Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEpisode35-300This week’s villains hail from the Doctor’s very own planet, Gallifrey. Join Deb, Erika, Liz, and Tansy as we talk about various Time Lord evildoers. Why are so many of the renegades so evil? Is it something about Time Lord society? The fact that they make their children stare into the abyss? Who’s the worst of the lot? Who’s the most interesting?

There’s a lot to cover here, especially since we spend some time oohing and aahing over the 12th Doctor’s costume before we get on with things. You’ll note that we don’t talk too much about the Master or the Rani. That’s ‘cause we’ve covered both of those fine miscreants in previous episodes. Do dip back and take a listen if you haven’t already!


Also covered:

Bonus Big Finish links:
Vengeance of Morbius
Lucie Miller Season 4

Download or listen now (runtime 1:21:30) 

Comments on: "Verity! Episode 35 – Time Lords: Bureaucrats, Baddies, Rogues, & Reprobates" (27)

  1. I recently finished the Eight Doctor series with Lucie Miller, so hearing Tansy talk around the spoilers and actually knowing what she was not-talking about was kind of fun (no spoilers from me – all I’ll say is how fantastic it is and I can’t wait to hear what Erika thinks of it when she gets there ^_^).

    Have a wonderful time at Gally, ladies! (those of you who are going) Anxiously awaiting tales of your adventures when you return!

  2. Henrik said:

    Trademarks aren’t the same as copyright. They protect not only two different things but two sometimes competing interests. A trademark exists to chiefly protect consumers from brand confusion while a copyright is a government recognised and automatically granted monopoly on reproducing a specific expression intended to protect creators’ interests so that there is an incentive to actually create intellectual property because you have a legal right to the fruits of those creations (there’s also the philosophical idea that one has a right to profit from the fruit of one’s labours that underpins it and counters what would otherwise be a rather clear infringement of others freedom of expression).
    Rassilon slapping his name on everything is really a trademark thing. That is that there are things “of Rassilon” and only things that are of Rassilon can be called that and he slaps his name on all his things so that people will know that those things are indeed “of Rassilon”. It would be a copyright issue if it was a case of Rassilon being the only one allowed to reproduce his works (like selling copies (copyright – making copies) of the Book of Rassilon, because he spent a lot of time writing his book and gosh darn it he won’t have Omega selling copies and thus making money off of Rassilon’s work), unless of course they are inventions in which case it would instead be covered by patents (Rassilon describes how to make an “Eye of Harmony” but by telling everyone how to do it the government of the Time Lords grant him a limited time monopoly on making or licensing the making of “Eyes of Harmony”).

    There. Hurried nitpicking over.

    Morbius is probably the clearest villain Time Lord not counting the Master, and with the War Chief probably a pretty close second (third? if counting the Master).

    Rassilon however, though quite likely a tyrant and almost certainly a brutal ruler with much blood on his hands, isn’t necessarily an outright villain. It isn’t clear what the circumstances were during his time.
    Was Julius Ceasar a villain? Was William the Conqueror?
    Yes, Ceasar set up the definitive end to the republic and his campaigns brutally conquered vast territories but it’s not as if Rome just devastated perfectly egalitarian free neighbouring peaceful nations, everywhere was pretty crap at the time, and Rome had some serious perks like access to the collected knowledge of the ancient world and a pretty well organised system of governmental institutions and once a territory was conquered there was more or less peace.
    Sure, William the Conqueror can be credited with introducing feudalism and he slaughtered hundreds of thousands if not millions of people as part of his subjugation of England but the Norman invasion also brought relative stability, an abolishment of slavery and the conquest actually started out much more leniently than anyone (including the locals) would have expected which probably contributed to the drawn out and bloody resistance continuing for so long.

    So what of Rassilon then? He seems to have been a real butt to Omega, although we should probably consider the source, and set up a system of government with seemingly vast powers for the president and a freaking Death Zone in which they dropped people to fight for their lives and Time Lord entertainment. He seems to have been a jerk. But we also have other information regarding the early days of Time Lord society (and I’m assuming that they don’t become Time Lords until after Rassilon, Omega et al. sort out time travel) like how there were other “fledgeling empires” around like the Racnoss and the Great Vampires and presumably the Weeping Angels and we have been told that the Time Lords went to war against these ancient would be evils. Circumstances in the universe look to have been quite different back then. Those seem to have been dark and horrible times. Now going to war against horrible enemies doesn’t excuse anything really but it might put early Time Lords and the actions of their leaders in a different light. He might have been a pressed leader having to make some difficult choices and getting some of them wrong and he might have gone overboard at times but that still seems like a different sort of thing than what someone like the Master is up to or even someone like Morbius. Still probably cruel and awful though.

