Called back to Gallifrey, the Fifth Doctor must take on his greatest foe: bureaucracy!
Having dodged the Time Lord Presidency twice already, the Doctor has resolved to steer clear of Gallifrey for a while. The High Council, however, has other plans and convinces the Doctor’s into a temporary stint in office.
Thimble of Rassilon
The Time Lords have, through the course of the series, risen to become a very devious and untrustworthy race. There are not many decent Time Lords! Since their first appearance, their motives and priorities have been different, their mystique rising and falling with each new appearance. So when a story takes the Doctor back to Gallifrey, what new shocks and thrills will be added to an already eclectic mix?
‘Time in Office’ is set just after the events of ‘The Five Doctors’ and ‘Frontios’ with the Fifth Doctor and Tegan. Of course, this means we also get the added treat of the Doctor’s two most strong-willed companions meeting at last. Namely Tegan and Leela. Sparks fly between two such strong women but a clear kinship emerges quickly. It’s always a treat when two companions who’ve never met before get to do so in unusual circumstances.
‘Time in Office’ has all the ingredients of a Gallifrey so politically twisted it’s a ride to see if the Doctor can make a difference. This story is really four mini-stories exploring how the Doctor copes with different aspects of the Presidency. We start with his troubled inaugural address and move into a story about resolving grudges between the Time Lords and the rest of the Universe. We explore Gallifreyan outcasts who want to change the old regime and see the Doctor as its symbol. Finally, the Doctor and his entourage get locked in the newly-christened Presidential TARDIS and must fight their way out. The talented Eddie Robson combines all four plot elements into a clear narrative with commendable skill.
The Fifth Estate
Peter Davison is on fine form and he brings out the many emotional states that would come to anyone forced into politics. Janet Fielding as Tegan gets a lot to do in the space of four episodes. Robson has invented a clever method to keep Tegan in the midst of the action. Louise Jameson as Leela works really well with Peter and Janet, adding a fresh dynamic that works extremely effectively. Turlough doesn’t appear though he’s mentioned as being in the TARDIS. Apparently nursing the mother of all space hangovers given he seemingly stays in there for weeks.
The guest cast are all very good too, particularly Julie Teal as Verena and Sheri-An Davis as Castellan Lowri. It’s good to hear a story prominently featuring female Time Lords who so rarely featured on TV. Helen Goldwyn’s direction is perfect, as are the sound design and post production. One has come to expect no less from the team at Big Finish.
‘Time in Office’ is made up of many parts which come together well to make a worthy and highly impactful chapter of Gallifreyan history. The Time Lords are presented at their most multifaceted and diverting and the format plays well to the plot at hand.
Blogtor Rating: 10/10
This title was released in September 2017. It will be exclusively available to buy from the BF website until October 31st 2017, and on general sale after this date.
The Doctor’s adventures in time and space are over. The Time Lords have recalled him to Gallifrey – but what he faces on his home planet is worse than any trial. Following the disappearance of President Borusa, the High Council condemned him to the highest office – and he can’t evade his responsibilities a nanosecond longer…
So all hail the Lord High President! All hail President Doctor!
Rassilon save him. This time, there’s really no escape.
Written By: Eddie Robson
Directed By: Helen Goldwyn
Peter Davison (The Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela), Janet Fielding (Tegan), Sheri-An Davis (Castellan Lowri), Julie Teal (Chancellor Vorena), Michael Hobbs(Arcantis), Tim Scragg (Crex), Tim Sutton (Scandrius), Jenny Lee (Kasnegar). Other parts played by members of the cast.
Producer David Richardson
Script Editor Alan Barnes
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs