Renaissance (2013)

The penultimate adventure in this series starts off with quite the serious monologue. Then we move to Romana having a wonderful discussion/argument with herself where at least twice she does a quite spot on K9 impression. There is an initial mystery as to who the strange woman is and I must admit that I didn’t see the answer coming. A second Romana is the sort of thing that would be normal for this series. There is a nice speech that Romana III gives Romana II after she has a go about intercepting a transmit is very similar to a speech that was given to Tom Baker’s Doctor in ‘Genesis of the Daleks’. The new Romana offers the current Romana the chance of rebuilding Gallifrey centuries earlier than it should have been. It does mean that Romana 2 has to enter into an alliance with a future incarnation which is breaking the laws of time which is what the Doctor Who world likes to do.

Whereas in the previous story the threat came from the Daleks, in this story the threat seems to come from a future version of her. Initially I thought that whilst there was a sense of mistrust of her motives and even by the end I wanst 100% trusting of her.  I thought that she was really good as Romana 3 and the evil streak that comes with her character is fun to watch and made the final part of the story more fun than it would have been.

There is another instance where a familiar speech is used here and it’s the Master speech that he gives in ‘Logopolis’. In fact there are at least two that are either word for word or similar which I thought it was a nice touch. I like the mistrust between Leela and Romana 3. When Romana 3 suggests that they go for a walk then I am thinking ‘Don’t’. Leela notices things that others don’t and you would have thought that by now people would have trusted from the very beginning but still they wait until the very end before Romana 2 starts to listen to what she’s saying. It’s a little bit annoying that even now they do this but that’s the way things are.

The fact that Romana 2 wants to get rid of Romana 3 discretely is something that seems quite like the sort of thing that would go on in Gallifrey. I think the reason she would want to do this is because she suspects the Romana 3 would do the same to her. There is an awful lot of talking and for a large part of this there isn’t much in the way of action. In fact at times it doesn’t seem like much in the way of action. The best scene is where the Ambassador is leaving and both Romana’s are allowing him to fly to his death much to the dismay of Leela. I know that Romana 2 is against it but she doesn’t try to hard to stop them. It’s at this point that I feel that the story really gets going which comes with just 25 minutes to go. She was put on trial and the punishment was executed quite quickly and it seems Narvin is working for Romana 3. Considering how Romana 2 was going to do this to 3, its hard to drum up any sympathy towards 2.

Then there is the question as to who the mystery figure was. There were many possible theories that were running through my head such as the watcher or a female version of the Valeyard. It was annoying that it never really got answered in this story because it would have been a nice way to end the story. I thought that once this story got going then it really became a very good story. It’s got a great cliffhanger which sets up the final story perfectly. I thought that despite the slow start, the characters were all really good an in particular  who I get the sense that we will see the best of her in the next story. Even Sean Carlsen as Narvin was on good form which I don’t normally comment on. The main thing about this release is that it does feel like its just a holding pattern until the final part. There is a lot to like about this but I think that it will be overshadowed by the came before it and what will come next.

On a side note I think that the idea of Leela and Romana 2 going on their own travels leaves the possibility of a female Jago and Litefoot.


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