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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor and Leela meet the Renaissance Man!
This review is for Timelord007 who is a Tom Baker fan of `Doctor Who'.

I thoroughly enjoyed this audio adventure in the Fourth Doctor Adventures with Big Finish. It's the second of these audio adventures with the Doctor and Leela played by Tom Baker and Louise Jameson. `The Renaissance Man' is quintessential `Doctor Who' that is both funny, scary and unusual at...
Published 4 months ago by Tim Bradley

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Who is the real renaissance man
It might have been a good idea for Big Finish to reserve this tale until later in its season of Fourth Doctor / Leela releases, for a number of reasons. Firstly, four out of the six stories in this arc feature familiar foes or locations, and this adventure could have broken up a run of three old enemies in a row later on in the season.

Secondly, in terms of...
Published on 28 Feb 2012 by R. C. McGinlay


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor and Leela meet the Renaissance Man!, 11 Aug 2014
This review is from: The Renaissance Man (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
This review is for Timelord007 who is a Tom Baker fan of `Doctor Who'.

I thoroughly enjoyed this audio adventure in the Fourth Doctor Adventures with Big Finish. It's the second of these audio adventures with the Doctor and Leela played by Tom Baker and Louise Jameson. `The Renaissance Man' is quintessential `Doctor Who' that is both funny, scary and unusual at the same time. The story's structure is very captivating despite it being a two-part story and features a very good supporting cast from Ian McNeice, Gareth Armstrong and Anthony Howell. A truly worthy `Doctor Who' audio to enjoy from the world of Big Finish.

This two-episode story is written by Justin Richards, who has contributed largely to the world of `Doctor Who' through the publication of BBC books and writes the occasional audio story for Big Finish.

In the story, the Doctor intends to continue with Leela's education. So he sets the TARDIS on course for the Morovanian Museum on Morovania Minor. But instead of going to the museum, the Doctor and Leela find themselves arriving in an English village. Something strange is going on and the Doctor's keen on finding out. He eventually meets Mr Harcourt, who is a collector of many things. And this isn't just items of memorabilia from Earth's history, but it's also people's knowledge and experience. Harcourt seems like the perfect `renaissance man' who knows everything. But the Doctor is determined to prove he's not.

I like the ideas and concepts by Justin Richards, who comes up with a story about the Doctor meeting the perfect villain. He addresses the fact that Tom Baker's Doctor is the `renaissance man', so by pitting him against someone else who is knowledgeable and cleverer as him is pretty interesting. Also the idea of a mastermind stealing knowledge from other people who live in his English-type of village set in the museum is very intriguing, disturbing and frightening at the same time. I like the plot twists running through Justin Richards' story as you're never quite sure what's going on and the Doctor's working out how Harcourt operates. Justin certainly brings in a degree of cleverness, intelligence and mystery intrigue throughout this story he writes for Tom Baker.

Tom Baker excels in this story, really enjoying playing the Doctor. Justin Richards writes for Tom's Doctor very well and Tom certainly enjoys the dialogue. I like it when he and Leela first arrive and he's baffled and bemused by where they are. "This is a very strange museum," Leela says. "This isn't a museum," the Doctor replies blatantly. I like it when he and Leela meet Harcourt and his family and are treating the situation as normal as first before realising something's wrong. The Doctor works things out about what Harcourt's doing and is pretty disturbed by how he's stealing knowledge. Tom's Doctor and Harcourt are at loggerheads with each other by testing each other's knowledge and the Doctor comes up with a pretty clever way in order to defeat his enemy by the end of the story. I like some of the scenes where the Doctor and Leela journey through the forest and jump through various renaissance periods including a cowboy/wild west zone. Tom Baker's misquotes a line from `Hamlet' to Harcourt if you want to look out for it.

I also like Leela in this adventure. Louise Jameson balances the curiosity and savagery of Leela very well. I found it funny when Leela drew her knife to attack Harcourt and Jephson in Part Two, and they threaten her to give them the knife. "Better let them have it, Leela," the Doctor says and Leela mistook the Doctor's words by attacking them. It was funny when Leela yells to strike before the Doctor tells her off, "No, no, no, NO!" Leela shows her interest her weaponry and I like the links to 'The Talons of Weng-Chiang' when she mentions shooting a 'dragon'. Leela does demonstrate her ability to learn throughout this story especially since the Doctor's trying to teach her. She becomes disturbed and she loses her hunting knowledge as it gets stolen by Harcourt. Leela does get separated from the Doctor and have an adventure on her own in the story. I like Leela's mispronunciation of the 'runny science man' (renaissance man) in the story.

