Romanadvoratrelundar — known in short as Romana — was a Time Lord who was assigned the task to assist the Fourth Doctor in his quest for the Key to Time. She stayed with him long after that task was done and parted from him in E-Space. When she returned to N-Space, she became the Lady President of the Time Lords of Gallifrey.
Romanadvoratrelundar was a single, long name which Irving Braxiatel shortened to "Romana" when she was at the Time Lord Academy, although Braxiatel later removed all of her memories of him. (AUDIO: Lies) The Fourth Doctor too shortened it to "Romana", a name which she said she did not like and, when given the choice of being called "Romana" or "Fred", she told him to call her "Fred". (TV: The Ribos Operation)
- Main article: Romana I
Romana was a member of the House of Dvora. (AUDIO: Panacea) After the Imperator Crisis, the children of Dvora were scattered to Houses across the Homeworld; (PROSE: Newtons Sleep) Romana spent her childhood in the House of Heartshaven. (AUDIO: Panacea) As a Time Tot, she had a copy of the Gallifreyan nursery book, Our Planet Story. (AUDIO: Shada, PROSE: Shada) She graduated with a "triple first" from the Time Lord Academy on Gallifrey. (TV: The Ribos Operation) Her peers gave her the nickname and unofficial title of "The Icemaiden." (AUDIO: The Inquiry, Lies) One of her early jobs was working in the Bureau of Ancient Records on Gallifrey. (TV: State of Decay)
Travels with the Doctor
Romana first met the Doctor when she was a young (about one hundred twenty-five) and relatively inexperienced Time Lady. She had a haughty, aristocratic air and her personality did not always mix well with that of the Doctor.
The White Guardian sent Romana to help the Doctor and K9 Mark II locate the Key to Time. It was the Doctor who gave her the shortened version of her name. (TV: The Ribos Operation) It was during this mission that she visited Earth for the first time. (TV: The Stones of Blood)
After the completion of the quest, the Doctor installed a randomiser in the TARDIS to evade the Black Guardian and his wrath. As a result, the travellers didn't know where they would materialise next. (TV: The Armageddon Factor)
Accounts of the reasons for her first regeneration and the circumstances differed, though all agreed that in this incarnation, Romana adopted the likeness of Princess Astra of Atrios.
- One account said that unknown to the Doctor, Romana was harmed by the Key to Time. Just as she was about to regenerate, an anthropomorphised manifestation of the Doctor's TARDIS, jealous of her, trapped her in a force field and pretended to be her. The TARDIS changed into different forms and finally became a double of Princess Astra. Realising the error of its ways after that, it released Romana, but not before making her assume the form of Astra. (PROSE: The Lying Old Witch in the Wardrobe)
- Another account said that Romana forced her own regeneration to prevent an ancient Gallifreyan evil called Pandora from gaining power over her. (AUDIO: Lies)
- A third account said that when the Key to Time was assembled without the sixth piece, it left Princess Astra and was absorbed by Romana. The strain forced a regeneration. (AUDIO: The Chaos Pool)
- A fourth account said that Romana was simply fed up with the Doctor thinking that she was too serious and not any fun, so regenerated as a deliberate act of recklessness to prove him otherwise. (PROSE: City of Death)
There was also an account that suggested that at some point after the installation of the randomiser in the Doctor's TARDIS but before the Doctor, Romana and K9 found themselves trapped in E-Space, Romana left the TARDIS. The Doctor and K9 continued to travel on their own for a time, (COMIC: Timeslip) even picking up a new companion along the way. (COMIC: Doctor Who and the Star Beast) Eventually, Romana returned to the Doctor and they resumed their travels together.
- Main article: Romana II
Travels with the Doctor
An adventure on the planet Skaro followed her regeneration, during which Romana encountered the Daleks. (TV: Destiny of the Daleks) In this incarnation, Romana travelled for a time with the Doctor and K9. Leaving the randomiser behind on Argolis, (TV: The Leisure Hive) the three accidentally passed through a CVE into the universe called E-Space. It was here they encountered Adric. (TV: Full Circle) Adric stowed away onboard the TARDIS and all the travellers were brought to an encounter with an ancient enemy of the Time Lords, the Great Vampire. (TV: State of Decay) Romana and the Doctor parted when she decided to remain in E-Space with K9 to help the enslaved Tharils regain their freedom. The Doctor and Adric left for N-Space, the Doctor's native universe. (TV: Warriors' Gate)
As Lady President
- Conflicting accounts of Romana's career as Lady President are tricky to reconcile. They may not have even happened in the same timeline.
