Reviewed By: traves8853
Review Date: 12/7/15 12:36 pm
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.
Gallifrey - Intervention Earth: Big Finish decided to drop the boxset format for their Gallifrey spin-off series in favour of a more wallet friendly and less time-consuming release whilst taking the chance to freshen up the series. Still, offering, four episodes at thirty-minute durations rather than the one-hour format, and some scintillating artwork for the cover. It isn't just the Gallifrey franchise that has regenerated; the changes go deeper with the addition of Juliet Landau to the cast as the third incarnation of president Romana. Intervention Earth breaks with tradition but doesn't forget its roots.
The story begins with Ace, apparently, being requested by a member of the high council to assist in a mission to recover the hand of Omega and investigate a temporal anomaly in the mutter-spiral, that threatens to destroy the universe. The double cross and traitorous nature of Ace's travelling companion soon become clear. Meanwhile, on Gallifrey, the Precogs (Gallifreyian soothsayers) are restless, concerned over the temporal anomaly and Ace's disappearance; A cult known as The Adherence of Ohm makes plans for the return of their leader. To really appreciate this story, it's advisable that you are familiar with the events of 'The Three Doctors' and 'Remembrance of the Daleks', as a minimum without having heard this series before.
It's wonderful to hear Sophie Aldred play a more mature and less Scrappy-Doo-like Ace; although, we still have lines like, "I'll work you out in a minute" when somebody uses the word workout, not quite mellowed with age. Stephen Thorne's menacing tones as Omega remain unchanged, though; Gyles Brandreth's infeasibly plummy voice is superbly suited to being a supercilious Gallifreyian, who else would he be? Although, most of the attention will be on former Buffy cohort Juliet Landau, who is as softly spoken, and strait-laced as any of her predecessors, though nowhere near as haughty. The story isn't burdened with a regeneration scene for the Timelady assistant of the Doctor; sometimes I have to remind myself who she is supposed to be, but she as every bit a Romana as any of her predecessors.
The production values are scintillating. I absolutely adore the theme tune to this. It has a gentle pattering drum beat with organ-like synths and decadent bells. It sounds ancient yet futuristic and beautiful. The woozy background sounds of Ace's Tardis are fantastic. The music tries to take an energetic upbeat turn during the escape from the black hole which it doesn't quite manage to pull off. The directing duties are handled superbly by Scott Handock who co-wrote this with David Llewellyn. Scott has written the fantastic 'The Magician's Oath' for the companion chronicles range, and it's a wonder that neither has written for the main range of releases, as this is so hard to fault!
There is a large part which is centred on ancient earth, and a definite theme of juxtapositioning the old and the new, which is kind of apt for this rebirth of the series. There is an even mixture of action and dialogue, although, the constant grunting during the mind-wrestling was a bit silly. I have to say the only fault for me was that this ends on a cliffhanger because I am so desperate to hear the next one I just want to binge on this series now. It's well-plotted with a real sense of gravitas, who says you can't have a decent story featuring the Timelords?