RIP The Rani: Actress Kate O’Mara died today

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3/30/14 Kate O’Mara died today at age 74. The actress was known and favored by many fandoms for her roles in the TV shows Doctor Who, Dynasty, Howards’ Way, Triangle, Absolutely Fabulous, The Saint, The Champions, The Avengers and Z-Cars. She also had a following for cult-classic B-movies such as The Vampire Lovers (1970, Hammer Films). While such roles made as much use of her busty charms as her prodigious acting talents, O’Mara retained both a sense of humor about it and considerable sex appeal even in her 70s. In an interview last year, she indicated that she would love to return to Doctor Who:

“I have white hair now, but a lot of it, and I’m still very glamorous and so I won’t disappoint, I hope! I’ll still be wearing the tight leather trousers and high-heel boots, regardless of what age! That’s what the fans are expecting, so that’s what you’ve got to give them.”

Sadly that was not to be. A prolific actress of stage and screen, O’Mara will be much missed and will be fondly remembered. She made an indelible mark on the Whovian Universe for her role on Doctor Who as the evil Time Lady, The Rani. Fans and colleagues tweeted their respects, including Colin Baker who played the sixth incarnation of The Doctor.

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32 Doctor Who quotes for any occasion

Doctor Who - Series 7B

Time

“Time travel is like visiting Paris. You can’t just read the guidebook, you’ve got to throw yourself in! Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, get charged double and end up kissing complete strangers! Or is that just me?”
— The Ninth Doctor, The Long Game

“Is this how time normally passes? Really slowly, in the right order?”
— The Eleventh Doctor, Vincent and The Doctor

“Some people live more in 20 years than others do in 80. It’s not the time that matters, it’s the person.”
— The Tenth Doctor, The Lazarus Experiment

“Time isn’t a straight line. It’s all… bumpy-wumpy. There’s loads of boring stuff. Like Sundays and Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons. But now and then there are Saturdays.”
— The Eleventh Doctor, The Impossible Astronaut

“People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.”
— The Tenth Doctor, Blink

Sexy Things

“Biting’s excellent. It’s like kissing, only there’s a winner!”
— Idris, The Doctor’s Wife

Uniquely You

“Hey, do you mind if I tell you a story? One you might not have heard. All the elements in your body were forged many, many millions of years ago in the heart of a far away star that exploded and died. That explosion scattered those elements across the desolations of deep space. After so, so many millions of years these elements came together to form new stars and new planets. And on and on it went. The elements came together and burst apart forming shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings. Until, eventually, they came together to make you. You are unique in the universe.”
— The Eleventh Doctor, The Rings of Akhaten

“We all change. When you think about it, we’re all different people all through our lives, and that’s okay, that’s good, you gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all people that you used to be.”
— The Eleventh Doctor, The Time of The Doctor

“You’ve decided that the universe is better off without you. But the universe doesn’t agree.”
— River Song, The Wedding of River Song

“The name you choose. It’s like a promise you make.”
— The Eleventh Doctor, The Name of The Doctor

Generally Good Advice

“Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it’s a plan!”
—The Eleventh Doctor; The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe

“Never ignore coincidence. Unless, of course, you’re busy. In which case, always ignore coincidence.”
— The Eleventh Doctor, The Pandorica Opens

“Don’t get into a spaceship with a madman. Didn’t anyone ever teach you that?”
— The Eleventh Doctor, Journey to the Centre of the Tardis

“There’s something out of place – let’s go and poke it with a stick.”
— The Eleventh Doctor, Amy’s Choice

“There’s no point in being grown up if you can’t act a little childish sometimes.”
— The Fourth Doctor, Robot

“There’s a lot of things you need to get across this universe. Warp drive, wormhole refractors. You know the thing you need most of all? You need a hand to hold.”
— The Tenth Doctor, Fear Her

“I am and always will be the optimist. The hoper of far-flung hopes and the dreamer of improbable dreams.”
— The Eleventh Doctor, The Almost People

“You can’t rule the world in hiding. You’ve got to come out on the balcony sometimes and wave a tentacle.”
— The Fourth Doctor, Terror of the Zygons

Madder and Better

“When you’re a kid, they tell you it’s all grow up, get a job, get married, get a house, have a kid, and that’s it. But the truth is, the world is so much stranger than that. It’s so much darker. And so much madder. And so much better.”
— Elton Pope, Love and Monsters

“Anybody remotely interesting is mad in some way.”
— The Seventh Doctor, The Greatest Show In The Galaxy

A Pile of Good Things And Bad Things

“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant.”
— The Eleventh Doctor, Vincent and The Doctor

Cursed. It’s big with humans. It means bad things are happening but you can’t be bothered to find an explanation.”
— The Eleventh Doctor, The Curse of the Black Spot

“Every now and then, a little victim’s spared. Because she smiled, because he’s got freckles, because they begged. And that’s how you live with yourself. That’s how you slaughter millions. Because once in a while, on a whim, if the wind’s in the right direction, you happen to be kind.”
— The Ninth Doctor, Boom Town

