Commisioned by the Times in 1931, Times New Roman was originally created as newspaper-type, with short ascenders/descenders. It belongs in the category of a Garalde typeface.
The serifs are small and sharply cut, and the italics appear Roman. It’s blacker than the original typeface used by Times. Caps are not bigger than the short ascenders, also known as unobtrusive.
The lower case appears oblique. The stress of the letters is neither abrupt nor vertical. The thickest part of the -c- & -e- are very low down. Furthermore the g has a wide tail.
Then there's also a modified version for books, which has long descenders for smaller type readability.
The titlings come in 2 weights and in a condensed shape. The German setting has light-caps available.
Because of these wide variaties within the typeface it is the leading type for books on Monotype-, Linotype and Intertype-setting-machines.
The font-typus was extended to greek, kyrillic, mathematic und phonetic characters, chemical formulas and a wide spectrum of special sorts, so nearly every kind of text could be set.
(check also the font family here)