Weapon Of Choice

Gallifrey: Weapon Of ChoiceA powerful coalition of time-traveling races monitors access to history, stopping newly-emergent time travelers and redirecting them to the planet Gryben for “processing” – though that process often strands them there permanently. That logjam of stranded time travelers has given rise to a new movement – Free Time – seeking to force these temporal superpowers to allow free access to the timeways.

Several delegates from the time-traveling powers, including a Time Lord and a Monan (a symbiotic race consisting of noncorporeal intelligences, and human “thralls” whose bodies they inhabit), arrive to investigate what appears to be the emergence of another sophisticated time-traveling race – but one of the delegates turns out to be a member of Free Time, and soon she has her hands on a timeonic fusion device – a weapon of temporal mass destruction banned by the coalition of time-traveling superpowers. Torvald, the Time Lord operative assigned to this delegation, is recalled to his home planet of Gallifrey.

There, President Romana of the Time Lords’ High Council assigns Torvald to go undercover to retrieve the forbidden weapon. To this end, she also assigns Leela – a mere human primitive who stayed behind on Gallifrey years ago to marry another Gallifreyan – to go with him, and to take her loyal robotic dog K9 with her. Romana, too, has a K9 unit, capable of linking with its counterpart through time and space. Leela, Torvald, and Leela’s K9 travel to Gryben to find the Free Time operative and retrieve the weapon – but while there, they discover that other members of the coalition are willing to overstep their bounds to obtain the weapon, even if it means risking war with Gallifrey. And when she tries to defuse the situation at home, Romana meets a challenge from the ambitious Coordinator Narvin – ambitious enough to set her impeachment in motion.

Order this CDwritten by Alan Barnes
directed by Gary Russell
music by David Darlington

Cast: Lalla Ward (President Romana), Louise Jameson (Leela), John Leeson (K9), Miles Richardson (Cardinal Braxiatel), Sean Carlsen (Coordinator Narvin), Andy Coleman (Commander Torvald), Lynda Bellingham (Inquisitor Darkel), Hugo Myatt (Arkadian), Helen Goldwyn (Nepenthe), Daniel Hogarth (Ba’aruk), Stephen Mansfield (Scragbite), Trevor Littledale (Outsider)

Notes: The Gallifrey audio miniseries is a fascinating mixture of elements from televised Doctor Who and professional fiction postdating the original TV series. Leela, Romana and K9 appeared in the original TV series. At the end of her tenure on TV, Romana was left stranded in a dimension called E-Space with the Doctor’s second K9 unit; in the Missing Adventures novels printed by Virgin Publishing, Romana and K9 escaped E-Space, after which she returned to Gallifrey and successfully ran for the Presidency. With that acknowledgement of the novels’ continuity in mind, it’s curious that the Gallifrey audios and their immediate antecedent, the 2003 Doctor Who audio Zagreus establish that Romana and Leela have only just met; the penultimate Virgin New Adventures novel establishes a different first meeting for Romana and Leela. Braxiatel was established in throwaway dialogue in City Of Death (1979), but was later fleshed out in Virgin’s New Adventures novels, including those which postdate Virgin’s loss of the Doctor Who print fiction license, and has also appeared in Big Finish’s Bernice Summerfield audios; Braxiatel was established in print and in audio as the owner of the Braxiatel Collection for which Bernice is a curator. Inquisitor Darkel also appeared in the TV series, presiding over The Trial Of A Time Lord, though she was known only as the Inquisitor during her television appearances.

Timeline: all of the Gallifrey audios take place sometime after the Doctor Who audio Zagreus.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Square One

Gallifrey: Square OneA summit of the temporal superpowers is scheduled on a secluded artificial planetoid, and Coordinator Narvin is sent by President Romana to represent the Time Lords. Going with him, barely camouflaged, are Leela and K-9. But the out-of-place savage and her robotic dog aren’t there to protect Narvin; Romana has personally charged them with rooting out those responsible for an expected attempt to disrupt the conference. Leela does indeed find danger lurking, but all is not as it seems. Is someone sabotaging the summit to ensure its success?

Order this CDwritten by Stephen Cole
directed by Gary Russell
music by David Darlington

Cast: Lalla Ward (President Romana), Louise Jameson (Leela), John Leeson (K9), Miles Richardson (Cardinal Braxiatel), Sean Carlsen (Coordinator Narvin), Jane Goddard (Liaison Officer Hossak), Lucy Campbell (Baano), Daniel Hogarth (Flinkstab), Daniel Barzotti (V’rell)

Notes: The temporal superpower summit in this story refers back to the disastrous attempt at a similar meeting that was a plot point of the Doctor Who audio adventure The Apocalypse Element.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Inquiry

Gallifrey: The InquiryAn inquiry begins regarding the timeonic fusion weapon, President Romana’s unorthodox measures to locate and retrieve it, and her apparent inability to do so – or even, for that matter, to prove that it ever existed. But curiously, the Matrix, the repository of all Gallifreyan knowledge, seems to differ with the established record – a visual document exists of the weapon being created, and even test detonated, by the Time Lords themselves. Cardinal Braxiatel admits that research was carried out, in which he himself participated, but no test of the weapon ever occurred. When Romana digs deeper to find out why the Matrix records conflict with his account, a computer virus is unleashed which Romana’s K9 is barely able to contain – and if he fails, or his batteries run out, that virus will lay waste to Gallifrey’s computer-dependent society. And while she is trying to eavesdrop on Romana’s behalf, Leela discovers how her husband Andred died…and who killed him.