“If it’s time to go, remember what you’re leaving. Remember the best. My friends have always been the best of me.”
— The Eleventh Doctor, The Wedding of River Song

Good Men

“Good men don’t need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many.”
— The Eleventh Doctor, A Good Man Goes to War

“Whatever you’ve got planned, forget it. I’m the Doctor. I’m 904 years old. I’m from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Casterborous. I am The Oncoming Storm, the Bringer of Darkness and you are basically just a rabbit, aren’t you?”
-The Tenth Doctor, The Day of the Doctor

“You gave me hope and then you took it away. That’s enough to make anyone dangerous. God knows what it’ll do to me.”
— The Eleventh Doctor, The Doctor’s Wife

Work To Do, Things Happening and A Lizard

“Listen, gotta dash. Things. Happening. Well, four things. Well, four things and a lizard.”
— The Tenth Doctor, Blink

“There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea’s asleep, and the rivers dream; people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there’s danger, somewhere there’s injustice, and somewhere else the tea’s getting cold. Come on, Ace. We’ve got work to do.”
— The Seventh Doctor, Survival

“A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting.”
— The Third Doctor, The Time Warrior

“First things first; but not necessarily in that order.”
— The Fourth Doctor, Meglos

“Go forward in all of your beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.”
— The First Doctor, The Dalek Invasion of Earth

And Six DW Conversations Worth Repeating

Sally Sparrow: I love old things. They make me feel sad.
Kathy Nightingale: What’s good about sad?
Sally Sparrow: It’s happy for deep people.
from Blink

Jabe: The Gift of Peace. [takes a cutting, hands it to the Doctor] I bring you a cutting of my Grandfather.
The Doctor: Thank you! [hands Jabe’s cutting to Rose] Yes, gifts, um… [clearing his throat] I give you, in return, air from my lungs. [blows into Jabe’s face]
Jabe: [surprised] How… intimate.
The Doctor: There’s more where that came from.
from The End of the World

The Tenth Doctor: [Offering his sonic screwdriver.] Need this?
The Fifth Doctor: No, I’m fine.
The Tenth Doctor: Oh, no, of course. You liked to go hands free, didn’t you? Like, “Hey, I’m the Doctor. I can save the universe using a kettle and some string. And look at me, I’m wearing a vegetable!”
from Time Crash

The Doctor: There’s an old Earth saying, Captain. A phrase of great power and wisdom and consolation to the soul in times of need.
Addams: What’s that, then?
The Doctor: [shouts] Allons-y!!
from Curse of the Black Spot

Ace: Don’t you have things you hate?
Doctor: I can’t stand burnt toast. I loathe bus stations. Terrible places. Full of lost luggage and lost souls.
Ace: I told you I never wanted to come back here again.
Doctor: And then there’s unrequited love. And tyranny. And cruelty.
Ace: Too right!
Doctor: We all have a universe of our own terrors to face.
Ace: I face mine on my own terms.
from Ghost Light

CRAIG: Has anyone ever told you that you’re a bit weird?
DOCTOR: They never really stop.
from The Lodger

No, she’s not! Shooting down Doctor Who “who is Clara?” theories

First an apology. I know I promised to devote more time and bandwidth to geek loves other than Doctor Who. But the first rule is: The Doctor lies. Apparently it’s contagious. Writing about the Doctor is enough for you to catch the liar-flu. So in my best Ten/Tennant voice: I am sorry. I am so sorry.

  • Apology? Check.
  • Jelly babies in hand? Check.
  • Spoiler alert?

Yes, there will be spoilers ahead. I will compare, analyze, deconstruct and discard trivia from all of the aired episodes, radio/print/web interviews, articles, blogs and forums all over the known whoniverse. All to answer a burning question that will be answered in a week or two. But we’re time travelers. We’re impatient.

When I say we’re time travelers. I mean it. All of us travel in space and time. We just tend to do it slowly and in one direction. Unless you consider memory a form of travel into the past -which I think that head writer/executive producer Steven Moffat does. But that’s another blog for another time.

Who is Clara Oswin Oswald?

She is not who you think she is. More important, my whovian brothers/sisters/and multi- or ungendered folk, she is not who you want her to be. Because most theories about the mystery of the “impossible girl” are just that. Sort of wooly headed wishful thinking that makes me go “WHAT?”

Prime example: Rose. A favorite fantasy of who bloggers is that Clara is the return of Rose. The basic logic of the blogs is “I miss Rose. Maybe she is Rose.” Um, no. No she’s not. Rose exists happily in an alternate universe with an alternate humany Doctor.

But Bad Wolf Rose? The sort of tardis-rose mergy thing that was all powerful. It was everywhere and everything and I didn’t really get that anyway. Couldn’t she be that Rose?

