Appropriation (2006)

We are halfway through the third series and its business as usual as the political part of Gallifrey takes centre stage. It’s all gone wrong with Gallifrey in ruins and Romana isn’t in any condition to do anything and she is deposed by Chencellor Valyez who is becoming my new favourite character. He starts off as acting President but wants the role, minus the acting part. However this is just the start of the problems for Romana. Darkel becomes much more of an important character again. After building momentum in trying to become President in Imperiatrix, she sort of had to take a back seat during the Pandora story. Now she returns to the main action and she is superb throughout. One of the best things they did was to bring Darkel into the series and give her a bit more background than what we got in Trial.

There is a wonderful moment when they are talking about Gallifreyan lawn and I was just bemused by the whole thing. You just have to go along with it however due to the performances I believed it. There was a sense that they were making it up on the spot but regardless of this the whole political one ups-manship made this play thoroughly enjoyable and something you couldn’t afford to be distracted by anything else. The story saw the return of Colin Baker as Commander Maxil (from Arc of Infinity). Despite hum not being central to the plot it was a nice nostalgia kick to older fans and it’s always good to hear Colin Baker.

The main cast all put in great performances especially Lalla Ward who’s fallen from grace somewhat over the last few stories and it gives Lalla Ward something different to do from having to act statesman-like. The character of Cardinal Mathias (Stephen Perring) who spends part of the story as a mediator to some alien races. Those scenes were a nice sort of pause from the main action. But what I found to be best about the character is how he starts of as a good character but manifests into a devious character and whilst I saw it coming from a mile away it was still well handled. I think that Louise Jameson puts in a good performance. I cant really say more than that because my attention was focused more on Romana and Darkel and the political fighting between the two of them. I think this was one of those stories that sees Leela take a back seat.

Appropriation is by far the best story of the series so far. I have already stated my preference of t Paul Sutton has written a solid story and has given the actors some wonderful dialogue and there was not science jargon like in Warfare. The next story looks like it will be even better as elections are set to take place and there’s no guarantee of who will win. It looks like the last two stories are going to be the best yet.


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