    • James C said:

      Cracking post, Henrik! It digs very thoughtfully into what Time Lord villainy may mean in the wider context of the universe in which it was founded.

      I have always thought of Rassilon and Omega as two specific types of scientist. Both brilliant, but Omega was the scientist as hero. His mission to capture an exploding star to power time travel suggests that he was driven by the pursuit of the frontier of science – but equally by the need to be celebrated for his dedication to it. So being forgotten in another universe was a complete betrayal.

      Rassilon was scientist and politician. Following the loss of Omega (was that an accident or was Rassilon’s hand on the lever?), Rassilon saw the opportunity to set himself up. Mourning the loss of his brother in science, and using his legacy to secure his own position.

      Both wanted to make Gallifrey a force in the universe, but in very different ways. Omega believed in the nobility of the scientific pursuit. Rassilon believed in power.

  3. Ray Adamson said:

    Capaldwee…??No. That went a bit wrong,Debs.

    Here in the savage lands of Scotland,taking a wee is a familiar expression for relieving your bladder, like having a slash or taking a piss.It is actually not an ideal association for a new Doctor with a family in Scotland.The expression is used quite regularly considering Scottish people have a reputation for consuming alcohol for pleasure.Anybody from Scotland is more likely to assume Peter Capaldi just needs the toilet a lot rather than acknowledging any affiliation or homage to the mighty nosed Pertwee sandwich snatcher.Doesn’t really work and is likely to make the likes of David Tennant,Steven Moffat and Karen Gillan helpless with laughter in front of the poor man and acclaimed actor.How is he supposed to be expected to intimidate Daleks, if his audience is waiting for him to run to the toilet?

    Of course, this makes The Brain of Morbius and Omega particularly impressive Doctor Who enemies because there was not even enough of them left to go to the toilet but they were still especially scary and formidable.

  4. AdamsI said:

    I’ve noticed in all of my podcast listening that nobody ever seems to mention the theory that the Meddling Monk/War Chief/Master are all one and the same person. I was quite pleased to hear you mention the War Chief as a type of proto-Master at least, which is the closest I’ve heard of anybody giving any credence to the fan-theory.

    I realize that some of the novels and audio dramas specifically contradict this theory, but some of the show novelizations specifically adopt the theory. Anyhow, I personally like to think they’re all the same person but I would like to hear others thoughts on this. (Please note: I know topics like this can be quite divisive for some and don’t mean to introduce any enmity here, just curious for thoughts from others… I certainly think there are good arguments against this theory but I just rather like it. For me the only Doctor Who canon is every individual’s own head canon!).

    Thank you.

    • AdamsI said:

      In case I didn’t make it clear enough above – what do you think of the theory some people hold that the Meddling Monk/War Chief/Master are all the same Time Lord?

    • In the television stories, as well as secondary media, there is a strong implication that the Master and the Doctor have known one another a long time, and that they once were friends. This is actually established rather unambiguously in season eight shortly after the Master is first introduced.

      When Troughton’s Doctor meets the War Chief, there is no sense of familiarity, although they know one another to be Time Lords, they apparently have no shared history. The same could be said of Hartnell’s Doctor and the Meddling Monk.

      I understand why some may theorize the War Chief and the Master are the same person. The rationale for their respective characters is similar. The Meddling Monk, however, is not out for personal gain; he reads far more like a curious trickster. He’s more like the Doctor in many ways, but without adherence to a clear code of honour.

      Bottom line, I would much rather celebrate Gallifrey as a world with many billions of individual beings over time. In that context, it seems a bit silly to hope that three or four characters are really the same individual seen through imperfect lenses.

      No enmity intended here. If it makes you happy to relate to those characters in such a way, more power to you, but I probably won’t be buying any novels you write to explore the idea.

