The 3rd chapter of Big Finish's Gallifrey mini-series picks up the dangling plot threads from chapter 1, with an enquiry into Romana's handling of the Timeonic Fusion Device threat, and whether the device ever existed in the first place. Despite expectations that this was going to be Romana's version of Trial of a Timelord the enquiry is soon adjourned, and disappointingly Lynda Bellingham's Inquisitor gets little to do. On the plus side though the story takes some unexpected directions following Romana and Leela's quest to discover who stole the Timeonic Fusion Device, with a neat reversal on Trial's 'someone's been tampering with the Matrix angle when it appears that reality itself has changed leaving only the Matrix records showing the truth of what should have been. A good dramatic story that also manages to develop Braxiatel and gives us some answers about Andred's fate. After a pointless diversionary Chapter 2 the Gallifrey miniseries is firmly back on track.
This is the third chapter in the first Gallifrey series. Having thwarted the shenanigans at the temporal conference, Romana now faces an inquiry into the whole timeonic fusion device issue – did it exist, and if it is impossible to build one, how could it have existed, but if it did was it as big a threat as Romana acted upon? Inquisitor Darkel, familiar to tv viewers from the Trial of a TimeLord season of Colin Baker (as the Sixth Doctor) reprises her role here, and very well too. Romana faces enemies from within and without, as her work is threatened by the CIA under Narvin and Torvald, and must rely on Cardinal Braxiatel as her ally – but is Braxiatel compromised as well? Meanwhile, Leela is trying to still find out what happened to her husband, the Chancellery Guard Andred.
This is great stuff; while it furthers some threads from the first two chapters of this series, Leela’s search for answers about Andred is left incomplete, and Romana is still trying to find out who is behind the temporal terrorists. The characters are well and fully drawn, and the actors play their parts perfectly – Sean Carlsen as Narvin, Miles Richardson as Braxiatel, Lalla Ward as Romana and Louise Jameson as Leela in particular. It’s nice also to have two versions of K9, each rather illogically jealous of the other. I look forward to chapter 4, A Blind Eye to see what happens next.