The Renaissance Man (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) Audio CD – Audiobook, 29 Feb 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
Much of the play is concerned with the difference between and knowledge and learning, between information and understanding. It fits in well to the ongoing theme of Leela’s education, first emphasised in ‘The Talons of Weng Chiang’. Harcourt, the Renaissance Man of the title, believes he and the museum are on a quest for knowledge that will give birth to a new era of learning, but to the Doctor he is merely stealing knowledge with no perspective or comprehension of what he takes. It is a knowledge without foundation or application. The small debate as to who is the cleverest man in the room (a nod to the Eleventh Doctor story ‘The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon’) represents the opposing sides. To Harcourt it is himself because he possesses and has access to a larger source of information. But to the Doctor this information is a meaningless list of data if there is no understanding of it.
In a museum where the exhibits miraculously appear with every source of information obtained irrespective of authenticity, the Fourth Doctor is clearly in his element inventing ludicrous ‘facts’ to beguile and defeat Harcourt. It is obvious that Baker is taking enthusiastic delight in this.
Not the best story in this series but still fairly entertaining.
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.Read more ›
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
really quick delivery featuring the Forth Doctor plus LelaPublished 5 months ago by Mr. T. J. Bower
This is another in the series of new full audio stories featuring Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor and Louise Jameson as Leela. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Keen Reader
‘The Renaissance Man’ was written by Justin Richards who recently wrote ‘The Rani Elite’ and directed by Ken Bentley. Read morePublished 11 months ago by R101
I found this to be an excellent adventure for the reinvigorated Fourth incarnation of the Timelord and his companion, the 'savage' Leela. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Scaroth, Last of the Jagaroth
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. Read morePublished on 6 Mar. 2013 by Caracatus