- Gallifrey 90210: Future Tense -
An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Doctor Who Spin-Off Guide Appendix O' Countdown to Armageddon
Episode 1: Fashionable WMDs
The Doctor has fled the known universe and left it to look after itself from now on. Unsurprisingly, this proved the be the start of an era of everlasting peace, great prosperity and awe-inspiring progress, built on the cornerstone of richer understanding between neighbours of past, present and future.
And on the planet of Gallifrey, President Romana has set a Union of Temporal Powers encompassing the Time Lords, the Moaning Host, the Pakistani, and the Warpsmiths of Fido. Every other race in the universe who even thinks about travelling in time is automatically spat out on the Enclave World of Valldon – HG-Wells-style adventurers, wormhole-lost astronauts, and an incredibly large amount of mad scientists are all left on the primitive world. Thanks to the high volume of refugees using time travel to flee the ever-expanding Dustbin Empire, coupled with the glacially slow Time Lord bureaucracy, the inhabitants have been left to rot over the years and become a planet full of mystics, criminals and evil geniuses incredibly pissed off with Gallifrey. Indeed, the refugees have formed a resistance movement called Flexi-Time and the fact they use Dustbin font on their placards is surely a coincidence and of no deeper significance.
However, since Flexi-Time is confined to Valldon with nothing to do but take drugs, get drunk and die from disease, they are considered little more than a nuisance by the Higher Evolutionaries who spend their time being all decadent and superior.
But this age of calm and civilized advancement comes to an end when the Celestial Intervention Agency spot an automated time ship travelling to the slow-time-locked planet of Krikkit which is bad news in anyone’s language. The Temporal Powers send a crack team of their best agents to stop the xenophobic Krikkiters being released. Intercepting the time ship they find a super bitching cool brief case marked "TED" which Sardonopolous of Fido immediately steals and dematerializes while cackling insanely about "Flexi-Time!"
The others realize that the Warpsmith’s tendency of downloading their intelligence into host bodies meant that literally anyone could have impersonated Sardonopolous as long as they acted arrogant and ethereal enough and now Flexi-Time have got a Temporal Extinction Device!
The Gallifreyan member of the team, a CIA bloke called Torvald returns to inform President Romana and Coordinator Narvin about this incredibly stuff up, but Narvin insists that there’s no such thing as a Temporal Extinction Device as he and his roomie Braxiatel tried to build one in their wild college days and the damn thing was useless for anything other than producing crystal amphetamine. Nevertheless, the ruler of the Moaning Host, the Stoner Moaner, texts Romana calling her a stupid bimbo for letting this happen and unless she sorts the whole thing out the Moaning Host are going to have to become the American equivalent of the Temporal Powers and pre-emptive strike on Valldon.
Romana decides to send her good pal Leela to Valldon to infiltrate Flexi-Time, but Leela has been emotionally devastated by the disappearance of her husband Andrew (AKA the Guy In The Red Hat) and tried to abandon Time Lord civilization and join the Showboat outsiders who live in the wilderness of Outer Gallifrey as chartered accountants. However, they refuse to take Leela seriously because of her crummy robot dog K9 Mark I, and she is forced to return to the Citadel.
Leela and Torvald are sent to Valldon undercover as human slaves from the vicious mechanical criminal from the Fifth Galaxy... K9 Mark I. Once there, they do the usual tourist things of stealing from street vendors, getting into a fight and setting up a progressive folk duo. K9 Mark I decides he needs a drink and heads for the nearest bar where he meets Sabalom Glitz who ended up on Valldon in a last-ditch attempt to escape Melanie Jane Bush. Over a bottle of oil and some ball bearings, Glitz does a deal with K9 Mark I – in return for an afternoon alone with President Romana, he will share the pitiful information he knows about Flexi-Time.
As K9 Mark I thinks Romana is a snooty cow, he agrees to this. Romana is far from pleased that a robot dog has chosen itself to be her pimp, but Glitz announces that he knows a guy who knows a guy and that guy was hired by the Moaning Host to try and free the Krikkiters in order to get Flexi-Time to break cover and steal the TED, giving them the excuse to nuke Valldon while simultaneously making Gallifrey and the Time Lords look like a bunch of complete twats.