Order this CDwritten by Justin Richards
directed by Gary Russell
music by David Darlington

Cast: Lalla Ward (President Romana), Louise Jameson (Leela), John Leeson (K9), Miles Richardson (Cardinal Braxiatel), Sean Carlsen (Coordinator Narvin), Andy Coleman (Commander Torvald), Lynda Bellingham (Inquisitor Darkel), Daniel Hogarth (Glower), Trevor Littledale (Archivist), Stephen Mansfield (Glower’s Technician)

Notes: This story establishes that the test-firing of the timeonic fusion device was responsible for the destruction of the planet Minyos. Minyos – and a vague backstory about its destruction being caused by the Time Lords – was established in the fourth Doctor story Underworld, which also showed that the Time Lords made reparations to the few surviving Minyans by giving them a variant of Time Lord regeneration ability that made them effectively immortal. That same story also featured Leela, though she seems not to recall the Doctor’s encounter with the survivors of Minyos here.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

A Blind Eye

Gallifrey: A Blind EyeA most curious assortment of travelers boards a train bound from Munich to Switzerland in 1939. Romana and Leela are traveling incognito, but so is swindler and arms dealer Mephistopheles Arkadian, who Romana interrogated during the Gryben crisis. He promises to give her vital information regarding that incident if she and the Time Lords turn the other cheek for only three hours and let him have his way with history. Arkadian’s specific historical interest revolves around a young woman on the train, a Nazi sympathizer named Cecilia Pollard – the sister of Charlotte Pollard, the Doctor’s traveling companion when he was last seen before vanishing into the divergent universe. While Romana uneasily agrees to Arkadian’s terms, she can’t speak for the Time Lords’ Celestial Intervention Agency, and no sooner do Narvin and Torvald appear then things start to go disastrously wrong. Time itself jumps the tracks, creating two parallel timelines – and somehow Leela and Cecilia Pollard have become stranded in the newly created alternate history, along with a Time Lord who has his own murderous intentions. Romana and Narvin are left to wring information out of Arkadian – and hope that Leela can gain enough of an awareness of what’s happened to help them heal the timeline. But Leela is preoccupied with a problem of her own: she has found the man she believes to be responsible for her husband’s death, but at a point in his own timeline before he committed the murder. And if killing him now will prevent that from happening, Leela is prepared to do it – and history be damned.

Order this CDwritten by Alan Barnes
directed by Gary Russell
music by David Darlington

Cast: Lalla Ward (President Romana), Louise Jameson (Leela), John Leeson (K9), Miles Richardson (Cardinal Braxiatel), Sean Carlsen (Coordinator Narvin), Andy Coleman (Commander Torvald), Hugo Myatt (Arkadian), India Fisher (Cecelia Pollard), Susan Engel (Ms. Joy), David Warwick (Erich), Daniel Hogarth (Waiter)

Notes: Guest star Susan Engel has met Romana before – well, sort of. As Vivien Fay, Engel appeared alongside the first Romana, played by Mary Tamm, in the 1978 story The Stones Of Blood. The events and explanations in this story lean heavily upon the Doctor Who audio stories Storm Warning, Neverland and Zagreus. The Doctor has apparently told Leela a great deal about Earth history where Hitler is concerned, as she recognizes the name immediately; she also recounts the history of her tribe, the Sevateem, and their mortal enemies the Tesh, as established on TV in her debut story, The Face Of Evil. The Celestial Intervention Agency, a sly satirical nod toward another secretive group whose acronym is CIA, was established in The Deadly Assassin, as were many other aspects of Time Lord society mentioned throughout the Gallifrey series.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Lies

Gallifrey: LiesPrior to her secret assignment to join the Doctor in his search for the Key to Time, inquisitive Time Lady Romanadvoratrelundar wanders into the long-abandoned vaults beneath the Capitol on Gallifrey. Before she is discovered there by a concerned Cardinal Braxiatel, Romana hears a voice speaking to her, offering a promise of future power and demanding that she keep this chance encounter a secret. And the voice says a word: Imperiatrix.