I was pleased to find Ian McNeice playing opposite Tom Baker's Doctor as Harcourt, the story's villain. Ian is well-known in `Doctor Who' circles for recently playing Winston Churchill in the Matt Smith TV stories of `Doctor Who' including `Victory of the Daleks' and `The Wedding of River Song'. Here he plays the `perfect villain' for Tom's Doctor, as he claims to know everything about every period of Earth history. I find it creepy when the Doctor asks him, "How does it feel to be someone who doesn't know everything?" and he replies, "I don't know. How does it feel?" Ian plays a Doctor Who villain very well in this story and he clearly enjoys working opposite Tom Baker.

Gareth Armstrong plays Jephson, the butler at Harcourt's house. Gareth gets to reunite and work with Tom Baker again since he appeared in the `Doctor Who' story 'The Masque Of Mandragora'. Here he plays a pretty ruthless character who's loyal to his master. Jephson serves as Harcourt's butler, but he also works with Harcourt when the two of them become policemen (or `blue guards' as Leela would call them) which got me confused slightly when hearing this and finding it weird. Jephson has a character twists towards the end of the story, one which I did not expect.

Anthony Howell plays Edward, who happens to be Lizzie's fiancé and Harcourt's son-in-law. I've seen Anthony before in `Wives and Daughters' and he's done a number of `Doctor Who's for Big Finish including 'The Valley of Death' and `The First Sontarans' and is now playing Dr Keel in the Big Finish version of `The Avengers'. The character he plays in Edward seems to be a geniunly mild-mannered and pleasant character. But as the story unfolds, there's more to both Edward and Lizzie than they seem and it turns out they're not who they seem to be. Edward's name isn't really Edward in fact. I enjoyed listening to Anthony in another `Doctor Who' audio and he seemed to enjoyed playing a cowboy in one instance.

And there's Daisy Ashford playing Lizzie, Harcourt's daughter and Edward's fiancée. Daisy is the daughter of Geoffrey Beevers (who played the Master in `The Keeper of Traken') and Caroline John (who played Liz Shaw with Jon Pertwee's Doctor). Lizzie is equally a nice character like Edward, but has a certain mystery to her when the story unfolds throughout.

My favourite character in this `Doctor Who' story has to be Scruffy the dog. I found it funny when the little doggie ran up to the Doctor and Leela when they arrive, and the Doctor is trying to talk to him. "Doctor, it is a dog," says Leela. "It may look and smell like a dog, but it may be the native inhabitant of this planet..." or something like that. I laughed when Scruffy was called for and the Doctor went, "Who's calling me, Scruffy?" and Leela calls, "Goodbye, Scruffy dog." It was very funny when Scruffy rang the dog up on the telephone and the Doctor finds himself speaking to him. "And what does Scruffy say?" asks Leela. "Well he's saying, `Woof'. He's a dog," replies the Doctor. Then the Doctor speaks to Scruffy on the phone saying, "Uh thanks Scruffy...Woof to the family!", before hanging up which is an amusing line and well delivered by Tom Baker. It was very funny when Tom's Doctor went, "I didn't understand any of that," before going to Harcourt and telling him how serious that is.

The CD extras of this story include some behind-the-scenes interviews at the end of the disc with the cast and crew. These include interviews focus on the making of `The Renaissance Man' with Tom Baker, Louise Jameson, Ian McNeice, Gareth Armstrong, Anthony Howell and writer Justin Richards.

I have enjoyed `The Renaissance Man' with Tom Baker's Doctor and Louise Jameson's Leela. I was really getting into these Fourth Doctor adventures that bring back a sense of nostalgic to the 1970s era of `Who'. This is a really good story and features a superb guest cast to support the Doctor and Leela. And it also features some funny sequences with Scruffy the dog. Truly one to enjoy! I'm sure you'll like it!

