Stories:
2941
Members:
741
Submitted Reviews:
8537
Reviewers:
348
1.2 - Square One >

1.1 - Weapon of Choice

Rating Votes
10
6%
5
9
7%
6
8
43%
37
7
32%
28
6
8%
7
5
5%
4
4
0%
0
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
7.6
Votes
87
Gallifrey - Series 1
7.8
Boxset Average Rating
Cover Art:
Director:
Sound Design:
Writer:

Purchase From:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 5/2/19 4:56 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

The saga of Gallifrey begins on an intriguing note with "Weapon of Choice" establishing several key concepts and relationships that will go on to define the rest of the run. A fragile alliance between temporal powers is being tested, a mysterious weapon has been stolen, and a new goal has been established that will bring our main actors together for a common purpose. It will all start on the planet of Gryben, a temporal checkpoint of sorts where a resistance movement against the alliance has been developing and might have just gained a major advantage.

Within minutes, the more adult nature of the series is firmly established and even from the beginning we get to see glimpses of the multi-layered nature of the Time Lords. It's all situated against a tense bomb threat that is resolved a little too easily but does have plenty to enjoy about it despite some strange leaps of logic that don't make much sense when you think about them. Alan Barnes' script also has some introductory issues in that there is a lot of dryer exposition that takes multiple repeats to really follow. But it does highlight some of the key strengths that the series would be known for even if they aren't as refined as they would be later.

All of this is backed up by a very strong cast that's immediately interesting and recognizable. Sean Carlsen, Miles Richardson, Louise Jameson, and John Leeson all acquit themselves admirably in their roles with one version of K9 especially being used in a very different way that made me chuckle immensely. But Lalla Ward, in particular, is the highlight starting out very strong establishing herself as a radical president under fire from all sides even those in her own cabinet. It's hard not to see similarities to many real-life leaders given her situation and the narrative sets up plenty of strong directions for her character to take in the coming stories.

It's not a perfect beginning by any means as it's purpose isn't to push anything new but rather set a firm foundation for the future. But despite its problems, "Weapon of Choice" is still a great story and a good start for the range that works in its own right as a good political drama. It's an audio meant to set up the potential for the future more than anything else and in that regard, you couldn't ask for much better. 
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 4/20/19 3:05 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This is a solid feature-length opener for Galiffrey. It does everything that you could ask. It establishes the overall situation with Romana being President of Galiffrey and Leela's husband missing presumed dead, putting her position in the city in peril, while also beginning to establish the relationship between the characters.

It also features a crisis on the planet Gryden that threatens to lead to war between the Temporal Powers, a war Romana has to prevent. What we get is a solid combination of political drama and space opera.

Other than an overlong opening, my only complaint with this story is that the story introduced a few too many characters, some of which should have been fleshed out more but weren't. Still, the principal cast is well-written and the piece is well-performed, making for a solid opening.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 7/19/17 1:53 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A lot of people describe "Gallifrey" as "political", but there are a lot of different ways for a story to be political. "Gallifrey" is political in only a very superficial way: many of the main characters are politicians, and their motivations and conflicts involve political issues. But the story isn't /about/ politics.

Look at this story for example, and consider Free Time. This is a subversive organization that believes that time should be unregulated. But the story isn't about whether or not should be regulated. There is a line where Romana and Braxiatel differ over whether time should be "controlled" or "regulated" by the temporal powers, but this disagreement (if it even is a disagreement beyond mere word choice) is never elaborated upon. There's hardly any discussion at all of the merits of Free Time's argument, and everyone simply accepts the use of Gryben as a de-facto prison planet. If "Weapon of Choice" was in any significant sense a "political" story, these issues would be at the forefront. Instead, they're just backstory and motivation setting up a standard thriller about thwarting a terrorist plot.

Incidentally, you can tell that this is post-9/11, can't you? Terrorists are simply evil, and there's no reason to even evaluate the legitimacy of their stated political aims, and it is the duty of government to defeat them by any means necessary. Gryben is the US prison at Guantanomo Bay. "Gallifrey" is political after all, in the sense that all fiction is inherently political. And the politics of "Gallifrey" are the Bush/Blair politics of the War on Terror.

But what about this story in particular? It serves as a decent introduction to the series. It introduces, or re-introduces, all of the major characters, and (most importantly) is establishes a particular tone which is very distinct from previous Big Finish series. In that sense, it's a very impressive and highly successful debut. On the other hand, the story makes no sense. What is the point of sending Leela undercover to contact Free Time? Romana sends Leela because she's not a Time Lord, and won't be seen to be acting on behalf of Gallifrey, and that makes perfect sense. Or it would, if Torvald hadn't been sent with her. Napenthe, the Free Time leader they're searching for, has met Torvald and knows that he's a Time Lord with the CIA. It makes no sense at all.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 1/13/16 10:21 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The Gallifrey series offers something a bit different from most of the other Big Finish ranges. It has a more adult tone, political conspiracies and more of a SF feel to it. The pace is fairly languid and the story is more character driven without the flashes of humour. Like the inhabitants of the titular planet, this is cold, calculated and very clever. It all revolves around the theft of a temporal timebomb by a terrorist group called, 'Free Time'.

There is a very flat atmosphere. Lots of swooshing of automatic doors and various other futuristic effects but nothing that creates any strong imagery. The characters and the plot, on the other hand, are well-developed. Lalla Ward is well suited to harsher take on her character; she is much more supercilious and ruthless here than we were ever allowed to see in the seventies. I get the feeling this laidback science fiction espionage thriller maybe an acquired taste, but I really do think that this series has a lot of potential. A solid opener.