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This week’s retro review takes us back to just last year, as we revisit Gallifrey: Time War 3. For one reason or another, I couldn’t get round to reviewing this when it came out and, when it popped up in a recent sale, I knew I had to pick it up, especially given the release of Gallifrey: Time War 4 this month. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the review!
Fleeing from Gallifrey, Romana and Narvin find themselves aboard a Time Lord space station in Hostiles, the opening story of this set. Written by David Llewellyn, this episode sees the two fall in with Trellick (brought to life with a compelling performance from Leah Harvey), a Time Lord who is hiding from the terrifying, mutated Qatal (Mark Elstob). It’s a rather familiar base-under-siege style story, but there are a few twists that really elevate it. A strong opener. 4/5
The set continues with Nevernor by Lou Morgan. Romana and Narvin arrive on the bucolic planet of Njagelheim, where they find themselves caught in a time loop while being hunted by the terrifying Orrovix. While the plot on this one isn’t quite as good as Hostiles, with the villains and guest characters being on the weaker side, the sound design by Russell McGee is very strong indeed, really bringing the world of Njagelheim to life. 3/5
After being written out in Gallifrey: Time War 1, Leela rejoins the fray in Mother Tongue, written by Helen Goldwyn. This story follows her as she finds herself living a whole new life on another planet… a life that involves a son she can’t remember having! Sam Hallion is excellent in the role, while Sarah Douglas and Maxine Evans put in good performances as the matriarchal Drah and the villainous Renucha respectively. Despite this, the story is a little hard to follow in some places, and again doesn’t quite achieve the heights of the opening instalment. 3.5/5
The set reaches its conclusion in Unity by David Llewellyn, which sees Romana and Narvin reunite with Leela on a dusty frontier planet. It’s a strong story, which has some great character beats for the main trio of protagonists. It also introduces Rayo (Omar Austin), a strongly written and performed character who carries over to the next boxset. Complete with a gripping final act and shocking cliffhanger, this story is the perfect way to end the set. 4/5
All in all, this is a strong boxset in the ongoing Gallifrey: Time War saga. Picking up perfectly from the ending of the previous set, it takes Romana and Narvin into some delightfully new territory, giving them both lots of interesting development. It also brings Leela back into the fray, widening the scope for the epic conclusion to the Time War series. Recommended.
Gallifrey: Time War 3 is available now on CD or as a download from http://www.bigfinish.com
Join us next week for a Retro Review of Dust Breeding!