Species: Romanadvoratrelundar, or ‘Romana’, third incarnation
Time of Origin: Gallifrey, far future.
Appearances: “The Shadows of Avalon” and “The Ancestor Cell”
Doctor: Eighth Doctor.
Companions: The Brigadier, Fitz Kreiner and Compassion.
Having regenerated into her third incarnation (Who, according to the Eighth Doctor, looked worryingly like his mother, although the writers who created her have stated that this incarnation is physically based on silent movie actress Louise Brooks), The Doctor’s old companion Romana, remaining in her old role as President of Gallifrey, became far less likable then she had once been. Now, far from being prepared to acknowledge alternatives, she became fixated with planning for the Future War, a war between Gallifrey and an unknown, unnamed Enemy, which would dehumanise the Time Lords to the point of becoming monsters… and, in its first battle, be responsible for the final death of the Thirteenth Doctor.
Although her new path left her out of The Doctor’s way for a time, matters came to a head when she dispatched two Time Lord intervention agents, Cavis and Gandar, to ensure the creation of the Type-102 TARDIS, a sentient TARDIS that would give birth to the Type-103 TARDISes which, Romana and her people believed, would give them an advantage in the War. Eventually, despite the attempts of The Doctor, they managed to trigger the creation of the Type-102 – specifically, The Doctor’s companion Compassion, who had been wired into the TARDIS some while back via a receiver wired into her brain as The Doctor attempted to prevent her being affected by random signals from her surrounding environment. The Doctor had failed to realise that her receiver would process the signals sent by the TARDIS into block transfer computations, thus turning her into a TARDIS herself… and now wanted by Romana as breeding stock. Horrified by what Romana had become, and with his own TARDIS having been destroyed after being caught in a dimensional rip, The Doctor and his other companion Fitz dived into Compassion and took off, The Doctor casually informing Romana that she could ‘kiss his TARDIS’.
During their attempts to escape Romana, The Doctor was forced to install a randomiser in Compassion’s systems despite her belief that she could escape the Time Lords on her own, prompting further conflict between her and The Doctor before Compassion recognised that he was only trying to help her remain free (“The Fall of Yquatine”). Although The Doctor implied on some occasions that he acknowledged Romana’s need to try and protect Gallifrey, he objected to her coldness towards the rights of the individual, stating on one occasion that he fought to protect Compassion because Romana no longer recognised that a race could only be as moral as its least moral member, and her actions would lead to Gallifrey become as monstrous as their enemies unless she was stopped. On one occasion a Time Lord agent – referred to only as ‘Simpson’ – managed to immobilise Compassion by trapping her in an Arton inhibitor field, The Doctor speculating that Simpson was at least partly driven by love for Romana given that he refused to turn the field off unless The Doctor gave Compassion to the Time Lords even when he himself was fatally injured by a reanimated corpse, although The Doctor eventually managed to escape the trap (“The Banquo Legacy”).
Despite their best efforts, The Doctor and Fitz were eventually surrounded by War-TARDISes when the Time Lords acquired the seed of Compassion’s randomiser thanks to Simpson’s efforts, allowing them to predict where Compassion would materialise next (“The Ancestor Cell”). Against The Doctor’s wishes, Compassion destroyed two of the War-TARDISes before being forced to dematerialise, arriving in a mysterious bone structure that somehow froze her solid and forced her to expel The Doctor and Fitz from her. Walking through some doors in the structure, Fitz found himself in the middle of a seance being conducted by Time Lord students practising the forbidden rites of Faction Paradox, a group of voodooists that worshiped time paradoxes, while The Doctor was sent to Gallifrey, to be informed by a member of the Faction of a horrible truth; he would soon become an agent of the Faction himself, following the events of his third regeneration being altered by them during the novel “Interference”, and they wished him to investigate the bone structure in question.
Forced to make contact with Romana and ask for assistance, The Doctor was horrified to witness what Gallifrey had become, their focus on the war having already driven Romana to establish martial law and begin the mass development of WarTARDISes, and realised that, whatever Romana he knew and travelled with in the past, this new Romana was nothing like them, and his old friend was as good as dead. However, he agreed to help her investigate the Edifice – the bone structure Compassion had landed in – while trying to determine a cure for his infection with the virus – in exchange for being able to try and provide them with the material to make Type-103 TARDISes without making Compassion a slave. However, The Doctor was somehow transported onto it when a scan was being made, along with several other Time Lords, leaving Romana to just prepare for her reaffirmation ceremony as President and hope for the best. Then, just as she was beginning to relax, the ceremony was interrupted both by Grayjan – a former President who had committed suicide – and Fitz, who had managed to escape his Faction captors. Since Greyjan had a stronger claim to the presidency then Romana, she was deposed and sent away, although she managed to get Fitz – who had been recovered by a group of Faction initiates who had resurrected Greyjan – imprisoned with her so that she could question him about the situation.
Eventually, with aid from Compassion, Fitz and Romana managed to escape the prison, only to find themselves in the middle of Faction Paradox’s invasion of Gallifrey, led by none other than Grandfather Paradox, the version of The Doctor who would be created by his infection with the virus. Having witnessed the present Doctor apparently surrender to the virus – although this was later revealed to be a deception to allow him to regain access to the Edifice – Fitz and Romana attempted to fight off the Faction with weapons salvaged from the Slaughterhouse – a storage facility created to prepare for the war – but in the end even this effort failed. As Gallifrey started to come down around their ears, Romana was forced to acknowledge that everything was hopeless and flee for her own TARDIS, although it is uncertain whether she managed to reach it before Gallifrey’s destruction, The Doctor forced to release the full power of the Edifice to resolve the paradox of his third incarnation’s altered regeneration and erase the Faction from history.
Romana’s current status is unknown; while The Doctor was apparently able to restore Gallifrey after downloading the entirety of the Matrix into his subconscious (“The Gallifrey Chronicles”), and a future incarnation of Romana was shown interacting with her second self to restore Gallifrey after the actions of the Free Time campaign (“Gallifrey: Renaissance” and “Gallifrey: Ascension”), Gallifrey was destroyed once more during a new Time War against the Daleks (“The End of the World” and “Dalek”). Although a woman who may be another future version of Romana appeared at the conclusion of “Tomb of Valdemar” – initially looking like her old acquaintance Miranda Pelham before regenerating into a new form for unspecified reasons – the Ninth Doctor has expressly stated that he is the last of the Time Lords, claiming that he would be aware if any others survived because he would sense them. Even with the discovery that The Doctor managed to save Gallifrey by freezing it in a moment in time in a pocket universe (“The Day of the Doctor”), fans continue to wonder whether Romana survived off-planet, particularly following the appearance of the chameleon arch – a device which rewrites a Time Lord’s DNA to turn them into humans, with a complete alternate personality and memory (“Human Nature/The Family of Blood”) – and the discovery that The Master escaped the war after his resurrection by turning into a human and hiding at the end of the universe (“Utopia”). As a result, various fans have speculated that Romana may have survived in a similar fashion, with popular candidates for Romana’s human identity including The Tenth Doctor’s companions Donna Noble (“The Runaway Bride”, “Partners in Crime” to “The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End”) and Lady Christina di Souza (“Planet of the Dead”), although there is no evidence to confirm or deny this theory either way, making it likely that Romana is now trapped on Gallifrey with the other Time Lords outside the universe (“The Time of the Doctor”).