A party of time-technology assessors uncovers disturbing evidence
of a deadly temporal weapon, which may have fallen into the
hands of terrorists. In search of the truth, President Romana
dispatches Leela and K9 Mark I on a undercover mission to
the planet Gryben, a reception centre for temporal refugees...
the television spin-off show K9 and Company was produced
back in 1981, it was suggested by some critics that, instead
of presenting Sarah Jane Smith and a new model of K9 in some
Scooby-Doo-style exploits, it might have been preferable
to tell the continuing adventures of Romana and K9 Mark II
or to assign Leela and the original K9 as agents of the Time
Lords. Well, this new mini-series features not only Romana
(Lalla Ward) and Leela (Louise Jameson), but also two K9s
(both John Leeson).
on from events in Big Finish's 40th anniversary Doctor
Who audio drama Zagreus, this series sees Romana
continuing her term of office as Gallifreyan President. As
such, she fulfils more of a desk-bound "M"-type role than
an active one, at least during this instalment. However, Leela
is very much the heroic agent of the Time Lords that was previously
envisaged, and Jameson ably rises to the challenge. The savage's
sense of honour contrasts well against Romana's haughtiness,
with the two K9s acting as go-betweens. Hugo Myatt provides
excellent and amusing support as a dodgy dealer called Arkadian.
Who book readers may recall that Leela, Romana and their
respective robot dogs previously appeared together in the
New Adventures novel Lungbarrow, in which Leela
was revealed to be pregnant by her Time Lord husband, Andred.
However, it is not impossible for this mini-series to co-exist
with Lungbarrow. It transpires that Andred has disappeared
under mysterious circumstances, so perhaps the child was with
him at the time, or maybe Leela suffered a miscarriage.
well as providing a field day for continuity-obsessed geeks
such as myself, there's also a moral aspect to the story.
The presence of a holding centre for time-travelling refugees,
the activities of a team of temporal weapons inspectors, and
a suicide bomber all echo the diplomatic difficulties that
the Blair administration is currently facing with regard to
the tricky topics of immigration and the "war on terrorism".
Scriptwriter Alan Barnes rounds off his tale with a well-crafted
early days yet, but this series shows good potential.
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