There's a trailer on this disc for the next story with the Doctor and Leela called 'The Wrath of the Iceni'.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Clever And Intriguing Adventure, 21 Feb 2012
By 
A. Foxley (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Renaissance Man (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
'The Renaissance Man' is the second in Big Finish Productions' new series of Fourth Doctor Adventures, starring Tom Baker as the Doctor with Louise Jameson as Leela. Whereas the first in the series, 'Destination Nerva', seemed to be a deliberate attempt to play up the nostalgia factor for fans of the show's 1970s heyday, this story takes a slightly different approach, and is an altogether less conventional narrative. It sees the TARDIS failing to reach its intended destination (as ever) and landing the Doctor and Leela in a sleepy English village, where they meet the mysterious Harcourt (Ian McNeice). But the village and its inhabitants are not all they seem, and the Doctor and Leela soon find themselves caught in shifting realities, each with their own set of dangers and obstacles.

Like 'Destination Nerva', there are aspects of the story which recall a number of the Fourth Doctor's television escapades - seasoned fans may be reminded of 'The Deadly Assassin' and its matrix sequences, for instance, and the wonderfully named Professor Hilda Lutterthwaite is a character cut from the same cloth as Amelia Ducat from 'The Seeds of Doom' or Professor Rumford from 'The Stones of Blood'. But unlike 'Destination Nerva', this isn't a nostalgia exercise in the slightest - it's a clever, well-told story with an intriguing mystery at its core. Also, writer Justin Richards absolutely nails the Fourth Doctor and Leela, and gives Tom Baker and Louise Jameson some excellent material to work with - this being a story where the importance of language is paramount, it's ideally suited to the audio medium. It's also great to hear Ian McNeice (best known to 'Doctor Who' fans for his portrayal of Winston Churchill opposite Matt Smith's Doctor on TV) as Harcourt, who brings a real sense of gravitas to the role, and heads up an excellent supporting cast, many of whom are required to play numerous variations on the same characters. And at a running time of around 60 minutes (in two half hour episodes) it's a story that doesn't outstay its welcome.

This has to be one of my favourite 'Doctor Who' audios I've heard in quite some time. If you like your 'Who' clever, then 'The Renaissance Man' is undoubtedly for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tom's Exellent Adventure, 30 Oct 2013
By 
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Renaissance Man (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
Positive.
Great written script by Justin Richards which plays to the Fourth Doctors strengths.
Ian McNieice is a very good foil for Tom's Doctor here playing the role of Harcourt.
A very clever & well structured ending.

Negative.
Like all these Fourth Doctor series they run to 60 minutes in a 2 episode format, Surely a 3 parter would help pace these storys better as at times some storys feel rushed.

Trivia.
Ian McNiece has Played Winston Churchill in Doctor Who twice & has appeared in many tv shows & movies including Doc Martin & SciFi movie No Escape.
Daisy Ashford is the daughter of Geoffrey Beevers(The Master) & Caroline John(Liz Shaw).

Audio Info.
1 CD, 2 episodes Running Time 60 minutes,Trailer, Behind the scenes interviews.

Review.
The Tardis lands in a sleepy english village were the residents all seem to behaving very Odd & mysterious.

The Doctor & Companion Leela eventually me up with a man called Harcourt who claims to have a wealth of knowledge & acclaims to be the cleverest man alive.

But this reality isn't all it appears to be as the Doctor senses the shifting of realitys that could have grave consequences for the universe.

What is the mystery of Harcourt just what is he up to?, How can the dimensions of the realitys be shifting & how can The Doctor defeat such a man whom claims he's the most intellectual smartest being on Earth?

This story plays to Tom Baker strengths giving him plenty to sink his teeth into as the writer Justin Richards writes exellent dialogue for the Fourth Doctor which Tom delivers with great aplomb.

Louise Jameson is very good in this as The Doctor was taking her to a museum until the Tardis veered off course which shows what the tv series didn't do much in that the Doctor is trying to educate Leela on there travels & Louise plays this innocence to Leela yet gives her a great sixth sense of what is right/wrong.

Ian McNiece shines as Harcourt & I for one hopes he returns in a future adventure as he's a exellent foil for Tom's Doctor & a worthy intellectual advisory.

This story is one of a few that works for the 60 minutes format but i still think 3 part story's are the way to go for the Fourth Doctor Series range.