      • John Miller said:

        No there isn’t. Go back and watch all the Master stories from Terror of the Autons to Frontier in Space. If you can find where it says that the Doctor and the Master were old friends, or at the Academy together, then please post it. It’s not there. Actually, watching Terror of the Autons, it strikes you that the Doctor-Master relationship is NOT one of “two old friends” but rather two acquaintances that have met three of four times before. The Master is someone the Doctor knows, but doesn’t know well. He is someone the Doctor has recently given reason to want to seek vengeance for. Someone who dresses like a member of the church(The Daemons), uses hypnotism to convert humans to his cause, allies himself with powerful enemies he plans to betray, causes trouble, knows the events of The War Games(FIS 4), and knows how to fix a faulty TARDIS. For more, read Terrance Dicks’ own novelisation of the Master’s introduction in the Target Doctor Who and the Terror of the Autons(roughly pp 25-30, if I remember correctly). (There are also references to there only ever having been two renegade Time Lords up to that point in various spin-off media, promotional material and interviews, by the people who actually made the thing.)

        Also remember that the Doctor himself has had much larger personality shifts over regenerations than the Master. “The Monk” was created to be an anti-Doctor. “The Master” was supposed to be the Moriarty to the Doctor’s Holmes. Same thing really. And it was Holmes and Moriarty, not Holmes and a billions of individual beings over time who were all Holmes’ shadow. In that context, it seems more than a bit silly to view different incarnations of what is obviously the same Time Lord as totally different people..

      • Sorry to take the wind out of your sails. Perhaps it is you, Mr. Miller, who needs to go back and watch some early Pertwee Master episodes. Your assertion that there is no implication of a connection is contradicted by a great deal of material. Perhaps the most pertinent and authoritative of which are as transcribed below:

        TERROR OF THE AUTONS, EPISODE ONE (at approximately 12:15)

        TIME LORD*: I came to warn you. An old acquaintance has arrived on this planet.
        DOCTOR: Oh? One of our people?
        TIME LORD: The Master.
        DOCTOR: That jack-a-napes?! All he ever does is cause trouble.
        TIME LORD: He will certainly try to kill you Doctor. The tribunal thought you should be made aware of your danger.
        DOCTOR: How very kind of them.
        TIME LORD: You are incorrigibly meddlesome Doctor, but we’ve always felt that your hearts are in the right places. But be careful, the Master has learned a great deal since you last met him.
        DOCTOR: I refused to be worried by a renegade like the Master. He’s a… he’s an unimaginative plodder.
        TIME LORD: His degree in cosmic science was of a higher class than yours.
        DOCTOR: Yes, well… uh… Yes, well I… I was a late developer.

        *This Time Lord messenger is named as “Lord Ferain of the CIA” in subsequent media

        THE SEA DEVILS, EPISODE ONE (at approximately 8:20)

        JO GRANT: Doctor? You felt sorry for him, didn’t you? You wanted to come down here and see that he was alright?
        DOCTOR: Well, he used to be a friend of mine once. A very good friend. In fact, you might almost say we were at school together.

        I these passages makes it abundantly clear the Doctor and the Master had been good friends, or at the very least good-natured rivals, when they were young on Gallifrey. Your citation of print media—even material written by Terrance Dicks—does not supersede these scenes.

      • John Miller said:

        First, where exactly does it say in your Terror of the Autons bit that the Doctor and the Master were ever friends or even acquaintances? And saying “you might almost say…” doesn’t mean that something is. Also, in case you were anywhere, “an old friend” is often used to just refer to someone you have met, it isn’t necessarily literal.

        Interview with Malcolm Hulke: ”There was a peculiar relationship between the Master and the Doctor… you see the Doctor was the only person like him, at the time, in the whole universe, a renegade Time Lord and in a funny sort of way they were partners in crime.”

        From Doctor Who and the War Games:

        The War Chief took the Doctor into his private office.

        “Now,” he said “a traveller in a time-space machine. There is only one person you can be,”

        “I had every right to leave,” said The Doctor.

        “And to steal a TARDIS?” The War Chief smiled. “Not that I am criticising you. I left our people too. We are two of a kind.”

        “We most certainly are not!” the Doctor protested.

        The War Chioef shrugged. “Well, we were both Time Lords.Tell me, why did you decide to desert our kin?”

