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VINE VOICEon 5 August 2005
This 6th chapter in Big Finish's audio Gallifrey series is very much a character-based piece, examining Romana and Leela, and their contrasting scientific and spiritual approaches. This is mostly well-handled, ultimately giving Leela enough of a resolution to continue wanting to live on Gallifrey, though a finale with some mind-swapping takes the play into silly SF cliché. The actual storyline concerning a 'broken man' from Gallifrey's future is full of menace, but very little is actually revealed by the stories end. Not a particularly successful standalone story, but in the context of the ongoing 'Pandora' storyline that runs through this second series of Gallifrey audios Spirit is a good solid instalment.
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After the stress of dealing with Pandora Imperiatrix and the Matrix incursions in the previous episode (Lies), Romana has gone on a Presidential break from her duties, with Leela to the paradise world of Davidia. Inquisitor Darkel would like nothing more than to have Romana removed from her position permanently, but Braxiatel is doing his best to safeguard Romana’s enforced removal from the Matrix from the Council while the K-9s isolate and remove the Pandora infection.

For Leela and Romana, a holiday in a world which offers them both nature (for Leela) and science (for Romana) turns into a nightmare when an unauthorised Tardis with a mystery man aboard arrives on Davidia. Can Leela and Romana escape from the nightmare and return safely to Gallifrey? But how safe is it there, and what can Braxiatel do against the machinations of Narvin and Darkel.

This is a great story, fitting in well as the second part of the Series 2 of Gallifrey. It sets up questions for the remaining 3 stories in this second series, and offers plenty of opportunity for twists and turns. I really like the way that the psychology of the individuals (as Jeeves would say) is used in these stories; Romana and Leela, and the other Gallifreyan individuals are well characterised and those characters and personalities are well involved in the story. I look forward to 2.3, Pandora.
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