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< 8.0 - Enemy Lines
9.2 - Soldier Obscura >

9.1 - Celestial Intervention

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Average Rating
7.6
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18
Gallifrey - Time War
8.4
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Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 2/26/18 8:20 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

At the time of story start, Gallifrey is under new leadership. The main players from the previous series are not in charge of Gallifrey anymore. A new President named Livia is in charge of the Time Lords as a whole while a new General named Trave heads the War Council and Romana II (once again played lovingly by Lalla Ward) and Narvin (Sean Carlson) are heads of the Celestial Intervention Agency (aka the Time Lord organization that actually interferes and keeps the web of time in check while dirty work that Time Lords don't do). Secrets are being kept from all organizations across all sides and the politics of Gallifrey have never been more dire which is what this series does best. On top of all of this, members of the Temporal Powers (alliance of various time-active factions of the universe including the Time Lords) are being massacred by the Daleks in particular the Phaidons whose refugees have begun taking refuge on Gallifrey itself. The conflict with this first story is whether or not to provide sanctuary for these refugees or leave them be on their own with viewpoints on both sides taking center stage in the compassionate side and the usual isolationist side which the Time Lords usually stand for. At the heart of all of this, it seems that the War Council is scheming and planning for full escalation without anyone's knowledge including big plans in the forests of Gallifrey, a potential forced election, and something mysterious in the Death Zone itself. As you can tell, it's a LOT to take in right off the bat but 'Intervention' actually does a great job of bringing you in nice and slowly while upping the ante of what's going on. The plot is plodding and bit slower but that's normal for Gallifrey and there is a real sense of dread and build up through the whole thing that is tangible and thick. The acting is amazing on all sides with Lalla Ward in particular once again coming on amazingly strong as she always is. There is a reason that Romana II remains my favorite Classic Who companion with Ace as a close second and it continues to be exemplified in her performance here. Most of the other cast member perform admirably but my personal favorite in this story is General Trave playing a high and mighty head agitating for power for himself as well as the War Council itself. He seems like one thing on the surface but he's surprisingly sneaky and conniving when he wants to be and Paul Marc Davis's acting as well as conflicts with Romana are the real backbone and highlight of this one. The atmosphere is unique and different from normal Doctor Who stories in all of the best way but fits nicely with the same universe and feels completely believable. Even in this first story, there are big surprises across the board especially with how far the Time Lords are willing to go and strong character moments especially with Leela, Romana, Narvin and their friendship. It really makes me want to catch up on the rest of this series in the past to hear how they got to where they were. The events end up serving as Gallifrey's impetus for a declaration of war against the Daleks, a huge moment considering what's been built up over the past 10+ years. It's chilling, powerful, and brilliant. In short, while 'Intervention' does feel a bit like of set up for the next couple stories in the set, it's an incredibly strong story with tons of amazing moments and a great start to what I hope continues to be an amazing set.