Reviewed By: traves8853
Review Date: 9/21/15 9:25 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.