        “I had reasons of my own, rather different from yours, I imagine.”

        From DWM # 75:

        A seemingly friendly Sire Giles does appear to have a strange hold over his liege…He searches the inner recesses of his memories for the illusive information “A long time ago didn’t someone mention to me about jet airliners in 1320 AD? And then there was Shakespeare’s Hamlet on television?”

        From Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon:

        ‘The first TARDIS was very small,’ he said. ‘On the outside, yes,’ said the old Keeper. ‘Inside it could carry up to three persons, four with a squeeze. Later we built much bigger ones. There have been two stolen, you know.’ The young Time Lord didn’t know. ‘By our enemies?’ he asked. ‘No. By Time Lords. They both became bored with this place. It was too peaceful for them, not enough happening.’ The old Keeper smiled to himself, as though remembering with some glee all the fuss when two TARDISes were stolen. ‘One of them nowadays calls himself “the Doctor”.

        ‘Humans on a planet refighting the wars of Earth’s history.’ ‘Oh, yes. Well, the Doctor had done the best he could to stop it all. But in the end we had to step in and get all those poor soldiers back to Earth, and to all the right times in Earth’s history.’ ‘And is that when you travelled?’ ‘That’s right,’ said the old Keeper, his eyes bright now with the memory of his one and only trip away from the planet of the Time Lords.

        From the FASA Role Playing Game(Book 2):

        On temporal Nexus point Earth in 1066 AD (Earth time), the Doctor encountered the Master disguised as the Meddling Monk. At that time, the Master was trying to alter Earth’s history by ensuring Harold’s victory over William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings. Since he planned to use atomic bazookas to destroy the Norman army, this can not be regarded as one of the Master’s more subtle plots. Nevertheless, it took all the Doctor’s skill to stop the renegade he then knew only as the Meddling Monk. He stole the dimensional controller from the Master’s TARDIS, marooning him in the Middle Ages.

        From Doctor Who and the Terror of the Autons:

        He spun round and saw a distinguished-looking elderly gentleman in the full rigout of a city businessman, dark suit, rolled umbrella and bowler hat. The peculiar thing was that the stranger was nonchalantly standing in thin air, hundreds of feet above the ground. The Doctor showed no particular surprise at this. Nor did the new arrival as he became aware of it. ‘Dear me, my co-ordinates must have slipped a bit.’ He blurred, shimmered out of existence and reappeared, standing next to the Doctor on the little platform. The Doctor looked at him grimly. He’d recognised him at once, of course. One of the High Council of the Time Lords. Last time they had met was at the Doctor’s trial. After many years of happily wandering around the universe in his ‘borrowed’ TARDIS, the Doctor had been captured at last by his own people, and condemned to exile on the planet Earth for an indefinite period. But why had a Time Lord materialised himself here now? To give himself time to recover the Doctor said, ‘May I say you look quite ridiculous in those clothes?’ The Time Lord gave a complacent smile. ‘Merely merging with the natives, old chap. We Time Lords don’t care to be conspicuous.’ He shot a quick glance at the Doctor’s usual flamboyant outfit of narrow trousers, smoking jacket, frilled shirt and swirling cloak. ‘Most of us, that is,’ he added pointedly. A hope flashed into the Doctor’s mind. ‘You’ve come to tell me the exile is over…’ The Time Lord shook his head. ‘I’m afraid not, Doctor. As a matter of fact, I’ve come to bring you a warning, An old friend of yours has arrived on Earth.’ ‘One of our people? Who is it?’ The Time Lord pronounced a string of mellifluous syllables—one of the strange Time Lord names that are never disclosed to outsiders. Then he added, ‘These days he calls himself the Master.’ The Doctor was silent for a moment. The Master was a rogue Time Lord. So too was the Doctor, in a way. But all his interventions in the course of history were on the side of good. The Master intervened only to cause death and suffering, usually in the pursuit of some scheme to seize power for himself. More than that, he seemed to delight in chaos and destruction for its own sake, and liked nothing more than to make a bad situation worse, Already he had been behind several Interplanetary Wars, always disappearing from the scene before he could be brought to justice. If ever he were caught, his fate would I be far worse than the Doctor’s exile. Once captured by the Time Lords, the Master’s life-stream would be thrown into reverse. Not only would he no longer exist, he would never have existed. It was the severest punishment in the Time Lords’ power. The Doctor knew that the Master’s presence on earth made matters far worse than he had feared. ‘You’re sure he’s here?’ he asked. The Time Lord nodded gravely. ‘We tracked him on the Monitor. Then there was some kind of alien interference and we lost contact.’ ‘Is his TARDIS still working?’ ‘I’m afraid so. He got away before it could be deenergised.’ ‘Then he was luckier than I,’ said the Doctor sadly. He had never really got used to his exile. ‘Don’t be bitter, Doctor. Your punishment was comparatively light.’ The Doctor rounded on him angrily. ‘Whatever I’ve done, I too am still a Time Lord. Do you know what! it’s like to be restricted to one tiny planet, one limited era of time?’ The Time Lord shrugged. ‘It is your favourite planet after all!’ For moment the Doctor gazed up at the summer sky without speaking. Then he said, ‘Why did you take the trouble to warn me?’ ‘The Master knows you’re on this planet, Doctor. You have interfered with his evil schemes in the past, and he has sworn your destruction. The Council felt you should be warned of your danger.’ The Doctor looked at him suspiciously. ‘There’s more to it than that, isn’t there?’ The Time Lord paused, choosing his words carefully. ‘You and the Master will inevitably come into conffict. If in the proven he should be captured or destroyed…’ ‘I see. You want me to do your dirty work for you?’ The Time Lord twirled his umbrella. ‘Your sentence will come up for review one day, Doctor. Any service you have rendered the Council will be—considered.’ The Doctor knew he was trapped, but perversely refused to admit it. ‘I’m not going to worry about a renegade like the Master. The fellow’s an unimaginative plodder.’ The Time Lord chuckled. ‘You graduated at the same time, did you not? I believe his degree in Cosmic Science was in a higher category than yours?’ ‘I was a late developer,’ said the Doctor defensively. ‘Besides,’ the Time Lord went on, ‘would you call that little surprise unimaginative?’ He pointed towards the door of the control cabin. The Doctor peered through the crack. At first he saw only a deserted control room. Then he noticed an elaborate arrangement of thin twine leading from the inside handle of the door to a small metal canister perched precariously on the edge of a tall computer cabinet. The Doctor peered at the canister. ‘It’s a Volataliser,’ he said incredulously. ‘The Xanthoids use them for mining operations. If that thing falls—’ The Time Lord nodded. ‘It will destroy this tower, the Research Centre and about one square mile of the surrounding countryside. You will observe, Doctor, that the door opens outwards. The tension on the twine is such that the slighest touch on the door will cause the cylinder to fall. An amusing idea.’ The Doctor looked at him grimly. ‘Then you’d better think up some witty way of dealing with it.’ ‘I’m sorry, Doctor,’ said the Time Lord. He shimmered and vanished, leaving a faint ‘good luck’ floating on the air. The Doctor turned back to the door and considered the problem. He could try to untie the twine at the doorhandle end. But the door was open the merest crack. He’d never get his fingers through. He could climb on top of the cabin and get through the skylight—but the vibration he would cause might make the cylinder roll off. No, there was only one thing for it. The Doctor paused for a moment, calculating tension, angle velocities, and the effects of gravity on the estimated weight of the cylinder. He took a pace back, braced a foot against the guard rail, and gripped the door handle. Then he yanked the door open and catapaulted himself head first into the cabin.

        Lastly, about the Academy. When the Delgado Master FIRST appeared, and watch Terror of the Autons, it’s clear they were never at the Academy together. This is confirmed through Season 8. Nobody is denying that it was LATER decided to have them be old friends. But when Delgado arrives there is NOTHING of that. This creates an awkward moment in The Five Doctors, when the First Doctor has no idea who the Master is, and the Master mentions the Academy. But going by Season 8, the Master is an acquaintance, not a childhood friend.

      • Mr. Miller, you’ve posted more information than I have any interest in reading. My interpretation is that the Doctor and the Master were friends before they were enemies. The transcription I provided from Terror of the Autons suggests they were acquainted, and I find it hard to believe one could think otherwise. As to the Sea Devils quote, in context, with actor Jon Pertwee’s facial expression and intonation, there is absolutely no question that “a very good friend” means literally “a very good friend” and not something less literal. Suggesting otherwise seems like clutching at straws to support a teetering premise.

