Gallifrey: Intervention Earth (or Gallifrey 7) is a story that didn’t see coming. A quick history in this range. It started in 2004 and the third series ended in 2006, it wouldn’t be released until 2011 with the fourth series and then there were two series in 2013 and it seemed that the range had reached an end. But hang on a minute, it was announced that the series was coming back but instead of Lalla Ward as President Romana it would be Juliet Landau playing Romana as she had played the role in the Companion Chronicle story Luna Romana.
As the spin-off range has undergone a regeneration, it seems that Big Finish have decided to go big by bringing back Omega to the Big Finish world and this is where I think that they have struck gold with Gallifrey 7 and that is by trying to bring Omega back out of the Black hole that he finds himself and as you would expect there are people on Gallifrey trying to help him but in a sort of backstabbing kind of way. I like that Narvin is the one sort of consistency from the previous series and I thought that one of the surprising aspects of this piece is when he ends up back in time and has to interact with a couple of the period and Sean Carlsen is perhaps one of the strongest parts of the story.
This adventure sees Sophie Aldred join the range as Ace without the Doctor which is something that I find slightly odd. It’s not a bad thing but I have become so use to hearing Sophie Aldred alongside Sylvester McCoy that it took a while for it to seem normal. Ace has become an agent for the CIA which is something that I think has been hinted at in various ideas about what happened to Ace after she left the show. Sophie Aldred has managed to give a performance that doesn’t seem that out of place than what she has given in the main range. It surprises me that nearly thirty years after Ace debuted and fifteen years since the first Ace story in a Big Finish play that the character can still seem fresh and just as engaging as ever. I am conflicted about what I think of Juliet Landau. I think that on the one hand I find the performance of Landau to be a good one. It’s a confident performance that oozes confidence and I think that its one of the things that I like about this story. On the other hand I just don’t think that this Romana is up there with the sort that Mary Tamm and Lalla Ward give. First of all Landau isn’t posh enough and I know that its possible for the character to be played differently but on this occasion I think that this problem is what I was wrestling with a some points in the story. Stephen Thorne returns to voice Omega and if I had one issue with this story is that I would have wanted more from Omega because I think that Thorne has such a wonderful voice. Totally didn’t expect Gyles Brandreth to appear as Rexx. I can’t help but think of Brandreth now without thinking of The One Show which he is a regular contributor but in this case he managed to make me think of that show whilst Rexx was interacting with Ace.
The door is left open for a eight outing and we will have to wait until 2016 before we get to find out what happens to Romana but its clear that this series which refuses to die has to potential to live on and on and on. It’s a welcome return and a truly enjoyable adventure. I think that what Scott Handcock and David Llwellyn have done is breathe new life into a series that needed to have some new life injected into it. I look forward to the next part.