The problem with Renaissance is that it doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. The plot seems to be all over the place trying to decide what it wants to be. There is an opening mystery when the Doctor visits the Earth in 2158 and finds that the Daleks haven’t invaded Earth. This is a mystery cause we all know in The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964) this was meant to happen.
Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton both don’t do well out of this story. They get lost in the messy story and never get a chance to show why they are such a good combination. Also the Daleks are used badly here as there are toy Daleks which show that Bidmead must have had an accident with a Dalek when he was a child. The other characters in this story also don’t work. General Tillington is an annoying character just because of the American accent. I really can’t stand American accents because they are usually done by British actors who can only do stereotypical US accents. Only Hugh Laurie in House has managed to get a decent accent.
Unfortunately for the second story running the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa are given a duff script which doesn’t utilise their abilities. Circular Time was a disappointment because of the way the story was told not necersarily the plot. I must mention the Behind the scenes feature which is a new thing for Big Finish. It’s a wonderful thing to stick on the end of the CD. It’s nice to hear the actors and writers opinions of their characters and their knowledge of Doctor Who prior to doing this story. Its irrelevant whether they saw the very first Doctor Who episode or have never seen an episode before but its nice to see they understand their character.
Renaissance of the Daleks is the first of the Nicholas Briggs era however it wasn’t the best of starts.