        I believe I posted enough information to support my interpretation, and nothing I troubled to read in your posts refutes it with any certainty. More importantly, however, I intended to focus my contribution to the original discussion as to whether the Meddling Monk, the War Chief, and the Master were or were not the same individual Time Lord. Nothing you have quoted confirms that theory, and I believe a lack of evidence on that score should suggest that they are unique individuals.

        As has always been the case with Doctor Who, these sorts of uncertain facts—whether the Master is the Doctor’s friend, enemy, school chum, brother, regeneration, jilted lover, or what-have-you—can change to serve the storyteller at the time of the telling. This is a fictional world, and the fictional world has a mechanism by which individual characters can fundamentally change and even events and facts of experience can be altered in the past by the actions of the characters in the present within the story.

        In other words: It serves my enjoyment of the stories and mythology of Doctor Who to perceive the Master, the War Chief, and the Meddling Monk as distinct individual members of the Doctor’s society of origin; with the Master apparently as a one-time friend, who became a determined foe. And until facts from a *future* episode of the television series make it impossible to support that perception, it shall remain unchanged.

      • John Miller said:

        So you don’t read the information, then state that there’s no information that states that it’s the same Time Lord! As long as you ignore the evidence, you can pretend it doesn’t exist. You are also rude and arrogant

        Why exactly did the Master turn up in Terror of the Autons, seeking revenge?.Why were there so many continuity references to Time Meddler and Daleks’ master Plan in The War Games, and then to all three of those stories throughout the later Master stories? You are of course completely free to believe whatever you wish, but just as it makes more sense to watch the Lalla Ward Romana episodes with the understanding that it’s the same character Mary Tamm was playing, so it makes far more sense to watch the Master episodes with the understanding that it’s the same Time Lord. In fact, many of the so-called “continuity errors” or “missing information” is there.Of course, had you bothered reading anything I posted, you would know that already, and not be so smug about your denial now.

      • You will forgive me if I do not take up your bait. I did eventually read everything you wrote, but I really do not think you have made your case very clear with it all. Having said that, I have absolutely no interest in bickering with you further. Sorry if you have found anything I said to be arrogant, I meant only to state my own views clearly, while also trying to acknowledge that others can have views different to my own.

      • John Miller said:

        I never put up any bait. It is your right to believe whatever you wish. I would however suggest that, if you have enough time and aren’t too busy, do a Doctor Who marathon session(well maybe one story every other night or so), including Time Meddler, Daleks’ Master Plan, War Games, Terror of the Autons, all what you consider “Master stories”. up to End of Time Part II. If it doesn’t strike you that Butterworth, Brayshaw, Delgado, Pratt, Beevers, Ainley, Roberts, Jacobi and Simm are all the same fellow, then fair enough. But there is a lot of very rich stuff(some may say ‘continuity fanwank’) that makes a very good case that they are.

      • Time, gentleman, please!

        Our usual moderator has been on a cross country adventure tour on her way to foreign lands while listening to The Dalek’s Master Plan, otherwise I suspect she would have stepped in before now.

        John, your theory is very clever, and you’re clearly very attached to it, but I think it might be time to stop now. We’d prefer it if you didn’t resort to name calling in future discussions.

  5. Another excellent episode. Really enjoyed the discussion. Now I definitely want to go back and listen to all of season 4 of the 8th Doctor adventures. Right after Dark Eyes 2. The Charlotte Pollard adventures might work their way in there as well.

    The whole time you were discussing Omega, I was getting this picture of Omega saying something like “Rasillon?! Pfft. He would be nothing without me. That punk!”

    How surprised I was to learn that there is a Continuity Complaints Tribunal. Oh wait… Sorry… Wrong podcast. I listened to that one immediately before this one. Still, well done Erika!

  6. Where’s the best place to buy the audio dramas? Is it from big finish directly? Also is a Gallifrey 5 a good place to start? My wife is a huge buffy and a fan of Juliet Landau. Thanks

    • Yep you’ll get the best deals directly from Big Finish, their service is really good (downloads very smooth etc.), and it’s the best way to ensure that a small independent business gets the best financial margin. If you want the actual CDs you’ll pay a lot more for new releases (I highly highly recommend downloads) but a lot of the older releases are available cheap and the extra postage is itself a very small cost.