Many hundreds of years (and one regeneration) later, President Romana of the High Council of Time Lords is instituting sweeping changes to Gallifreyan society. For the first time ever, students from the various time-aware powers are being admitted to Gallifrey’s august Academy. Capital punishment and even most forms of imprisonment have been abolished. But one prisoner remains: Andred, the former head of the Chancellery Guard (and Leela’s husband), awaits trial for the crimes he committed in the persona of Free Time agent Torvald. He insists that he is no longer Torvald, but he also refuses to divulge Free Time’s secrets to anyone who asks.

Distraught over the revelation that Andred is alive, but now an enemy of the Time Lords, Leela and her K-9 unit wander into the vaults. The voice that once spoke to Romana speaks to Leela, and then she disappears without a trace. K-9 summons help from Romana’s K-9, and when Romana visits the vaults again for the first time in many years, she finds Leela alive and well, believing that the voice is that of a ghostly spirit. The voice remembers Romana as well, and even introduces her to her first incarnation. But in whatever form Romana takes, the voice knows her by another name: Imperiatrix, a dark legend of a female President of the Time Lords who, with the help of her alien bodyguard, sought to declare war on all of time and space from her home base on Gallifrey.

Order this CDwritten by Gary Russell
directed by Gary Russell
music by David Darlington

Cast: Lalla Ward (President Romana), Louise Jameson (Leela), John Leeson (K9), Mary Tamm (Romana), Lynda Bellingham (Inquisitor Prime Darkel), Miles Richardson (Cardinal Braxiatel), Sean Carlsen (Coordinator Narvin), Andy Coleman (Commander Torvald), Ian Hallard (Castellan Wynter), Trevor Littledale (The Archivist), Barbara Longman (Pandora)

Notes: Apparently the office of Castellan is not the singular position that it seemed to be in TV Doctor Who; there are numerous references to there being more than one Castellan in office simultaneously (unless it is customary to refer to retired past Castellans by that title without adding “former,” as in the case of former American Presidents). Maxil is among the Castellans mentioned; though he is only mentioned and doesn’t appear, that character, last seen in the 1983 Doctor Who story Arc Of Infinity, was played by future Doctor Colin Baker.

Timeline: all of the Gallifrey audios take place sometime after the Doctor Who audio Zagreus.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Spirit

Gallifrey: SpiritTired of the constant political backstabbing that seems to be evolving into the more literal variety, Leela tells Romana she wants to leave Gallifrey. Romana agrees, taking her to a secure retreat on the planet Davidia so they can talk over what’s bothering Leela. While they make some headway in understanding each other, the peace on Davidia is shattered by the unexpected arrival of a TARDIS. Its sole occupant is burned beyond recognition, his hands are broken, and he is missing his tongue, and worse yet, when Romana calls Braxiatel on Gallifrey to check on the ID of the TARDIS, the Cardinal learns that the vehicle is still on Gallifrey – this TARDIS comes from the Time Lords’ future. When Romana talks about forcing the man to regenerate, Leela can only see it as more evidence that she’ll never be able to understand the Time Lords. Romana also wants to try to access the man’s thoughts via the Matrix, but given the threat of Pandora, the disembodied voice which promised that Romana would become the Imperiatrix of Gallifrey, Romana is barred from using the Matrix lest Pandora spread throughout Gallifrey’s systems. The retreat may offer an alternative way of viewing the TARDIS pilot’s thoughts, though after seeing those thoughts, Romana and Leela may wish they had let him die.

Order this CDwritten by Stephen Cole
directed by Gary Russell
music by David Darlington

Cast: Lalla Ward (President Romana), Louise Jameson (Leela), Lynda Bellingham (Inquisitor Prime Darkel), Miles Richardson (Cardinal Braxiatel), Sean Carlsen (Coordinator Narvin), Michael Cuckson (Commander Hallan), Heather Tracey (Melyin)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Pandora

Gallifrey: PandoraThe body of the mutilated Time Lord from Davidia is returned to Gallifrey in stasis – and in complete secrecy – for further study. Romana and Braxiatel discover that the experiment of opening Gallifrey’s doors to other temporal superpowers may have unintended consequences; one of Braxiatel’s alien students is caught trying to poison Gallifrey’s water supply in the name of the Free Time movement. Complicating matters even more is the fact that he’s caught by Andred, who is still on the run after having broken out of his imprisonment. The question of whether or not Romana will appoint Braxiatel to be the new Chancellor of the High Council is at the heart of Inquisitor Darkel’s latest political power grab, as she plays all sides against the middle and finds her most willing (if unwitting) ally in the naive Castellan Wynter. By preying on his fear that his inexperience will cut his reign short, Darkel convinces him to unleash the Pandora creature, which K-9 had managed to corner in a data partition in the Matrix. But in so doing, Wynter discovers in the most horrible way that the mutilated body from Davidia is himself – but even his attempts to deny Pandora a body and mind to inhabit will prove unsuccessful, as she seeks a victim who now sits in an even higher office.

