Romana (Doctor Who)

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Doctor Who universe character
With Fourth Doctor, Time Lords
Race Time Lord
Home planet Gallifrey
Home era Rassilon Era
First appearance The Ribos Operation
Last appearance Warriors' Gate
Actor Mary Tamm
Lalla Ward

Romana, short for Romanadvoratrelundar, is a fictional character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. She is a Time Lady from the planet Gallifrey, and she was a companion of the Fourth Doctor. Because she was a Time Lord, Romana was able to regenerate, having two on-screen incarnations with somewhat different personalities (called Romana I and Romana II by fans). Romana I was played by Mary Tamm from 1978 to 1979. When she became pregnant and chose not to return for another series, the part was recast. Romana II was played by Lalla Ward from 1979 to 1981.

Romana I[change | change source]

The White Guardian assigns Romana to help the Doctor during his quest for the Key to Time. Romana first appears in The Ribos Operation, and was intended as a contrast to her predecessor, the savage Leela. Romana is initially haughty and somewhat arrogant, looking down on the Doctor (whom she considers to be her academic inferior; she obtained a triple first at the academy, while the Doctor passed with only 51 percent, on his second attempt) and responding to his initial resentment at her presence with icy put-downs. However, she soon gains an appreciation for the Doctor's experience and sense of adventure, and begins to respect him as a teacher.

Romana II[change | change source]

The introduction of Romana's second incarnation in Destiny of the Daleks, a script credited to Terry Nation, but with several changes by script editor Douglas Adams, treats the concept of regeneration humorously. At the beginning of the serial, Romana changes bodily forms several times, like she was trying on different outfits, before deciding to take the form of Princess Astra, who had been played by Lalla Ward in the final serial of Season 16, The Armageddon Factor.

Romana II enjoys a more intimate relationship with the Doctor than her first incarnation, some fans have assumed that she had a romantic relationship with the Doctor. Although a relationship was never shown or intended by the writers. In many ways, she is the companion most like her Doctor - besides being of the same race and close to the same intelligence, she occasionally mimics his sense of style, wields her own sonic screwdriver and can occasionally get the better of him in moments of banter and more practical situations. As her practical experience develops, she also becomes more assured and capable in the situations she finds herself in.

Her final television appearance was in Warriors' Gate, where, along with the robot dog K-9, she leaves to forge her own path in the parallel universe of E-space. She also appears briefly in the 20th Anniversary special The Five Doctors through the reuse of footage from the uncompleted story Shada because Tom Baker refused to come back.

After the departure of both Romana I and II, both versions of the character also appeared very briefly in flashback sequences during the Fourth Doctor's regeneration in Logopolis as well as the Fifth Doctor's mind-copy in Resurrection of the Daleks.

She would also be mentioned in Castrovalva during the Fifth Doctor's post-regenerative confusion, as well as Arc of Infinity, where the Fifth Doctor, in response to a reprimand from the High Council of Time Lords for "leaving her behind", retorts that she "chose to remain in E-Space".

In the new series the doctor says that all of the Time Lords apart from him were killed in the time war. Whether Romana was killed with the others, or is still alive in E-Space or elsewhere, has not been specifically established on screen.

Appearances in other media[change | change source]

An article by Russell T Davies in the Doctor Who Annual 2006 states that Romana was President of the Time Lords during the Time War against the Daleks (see below), which ended with Gallifrey being destroyed. As with all spin-off media and the new series, it is unknown if it is canon.

Novels[change | change source]

In the licensed Virgin New Adventures novel Blood Harvest by Terrance Dicks, Romana II leaves E-Space and returns to Gallifrey with the help of the Seventh Doctor. In Goth Opera by Paul Cornell, from the complementary Missing Adventures series, she is given a seat on the High Council of Time Lords. In New Adventures' Happy Endings, also by Cornell, it is revealed that Romana has become Lady President of Gallifrey. Romana's presidency is reflected in the later novels and in her appearances (voiced by Ward) in audio dramas from Big Finish Productions. Romana appears in independent charity novel Time's Champion, in the role of President of the Time Lords.

In the BBC Books Eighth Doctor Adventures novels, Romana undergoes a second regeneration, and her new incarnation (Romana III, whose appearance was modelled on silent movie actress Louise Brooks) is far less sympathetic and far more ruthless than the other two.

Audio plays[change | change source]

Romana II appeared pseudonymously in a series of audio plays produced in the early 2000s by BBV. In this series, Lalla Ward played a character who appeared with K-9 in an unnamed parallel universe. This character is called the Mistress (which was what K-9 called Romana in the television series). Because of an unusual copyright situation in which BBV was able to license K-9 but not Romana or other Doctor Who elements, the Mistress is not explicitly called Romana. For similar reasons, the parallel universe (obviously intended to reflect Romana's exile in E-Space) is called a "pocket universe" in the series' packaging.