      I am a bit of a completionist and I adored the whole Gallifrey series but I do think if you’re prepared to do a little handwavy about past events you can get the gist of what’s going on pretty quickly with Season 5 if you want to start there.

      All you need to know is – Romana was the cool, new-ideas-are-good President for a long time, Leela is her best friend and occasional bodyguard, Narvin is the stuffy conservative administrator who’s been around Romana long enough that he’s got some kind of Stockholm Syndrome where Romana is concerned, and they’ve spent a few years running through parallel universes in and out of various other Gallifreys.

      There’s also a Companion Chronicle feature Juliet Landau as ROmana III but I haven’t listened to it yet – Luna Romana. I’ve been looking forward to it!

    • Tansy has it right. My method for the audios is to (a) borrow copies from friends, (b) buy used CDs from acquaintances or at cons, and (c) buy downloads direct from Big Finish.

      I’ve only listened to the first series of “Gallifrey”, but my perception is that the whole series builds on itself, so why not start with series one?

      Tansy: I can recommend “Luna Romana” as excellent, but there I recommend you be sure to listen to “The Beginning” with Carole Ann Ford and Terry Malloy, as well as “The Dying Light” with Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury before jumping into “Luna Romana”. Others have said it before me, and they were right: “Luna Romana” makes a fitting tribute performance to the memory of Mary Tamm.

      I also notice your brief synopsis does not include an explanation of Braxiatel, and I do not blame you. Describing him succinctly is as difficult as for any character I can think of, including the Doctor himself; especially if you want to avoid spoilers.

      • I forgot he was even in Season 5! Can’t remember for the life of me which of the stories. Anyway I’ve listened to everything he’s ever been in and *I* can’t explain him. (but oh, he is wonderful)

      • Everything Brax has been in? Including all the Bernice Summerfield stories?! Wow, you *are* a fan. You should, like, maybe be in a podcast or something.

        Yeah, Miles Richardson is great, and Brax is annoying and marvelous. I’m dying to ask about his family, but I am trying to avoid dropping a big spoiler from one of the novels. I’m wondering if Cardinal Braxiatel is revealed in the Big Finish stories has having a well-known sibling?

      • Yep I am a Summerfield completionist.

        Miles Richardson is wonderful!

        And no, no brotherly revelations in Big Finish though I suspect there has been an in joke hint or two…

  7. Thanks for another lovely podcast!

    I certainly think that villainous Time Lords are more interesting when they are slightly sympathetic, and they do provide a fascinating glimpse of what the Doctor could have been if he’d made slightly different lifestyle choices!

    However, there’s lots of fun to be had with outright villains like Morbius too. There’s something hilarious and yet oddly terrifying about his impotent ranting as he floats in his bubbling tank.

    It would be quite nice if the new series and it’s quest for Gallifrey threw a few new ambiguous Time Lord characters into the mix, although it would be equally nice to see the return of some old favourites, like the Meddling Monk or the Rani.

  8. Hi! Just listened. Do you have a link to the twelfth doctor as the sixth doctor? And I just leapt into the big finish universe. Wheee!!!

  9. Stephen H said:

    Another fab episode. Just wanted to mention a potentially suitable candidate for Timelord Villains, especially with your discussion of the dichotomy between good and evil when comparing the Doctor to the likes of the Meddling Monk (etc). Salyavin, from the broadcast Shada, raises a lot of interesting questions about Timelord society. He was written about as a dark villain from Gallifrey’s past, because of his ability to move his mind into other people’s heads. I think the quote that summarizes the point I’m trying to make, is that when we discover who Salyavin is (Spoiler) we see that he has been misrepresented. The final words of the Doctor to Romana, about someone bumping into the Doctor in the future, are fairly interesting, (in my opinion):

    “is that really the Doctor? How strange. He seemed such a nice old man.”

    Anyways, thanks.

  10. Stephen H said:

    oops, I meant to put *unbroadcast.

  11. Laurissy said:

    Catching up on Verity at the moment and yeah for carry on films. I love Jon Pertwee in both of his roles and Peter Butterworth is amazing. They are such fun movies and they are defended by me.

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