Order this CDwritten by Justin Richards
directed by Gary Russell
music by David Darlington

Cast: Lalla Ward (President Romana), Louise Jameson (Leela), John Leeson (K-9), Lynda Bellingham (Inquisitor Prime Darkel), Miles Richardson (Cardinal Braxiatel), Sean Carlsen (Coordinator Narvin), Andy Coleman (Commander Torvald), Ian Hallard (Castellan Wynter), Michael Cuckson (Commander Hallan), Barbara Longman (Pandora), Nicholas Briggs (Gold Usher), Lucy Beresford (Student Gillestes), John Ainsworth (Time Lord), Nigel Fairs (Time Lord), Toby Robinson (Time Lord)

Notes: The position of Chancellor hasn’t been held since the days of Chancellor Flavia, who appeared in the The Five Doctors. The position was apparently eliminated after the latter adventure, presumably in whatever change of power unseated the Doctor from the presidency in his absence.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Insurgency

Gallifrey: InsurgencyIn the Time Lord Academy, unrest grows as more non-Gallifreyan students are expelled following an attempt by a student with Free Time ties to poison the Time Lords’ water supply. The situation is made worse by Braxiatel’s disappearance from Gallifrey, and many of the students feel they’re being singled out because of their race without any regard to academic performance or actual evidence that they have terrorist ties. In the Academy archives, Romana uses K-9 to consult with what’s left of the entity known as Pandora; with its past and present aspects having found a host in the exiled Braxiatel, what remains of Pandora can only advise Romana vaguely on future matters. Pandora continues to predict that Romana will institute a totalitarian government on Gallifrey, installing herself as the Time Lords’ Imperiatrix during a bloody civil war. And when Inquisitor Darkel, with the cooperation of CIA Coordinator Narvin, makes a brazen grab for the presidency, it begins to look like Pandora’s predictions are inevitable.

Order this CDwritten by Steve Lyons
directed by Gary Russell
music by David Darlington

Cast: Lalla Ward (President Romana), Louise Jameson (Leela), John Leeson (K-9), Lynda Bellingham (Inquisitor Prime Darkel), Sean Carlsen (Coordinator Narvin), Andy Coleman (Commander Torvald), Steven Wickham (Acting Chancellor Valyes), Stuart Piper (Student Neeloc), Gary Bakewell (Student Taylor), Jenny Livsey (Student Galadina), John Dorney (Student B’arech)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Imperiatrix

Gallifrey: ImperiatrxiLeela receives news that Andred has been found murdered in the chambers of the Chancellery Guard. Leela intends to claim the Sevateem right of vengeance, but Romana needs her friend to continue serving as the acting Castellan, not a bloodthirsty killer. That’s only the latest in a series of violent incidents, including a bombing of the Time Lord Academy, targeting the alien students. Inquisitor Darkel, now openly challenging Romana’s presidency, can’t resist suggesting to the Gallifreyan public that if Romana can’t ensure that the presence of aliens at the Academy can’t be maintained without violence, then the aliens should be sent home. Romana sets Leela and K-9 on the trail of the bombers, while also assigning Coordinator Narvin of the Celestial Intervention Agency to investigate. But what Romana doesn’t know is that Narvin is working with Darkel to secure the Inquisitor’s rise to the presidency. Romana continues to consult in secret with the being known as Pandora, but continues to insist that she won’t go down the path that Pandora says in inevitable. Leela’s K-9 finds evidence of another bomb at the Academy just before it explodes; Guard Commander Hallan closes the blast doors before K-9 or many of the alien students can escape. Romana raises Gallifrey’s defensive transduction barriers and puts the planets on a war footing. Darkel calls for a public, and openly broadcasted, debate in the High Council, and Romana agrees…but she has something in mind other than than the orchestrated open debate that Darkel is planning. And naturally, Romana only has the best interests of Gallifrey and the Time Lords at heart…even if that means that the freedom to disagree with her policies is about to become a thing of the past.

Order this CDwritten by Stewart Sheargold
directed by Gary Russell
music by David Darlington

Cast: Lalla Ward (President Romana), Louise Jameson (Leela), John Leeson (K-9), Lynda Bellingham (Candidate Darkel), Sean Carlsen (Coordinator Narvin), Michael Cuckson (Commander Hallan), Robin Sebastian (Commentator Antimon), Jenny Livsey (Student Galadina), Nicholas Briggs (Gold Usher), Daniel Hogarth (Nekkistani Ambassador), Conrad Westmaas (Nekkistani Emperor)

Notes: K-9 has worn the Coronet of Rassilon before, in the 1977 TV adventure The Invasion Of Time; that story also established the transduction barriers surrounding Gallifrey.

LogBook entry by Earl Green