No she’s not. Bad Wolf was an event. And a warning of the event. A recurring theme that implied a destiny and inevitability of events, including Rose leaving the universe (and Billie Piper leaving the show) at Bad Wolf Bay.

If Ten.2 and Rose had a baby, then Clara could be that baby.

No. No she’s couldn’t. First, you’ve been reading too much Twilight and I can promise you that Moffat has not. Second, imagine humany Ten and human Rose have a baby in a parallel universe but an identical timeline. She grows up superfast. She then appears in our world in the Victorian era, current era and distant future. She dies in the past and future where she is buried or blown up but she reappears as an identical woman, the same exact age, the exact same name but no memories of either lives or the Doctor. She is however supplied with family, friends, obligations and all the trappings of “normal life”. Because timelords are like that.

No they’re not. No she’s not.

Give it up, Rose is gone. This is fan-fic narcissism. TV writers can be fans but they don’t as a rule do the mad scientist mesh and merging that happens in slash fan fiction. The character of Rose is distinct and separate. It belongs to the actress Billie Piper. The character of the Doctor is unique in his actor-hopping/regenerative abilities. (Unique in the way that the Master, Romana and all timelords are. Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper too?) But it is clear that each regeneration is a separate new being, an unknown entity, and switching actors is similar to death to the past incarnation. This is as much respect to the actors as the fans. It’s a brilliant bit of television evolution.

If she’s not Rose, maybe she’s River.

No she’s not. All the same reasons above. A River Song without Alex Kingston would be pointless and insulting. Besides we’ve seen her regenerations. Also, River is dead. So not River. Not the child of Doctor and River. Really, stop that. Not Jenny (the child of the Doctor and the Machine). There is nothing timelordy about being dead in multiple centuries but reappearing with the same face and no memories. Timelords avoid dying by changing.

Important point about Clara is that she did not avoid dying. She died and was buried and then the camera pans ahead 100 years and she’s literally walking on her own grave.

  • Clara did die.
  • Clara did not change.

She didn’t change her physical appearance or even her name. Is she related to herself? We don’t know but we can assume if it was something as simple as family resemblance (which has been referred to in past episodes as when the actress Freema Agyeman played a Torchwood employee-turned-cyberman prior to becoming the Doctor’s companion, Martha Jones. “I had a cousin at Canary Warf.”) then the Doctor wouldn’t have had so much trouble finding her again.

What dies but doesn’t? If you’re simply searching the DW canon you’ll find lots more choices than just timelords. One name comes to mind. Rory. Rory died and returned with such consistency that he became like Kenny from South Park: “They’ve killed Rory. The Bastards.” How did he do it? Plasticene duplicate, alternate timeline, hallucinogenic dreamlord, Weeping Angel paradox.

No, I don’t see much Clara there. But wait… what if the weeping angels partnered up with the Silence and have been bouncing her around in time but messing with her memory or maybe she drank tequila made with memory worm… which explains time travel and amnesia but not resurrection. Hmmm.

Maybe she’s a…

No, no she’s not.

The many versions of Clara Oswald

Another fan video: The Doctor/The Master/Rassilon?

I’ve been watching a lot of DW fan vids this week. A number of them are original creations like The Doctor Puppet or Doctor Whooves. Even more abundant are the vid-mixes… sort of the house v-jay that does a remix of clips from selected episodes to favorite song with the intent that the combination adds dramatic or comic effect. The addition of lyrics may even create a 3 minute novelization based on well-known characters but with entirely different motivations or backstories.

I love a good gay romance even (or perhaps especially) where none was intended.

The Master mixer (pun intended) of these youtube channels is koloSigma1. Often mixing clips with both classic Doctor Who and the modern reboot with some esoteric music, KoloSigma1 has “mastered” the Doctor/Master slash genre. I have filled my personal playlist and watched and rewatched trying to decide on a top 3 (or maybe top 5) to share.

But with a stroke of perhaps regrettable whimsy, the Doctor/Master pairing I’ve decided to offer is none of the above. Instead here is a Time Lord love triangle: simultaneously poignant and silly.

 

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DIY Tardis

In celebration of Doctor Who countdown (only 8 days to New DW episodes), you’re invited to make your own Tardis. That’s what I’ll be doing tonight with a half a dozen of my closest friends. That and drinking sonic screwdrivers. And wishing it was next week already. (Where’s a time machine when you need one?)

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Doctor Who: new trailer for launch of Season 7

Brand new DW trailer from the BBC. I’m itching for it to begin. 13 days to go.

 

 

Also Netflix now has the Classic Doctor Who on instant play. It’s a sort of mean trick of the BBC to only release one episode (each 4 segments) per season… but they are terrific episodes.

 

BBC is being very stingy with its DW episodes. I’m expecting a huge re-release for the 50th anniversary to justify the vicious/odd purge of youtube and other sites. If you wonder what I mean google “An Unearthly Child”. That’s the pilot episode of Doctor Who. Youtube has a variety of clips but the segment titled “unearthly child part 2” is impossible to find.