The rumor has recently surfaced that cult actress Gillian Anderson may be guest-starring in a future Doctor Who story. The rumor goes on to state that the former X-Files starlet will portray the evil Time-Lady known as The Rani against Doctor #11, Matt Smith.
Personally, I think it’s all hot air. With fan favorite and media darling David Tennant on his way out, expect to see even more press guessing about what is to come for the longest running sci-fi series. I cannot for the life of me see what the connection is between Anderson and the Rani aside from the fact that they are both female.
A villainess created in the 22nd season of the program by the husband-and-wife sci-fi writing team of Pip and Jane Baker, the Rani was introduced as a kind of female version of the Master. A brilliant yet cold personality, the Rani was obsessed with scientific exploration at the expense of all else. In her two televised appearances (three of you count Dimensions in Time), she was played with aplomb by former Dynasty actress Kate O’Mara. As glamorous as she was devious, the Rani was a vamp of another sort altogether and brought a kind of variety to the program that it was missing. While the Master would annihilate an entire species just to get a rise out of the Doctor, the Rani saw all other life as walking bags of chemicals and little more. In truth, the Doctor was more of a minor nuisance to her plans than anything else.
The rumor that Gillian Anderson may attempt to fill the sultry shoes of O’Mara is nothing short of absurd. Anderson may have a cult following, but I hardly think that this role would have any appeal to the dramatic actress.
Anderson is about to star opposite the elusive Doctor #9 Christopher Eccleston in a production of ‘A Doll’s House.’ As some readers may know, Eccleston is notoriously silent about his time on Doctor Who, which has led to much speculation as to why this is. Personally, I think it is down to an inability of the star and producer/head writer to come to terms with what the program’s goals are. However, we may never know. If Anderson’s involvement in Doctor Who really is a rumor, 15 minutes alone with Eccleston will be enough to talk her out of it.
The new series of Doctor Who is expected to air in the Spring of 2010 with three additional specials to appear beforehand leading to the dramatic departure of what could be the most loved Doctor of them all and the biggest risk that the series has faced since 1981 when Tom Baker departed and relative unknown Peter Davison took on the lead role.
Doctor Who – The Mark of the Rani (Episode 140)