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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Clever And Intriguing Adventure
'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...
Published on 21 Feb 2012 by A. Foxley

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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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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
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Timelord007 (The Tardis) - 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
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars runny science man, 6 Mar 2013
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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
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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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