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11/12/2003 03:22:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Big Finish has released details about its forthcoming four-part miniseries caleld Gallifrey, to be released on audio next year and starring Lalla Ward as Romana and Louise Jameson as Leela. Says director/producer Gary Russell: "I've always loved the Doctor's home planet and feel that the actual society therein was never explored very deeply on TV. Oh we saw a few High Council meetings, and the odd assassination but I've always wanted to find out how the hierarchy ticks. How they cope under pressure. What Time Lords actually do all day long, and why. How do they cope with a Madame President with a somewhat more shady past than most of her predecessors, with a friend like Leela an off-worlder with a very different cultural heritage. I always felt, perhaps during the Tom Baker era, that an opportunity was missed by not stranding the Doctor on his home planet for a season. The Deadly Assassin and Invasion of Time so diluted the mystery of the Time Lords and yet added so many new layers to their story, I feel it would have been nice to discover a bit more. In the case of this mini-series, with no Doctor around, we might learn a few secrets that we've otherwise only had hints of before. I imagine this series to be The West Wing meets Spooks to some extent, with a dash of The Sopranos perhaps."

The first chapter is Weapon of Choice by Alan Barnes, which focuses on political bickering between the races who have some mastery over time, and a terrible super weapon that could erase entire continuums. But who developed the weapon, and will they use it? Part two is Square One by Stephen Cole, in which Leela goes under cover to attempt to expose the traitors who are attempting to destroy the d?tente that exists, tenuous as it is, between the temporally-capable species. Justin Richards penned part three, The Inquiry where Romana's methods in dealing with the other races come under the scrutiny of the Gallifeyan hierarchy. The final chapter is A Blind Eye by Alan Barnes, in which Romana must deal with exactly that which she has been afraid of: Someone is taking advantage of the space/time vortex and changing timelines to suit themselves... Says Russell, "Both Lalla and Louise were very excited by the ideas we discussed during Zagreus, and hopefully a couple of other familiar voices may crop up from time to time, including John Leeson as the voice of a K9 or two!" (Thanks to Big Finish)