Warfare (2006)

The second story of the third season of Gallifrey is where the Pandora storyline ends and this unofficial two-parter reaches a conclusion. The story (written by Stewart Sheargold) sees Romana skulking around whilst Pandora lives it up (so to speak) in her quarters. The story does a good job of keeping the momentum and pace going and ultimately for not dragging the arc theme out too much. The problem I have with this story is that it spends a lot of time confusing me with the talk of things that I had trouble understanding. I prefer the Gallifrey series when it goes into The West Wing territory but not so much when it descends into technical jargon.

I understand the need to use the science because it’s a sci-fi show but sometimes the series turns it up to 11. I did like every second that Mary Tamm was involved in the story. Mary Tamm shone in the role of Pandora. The only downside to the ending of this Pandora story arc is that we probably won’t hear from Mary Tamm again. Louise Jameson is very good as well. Now that Leela is permanently blind, it’s great how they despite this major problem for the character that it has kept the character the same and not made her all sombre. Lalla Ward is very good and it’s the first time that the character of Romana hasn’t felt infallible. The scenes between Ward and Tamm were very enjoyable.

The stories supporting characters were all very good. Narvin (Sean Carlsen) continues to impress me. He started as a fringe character but his development over the course of the stories he has been in has been well handled. I also found Chancellor Valyes to be very good and well played by Steven Wickham. When someone has a great voice then its fantastic when they are in a scene. Another good character was Lord Mathias as played by Stephen Perring who in the main range is Kro’ka. His potential was plain to see.

All in all, I wasn’t as keen on Warfare as I had been for other stories. Despite all the jargon that was in this story it wasn’t boring and that was partly due to the strong characters and the actors playing them. In this series, one thing is for sure is that they ended the Pandora stuff at the right time and they ended it in a sensible and enjoyable way. However the fallout of this story arc will spill over into Appropriation and it looks like The West Wing side of Gallifrey will take centre stage. Fantastic.

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