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Doctor Who universe character

Lalla Ward as Romana II,
as seen in City of Death
Affiliated with Fourth Doctor
Race Time Lord
Home planet Gallifrey
Home era Rassilon Era
First appearance The Ribos Operation
Last appearance Warriors' Gate (regular)
The Five Doctors (archive footage from Shada)
Portrayed by Mary Tamm
Lalla Ward

Romana, short for Romanadvoratrelundar, is a fictional character in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. A Time Lady from the planet Gallifrey, she was a companion of the Fourth Doctor.

As a Time Lord, Romana was able to regenerate, having two on-screen incarnations with somewhat different personalities (dubbed Romana I and Romana II by fans). Romana I was played by Mary Tamm from 1978 to 1979. When Tamm chose not to sign on for a second season, the part was recast. Romana II was played by Lalla Ward from 1979 to 1981.

Romana remains one of only two members of the Doctor's own race to travel with him during the entire television series. The other is Susan Foreman, the Doctor's granddaughter, although Susan was never explicitly designated as a Time Lord.


Romana I

as Romana I]]The White Guardian originally assigns Romana to assist the Doctor during the quest for the Key to Time, a series of linked serials which constitute the whole of Season 16 (1978-79).  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 try) 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.

Over the course of Season 16, Romana begins to take some of the characteristics of the screaming "damsel in distress", which reinforced Tamm's decision not to remain in the role as she felt the character had been taken as far as she could go.[1] As a result, Romana regenerates at the start of Season 17, emerging with a different physical appearance and a lighter personality.

Although Tamm had left the show on relatively good terms, and was willing to film a regeneration sequence for the start of Season 17, she was not invited to do so.[2] This has been attributed to Tamm's real life pregnancy which made a regeneration scene impractical.[3][4]

Romana II

The introduction of Romana's second incarnation in Destiny of the Daleks, a script credited to Terry Nation, but with several additions and alterations by script editor Douglas Adams, treats the concept of regeneration humorously. At the beginning of the serial, Romana changes bodily forms several times, rather like someone casually 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. This regeneration scene is controversial with some fans; see "Romana's Regeneration".

Romana II enjoys a more intimate relationship with the Doctor than her predecessor, to the point that some fans have assumed a romantic relationship with the Doctor. 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 blossomed during the production of that story, leading to their brief marriage. In many ways, she is the companion most alike her Doctor - besides being of the same race and comparable 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 encounters.

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 when faced with a choice of remaining there or returning to Gallifrey. She also appears briefly in the 20th Anniversary special The Five Doctors through the reuse of footage from the uncompleted story Shada.

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".

Ward also appears in a brief cameo as Romana in the 1993 charity special Dimensions in Time.

In "The End of the World" (2005), the Ninth Doctor stated that his homeworld had been destroyed and that he was the last of the Time Lords. 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

Outside of the television programme, the Fourth Doctor and Romana II also appear in Australian-filmed television advertisements for PR1ME Computers in 1980, which played in a tongue-in-cheek way with the idea that the two characters shared a romantic relationship, climaxing with the Doctor proposing marriage (which occurred in real life between Tom Baker and Lalla Ward after her departure from the series that same year).[5]

An article by Russell T Davies in the Doctor Who Annual 2006 states that Romana was President of the Time Lords during the Last Great Time War against the Daleks (see below), which ended with Gallifrey being destroyed. As with all spin-off media, its canonicity in relation to the television series is open to interpretation.


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. She also makes a cameo appearance in Human Nature in a vision. Romana appears in the unlicensed fan fiction novel Time's Champion, in the role of President of the Time Lords.

Romana's appearance in the 1997 novel The Eight Doctors- where she helps the newly-regenerated Eighth Doctor rescue his fourth incarnation from a group of vampires in the aftermath of State of Decay- was highlighted in a trailer for the re-launched Doctor Who range which was included on a number of BBC videos in 1997-8. The trailer used a clip from Destiny of the Daleks to illustrate Romana.

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. This third incarnation pursues the Eighth Doctor in a story arc relating to the Future War- a War between the Time Lords and an as-yet-unidentified enemy-, seeking to use his new companion Compassion- who has been unintentionally mutated into a Type 102 TARDIS in the aftermath of the destruction of the Doctor's own ship- as breeding stock for the new sentient TARDISes in the Future War. With the Doctor refusing to allow the Time Lords to make Compassion a slave, he, Compassion and fellow companion Fitz Kreiner go on the run between The Shadows of Avalon and The Ancestor Cell, the final confrontation on board the Doctor's believed-destroyed original TARDIS resulting in the obliteration of Gallifrey and the apparent retroactive wiping out of the Time Lords from history. However, it is hinted in Tomb of Valdemar by Simon Messingham that Romana may be one of a few Time Lords who survived this cataclysm, possibly in a fourth incarnation.

Audio plays

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 Colin Baker's Sixth Doctor in The Apocalypse Element, in which Romana is Lady President of Gallifrey. In the story, it is revealed that Romana II was abducted by the Daleks soon after assuming the presidential office, and remained in captivity for twenty years before making her escape, briefly reuniting with the Doctor before reassuming her post. Romana II also appears with Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor in the 2003 remake of Shada, an audio play produced by Big Finish for the BBC's Doctor Who website and accompanied by Macromedia Flash animations, and also in Neverland and Zagreus.

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.

In the audio series, Romana has to contend with the emergence of a terrorist group known as Free Time, which wants to break the technological monopoly on time travel and threatens not just Gallifrey, but its time travel-capable allies. Romana's progressive policies, including opening the Academy to non-Gallifreyans, also face opposition from more conservative elements. Complicating this is the escape of an ancient evil called Pandora from the Matrix in the paradoxical form of Romana's first incarnation (played once again by Mary Tamm). Both Romana and the Pandora entity proclaim themselves Imperiatrix of Gallifrey, provoking a civil war. At the war's end, Romana destroys Pandora by trapping her in the Matrix and destroying it. She is also removed from the Presidency.

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


Season 16
Season 17
Season 18
20th anniversary special
30th anniversary special

Audio dramas

  • K-9: The Choice (pseudonymous appearance)
  • K-9: The Search (pseudonymous appearance)
Big Finish Productions


Virgin Missing Adventures
Virgin New Adventures
Eighth Doctor Adventures
Past Doctor Adventures
Independent Novels

Short stories


  • "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


  1. ^ "There's Something About Mary", a featurette in The Key to Time: Special Edition DVD box set (BBC Video/2 Entertain, 2007 - UK; 2009 - US).
  2. ^ "There's Something About Mary" DVD featurette
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Bernard, Marcus. "Doctor Who — Commercials". TVARK. Archived from the original on 2006-04-28. Retrieved on 2007-03-04. 

External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also română, and Romana




romana f. (plural romane)

  1. feminine of romano


romana f.

  1. feminine of romano



romana f. (masculine romano, feminine plural romanas, masculine plural romanos)

  1. Feminine form of romano.


romana f. (masculine romano, feminine plural romanas, masculine plural romanos)

  1. Feminine form of romano.

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