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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > The Essential Doctor Who: The Time Lords > Second Thoughts

Second Thoughts

Lalla Ward played Time Lady Romana from 1979 to 1981. The writer of her 1980 story Full Circle caught up with the actress to find out what the role means to her now.
Opposite page: Lalla Ward publicises her casting as the new Romana, in London’s Cadogan Square on 6 February 1979.
Appearing at a Big Finish convention on 16 January 2016. Photo © Kris Griffin.

“I THINK THEY REALISED THAT HERE WAS THIS WONDERFUL CREATURE WHO COULD ACTUALLY GET ON WELL WITH TOM BAKER!”

As Princess Astra in The Armageddon Factor (1979), alongside Tom Baker as the Doctor and Mary Tamm as the original Romana.

Being a Time Lord makes you slightly less of a trotting-along companion who doesn’t know about anything,” says Lalla Ward, reflecting on Romana’s unique relationship with the Doctor. “I quite liked being able to reel out bits of scientific gobbledygook.”

We’re at a Big Finish convention in Windsor, talking to Lalla Ward about everyone’s favourite female Time Lord, or more specifically Time Lady. Lalla is still fondly remembered for her portrayal of the second incarnation of Romana over two series of Doctor Who.

All these years later, it’s easy to forget that in late 1970s Doctor Who a female Time Lord was a rarity. Hilary Ryan had portrayed the Time Lady Rodan in the 1978 story The Invasionof Time, a role that some regard as a trial run for Romana. Mary Tamm then played the original Romana, but left Doctor Who after just one series. Her final story was The Armageddon Factor (1979), in which Lalla also appeared as Princess Astra. How had Lalla come to be in Doctor Who in the first place?

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About Doctor Who Magazine

The Doctor’s own people, and his home planet, were introduced in 1969 as a major chapter in the series’ history came to an end. Five decades later, the Time Lords and their devastating war with the Daleks are still essential parts of Doctor Who’s mythology. This special publication analyses every story set on Gallifrey, reveals previously unseen images from the making of the episodes and interviews key players in the Time Lords’ fascinating story.
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