James Renshaw is a geophysicist working out of Wilkes.
Before Ice Station Edit
Renshaw studied medicine for two years before taking up geophysics, and eventually became good friends with his mentor Brian Hensleigh. At some point after the birth of Brian's daughter Kirsty, Renshaw was named her godfather.
A few years after Brian's wife, Mary-Anne died, Renshaw advised Brian against marrying Sarah Parkes, because he could see that she only wanted to use him to get further ahead in the scientific community. When Brian was killed in a car accident, Kirsty ended up in Sarah's custody instead of Renshaw's.
In 1999, Renshaw was among a group of researches who went to the Wilkes Research Station in Antarctica, where he worked on his theories regarding ice core drilling. In his room, Renshaw discovered the various cameras that the previous tenant had set up in the station to watch the killer whales that would occasionally appear in the diving pool on E-deck.
A few months into his research, Renshaw hit an upsurged layer of ice from three hundred million years ago, and was given the chance to study the ancient atmosphere. Renshaw began to suspect that his supervisor, Bernard Olson, was stealing his research, and soon discovered that he planned to write an article which would almost certainly be released quicker then Renshaw would be able to.
Upon realigning his drilling angle, Renshaw hit metal at roughly 1500 feet below the surface. Knowing that Olson would try to add this monumental discovery to his article, Renshaw argued with Olson for a while, which all the other Wilkes resident could hear.
Soon afterwards, Olson was found dead and Renshaw was accused of murdering him with industrial-strength drain-cleaner. Renshaw locked himself in his room, and the rest of the Wilkes scientists boarded up his door in order to keep him contained until military police could arrive to detain him.
In secret, Renshaw managed to use a few steak knives to cut through the boards in a way that no one could see, and was able to come and go from his room whenever he wanted. Renshaw managed to retrieve a book on toxicology, hoping to find a way to prove his innocence.
Meanwhile, the other scientists investigated the source of the metal, discovering it was in an underground cavern, and sent divers down there, only for something to attack them once they found what they thought to be an alien spacecraft. When a team of U.S. Marines came to investigate, Sarah explained Renshaw's issues with their leader, Shane Schofield, who decided to leave the scientist isolated in his room until additional forces arrived.
Later, likely alerted by the sounds of gunfire in the station, Renshaw used the cameras to watch parts of the battle between the Marines and French paratroopers, getting an especially good view from the camera attached to the C-deck bridge as the killer whales attacked people who had fallen into the pool.
Sometime later, Renshaw saw Schofield get shot in the neck on E-deck and his assassin kick his body into the water. Renshaw went to retrieve Schofield, who by virtue of the water's freezing temperatures been resuscitated upon being kicked into the pool, and prevented a mutant elephant seal from eating him. After getting Schofield to his room, Renshaw used his medical knowledge to help Schofield recover.
When Schofield woke up, Renshaw introduced himself, and asked for his help in proving his innocence, telling him to at least look at Olson's body. Renshaw then showed him the footage he got of his attack, and because of it Schofield was able to identify his attacker as a fellow Marine. When yet another Marine was being attacked by this traitor, Renshaw showed Schofield his secret exit, and later joined him and the rest of the Marines on E-deck to find out why Snake was killing them, only learning that he was of the ICG.
At that moment, Abby Sinclair announced they could get through the solar flare interrupting their radio communications, and Renshaw's appearance surprised her. However, a team from the British SAS was coming to take control of the station, and in the evacuation Renshaw grabbed the book which he claimed would prove his innocence.
In the hovercraft chase, Renshaw joined Schofield in his hovercraft and fired some Stinger missiles at the enemy before Schofield ordered him to take control of the hovercraft while he dealt with the attackers. Towards the end of the chase Renshaw tried to avoid the cliff, and luckily Schofield used his Maghook to keep them from falling. However with the arrival of a SAS troop, Schofield was forced to drop them into the freezing water, which Rensaw was fine in thanks to his Neoprene bodysuit.
After landing on an iceberg, the two realised there was the remains of an old research station inside, and grabbed diving equipment from it, hoping to be able to get back to Wilkes and defeat the SAS forces. During this, Renshaw asked if Schofield had seen Olson's body, which he had, and showed him the information from the book, which indicated that Olson had been killed by sea snake venom, something Renshaw did not have access to. Renshaw also told Schofield about his history with the Hensleigh's, notably his distrust of Sarah.
While heading back up into the station, they hitched a ride with the diving bell, and witnessed the British commander order the death of Book by letting the killer whale pod kill him. While Schofield went out to fight the SAS, Renshaw remained in the diving bell, leaving him a gun. Still hidden from the SAS, Renshaw saw Schofield being lowered into the water as Book had been, unable to help. Luckily Schofield escaped and killed the SAS troops, and when Barnaby arrived in the bell, Renshaw tried and failed to threaten him into surrender. However, having not chambered a round, Renshaw escaped into the water before Barnaby could shoot him. After Schofield, who had followed and killed Barnaby, Renshaw appeared to help him swim back up to the station by sharing his scuba tank's air.
Upon learning they were about to be killed by American forces under the ICG's command, Renshaw, Schofield and Kirsty decided to escape to the cavern, where they were attacked by the mutant seals before joining Gant and Sarah in a fissure. There Sarah revealed she had killed Olson as she was a member of the ICG, and had married Brian to get information from him. After she was killed they decided to escape the inbound nuclear missile by using the not-alien spacecraft, and Renshaw saw to the wounded Gant until they arrived at the USS Wasp carrier.
When they arrived at Pearl Harbour a few days later, Renshaw noted how he was now officially Kirsty's legal guardian, and was almost killed by one of the heads of the ICG before an old friend of Schofield's saved them.