Romana returned to N-Space; one account suggested the Seventh Doctor made this possible. (PROSE: Blood Harvest) She subsequently assumed a seat on the High Council of Time Lords (PROSE: Goth Opera) and later attained the office of President. She was at this time generally referred to by her full name and had Leela, K9 and Irving Braxiatel as her closest confidantes.
She was abducted by the Daleks, and kept prisoner for twenty years, barely escaping with her sanity intact, although an adventure shared with the Sixth Doctor helped her recover (AUDIO: The Apocalypse Element). After this, she presided over Gallifrey in an ever-changing political situation where new time-active powers like the Monan Host were coming to prominence. The machinations of the Free Time terrorist group and a civil war against the malevolent Pandora (who took on the form of Romana's first incarnation) would eventually see Gallifrey fall into ruin and Romana lose her position to Matthias. Braxiatel tried to salvage the situation, but this went "pear-shaped", leaving Gallifrey overrun by Dogma Virus zombies and about to be hit with temporal weapons. (AUDIO: Panacea) Romana, however, had a plan: explore alternate universes to find a new Gallifrey to live on. (AUDIO: Reborn) Finally, Romana, Leela, and Narvin settled on a version of Gallifrey in which time travel was just beginning to be realised. Romana assumed the Presidency after the assassination of her alternate universe counterpart and appointed Narvin her chancellor. (AUDIO: Forever)
Romana discovered a signal coming through time from the Axis, which she thought could be a way back to their home. When a portal from this signal opened in the Panopticon, she was greeted by Daleks. (AUDIO: 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. (AUDIO: Extermination) Shortly after arriving on her own Gallifrey, 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. (AUDIO: Ascension)
- Main article: Romana III
Still Lady President, Romana regenerated into another incarnation. With long, dark, straight hair, she looked almost like the Doctor's mother and had a Seal of Rassilon tattoo on her ankle. (PROSE: The Shadows of Avalon) Now far more ruthless, she prepared Gallifrey for war in what she referred to as Gallifrey's darkest hour. (AUDIO: Luna Romana) She helped prepare for the War in Heaven. (PROSE: The Ancestor Cell) When she was in office, a secret society known as the Adherents of Ohm set Omega free from the anti-matter universe. (AUDIO: Intervention Earth) When she had been in power for 150 years, her Gallifrey was destroyed. (PROSE: The Ancestor Cell)
- Main article: Romana IV
Evidence suggested that Romana may have been one of a few Time Lords to survive the destruction of Gallifrey, by regenerating into a new form. In this incarnation, she resembled a young and beautiful woman with dark eyes and ebony skin. (PROSE: Tomb of Valdemar)
The Eighth Doctor saw a version of Romana in a projection built by the Matrix to show Gallifrey after being affected by anti-time. Romana had taken the title "Imperiatrix" and was much more ruthless than the Doctor expected. In the projection, she presided over the obliteration of a Dalek Fleet trapped in a time loop. (AUDIO: Neverland)
One version of Romana came from a Gallifrey where Time Lords were Interventionists, (AUDIO: Disassembled) While another version came from a Gallifrey where the Time Lords were known as Regenerators, and had yet to discover time travel. (AUDIO: Forever, Emancipation)
Romana was exceptionally clever (even on par with the Doctor) and strong-willed. She shared many personality traits with the Doctor. She was capable of killing when necessary, though she didn't like it - when she shot one of the guards on Zanak, she instantly regretted it. (TV: The Pirate Planet)
In her first incarnation, she was haughty and "by the book" and occasionally annoyed by the Doctor's eccentricities. She did not mind taking on the form of Princess Astra of Atrios. (TV: The Armageddon Factor)
In her second incarnation, Romana was more bubbly and free-spirited, a female version of the Fourth Doctor. She liked to emulate the Doctor's sartorial style, initially wearing a pink version of his overcoat, complete with a white scarf. (TV: Destiny of the Daleks)
She also wore period Earth-style outfits such as a schoolgirl costume. (TV: City of Death) She did on at least one occasion slip back into the haughty nature of her first incarnation. (TV: The Creature from the Pit)
Her third incarnation was not as positively disposed towards the Doctor. It is said she regenerated as she felt her second incarnation wasn't ruthless enough to handle the coming war. (PROSE: The Shadows of Avalon)
