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1.2 - The Renaissance Man

To continue Leela's education, the Doctor promises to take her to the famous Morovanian Museum. But the TARDIS lands instead in a quiet English village, where they meet the enigmatic collector Harcourt and his family.

When people start to die, reality doesn't appear quite what it was. There's something sinister going on within the walls of Harcourt's manor, and the stakes are higher than they can imagine.

The Doctor is about to discover that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.
Tom Baker (The Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela), Ian McNeice (Harcourt), Gareth Armstrong (Jephson), Anthony Howell (Edward), Daisy Ashford (Lizzie), Laura Molyneux (Beryl/Professor Hilda Lutterthwaite), John Dorney (Dr Henry Carnforth)
Written By
Directed By
Ken Bentley


98 rating(s) submitted

0% (0/18) of raters say this story requires listening to previous stories.

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Recent Ratings
Rated 8/10 on 7/18/14 8:02 am
Rated 8/10 on 7/16/14 8:10 pm
Rated 7/10 on 7/5/14 6:49 pm
Rated 7/10 on 5/17/14 11:54 pm
Rated 7/10 on 3/16/14 7:50 am
Rated 10/10 on 3/3/14 1:24 pm
Rated 10/10 on 2/27/14 10:41 am
Rated 6/10 on 2/22/14 9:02 am
Rated 7/10 on 2/13/14 1:50 am
Rated 7/10 on 2/4/14 7:37 am


(Highest - Lowest)

Review By Gcookscotland
Rated 9/10 on 9/23/13 11:04 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
The Doctor tries to stop a man from taking everyone's knowledge. Great Story!
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
Review By PaulaPenguin
Rated 8/10 on 7/22/14 7:20 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
The Renaissance Man is based on a brilliant central conceit that I don't want to spoil, except to say that this story really has got the perfect title.
The first episode is very well-paced with a great build-up of tension and intrigue. The story fizzles out a little bit in the second half, as the Doctor's way of evading his enemies makes for a rather fractured narrative. But despite this, the tale manages to stay interesting and is resolved with a great twist ending. Plus The Renaissance Man fits in nicely with the theme of "educating Leela" which we also get in a number of other FDAs.
Overall, this is a strong story with a great cast and some lovely sound design. One of the highlights of series 1.
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
Review By nowwearealltom
Rated 8/10 on 6/16/12 10:40 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
(Cross-posted from my blog at

After being a bit lukewarm on the first episode, I think this release was a bit more engaging. For one thing, the whole premise was intriguing in its reality-bendingness. That’s something Big Finish tends to do an awful lot of, but on the other hand it’s something they tend to do incredibly well, so of course I appreciate it here.

And on top of that, I think this episode gives Tom Baker much more material to play around with than Destination Nerva did. For starters, The Renaissance Man is a lot funnier than the previous story, but for another, the premise of the story ties much more into what makes the Doctor (and the Fourth in particular) so great. Plus it provided a great opportunity to have the Doctor and Leela play off one another. At the best moments of the story, I forget that their voices sound so much older now, and it really is teatime 1977 all over again.

And I always love Ian McNiece—He’s much more than just Winston Churchill, and he proves it here with a villainous role that allows him to show his range.

Overall, the story’s great fun and I’m hungry for more.
Review By jolyon
Rated 8/10 on 6/9/12 10:44 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
Really enjoyed the first episode of this. Some really interesting ideas are set up very nicely. A nice addition to this range.
8 Rated 8/10 on 4/14/12 2:41 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.
This is a terrifically mind-boggling story. Justin Richards, who seems to have returned to Big Finish as a regular after a few years away, has weaved a clever tale that plays with the concept of time travel in a very Douglas Adams manner. This immediately fits in with the latter era of the Fourth Doctor and Leela, who continue to prove irresistable as a double act possibly more than ever.
There are very strong and eccentric performances from the supporting cast (peformances that are nicerly restrained, given the quirkiness of their parts), especially the brilliant Ian McNeice. Great fun.
Review By Sprocketship
Rated 7/10 on 10/25/12 8:50 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
There's nothing above average about this story, although it is lighthearted and would be a good listen for younger audiences. Over all, this is a fun one. Very tongue in cheek.

Review By komodo
Rated 7/10 on 4/15/12 6:44 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
As confusing for the listener as it was for Leela. I found the setting a little difficult to get into and I felt a little alienated from the supporting cast characters. Once you see what is happening it gets quite interesting though.
Review By SkyTwo
Rated 5/10 on 6/25/13 8:33 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
All right, after a shaky start our seasoned veterans get back into character and good times are here again, right? Actually, I felt that this episode had one unfortunate similarity to the series premiere: its starts with an intriguing premise that stalls out pretty quickly. I accused Nerva of being too derivative of Alien, and this story has a pretty obvious forerunner as well, with a denouement that shouldn't surprise anyone even passingly familiar with the pop culture legacy of 1960s-era Star Trek. The performances are indeed heading in the right direction, but we're not there yet in terms of story, sadly.
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
Review By Lie128
Rated 5/10 on 4/23/12 2:37 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
A story that I had been really looking foward to. This was part of the reason I bought the whole series. While I would say that it is an enjoyable story and a nice distraction for an hour. But it really wasn't what I thought it would be. The story was good enough to last for a few more episode and it really is to fast paced to be able to relax into it completely. The characters feel underdeveloped and not completely realistic (which I know is one part of the story, but they all feel to fake to be believable until the reveal at the end) A good story but nothing special.