This is one of Tom's greats & combined with a exellent script & wonderful production values this is yet another highly recommended release from the Big Finish Fourth Doctor range.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "Runny Science" Man?, 4 May 2012
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Renaissance Man (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
This is another in the series of new full audio stories featuring Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor and Louise Jameson as Leela. I really enjoy the relation between the Doctor and Leela; their personalities have a good sync in these stories. The Doctor is still trying to teach Leela new things, so decides to take her to a museum - but, of course, that's not quite where they end up - or do they? Along the way, Leela learns about butterflies, and struggles with the concept of "Runny Science" (Renaissance).

Both Tom Baker and Louise Jameson are brilliant in this story; their characters are spot on, and their interaction with the other characters, particularly the sinister Harcourt, is great. The Doctor displays the required anger and disappointment, and horror at Harcourt's actions wonderfully; there is no loss to the listener from this story being solely audio - you really do get the "look and feel" of the story conveyed throughout.

It's an intricate yet intriguing story, but I really wish these new Fourth Doctor stories were longer than just two episodes on a single cd! I want more!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor and the Collector, 25 Mar 2012
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Renaissance Man (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
Second in the new series of Doctor Who audio plays featuring Tom Baker as the Doctor and Louise Jameson as his companion Leela.

This one stands pretty much on it's own and can be listened to by any casual listeners without you needing to hear any other stories in order to understand it.

It runs for two episodes of roughly twenty eight minutes each [approx] and is complete on a single cd.

The story sees the Doctor trying to continue Leela's education [a linking theme for this run of stories] by taking her to visit a famous museum that has a history of the human race. But the TARDIS instead seems to have brought them to a sleepy English village.

They meet an eccentric local resident.

And then Harcourt. Owner of the local manor house and a collector. Of many things.

People then start to die. And suddenly life in the village gets very strange.

Can the Doctor work out what is going on and save the day?

As with the first in this run the sound design and the music are very good indeed and do really recreate the feel of the Tom Baker era on tv very well.

This is also quite a clever script. It might just have worked on tv at the time. Strange things do happen throughout the first part, and then the ending to part one does seemingly explain what is going on.

But part two then goes in rather unexpected directions. It all comes together very well though, in a final confrontation with the villain of the piece where the Doctor saves the day in a manner that is both utterly non violent and really very clever. And there's a strong moral message to the story as well, which has an influence on this.

The supporting cast are all given challenging roles that allow them to stretch themselves, and Ian McNeice is very good indeed as Harcourt, being a strong foil for Tom Baker's Doctor.

A few bits of the Doctor's dialogue are very funny and delivered superbly by Tom Baker. Leela gets one laugh out loud moment as well in part two, thanks to a clever bit of verbal misunderstanding.

This one may benefit from repeat listenings, because there is a lot going on, but you would possibly discover something new each time. And that always makes it worthwhile.

What appeared in part one to be an above average story becomes a really good on in part two, and one that is well worth a listen.

There's a trailer for the next release in this range on the track right after the end of part two.

And roughly fourteen minutes of entertaining interviews with cast and crew after that. Well worth a listen, especially for an excellent analysis of the script from Louise Jameson.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid original script, marred slightly by the wrong era dialogue, 3 Mar 2012
By 
This review is from: The Renaissance Man (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
An improvement in quality of script over Destination: Nerva (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures), but still not the write Doctor dialogue for the period set (pre-Horror of Fang Rock). Leela's character is well observed.

I certainly feel that this story plays to the strengths of audio, but could also have worked well as a television script at the time (feeling a bit like The Android Invasion in style).

Comparing the first two stories of the 4th Doctor relaunch to the equivalent Blake's 7 The Liberator Chronicles Box Set: 1 (Blake's 7), the latter still remains better observed and faithful to the original. I am quite surprised that Big Finish have made this slip because it does draw attention to itself. Setting the era pre-Horror was probably not a good move. For the sake of canonicity at the potential expense of a little fun, the dialogue should have been toned down and more serious.

All in all a good product. It is of course very nice to have 4th Doctor at Big Finish, and had we not had more than ten years of fabulous output of stories that enhanced Doctors 5-8, we may have been more content with what we have here.

