In a climate of unease and mistrust, the major time-travelling
races hold a summit on a planetoid impervious to outside attack
and internal subversion. Working undercover to hunt for evidence
of Free Time activity, Leela and K9 Mark I find terrors of
a different kind - time and time again...
an element of Groundhog Day in this instalment, as
Leela (Louise Jameson) finds history repeating itself, though
she doesn't have to relive the same day as many times as Bill
Murray's character did. Finding the cause of the time loop
is, of course, not a straightforward matter, and writer Stephen
Cole manages to keep us guessing, just as Alan Barnes did
in the previous volume.
is clear that this series is going to touch on Time Lord stories
from across the gamut of Doctor Who's history. Quite
apart from obvious reference points such as The Invasion
of Time, in which Leela stayed behind on Gallifrey, we
hear an atmospheric background sound effect from The War
Games. The very concept of this mini-series relies heavily
on one of Cole's previous audio scripts, The Apocalypse
Element, which introduced President Romana (Lalla Ward)
to the Big Finish range, as well as the idea of the trans-temporal
alliance, with member races including the Monan Host. The
writer also hints at a possible future for Gallifrey, as depicted
in his co-authored novel The Ancestor Cell, when the
delegates speak of races whose careless deeds erased their
a shame that Co-ordinator Vansell was killed off in the Doctor
Who audio drama Neverland because the current Co-ordinator,
Narvin (Sean Carlsen), has been given a similarly unscrupulous
personality. Still, this isn't the first time that a Gallifreyan
character has been replaced by an analogous stand-in - think
of Chancellors Thalia and Flavia, or Maxil and the nameless
Commander in The Five Doctors.
and Leela make a good team, complementing each other nicely.
Whereas the aristocratic Romana has a keen grasp of complex
strategies and conspiracies, Leela has the finely honed instincts
of a hunter and is able to read the body language of potential
foes. By the end of this story, the President seems to have
gravitated from a grudging respect for the savage's abilities
to something of a fondness.
also have some wonderful bitchiness going on between the two
K9s (John Leeson), as Mark II refers to his predecessor as
"the inferior K9". It's good to have the opportunity to catch
up with so many of the Fourth Doctor's old companions, since
Tom Baker has made it clear that he is not interested in re-creating
his era on audio.
long as the series can maintain this standard, I shan't be
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