Writer: Jonathan Morris
Director: Ken Bentley
Producer: David Richardson
Companion: Romana I (Mary Tamm)
Running Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes (includes interviews)
Summary: After the events of “The Armageddon Factor”, the Doctor has left K-9 inside the TARDIS and left it on autopilot to distract the Black Guardian. who is still in pursuit of the Key to Time. The Doctor and Romana are in the 1920’s, having set up a cover as upperclass elite. Romana meets a man named Reginald, who is looking for a new girlfriend that his extremely demanding aunt must approve of. What he does not realize is that his “aunt” is actually an alien!
Review: When I heard that Mary Tamm had recorded this series prior to her death in 2012 due to cancer, I considered them parting gifts, as if she knew her time was short. If you were to ask me which Romana was the best, I really couldn’t tell you because I like both. Mary Tamm’s Romana knew full well that her naïveté was a flaw, so she compensated with arrogance. This inexperience was a great contrast to Tom Baker’s Doctor, who was more worldly-travelled. They always had great banter, which is one reason that “The Key to Time” is one of my favorite arcs.
The story is very light-hearted. While the alien aunt is a threat, it’s hard to take her seriously because Julia McKenzie plays her so over the top. And she’s not supposed to be taken seriously. Morris himself said he wanted to make the story a combination of both the era Romana’s stpries are from and PG Wodehouse. I’m not familiar with Wodehouse’s stories, but I still enjoyed this. Even though it’s set right after “The Armageddon Factor”, you don’t need to have watched that story, as they only reference it near the beginning by redoing that ending scene.
Mary Tamm returns to her role as Romana as if she’d never left. Tom Baker is hilarious as well. I love the scene where he asks their maid to help him because “I need someone to ask questions.” While the ending is a bit sillier than it should be, the overall story exceeded my expectations (the punny title was uninspired).
Overall Review: 8/10