AUDIO DRAMA
Gallifrey
Chapter Three - The Inquiry

Starring: Lalla Ward, Louise Jameson and John Leeson
Big Finish Productions
RRP 9.99
ISBN 1 84435 090 8
Available 01 May 2004


President Romana has been called to account for her actions on Gryben, but the only evidence that she responded to a clear and present danger no longer exists. When the investigation itself triggers danger and time is - quite literally - running out for Gallifrey, who can Romana trust...?

If this instalment were a Hollywood movie, it might have been entitled Another Trial of a Time Lord or perhaps The Trial of Another Time Lord. For it is a semi-sequel to the Colin Baker Doctor Who serial The Trial of a Time Lord, with the Oxo lady herself, Lynda Bellingham, reprising her role as the Inquisitor. Writer Justin Richards has captured the essence of the Inquisitor (here named as Darkel) extremely well, as outwardly officious and inflexible but inwardly... less so.

Sound designer David Darlington also evokes a flavour of Trial in his music. As with Dominic Glynn's soundtracks for the first four and final two episodes of that mammoth Colin Baker serial, Darlington makes characteristic use of bells and other chiming sounds.

However, The Inquiry isn't just some turgid courtroom drama, raking over events from the first chapter of this miniseries. The hearing is just a jumping-off point for several plot strands. In one of these, Leela (Louise Jameson) uncovers more details about the disappearance of her husband, Andred.

And for those of you (myself included) who were wondering how the presence of Cardinal Braxiatel (Miles Richardson) in this miniseries could possibly fit in with his appearances in several New Adventures novels and in Big Finish's ongoing Bernice Summerfield series, that matter is also clarified. We learn that Irving hasn't yet established his famous Braxiatel Collection (which Romana herself mentioned in the Tom Baker serial City of Death), but is destined to do so in his own future.

In short, there's plenty going on in The Inquiry, which consequently merits a thorough investigation.

Richard McGinlay

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