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Recap / Big Finish Doctor Who 230 Time In Office

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While returning to Frontios to pick up Turlough, The Doctor and Tegan find the TARDIS hijacked by someone neither wanted to meet again: The Time Lords! Dumped by the TARDIS on Gallifrey, The Doctor is forced to carry out his duties at the Lord President of Gallifrey with Tegan and old ally Leela by his side, and he's not allowed to escape it by popping off into his TARDIS again. This release chronicles his time in office.


Episode 1: Period of Adjustment

The Doctor and Tegan reunites with Leela (who's also been on Gallifrey since The Sontarans' attempted takeover). While Tegan and Leela attempt to stop some Time Lords from wiping Tegan's memory of the Doctor (aside from their first adventure) and leaving her on Earth, The Doctor settles into his role as Lord President by trying to abolish an irritating secret department of the Capital.

  • "Ass" in Ambassador: Immediately after being appointed as Gallifrey's Earth Ambassador, Tegan uses her new position to taunt another Time Lord who was about to mind-wipe her and send her to Earth. Then said, he was about to do so without actually informing the President about this, denying her any chance of actually staying.
  • Citizenship Marriage: Leela thinks this would be an excellent way to keep Tegan from getting deported from Gallifrey. The Doctor disagrees.
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  • Continuity Nod: The Time Lords attempt to wipe Tegan's mind of the Doctor (except of their first adventure), which previously happened to Zoe and Jamie.
  • Continuity Snarl: Discussed when Tegan is quizzed on her knowledge of Time Lords. She recites that they only get a second heart after their first regeneration, hence why the First Doctor is only identified as possessing one heart by himself and Ian in early stories.
    • One of The Doctor's first decrees as Lord President is to open the Time Lord Academy to non-Gallifreyans, bridging the Gallifreyan's xenophobic attitude in The Deadly Assassin to allowing the human companion Ace to become a Time Lady later in the Seventh Doctor's life.
  • Everybody Calls Him "Barkeep": The Doctor realises he and Tegan never caught the name of the previous Castellan, only referring to him by his title.
  • Help Yourself in the Future: There's an entire department dedicated to going back in time and advising the Lord President whether his latest policy was successful or not. When The Doctor's latest policy is to abolish the department, things get... complicated.
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  • It's All About Me: Borusa created a complex and twisted political system that was totally dependent on the idea that he would rule Gallifrey forever, leading to the Time Lords appointing the Doctor as Lord President in his place as the only one with the necessary strength of will to undo Borusa’s current system without Gallifrey collapsing on itself in the process.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Said nearly verbatim when The Doctor discovers the only way to keep Tegan by his side was to appoint her as the Gallifreyan ambassador to Earth, and immediately takes advantage of it to annoy him.
  • Sequel Episode: To "The Five Doctors", specifically at the end when the Time Lords appoint The Doctor as their next Lord President, so he leaves.

Episode 2: Past Indiscretions

The Doctor and Leela are tasked with attending a ceremony with a race who are worshipped as gods, but it gets complicated when they are recognised as the killers of the ambassador's brother during a visit to 18th-Century Japan.

  • A Day in the Limelight: Tegan really shines here, having done her homework on the Arimcei before arriving at a diplomatic meeting, having the idea on how to defeat the Arimcei and, in general, saving the day. She's also the only one who didn't end up (unintentionally) offending Sugru.
  • Ambadassador: The Arimcei ambassador, Sugru, has nine limbs and a flaming head. Tegan wisely decides it's not a good idea to anger him.
    • Tegan becomes one at the end of the story by concocting the plot to make the Arimcei's only source of faith energy lose said faith, by introducing two of their leading warriors to their supposed "god". As a result, he and his race disappears.
  • "Ass" in Ambassador: According to Lowri, Tegan has been introducing herself to other Time Lords as the Earth Ambassador for no apparent reason other than to annoy them.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: The Doctor and Leela don't remember killing the Sugru's brother until they get his name, Inec, since they've lost count of the number of despots, tyrants, and other villains they've defeated. It really didn't help that Inec looked nothing like his brother.
  • Bullying the Dragon: Sugru is rather adamant that the Doctor, who is Gallifrey's High President, and Leela, a warrior who has defended Gallifrey and the Doctor's friend, be handed over to him or the Arimcei will go to war with Gallifrey. At this point in time after their previous war, the Arimcei have only a single planet keeping them alive and the Time Lords have only gotten more powerful. The only reason Sugru lasted as long as he did was because the Doctor was too nice and kept trying to avoid conflict.
  • Call-Back: Tegan uses the WARDIS's Fast Return Switch.
  • The Cameo: The Forth Doctor makes a non-speaking cameo during a flashback to his travels with Leela in Japan.
  • Continuity Nod: Tegan mentions the last time she piloted a TARDIS didn't end well. Fortunately, the instructions she has this adventure mean things go swimmingly.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The war between the Arimcei and Gallifrey was very much one-sided. The Arimcei are ephemeral beings who can choose to take corporeal form, and are rather intimidating when they do, but were no match for the Time Lords for rather obvious reasons. The only reason the Arimcei weren't completely wiped out was because Gallifrey happened to also be developing their characteristic policy of non-intervention, and so called a cease-fire. The Arimcei like to say it was a draw.
  • Duel to the Death: Leela attempts to do this with Sugru to end their bad blood, or kill him, but he's unfamiliar with the concept and sees no reason to risk himself instead of simply executing her and the Doctor. Lowri's attempts to goad him into it only offend him further.
  • Diplomatic Impunity: Tegan's diplomatic immunity saves her from any repercussions of her actions in this story, and gives Vorena a convenient excuse to assist her while denying that she or Gallifrey did anything.
  • God Needs Prayer Badly: The Arimcei as a whole require the faith of others to keep themselves alive, which is helped by the fact that their voice touches a part of the brain that makes one believe that a god has actually spoken to them. They previously had quite a few planets to their name, praising them as gods. Then they tried to establish their religion on Gallifrey. Suffice to say, it did not go well.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Tegan is rather subdued when she learns she accidentally caused the Arimcei to be wiped out by removing the last of their sources of faith energy, rather than simply weaken them as she intended.
  • Portmanteau: The Doctor calls a military TARDIS a WARDIS - that's not its officially name, but apparently it stuck.
  • Puff of Logic: The Arimcei are fueled by the belief of other aliens that they are gods. Tegan took advantage of this by going back in time, bringing a pair of warriors from the only planet the Arimcei had left sustaining them and causing them to start questioning the Arimcei's godhood. Sugru seals the deal when he tries to kill them to prevent them from ending the war, only for the WARDIS's forcefields to prevent them from being unharmed and denounce the Arimcei as false gods. Since these warriors were from the past, the Arimcei vanish in the present, lacking any faith energies to sustain themselves.

