Gallifrey is a long-running Doctor Who audio spinoff by Big Finish, and part of the overarching Big Finish Doctor Who continuities. It takes place on the planet Gallifrey, the Doctor's homeworld, although the Doctor himself does not feature. The series revolves around two former companions, Romana (the second incarnation) and Leela. The former has come up in the world since her time on the TARDIS and is now Madame President of all Gallifrey; the latter becomes her trusted bodyguard and friend.The world depicted in Gallifrey is one of political machinations, betrayal, negotiations, secrets and a fair amount of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey messing around with the timelines of the Universe. Along with Romana and Leela, other characters include the sophisticated, scheming Cardinal Braxiatel (originally introduced in the Bernice Summerfield range); the suspicious yet fiercely loyal head of the CIA, Co-ordinator Narvin; the ambitious Inquisitor Prime Darkel; and two versions of the robot dog K9 (since the Doctor left K9 units with both Romana and Leela on their departures from the TARDIS).Although standalone, the series also builds on several existing plot threads from Big Finish. These include Braxiatel's established backstory in the Bernice Summerfield series, Charlotte Pollard's story arc and especially the events of "Zagreus", and the Jago & Litefoot audio series, which Leela occasionally appears in during her time working on Gallifrey. The stories in general are filled to the brim with Continuity Porn, and tend to dive headfirst into unanswered questions from Doctor Who — such as the mystery behind Romana's regeneration.Series one to three of the show were produced between 2004 and 2006, with the final episode of series three ending on a massive cliffhanger. The fourth series was released in March 2011, and the range continued until the Grand Finale series 6 in 2013, which will be followed by a special release in 2015.The series provides examples of:
Absence of Evidence: A major factor in the inquiry into Romana's actions on Gryben, as Narvin claims that the alleged 'timeonic fusion device' with which she was threatened could not possibly exist. It turns out that he's just been covering up the fact that he himself built one and allowed it to be stolen centuries earlier.
Arbitrary Skepticism: Quite a bit- Leela is mocked for believing in spirits in the Matrix, yet for all intents and purposes Pandora is one, and this is a universe with a Guardian for all the Evil and Good within it.
Ascended Extra: Darkel, who first appeared in the Sixth Doctor series 'The Trial of a Time Lord'. The Braxiatel Collection comes from a one line in 'City of Death'.
The Bechdel Test: Passes with flying colours - the two protagonists and both the main antagonists are all female and very rarely discuss their male counterparts.
Butt Monkey: Narvin. EVERYBODY hates him. And as CIA, he more or less expects it.
The Cameo: Colin Baker very briefly plays Maxil, uncredited.
Casual Kink: "I will see you later, for some...private interrogation." "I look forward to it." - Alt!Leela and Alt!Andred in Disassembled.
Cliff Hanger: A monumentous example occurs at the end of season 3, when a character is literally cut off mid-sentence. Not to mention that the entire planet is in the grip of a deadly virus and overrun by zombies, the president is trapped with no hope of escape, and another zombie is en route to the planet with a supposed 'cure' that will render the Time Lords unable to regenerate. Made even worse by the fact that Big Finish waited a further five years to release the next series, almost turning this into a Gainax Ending.
Conspicuously Public Assassination: Exploited by Inquisitor Darkel for political reasons when she engineers a failed one of these against herself in order to incriminate her rival for the presidential position.
The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: An element of Brax's past; he finds himself at the recieving end of an secret assaination order. However, then there is the happy coincidence of the assasain accidentally having a mysterious accident with some electrical equipment just as he began boasting about how much he'd like to kill Brax. As punishment, the President had Brax take the secret assasain's place and ordered him tokill an old man and his granddaughter. Fortunately, the President never managed to check that the order was carried out, as he himself hada mysterious and unfortunate accident involving some electrical equipment later the same day. Fortunately, an inquiry made certain that there was no wrongdoing or suspicion at all. And Brax should know; he was in charge of it.
Crossover: Braxiatel is the same character as in the Bernice Summerfield range. With an even more direct crossover at the end of Disassembled.
The Determinator: Romana. She may not be as sly, devious or canny as Braxiatel or other Gallifrian politicians, but she still manages to stay on top of the heap mainly through brute intellect and sheer bull-headed stubbornness.
Dude, Where's My Respect?: Romana and Narvin particularly. Romana has constantly worked to improve Gallifrey and protect its people, and for her efforts was charged with treason and exiled from the Capitol. Narvin gets blown up all the time in his efforts to do his duty and abide by his loyalty to his President (especially in Series 3), and in return only gets insulted and mocked by the rest of the cast.
Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Completely averted: nobody has any sex whatsoever, and the only kiss takes place between very minor characters and is not motivated by attraction.
Evil Chancellor: Subverted with Valyes, who is undoubtedly unpleasant but not evil.
Likewise, Braxiatel manages to fulfil the Evil Chancellor role almost to the letter without actually being evil.
Played straight with, of all people, Narvin in series 4, or rather an alternate version of Narvin with even less moral fibre and a hundred percent more ambition.
Evil Counterpart: Pandora to Romana. Ridiculously abundant in Series 4, as they drop in on alternate universes.
Fantastic Racism: The Time Lords to...well, everyone else, really. Romana's wild idea of working with other races instead of bossing them around like usual causes a few issues.
Gambit Pileup: From Appropriation all the way to Mindbomb as pretty much everyone makes a grab for the Presidency, although Brax manages to take it one step further (unsurprisingly, really, who else would) by the end of Panacea.
Gentleman Snarker: Braxiatel. Mephistopheles Arkadian could also qualify, despite being far from a gentleman.
Hey, It's That Voice!: Maxil, a one off character in one episode, is voiced by the Colin Baker, AKA the Sixth Doctor.
Some might recognise Arkadian as Treguard from Knightmare. Yes.
Ice Queen: This was Romana's nickname at the Academy. Also applies to Braxiatel, who was known as 'the Icicle'. Clearly this indicates how much they are made for each other.
The Insomniac: Narvin in the episode Pandora. Played for laughs by the other characters, who comment how his guilt over spying must be plaguing his conscience to keep him awake. In actuality, Pandora is feeding off his consciousness, keeping his mind active lest sleep shut down the connection. In this context, Narvin can be seen as something of a woobie.
Put on a Bus: Braxiatel, for over a year. Returns in grand style, though.
Pygmalion Plot: Brax and Romana: initially he tutored her at the Academy, wiped her mind, shielded her from Pandora's influence, continued to control guide her until she left Gallifrey completely, shepherded her through her political career to the presidency when she returned, and throughout the series shows himself to be dedicated to saving her from harm. It is quite clear that, despite his stiff upper lip, he has grown rather fond of her.
Canon by Gallifrey IV, which starts out with him fantasizing about asking Romana to marry him!
Ship Tease: So very very much at the beginning of Reborn, where Brax dreams that Narvin and Leela had decided to get married, and suggests following on a similar path with Romana. Who rejects him. In his dreams. Poor Brax.
Single-Episode Handicap: Subverted by Leela in series three, where she is blinded by an explosion. Having previously been blinded and gone on to recover naturally, she insists that her eyesight will return. It doesn't - at least, not until the application of some Applied Phlebotinum in series 4.
Smug Snake: Darkel. A particularly vicious version of this, as she is hardly unintelligent and very driven, but she has all the charm and diplomatic skills of a lump of seaweed.
Vitriolic Best Buds: Narvin and Brax, and probably Narvin and Leela too. And Narvin and Romana. You might see a pattern here, if you squint. Obviously Narvin cannot be best buds with anyone without at least some vitriol in there.