Fractures (2006)

Well after the hugely impressive conclusion to the second series of Gallifrey. I had high expectations when I started listening to this story. Stephen Cole has been given the task of continuing the momentum of the good stuff that was built up at the end of Imperiatrix. The story is that Gallifrey is in the middle of a civil war with Romana II on one side and the Imperiatrix Romana is on the other side. Most of the stories from series two were on the whole enjoyable because they didn’t meddle too much in science jargon and I am able to enjoy the political battles that take place. Sadly though it seems some of that jargon has wormed its way back into a Gallifrey story. The story spends a large chunk of this story dealing with the civil war and this is the pay-off from all the build up over the latter half of the second series. I have to say that it doesn’t work entirely well in my opinion as there is too much of Romana and Pandora apart from each other. There is something quite eerie about having Mary Tamm back as the first Romana which she played but isn’t really. It is good though that they have Tamm back because she is bloody good.

In this story Leela is blinded and continues until the assumption that like in Horror of Fang Rock where her eye sight returned that it would do the same this time. This wasn’t the case and this led to a moment which I thought I would never witness and that is Leela crying. It’s a landmark moment for the character who is still defiant against her blindness which I found impressive. The blindness comes after Leela and Narvin have been planting bomb and then it quite literally blows up in their face.

All the cast put in good performances especially Lalla Ward, Mary Tamm and Louise Jameson. Jameson in particular was impressive because we have seen the fiery side to the Leela character but on this occasion she stood out because of the crying, just because of that. I do think that Lynda Bellingham took a bit of a back seat for this story but she was still great in it.

Hopefully we will get a bit more action in future stories because this is the point where something new needs to come in and move the series in a new direction. Fractures isnt the strongest story in this spin-off series but its still a good offering and it bodes well for the rest of the series.

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