Episode 3: History Repeating

A Time Lord gets fed up with Gallifreyan society, and decides to get his own companion (incidentally, Tegan), steals his own TARDIS and leaves to start his own adventures in time and space. Sounds familiar?

  • Accidental Kidnapping: Scandrius and Tegan are going out for drinks when he steals a TARDIS and takes her with him. When he gets lost using the TARDIS and she wants to get back to Gallifrey (even preferring this option over staying in High Barnet), the situation slowly becomes this.
  • Apocalypse How: Scandrius' TARDIS breaks on its third journey and nearly causes life on Gallifrey to unhappen.
  • Call-Back: One to "Past Indiscretions" when Tegan tries to mitigate damage from Scandrius's aimless wanderings in time and space by using the Fast Return Switch again. It backfires dramatically when the switch breaks.
  • History Repeats: The conceit of a Time Lord going rogue and stealing a TARDIS has happened before.
  • Irony: The Doctor, infamous for going renegade on the Time Lords, has to track down and capture another renegade whose plans to explore the universe goes awry. The irony isn't lost on any of the Time Lords.
  • Sugar Bowl: What little we hear of Toothpaste World evoke this, complete with a distinctly minty air.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: It is very apparent that Scandrius is trying to be like the Doctor - he stole a TARDIS that he claims "wanted to be stolen", takes a human companion to explore the universe's mysteries, and even tries to keep a 500 year diary - all because he believes the Doctor became a Sell-Out after becoming High President. Tegan is not impressed.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Scandrius, whose idea of determining whether the location his TARDIS arrives at is safe or not is to actually walk outside without checking the scanner. As a result he exits his TARDIS and falls into a toothpaste-like substance, requiring Tegan to help him back in. Fortunately, he doesn't actually exit into High Barnet. Unfortunately, he is not only far less of an accomplished pilot than he thought he was, but his stolen TARDIS also breaks on its third trip. Vorena was counting on this, though ultimately it didn't pay off.

Episode 4: Architects of Destruction

  • Ad Hominem: One Time Lord commentator stating that "I'm not speaking for other people, but everyone else who disagrees with me are idiots!"
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Capital TARDIS was designed as one, being described as capable of being a gigantic, time travelling robot to allow the Doctor to travel through time and defeat any villain he saw fit without ever leaving the Capital building itself.
  • Eldritch Location: The interior of the new Capital building shifting around is reminiscent of this.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The Time Lord faction loyal to the Doctor builds him a Capital Building-TARDIS hybrid so he could lead the Time Lords to other planets in the Capital to fight injustices. They don't see the inherant paradox in putting the Doctor in a position of tyranical power to unseat others in positions of tyranical power.
  • Grand Finale: To the "Lord President Fifth Doctor" arc.
  • Sequel Hook:
    The Doctor: Imagine how bad it would have to be for the Time Lords to have to call me back again.
  • Shoot the Dog: A non-lethal variant. The Doctor is rather saddened that, by sending the Capital TARDIS into an eternal time loop so as to not give Gallifrey such a potent weapon, he's sending a newborn TARDIS on a never ending journey.
  • Tautological Templar: A faction of Time Lords have basically created a scenario where the Doctor would have the power to take a massive TARDIS across all of time and space to enforce his views on other worlds, but Leela protests as this would put the Doctor in a position of power in contrast to his traditional role fighting for the underdog; the Doctor acknowledges Leela's argument, but affirms that he already decided not to accept this 'offer' before Leela said a word.

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