Tempting as it might be given the numerical basis the Tour uses as part of our nomenclature, the Tour is not a meritocracy, at least in the following sense: the best stories do not have the largest image count. Often the stories with a high image count were the beneficiaries of public or outdoor filming, cast changes, and just by being the first story of a season with time enough for a publicity photocall. As The Score will attest, for classic series stories, only The Five Doctors has more images than Time and the Rani.
Counting The Leisure Hive. this was the fourth 1st story for a Doctor under JN-T’s stewardship of the program. Since The Leisure Hive was in a sense JN-T’s debut, it was lavished with all sorts of time and attention in both style and detail. The same could be said of Castrovalva, but by the time The Twin Dilemma came around the lure of a regeneration spectacular had replaced any story sense and the result was a disaster. Time and the Rani at least had the lure of a known character in Rani, especially off a nice, recent turn in The Mark of the Rani and guest star in Kate O’Mara. But in the intervening months since her first story. O’Mara had gone off for a jag in the states as Stephanie Beecham’s sister in ‘Dynasty’ and had come back quite different from the austere Time Lady and now reflected that particular 80’s aesthetic of big hair and big shoulder pads.
And JN-T couldn’t resist.
Amidst the chaos of getting rid of one lead for another, JN-T leaned into the easier path of having a blank Doctor filling in with comedy over character and certain cartoony elements, including a giant brain, yep a giant brain, to get by. But this was an era when a season comprised only 14 25-minute episodes a year, and wasting four of them in this manner was, to be charitable, less than optimal.