sylvester McCoy already playing the role with a sparkly effect hiding his face and a very obvious curly wig; the end result of this is a spectacular scene in which Sylvester McCoy very clearly transforms into...Sylvester McCoy.
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  • Never Live It Down: Despite very decent performances from most actors involved (McCoy deserves particular credit for wringing a compelling Doctor out of of a haphazard script originally meant for a completely different version of the Doctor), the story was probably never going to get out of the shadow of the spectacularly botched regeneration scene, and elements such as the giant brain and the Rani's impersonation of Mel have helped further its reputation as a completely absurd mess, to the point where it regularly competes with "The Twin Dilemma" for the title of the absolute worst story in the show's entire history (with most fans agreeing that this one only stays ahead on grounds of better production values and that the Doctor doesn't try to kill Melnote ).
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  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The special effects are pretty much the only good thing about the serial. The planet and the bubble traps in particular look incredible for their time. The fact that the opening sequence used from this serial to "Survival" was the first CGI intro to a TV show period makes it all the more impressive.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • The Seventh Doctor is knocked out and given an amnesia drug by the Rani, a rogue Time Lord who has battled the Doctor at least once before. He eventually wakes up, and she disguises herself as his companion Mel and tells him that he's in his laboratory (actually the Rani's). Moments later however, the Doctor finds a gun that he actually says out loud is powerful enough to blast any passing spaceship out of orbit and — unbeknownst to him — shot the TARDIS down so violently it caused him to regenerate.note 
      You'd Expect: The Doctor to immediately realize that there's no reason why he'd have such a deadly weapon at all, to say nothing of leaving it just laying around in his "lab," and that something's obviously wrong.
      Instead: He just tosses it aside and never even looks at or mentions it again.
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    • Later on, the real Mel happens by the lab, and the Doctor realizes that the "Mel" he's been dealing with unti this point is actually the Rani. He also meets two of the planet's natives, one of whom has been forced into reluctantly collaborating with the Rani, but the other of whom is actively opposing her. The Doctor realizes that the Rani will soon be returning to the lab.
      You'd Expect: The Doctor to have Mel and at least the rebellious alien (even if the other one doesn't want to co-operate) hide somewhere, then ambush and capture the Rani when she walks in.
      Instead: He just sends them all out, then assists the Rani in repairing a machine which she's been adamantly demanding that he fix while refusing to explain what it actually does, and then just stands around like a lemon as she drops her guise as Mel and activates the machine.

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