Her third incarnation also appeared to have a sunny and perky disposition, and was prone to wanting to give people hugs (even her previous self, although the Blinovitch Limitation Effect made this inadvisable). Despite this, she could also be manipulative when necessary. (AUDIO: Renaissance)
Romana stated that she was "nearly one hundred and forty" when she first met the Doctor. (TV: The Ribos Operation) A while after she regenerated, she stated she was one hundred and twenty-six. (TV: City of Death) She was six hundred and fifty by the time the Doctor was on Argolis. (TV: The Leisure Hive) She celebrated her sesquicentennial as Lady President of Gallifrey, meaning she had held the office for precisely one hundred and fifty years. (PROSE: The Ancestor Cell)
The author of A Brief History of Time Lords spoke highly of Romana in his book, flagging her, alongside Susan Foreman, as one of the most notable Time Lords who had run away from the Untempered Schism. (PROSE: A Brief History of Time Lords)
When River Song crossed paths with the Fourth Doctor, she, in an attempt to preserve the integrity of the timeline, claimed to be a future incarnation of Romana. The bluff failed as, at the point in his life, the Fourth Doctor had not yet met Romana. (AUDIO: Someone I Once Knew)
Behind the scenes
- When Romana regenerated in Destiny of the Daleks, she was shown to be able to "try on" different "possibilities" before settling on that of Princess Astra. Indeed, the fact that she was able to replicate a person she'd met was an ability not seen in any regeneration before, and several stories attempted to address why this was possible.
- The Lying Old Witch in the Wardrobe posits that the different forms of "Romana" are actually the TARDIS in Time Lord form, pretending to be Romana.
- In Doctor Who and The Parting of the Ways, the Doctor says humanoid regenerations aren't always guaranteed.
- In The Christmas Invasion and Let's Kill Hitler, it's shown that a Time Lord's body remains in flux for hours after the regeneration, allowing, for example, the regrowth of a severed hand. Melody Pond, as she regenerated from her Mels Zucker into her River Song incarnation, attempted to influence the dress size of her next body.
- A version of Romana appears in the comic story Dr Who and the Turgids, an advertisement for the TARDIS tuner.
- Romana II appears in the mini-episode Dimensions in Time, although this is not considered a valid source by this wiki.
- The character of the Mistress in BBV Productions' Adventures in a Pocket Universe series was intended to be Romana II with K9 in E-Space after Warriors' Gate.
- Three prospective successors to Romana I were seen in part one of Destiny of the Daleks. Though uncredited, they were played by Yvonne Gallagher, Lee Richards, and Maggy Armitage respectively.
- House Dvora in the novel The Book of the War was apparently named after the syllables in Romana's name; her name follows the same format as Ruthventracolixabaxil, Quencessetianobayolocaturgrathadadeyyilungbarrowmas, Leelandredloomsagwinaechegesima, and Goralschaixianthellipse, all of whose names contain that of their Great House. Romana identified herself as "inheritor of the House of Dvora" in the audio story Panacea.
- She was supposed to appear in The Five Doctors, but Lalla Ward was unwilling to work with Tom Baker again, so stock footage from Shada was used instead. (Ironically, Baker also declined to take part). Mary Tamm revealed that she wasn't asked to take part.
- There are several stories that feature multiple incarnations of Romana.
- A new incarnation of Romana was featured in the game Battle for the Universe, which is not considered a valid source on this Wiki. She had a thin face and wavy silver hair, appearing older than the Tamm and Ward incarnations.
- In a email reprinted to Benjamin Cook reprinted in Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale - The Final Chapter, Russell T Davies, choosing to deliberately leave the identity of the Woman ambiguous, anticipates that fans will believe her to be, amongst other possibilities, Romana, "but of course it's meant to be the Doctor's mother."
- A unique incarnation of Romana, active towards the end of the Last Great Time War, was introduced in the stage play Time Fracture. This version of Romana was portrayed by Liv Spencer and was referred to with they-them pronouns. Their numbering was not covered within the play, but Spencer made comments online suggesting they were intended to directly follow Lalla Ward's Romana II.