In Big Finish's regular line of Doctor Who audio stories, Ward joined the Sixth Doctor in The Apocalypse Element, in which Romana is Lady President of Gallifrey. In Zagreus, Romana II is forced to banish the Eighth Doctor from the universe as he has become a danger to it following his infection by the forces of "anti-time". Following on from this, she is featured in a number of audio plays with former Doctor companion Leela (played by Louise Jameson) under the umbrella title of Gallifrey.

The series ends on a cliffhanger, with Gallifrey on the brink of economic and social collapse as well as in danger of being overrun by a Free Time virus, while most of the characters are trapped with no apparent means of escape.

List of appearances[change | change source]

Television[change | change source]

Season 16
  • The Ribos Operation (Romana I)
  • The Pirate Planet
  • The Stones of Blood
  • The Androids of Tara
  • The Power of Kroll
  • The Armageddon Factor
Season 17
  • Destiny of the Daleks (Romana II)
  • City of Death
  • The Creature from the Pit
  • Nightmare of Eden
  • The Horns of Nimon
  • Shada (not completed or transmitted)
Season 18
  • The Leisure Hive
  • Meglos
  • Full Circle
  • State of Decay
  • Warriors' Gate
20th anniversary special
  • The Five Doctors (footage from Shada)
30th anniversary special
  • Dimensions in Time

Audio dramas[change | change source]

  • K-9: The Choice (pseudonymous appearance)
  • K-9: The Search (pseudonymous appearance)
Big Finish Productions
  • The Apocalypse Element
  • Neverland
  • Zagreus
  • Shada (webcast on BBCi, later released on CD)
  • Gallifrey: Weapon of Choice
  • Gallifrey: Square One
  • Gallifrey: The Inquiry
  • Gallifrey: A Blind Eye
  • Gallifrey: Lies
  • Gallifrey: Spirit
  • Gallifrey: Pandora
  • Gallifrey: Insurgency
  • Gallifrey: Imperiatrix
  • Gallifrey: Fractures
  • Gallifrey: Warfare
  • Gallifrey: Appropriation
  • Gallifrey: Mindbomb
  • Gallifrey: Panacea
  • The Beautiful People
  • Ferril's Folly (Romana I)

Novels[change | change source]

Virgin Missing Adventures
  • Goth Opera by Paul Cornell
  • The Romance of Crime by Gareth Roberts
  • The English Way of Death by Gareth Roberts
  • The Shadow of Weng-Chiang by David A. McIntee
  • The Well-Mannered War by Gareth Roberts
Virgin New Adventures
  • Blood Harvest by Terrance Dicks
  • Happy Endings by Paul Cornell
  • Lungbarrow by Marc Platt
Eighth Doctor Adventures
  • The Eight Doctors by Terrance Dicks
  • The Shadows of Avalon by Paul Cornell
  • The Ancestor Cell by Peter Anghelides and Stephen Cole
Past Doctor Adventures
  • Tomb of Valdemar by Simon Messingham
  • Heart of TARDIS by Dave Stone
  • Festival of Death by Jonathan Morris
Independent Novels
  • Time's Champion

Short stories[change | change source]

  • "Glass" by Tara Samms
  • "Return of the Spiders" by Gareth Roberts
  • "Special Occasions 1: The Not So Sinister Sponge" by Gareth Roberts and Clayton Hickman
  • "Special Occasions 2: Do You Love Anyone Enough?" by Norman Ashby
  • "Special Occasions 3: Better Take Care" by Steve Burford
  • "Special Occasions 4: Playing with Toys" by David Agnew
  • "I Was A Monster!!!" by Joseph Lidster
  • "The Lying Old Witch in the Wardrobe" by Mark Michalowski
  • "Doing Time" by Lance Parkin
  • "O, Darkness" by John Binns
  • "The Time Lord's Story" by Iain McLaughlin and Claire Bartlett
  • "The Little Things" by Paul Beardsley
  • "The Clanging Chimes of Doom" by Jonathan Morris
  • "Present Tense" by Ian Potter
  • "Suitors, Inc." by Paul Magrs
  • "Life from Lifelessness" by Keith R.A. DeCandido
  • "The Glarn Strategy" by Brian Dooley
  • "All Snug in Their Beds" by Scott Alan Woodard
  • "Good Queen, Bad Queen, I Queen, You Queen" by Terri Osborne
  • "Breadcrumbs" by James Moran

Comics[change | change source]

  • "Terror on Xaboi" by Paul Crompton (Doctor Who Annual 1980) - 1st incarnation
  • "The Weapon" by Paul Crompton (Doctor Who Annual 1980) - 1st incarnation
  • "Every Dog Has His Day" by Mel Powell (Doctor Who Annual 1981) - 2nd incarnation
  • "Victims" by Dan Abnett, Colin Andrew and Enid Orc (Doctor Who Magazine 212–214) - 2nd incarnation
  • "The Seventh Segment" by Gareth Roberts, Paul Peart and Elitta Fell (Doctor Who Magazine Summer Special 1995) - 1st incarnation

Other websites[change | change source]