Doctor Who Audio Review: A New Romana Remembers Her Old Selves And One Quadrigger

Doctor Who - The Companion Chronicles: Luna Romana

Luna Romana is a Doctor Who audio drama from Big Finish Productions and is an episode of The Companion Chronicles. The story is written by Matt Fitton and directed by Lisa Bowerman. Terry Molloy returns as Quadrigger Stoyn which completes a trilogy of stories with various previous incarnations of the Doctor. Lalla Ward returns as the second incarnation of Romana with Juliet Landau taking on the mantle of her third incarnation. Mary Tamm was supposed to have starred in this one, however she had died not long before this recording which was released in 2014. This ended up being an unapologetic tribute to Tamm, and that was an entirely appropriate decision. There was a moment of flashback recordings of Tamm’s voice which was rather moving.

The First Romana and the Fourth Doctor end up in Ancient Rome as they search for the final segment of the Key to Time. Romana meets Stoyn and narrowly escapes the encounter. Sometime in the future, the Second Romana and the Doctor arrive on a lunar colony modeled after Rome where Stoyn continues his efforts to destroy the Doctor. Romana must break an important rule of time travel and is set on collision course with her own past.

Landau and Ward share the narration duties and are both quite compelling. Landau’s Romana effectively conveys her affection for her first incarnation, which would seem egotistical in most circumstances, but somehow works well here. I love the chemistry between Mary Tamm and Tom Baker during that era of the television series. Mary Tamm carried off her air of haughty charm very effectively and was a wonderful foil against the Fourth Doctor’s domineering eccentricity. It would be interesting to hear a Doctor encounter this new version of Romana.

The story is a little confusing at times, but still enjoyable. There also seems to be more if a complexity in Quadrigger Stoyn’s villainy than many of the other renegade Time Lords encountered by the Doctor. Molloy, who is better known as playing Davros for a time on the television series and for Big Finish, really does put in an impressive performance as this newer menace.

This particular episode was quite engaging for a variety of reasons. It would have been better if Tamm was still alive to participate, however Big Finish did a fine job memorializing her. It was also a pretty good yarn.

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