A five star story reduced to four stars because of aforementioned "fit" issues. Ignoring the past and as a stand-alone piece it is very enjoyable, and any fan of the Leela character will be well-rewarded.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Morov the same please!, 7 Oct 2014
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This review is from: The Renaissance Man (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
I found this to be an excellent adventure for the reinvigorated Fourth incarnation of the Timelord and his companion, the 'savage' Leela. I particularly liked the way that Leela's character has been fleshed-out from the rather one-dimensional 1970s TV incarnation - she isn't exactly The Doctor's equal (in the way that current TV companion Clara seems to be) but she is an integral part of the story rather than just an add-on. There is also a genuinely intriguing and original mystery for the time travellers (and the listener) to get their teeth into, but at the same time there are some welcome nods to stories and styles from Uncle Tom's heyday; a truly winning combination.
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4.0 out of 5 stars runny science man, 6 Mar 2013
By 
Mr. T. D. J. Dommett (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Renaissance Man (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
I was surprised by the low reviews given by some. They sound a bit too nit picking to me about where thwe story sits in who chronology - not something I give a high priority too. I thought this was a crackingly good story, the cast are excellent and the production to the usual high standard. The idea of the Dr, a bit of a knowall, meeting someone who think they know it all - is wonderfully exploited both for humour and philosopical discussion. Louise Jameson for tempting Tom Baker back to Dr Who you deserve a medal. The marvelous thing about Big Finish Audios is that in terms of charecter and stories they can be better than the original TV series, working as they do under different constraints.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Retirement Man, 27 Mar 2012
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This review is from: The Renaissance Man (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
For me, this story was a big disappointment, and not as good as the prevoius release Destination Nerva. So far, the series remains constrained by the two episode format, and this story just didn't get off the gound. The episode one cliff hanger was a non-starter, and the story simply didn't keep my interest. Tom and Louise were fab though, as usual.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Who is the real renaissance man, 28 Feb 2012
By 
R. C. McGinlay (Ilford, Essex) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Renaissance Man (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
It might have been a good idea for Big Finish to reserve this tale until later in its season of Fourth Doctor / Leela releases, for a number of reasons. Firstly, four out of the six stories in this arc feature familiar foes or locations, and this adventure could have broken up a run of three old enemies in a row later on in the season.

Secondly, in terms of tone Justin Richards's script takes a witty, intellectual approach that has more in common with the undergraduate humour of Tom Baker's fourth, fifth and sixth seasons produced by Graham Williams than the more overtly serious and physically horrific approach taken by Philip Hinchcliffe during Baker's first three years in the role. As these audio productions take place between the two eras, it would have made sense therefore to place this story towards the end of the run. The reality-bending, knowledge-thieving antics the Doctor encounters here remind me of Douglas Adams's Doctor Who - City of Death [1979] [DVD] [2005] and Dr Who-Shada [VHS]. A scene towards the end of the play is markedly similar to a certain artistic discussion in "City of Death".

The bizarre scenario of "The Renaissance Man" also has much in common with the eccentric approach taken by Paul Magrs for the Fourth Doctor adventures he wrote for AudioGO. Accordingly, Baker's performance veers back towards his lighter AudioGO style. No disrespect to Magrs and AudioGO, whose efforts, I am sure, were instrumental in luring Baker back into the world of full-cast "Doctor Who", but you'd have thought Big Finish would wish to distance itself from that range for now.

Perhaps I am being unfair to criticise this story as being "out of season". The Doctor entered a similarly surreal landscape in the Hinchcliffe-produced Doctor Who - The Deadly Assassin [DVD] [1976]. Richards's idea also bears comparison to Doctor Who: the Celestial Toymaker and Doctor Who - The Mind Robber [1968] [DVD], so it's not just a later Baker type of tale.

The writer also has fun with the character of Leela (Louise Jameson), who keeps mispronouncing "renaissance" as "runny science" and is at one point delighted when she thinks that the Doctor has given her permission to use her knife on someone.

Continuing a trend for hiring guest actors from recent television stories (following Raquel Cassidy as Dr Alison Foster in Destination: Nerva (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures)), this two-part tale features Ian McNeice, who played Winston Churchill in four Matt Smith episodes. He is less friendly here as the mysterious collector Harcourt, who proves to be a match for the Doctor in terms of verbal sparring.

Unlike many reviewers, I actually prefer "Destination: Nerva". Nevertheless, this adventure continues to prove that Tom Baker is the real renaissance man.
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The Renaissance Man (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures)
The Renaissance Man (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) by Justin Richards (Audio CD - 29 Feb 2012)
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