Stories:
2159
Members:
656
Submitted Reviews:
5236
Reviewers:
260
< 1.1 - Destination: Nerva
1.3 - The Wrath of the Iceni >

1.2 - The Renaissance Man

Rating Votes
10
8%
11
9
11%
15
8
29%
38
7
41%
55
6
5%
7
5
2%
3
4
2%
3
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
1%
1
Average Rating
7.5
Votes
133

Purchase From:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: poobar73Review Date: 2/28/16 8:51 am
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

The Renaissance Man takes place during the transition point between the science and humour full Graham William Era and the gothic horror seasons of Philip Hinchcliffe's management, Renaissance Man feels like it came straight out of that transition point of Season 15 with the humour of the Doctor and Leela's relationship, Scruffy the dog and Ian McNeice's portrayal of Harcourt with the Gothic idea of the mind being sucked out of unsuspecting specialists and professionals.
Tom Baker shines as the Fourth Doctor dancing around his enemies in typical Fourth Doctor fashion and mentioning famous people from Earth's past.
Louise Jameson is perfect as always (that woman can do no wrong) with her stealing almost every scene she's in, (as always).
Ian McNeice offers one of the best villian performances Big Finish has ever showcased in this range which includes Geoffrey Beavers and Gareth Thomas.
The twists and ideas this story throws at the listeners are masterful and make this listener wish all Fourth Doctor Adventures could achieve as much.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 10/30/15 8:53 am
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

The Renaissance Man by Justin Richards brings something really unique to the table with the story being about a man trying to learn everything about the universe. I can just imagine all of the different landscapes that the story goes through as the plot twists and turns. The script is good at making you wonder where it is going to go next. Tom Baker and Louise Jameson are both relishing this script as it really develops the relationship between The Doctor and Leela more than it ever did on television.

The supporting cast is great in this story with Ian McNiece's Harcourt being a great villain who really isn't having any malice towards anyone. The performance has some great comedic bits running throughout especially when they go with the twist near the end. The hardest part of this was that everyone plays more than one character in this audio.

The pacing is also really well done with the story only needing an hour to play out and if there was anything bad about the story it would be the score and the ripping off of Dead London in places.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: NewWorldreviewsReview Date: 10/29/15 12:30 pm
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

The Renaissance Man is one of those Chinese puzzle box stories: it's starts off as one thing, and quickly breaks down those preconceptions until your left with no clue as to what's going to happen next. Occasionally, this does come across as sloppy writing on Justin Richards' part, but I think it's a feeling not helped by the brevity of the piece. After all, with only an hour to tell your story, it can feel like it's just going too fast. However, I do feel Richards handles the shifts in tone and setting well, managing to convey an awful lot across the listener in such a short space of time. The whole idea of someone who wants to know everything isn't really new, but here Richards uses this to explore the idea of knowledge carrying responsibility. It actually ends up being more thought provoking than perhaps he intended, but I feel that this works. The best Who stories do actually linger on in the mind after they've been experienced, and this is no exception. However, it never threatens to become over the top or too moralistic, instead keeping the pace light and the humour free-flowing. This particularly is the case with Tom Baker, who gets some wonderful one liners, and puts in one of his strongest Big Finish performances to this day, really recapturing the magic of 1977 and then some. The turn from humour to darkness that Tom used to portray has been excellently recaptured, and he's ably supported by Louise Jameson and the rest of the cast. Louise once more nails how Leela was back in the 70's, and while Leela doesn't have as much to do as in other stories, she still acquits herself well. The reason as to why Leela is a little sidelined is perhaps obvious: because of the rapport between Tom Baker and Ian McNiece. While TV viewers know him as the sweet Winston Churchill, us Big Finish veterans will remember his star turn in the Paul McGann story Immortal Beloved. And once more, he proves to us that he can make an excellent villain as well as an excellent Winston Churchill. Harcourt is a good old fashioned villain in the traditional sense: he spars with the Doctor, is ruthlessly evil, and is quite happy to simply drop people when they aren't needed. And while the twist about the Morovanian Museum is guessable, the twist about who Harcourt really is is fantastic. I really didn't see that one coming, and was shocked by where it took the story next. Special plaudits must also go to Gareth Armstrong, although to say why would ruin the ending. The rest of the cast are excellent, giving suitably different levels of performance to match the changing tone and setting. Jamie Robertson's music and sound design are sublime, once more sounding like a lost soundtrack from the 70's. In all, The Renaissance Man is a deviously complex Doctor Who story, with some fantastic moments and some really, really amazing ideas. A real cracker.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
6
Replay Rating:
4
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 9/21/15 5:25 am
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

'The Renaissance Man' was written by Justin Richards who recently wrote 'The Rani Elite' and directed by Ken Bentley. This audio drama was recorded on 17 August 2011 and was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra on 23 May 2015 as an hour long compilation of the two episodes, with opening and closing credits read by presenter Toby Hadoke.

The Doctor and Leela find themselves in a museum designed to act as a repository for knowledge. The Doctor believes there is a fault with the museum's systems that are designed to copy knowledge from people who have been lifted from their times zones but is instead taking and wiping the minds of the inhabitants. Obviously Reginald Harcourt who appears to be in charge has a Machiavellian scheme to assimilate all the available knowledge for selfish purposes, but if he just copied there would be no problem. I don't think the villains motivations are well developed enough. Steal information Ok, but do it slightly differently and nobody would have a problem.

The music is very timid and doesn't really do much. There a few chase segments that really sound like a Big Finish sound effects greatest hits compilation. One minute we are chased by Messerschmitts then we are in a western saloon. Obvious 'War Games' comparisons aside it's something that done on TV could be impressive but doesn’t have the same effect on audio.

The acting is competent all round and with robots you have to expect flat characters and this is part of the story but even so it doesn't help when there is so much filler in the form of chase scenes. Tom is more convincing in this one than the last and Louise is also on good form.

Much like the preceding story 'Destination Nerva' this one has a rather thin and poorly realised plot. Lots of filler and running around with some incredibly dull and tedious characters. 'The Renaissance Man' follows on from 'Destination Nerva' in the same way the preceding story followed directly on from 'Talons of Weng-Chiang'. Yet in 'Talons of Weng-Chiang' Leela could barely hold a pistol and now one of the ancillary characters comments on how skilfully she hands a pistol. This seems very odd when there are so many nods to the past like a pointless 'Creature from the Pit' reference yet the writer doesn't seem all that bothered by continuity. There are quite a few attempts at humour and some of these work much better than others.
Log in to submit Rating and Review.

Community