This is the second volume in the Gallifrey Series One. It is a bit of a placeholder, following on from the universe-shattering discoveries in Volume 1, Weapon of Choice. Now that we have established Romana as the President of Gallifrey, and Leela as her ‘personal weapon’, and the activities of Free Time, we now have a temporal summit where all the great powers who wish to make use of time are trying to decide how best to rationalise and safely utilise their temporal powers. Of course Gallifrey have an advantage over most of the other temporal planets, but Romana must be careful not to show any disdain or favouritism. In the meantime, she must also seek to ensure the summit goes smoothly; any disruption by Free Time could be damaging beyond belief. So she places Leela as an undercover agent at the summit.
This is good stuff; I found the action-packed first volume a lot to take in, and this one I think gives listeners the chance to bed in their new found knowledge. The characters are great; Romana is imperious as the President, Leela is her usual self, wise yet savage all in one; and we also see glimpses of Braxiatel and Narvin from Gallifrey, as well as representatives of some of the other powers – the Monan Host and the Nekkistani are prominent in this story.
I’ve listened before to Series One through Three, but that was a while ago. I’m way behind with my listening to the Gallifrey series – having just ordered Series Six, I thought I should make an effort to catch up! So, now on to Volume 3 of Series One – The Inquiry. I’m really enjoying the re-listen, and look forward to getting on to the ones I haven’t previously heard. I think the whole concept of the Gallifrey stories is inspired, and the characters and stories are solid. Great stuff.
The first chapter in the Gallifrey miniseries was intriguing and enjoyable stuff - unfortunately this instalment is dull and depressing. The story concerns Leela going undercover at the summit between the temporal powers to uncover any terrorists - it sounds fine in principal but the execution is horrible. Leela is forced to go undercover as an exotic dancer (eh? The most important political summit in all history has jiggling dancing girls?), team up with a clichéd East End working girl, and investigate a one-suspect whodunit. We also have time being replayed so that we get the same scenes multiple times with different outcomes, but this is now a rather tired device, and the fact that ultimately whatever happens in the story gets negated makes the whole thing seem rather pointless. Cole slips in one nice twist near the end with Romana's revelation as to the story behind the summit, but the uncovered villain of the piece then takes the opportunity to stop acting and start chewing the carpet with some hammy melodramatic speeches. A real disappointment after Weapon of Choice, I can only hope that subsequent chapters get the initially promising Gallifrey miniseries back on track.