Gallifrey Season 2

Posted on December 8, 2010


The other day I finished up the Doctor Who spinoff Gallifrey Season 2 audio drama from Big Finish Productions.

This one did not seem to be near as good as the first one. I mainly dealt with politics on Gallifrey and I did not find that of much interest. But, I did finish it and have hopes that the next season will be a little better.

Gallifrey is the umbrella title of a line of audio plays set in the Doctor Who universe, produced by Big Finish Productions, featuring Louise Jameson as Leela, Lalla Ward as President Romana, and John Leeson as two K-9 units, Mark I and Mark II. The title refers to the home planet of the Time Lords.

Like all spin-off media, its canonicity in relation to the television series is open to interpretation, although the rise of Romana to the presidency of the Time Lords echoes a similar event in the novels. The first play in the series, Weapon of Choice, was released in 2004. The most recent play, Panacea, was released in 2006.

The series focuses on political struggles within the leadership of the Time Lords, centered around Romana’s presidency. In the first series, Romana’s progressive policies and desires to open Gallifrey up to the outside universe faces opposition from more conservative cultures. In addition, a terrorist group known as “Free Time”, who want to break the monopoly on time travel technology shared among the Time Lords and the few other temporal powers, steals a timeonic fusion device. The inquiry into Romana’s handling of the incident reveals a dark secret surrounding the Time Lords’ policy of non-intervention.

The second series sees the admission of non-Gallifreyans into the Time Lord Academy, leading to even more tension within the Time Lord political elite. Romana has to deal with Free Time infiltrators as well as an attempted coup by Inquisitor Darkel. In addition, an ancient Gallifreyan evil escapes from the Matrix: Pandora, a megalomaniacal personality who manipulates Romana and others with the goal of regaining life and power. At the end of the second series, Pandora manages to manifest herself in the form of Romana’s first incarnation (played once again by Mary Tamm). Both Romanas claim the title of Imperiatrix, absolute ruler of Gallifrey, leading to civil war.

In the third series, Romana traps Pandora in the Matrix once again, and destroys her by sacrificing the Matrix. After an election fraught with political manoeuvring, one Lord Matthias becomes Lord President. The series ends on a cliffhanger, with Gallifrey on the brink of economic and social collapse as well as in danger of being overrun by a Free Time virus, while most of the cast are trapped with no apparent means of escape.

As Big Finish’s license forbids them from using aspects of the revived television series, the Gallifrey series does not explicitly acknowledge the events of the Time War. However, in the final chapter of the third series Irving Braxiatel speaks of “rumours out there in the big wide universe — more than rumours, in fact — that something’s coming to Gallifrey, something worse than you could possibly imagine”.

Because of these rumours, Braxiatel engineers the removal of the Time Lord biodata archive from Gallifrey, in order that the Time Lords might someday be restored after their planet meets its doom. Former Big Finish producer Gary Russell indicated in a forum posting on Outpost Gallifrey that this was a reference to the television series’ Time War.[2]

It is unclear whether the destruction of the Matrix in the Gallifrey audio series can be reconciled with the events of the Eighth Doctor Adventures; some stories have suggested that the novels and audios take place in separate continuities.

Below is a fan made video that gives you an idea about the audio drama series:

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