Fourth Doctor Audio: The Renaissance Man

renaissance-manWriter: Justin Richards

Director: Ken Bentley

Producer: Nicholas Briggs

Companion: Leela (Louise Jameson)

Summary: The Doctor wants to educate Leela by taking her to the greatest collection of Earth artificats in the universe, the Morovarain Museum on Morovarian Minor. But instead, the TARDIS takes them to an English village. There, they meet Harcourt, a mysterious collector.  The Doctor suspects something sinister is going on. Something, or someone, is stealing knowledge from people.

Review: Now this is more like it! My problem with the first Fourth Doctor audio drama, Destination Nerva, was that it was touching on all-too-familiar ground. It didn’t seem like it needed to exist. The Renaissance Man corrects this problem by giving us a story that is not inspired by any Fourth Doctor stories. It still feels like a Fourth Doctor story. I love the dynamic that Big Finish is doing between the Fourth Doctor and Leela, allowing him to play mentor in a better capacity than he did on television. He’s still witty and clever too, and delivers some great one-liners in this story.

Justin Richards has a handle on how to properly write Leela in this story.  He seems to remember that Leela only appears primitive.  She actually has more intelligence than she seems to. Yes, she walks around in animal skins and prefers violence, but she has a well-hidden intellect, and Richards knows this.  We see evidence that she is a great balance to the Fourth Doctor, and is truly one of the most unique companions in Doctor Who lore.

Overall Review: 8/10

Trivia: Ian McNeice, who plays Winston Churchill in “Victory of the Daleks” plays Harcourt.



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