Gallifrey (audio series)
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 II, and John Leeson as two K-9 units, Mark I and Mark II. The title refers to the home planet of the Time Lords.
The first play in the series, Weapon of Choice, was released in 2004. The most recent, and final, series was released in 2013.
The series focuses on political struggles within the leadership of the Time Lords, centred on 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 the audio interviews for the fourth series that this was a reference to the television series' Time War.
The fourth series, sees Romana, Leela, K9 Mark II, Brax and Narvin unable to save the Gallifrey they know. Instead, they wander through a collection of truncated time lines, looking for answers in alternate Gallifreys.
List of Gallifrey audio plays
- 1.1 - Gallifrey: Weapon of Choice
- 1.2 - Gallifrey: Square One
- 1.3 - Gallifrey: The Inquiry
- 1.4 - Gallifrey: A Blind Eye
- 2.1 - Gallifrey: Lies
- 2.2 - Gallifrey: Spirit
- 2.3 - Gallifrey: Pandora
- 2.4 - Gallifrey: Insurgency
- 2.5 - Gallifrey: Imperiatrix