Played by Lalla Ward
Tenure: 1 September 1979–24 January 1981
First appearance Destiny of the Daleks (regular)
Last appearance Warriors Gate (regular)
Last appearance Dimensions in Time (guest)
Number of series 1 1/2
Appearances 14 stories
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source TARDIS Wikia
The first Romana decided to regenerate into a form identical to Princess Astra. She later speculated that the torture she had endured from the Shadow had somehow awoken Pandora’s influence – memories Braxiatel had repressed by hypnotismâ€” and the only way to regain full control was to regenerate voluntarily. (Lies) The Fourth Doctor protested she had no right to assume the likeness of another person, so she went briefly through other forms (though retaining Astra’s voice), only to settle back on Astra’s. She also initially chose a style of dress that mimicked the Doctor’s. The Doctor soon grew accustomed to her new form. He found this new incarnation easier to get along with than the last, at one point implying he considered her his best friend. (Destiny of the Daleks). Part of the reason she settled on Astra’s form was that when the Doctor disbanded the Key to Time, he released Astra from being the sixth segment, but as it needed an organic form to be stable it latched on to Romana and she started to decay, causing her to regenerate. (The Chaos Pool)
She next went to Paris, where the Doctor and she stopped Scaroth from preventing the evolution of humanity. (City of Death) On Chloris, she was captured by a party of bandits. (The Creature from the Pit)
When two spaceships, the Empress and the Hecate, collided, she helped separate them. She also helped to uncover a drug smuggling plot involving the lethal drug Vraxoin, via Tryst’s Continuous Event Transmuterand the Mandrels it contained. (Nightmare of Eden)
The Doctor eventually took her to Brighton, but in the wrong season. K9 was damaged badly when he retrieved a ball she was playing with from the water. Romana visited the Leisure Hive, where she was present at the aborted rebirth of Argolin civilisation. Despite her protests, the Doctor removed the randomiser from the TARDIS, making them vulnerable to the Black Guardian finding them again. (The Leisure Hive)
On Tigella, Romana freed herself from the Bell Plants‘ harassment before she was captured by Gaztaks. She bluffed the Gaztaks by claiming she was leading them to the TARDIS before taking them around in circles. She lost them by leading them into the Bell Plants. (Meglos)
After forgetting all about the matter, the Doctor received an order from the Time Lords to return Romana to Gallifrey now they had found the segments to the Key to Time. Romana, having tasted a life of adventure with the Doctor and bonded with him, didn’t want to return and sulked in her room.The TARDIS entered a Charged Vacuum Emboitment, left the universe (N-Space) and entered another, smaller universe,E-Space.
They landed on the planet Alzarius. Romana was infected by an Alzarian spider. Its venom controlled her, making her complete tasks to help the Marshmen. The Doctor restrained her and she soon recovered. (Full Circle)
Romana and the Doctor began searching for a CVE to return home. They came across a planet and landed upon it. They found an Alzarian, Adric, had stowed away on board. Romana was taken by a group of vampires as a sacrifice to the King Vampire. The Doctor rescued her and they resumed searching. (State of Decay) The Doctor was injured and Romana placed him in the Zero Room to recover. The TARDIS was captured by Ballustrans. Romana was questioned by Marni Tellis in a murder enquiry. However, a Farrian attack lifted suspicion from her. Romana kept the Farrian talking long enough for the Doctor to destroy their CVE entrance. They were unable to follow and so continued their search. (The Invasion of E-Space)
They arrived at the Gateway. With K9 damaged by the time winds, the regular universe remained inaccessible to him. Romana chose to stay with him in E-Space to help the enslaved Tharils release themselves from captivity. (Warriors’ Gate)
PRESIDENT OF THE HIGH COUNCIL
The manner of Romana’s ascendancy is unclear. One source claims Romana ran against Flavia in an election and won. (Happy Endings) Romana recalled she had invoked a “right of challenge” against her predecessor as President of the High Council, just as Darkel later challenged her. (Insurgency) However, Braxiatel said no one had held the role of Lord Chancellor “for many years”, not since Romana’s “predecessor had quelled his predecessor’s less-than-stellar stewardship”. Romana said she had been “asked to become President after the coup that overthrew Flavia’s inauspicious reign” in spite of her lack of political experience. This suggests another President had ruled in the interim. (Lies)
Soon after taking office, Romana suffered an epileptic fit. During this, she signed an executive order releasing three hundred prisoners from Shada, including Grandfather Paradox. The fit was caused by the Carnival Queen threatening the rational underpinnings of the universe. (Christmas on a Rational Planet)
Also in the early days of her Presidency, Romana was abducted by the Daleks and spent more than two decades in captivity before escaping with the help of the Doctor, now in his sixth incarnation. (The Apocalypse Element) On returning to Gallifrey, she resumed the Presidency.
It seems Braxiatel supported and guided Romana’s appointment partly because it was inevitable and he wanted to monitor her closely for any return of Pandora’s influence. (Lies) Braxiatel was named High Chancellor and made responsible for Romana’s experiments with theTime Lord Academy, allowing off-world students to enter the academy.
Romana and her bodyguard Leela later encountered Pandora again, who was this time taking the form of Romana’s first incarnation. Pandora told Romana that she had engineered her return to Gallifrey from E-Space and her appointment as President to fulfil her grand plan. As a result of the Pandora creature, Braxiatel was exiled from Gallifrey and the Academy reforms fell apart under his successor,Chancellor Valyes.
Romana started to exhibit symptoms of Pandora’s influence. She apparently murdered Andred while possessed, and continued to consult Pandora for advice on her political moves. At Pandora’s suggestion, Romana declared herself Imperiatrix of Gallifrey in response to Darkel‘s challenge for the Presidency. As she crowned herself with the coronet linking her to the Matrix, Pandora became corporeal in the form of the first Romana, declaringherselfImperiatrix. Freed by her chancellery guards, Romana destroyed much of the city’s infrastructure in the following civil war, responding to Pandora’s psychic control of the Capitol. She was finally able to contain Pandora in the Matrix again and to kill her by destroying the Matrix completely.
Romana was greatly weakened by her struggle with Pandora. Chancellor Valyes became acting President. He appointed Matthias as Lord Cardinal before resigning and naming Darkel as his successor. Romana and Matthias each laid claims to the Presidency. After Darkel and Matthias agreed to the arrest of Romana for high treason, Braxiatel turned up and made a superior claim for the Presidency, freeing Romana.
He immediately resigned and named Matthias his successor, to Romana’s surprise. Braxiatel had hatched a scheme to preserve the Time Lord biodata archive. It contained the genetic patterns of all Time Lords, past and present. He hoped to reconstruct Gallifrey after its inevitable fall. As the Free Time Dogma Virus ravaged Gallifrey, Matthias nominated Romana to find the cure, then go into exile. Romana followed the trail, only to find Braxiatel. He had nominated Matthias knowing that whoever was President was doomed to fall to the Dogma virus. He also noted that, ironically, Pandora would have had the ruthlessness to crush the “great threat” facing Gallifrey, but Romana would not. The only cure for the virus was to end the regeneration capabilities of the Time Lords. With the help of K9, Braxiatel used a Time Scoop to collect the biodata archive. He asked Romana to decide whether to administer the cure or to let Gallifrey die and then rebuild it using the biodata. Her decision is not known. (Panacea)
Prior to the destruction of Gallifrey, Romana had regenerated into a third incarnation. (The Shadows of Avalon) Romana claimed she had to regenerate to become a more effective leader of Gallifrey, and her third incarnation was noticeably more ruthless than her second. (The Ancestor Cell)
This incarnation of Romana seemed to respect the Doctor more. She also seemed to have settled into her name. (Destiny of the Daleks) She was occasionally fearful but remained quick to react. (Meglos) Romana was initially resentful of howAdrichad forced himself upon them in joining their travels, but soon came to like him. (The Invasion of E-Space) She managed to defeat Karna all by herself when investigating a universal health spa. (The Beautiful People)
Romana once donned a pink version of the Doctor’s coat, with a white version of his scarf. (Destiny of the Daleks) She also wore a variety of dresses, building on her previous incarnation’s sense of style. (The Androids of Tara,The Creature from the Pit) On Tigella, she wore a frilled dress. (Meglos) Once she returned to Gallifrey, she wore traditional Time Lord garb.
- In an alternative timeline in which the Time Lords regularly altered history through the Temporal Intervention Agency, Romana became Lady President as in the proper timeline but was considerably more ruthless than her counterpart. Her Interrogator General was Leela, who murdered her predecessor Narvin to achieve the position, while the Doctor, by then in his sixth incarnation, served as Lord Burner, the President’s personal temporal assassin who “burned” people from history.Vansell served as Castellan. (Disassembled)
- In a timeline in which Rassilon failed to finish the Eye of Harmony before his death, Romana reigned as Lady President over a Gallifrey which never achieved time traveland where slavery still existed. She was assassinated on the orders of Lord Chancellor Narvin but was immediately replaced by her counterpart from the proper timeline, who claimed that the victim of the assassination was a decoy. After the alternative Narvin was killed by the Krilig, the Narvin from the proper timeline assumed his identity. (Forever)
Exploring other realities
She later discovered that Braxiatel, transported them from his Collection to the Axis, where she started to explore alternative versions of Gallifrey, to help find a way to cure the Dogma virus. She explored many versions, from one where she didn’t travel with the Doctor (Reborn) to one where Time Lords were simian (Annihilation). She found a universe where her counterpart was more ruthless than she was, and was disgusted by the lengths that this Romana would go to keep order and have the Web of Time weaved in her desire. This Romana wanted to have her counterpart executed and set Lord Burner to do this. (Disassembled)
After losing Braxiatel, she discovered a world where the Great Vampires had defeated the True Lords of Gallifrey. There she met an alternative version of Borusa. Lord Prydon tried to make Romana his consort but thanks to immunity she gained in E-Space, this failed. She helped Borusa to defeat them, however, she destroyed the world. This distressed her, as she destroyed another world, another Gallifrey. (Annihilation)
When an alternative Romana, was assassinated she took her place, and she tried to help them perfect their Eye of Harmony. This was in fact of prison for the Krillig, and closed it stranding Leela, Narvin and herself on alternative Gallifrey and K9 on the axis. (Forever) She later invested time in alternative time technologies, whilst stopping insurrection. (Emancipation) One such technology, involved using slaves as time sensitives. (Evolution). When Science Minister Kavil discovered a signal coming through time, he amplified it as Romana thought that it could be a way back to their home. When a portal from this signal opened in the Panopticon, she was greeted by Daleks. (Arbitration)
Romana managed to prevent the Daleks’ plan to invade the multiverse, and managed to return home to her own Gallifrey, complete with a cure to the Dogma virus. (Extermination)
Shortly after arriving on her own Gallifrey, Romana was greeted by one of her future incarnations, who entered into a deal with her to return Gallifrey to its former state, thus saving herself thousands of years of work. (Renaissance)
Romana repelled a Dalek invasion of Gallifrey with her future incarnation by trapping them in the Matrix. She then set about rebuilding her Gallifrey, which was still crippled by disease and war. (Ascension)
BEHIND THE SCENES
The designation “Romana II” is not precisely derived from DW Unarratives. Rather, it comes from various reference literature like Companions of Doctor Who and Doctor Who Magazine itself. Nowhere in a televised story does either Romana indicate which “number” she is. It was assumed that Mary Tamm‘s was the first simply because she’s stated to be fresh from theTime Lord Academy in The Ribos Operation. But there’s no reason she needed to be the actual “first Romana”, since River Song has since shown us that regeneration can happen to even the very young.
Indeed, one of the reasons Mary Tamm is most often styled “Romana I” rather than “the First Romana” is likely because of this uncertainty â€” no one seemed willing to award her a more definitive ordinal number. As only three incarnations are known (the third being introduced in the novels), and the present continuity of the series strongly implies Romana, like most other Time Lords, no longer exists, the need to precisely identify how many incarnations she had is less pressing than the Doctor, who is within two incarnations of the established “life limit” established in The Deadly Assassin; the revelation of additional Doctors would have an impact on the future of the character.
Nevertheless, it is technically true to say that “Romana I” and “Romana II” are naming conventions which are not established in any narrative, nor do they appear in any known crs.
- BBV Productions released two original audio adventures which featured Lalla Ward with K9. Since they had the rights to K9 but not Romana or E-Space, she has no name other than “Mistress” in the audio plays, while the characters refer to E-Space as “the pocket universe”.
- Although a relationship was never explicitly shown or intended by the writers, many fans have found the signs of a romantic relationship particularly evident in the story City of Death, perhaps reflecting the real-life romance between Tom Baker and Lalla Ward which reportedly blossomed during the production of that story and led to their brief marriage. In 1980, Ward and Baker made a series of television commercials in Australia for Prime Computers, performing as Romana and the Doctor. The advertisements feature a parodical romance between the two characters, culminating in the Doctor proposing marriage to Romana.
- In City of Death, Romana says she is 125, but in The Ribos Operation, she claims to be nearly 140, so her age cannot be accurately placed without further information. However, it is possible that Romana is simply lying about her age.
- The status of Romana during the events of The Five Doctors depends upon which version is viewed. In the original 1983 broadcast version (and four-episode rebroadcasts), she is trapped in the vortex with the Fourth Doctor when the Time Scoop malfunctioned (as evidenced by an image of the two of them that appears on Borusa‘s monitor). For the 1995 Special ion, only the Fourth Doctor is visible in the vortex image. According to production notes on the 2008 DVD release, Romana is not trapped with the Doctor in the Special ion version. However, in Shada, Romana remembers being taken out of time along with the Doctor.
- Three alternative “physical” forms of Romana seen in Part One of Destiny of the Daleks were played, uncred, by Yvonne Gallagher, Lee Richards andMaggy Armitage respectively (the voice continued to be that of Lalla Ward).
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