Back on Valldon, K9 Mark I, Leela and Torvald try to sneak into the Flexi-Time HQ under the guise of being pizza delivery, but this not-at-all-cunning plan fails utterly and they are all captured. The leader of Flexi-Time, a recreational nudist called Nepenthe, makes lots of speeches about how the oppressive policies of the Time Lords put human temporal engineers out of work. All the while "Land of Hope And Glory" plays in the background.
Unable to cope with his torture, Leela volunteers to join Flexi-Time and prove her loyalty by stabbing Torvald through the hearts as she finds him sexist, patronizing and smelly. Suddenly one of the terrorists rips off his face to reveal he was a member of the Moaning Host all the time, and shouts "Go! Go! Go!" into his communicator. As the Moaning Host peace-keeping force arrives on Valldon, and the Stoner Moaner contacts Romana to laugh in her face that she legally can’t do a thing to stop the green goblin bastards from imposing "order" on the world and become the Temporal Superpower!
Narvin takes offense to this and vows to get his grubby hands on the TED for himself and sends a fleet of battle-TARDISes to Valldon. The Stoner Moaner says she doesn’t like the look of this at all and threatens to start a third Temporal Difference of Opinion if it kicks off down there. Speaking of which...
With things looking serious, Nepenthe decides to activate the TED suitcase even though no one is entirely sure what it will do beyond perhaps a surrealistic interpretation of "Threads". This means that the only way to save the universe is to blow up Valldon and simultaneously declare war on the Moaning Host – but if Romana does that, she’ll get rid of all the crucial weapons inspection evidence that she had to do it in the first place! This situation plain sucks!
Glitz suggests he "kidnap" her, take her to Valldon, since if she gets blown up the Time Lords have proof they weren’t trigger happy. Romana thinks this cunning plan monumentally awful, but Narvin loves it and waves them off – he doesn’t really like Romana, who is dangerously interesting compared to previous Presidents like Pandak, Borusa and Lockwood the Unwilling. Hopefully she’ll get killed and replaced by a proper, boring Time Lord.
Romana’s TARDIS (in the inconspicuous form of a crate of tinned tuna) arrives in the HQ and the President storms out saying that Flexi-Time using weapons of mass destruction prove they’re a bunch of jerks who don’t deserve to be listened to in the first place. Nepenthe is a bit put out at this rejection and presses the TED detonator!
The doomsday device vanishes in a cheap negative effect – it was a fake the whole time, placed on Krikkit so Nepenthe would steal it and forcing Romana to blow up Valldon and everything on it and spark off a Temporal Difference of Opinion! This latest plot twist proves too much for Nepenthe and shoots herself in the head before she can be confused even further.
And she’s right, for Romana suspects that even though the TED was fake, there’s a REAL one out there somewhere and in a moment of paranoia wonders if Narvin and some rebel Time Lords are out to get her! Desperately, she hires Leela to be her bodyguard, and they prepare to return to Gallifrey...
...but Glitz has nicked her TARDIS.
President Romana swears very loudly.
Episode 2: Big Square Eye
After finally getting off Valldon, Romana decides to set up a time travel summit for the Temporal Powers and hope that, unlike the last one, it doesn’t turn into a bloodbath allowing the Dustbins to conquer Gallifrey. Liaison Officer Hossak builds a mechanical planet with lots of cool robo butlers for the summit to take place, and Romana sends Narvin to represent Gallifrey. Because she hates the bastard.
Nevertheless, Romana the Paranoid suspects their invisible TED-wielding enemy might get involved and thus sends Leela and K9 Mark I in undercover... again. This time as exotic lap-dancers to help the Highly-Evolved delegates "unwind" afterwards. Leela can pull it off easily, but unless there’s a really odd customer at the summit, K9 might not do so well.
The summit takes about thirty seconds to descend into a slanging match as Narvin tells everyone to stay out of his territory and everyone else demands to know what the fuck he’s so desperate to hide. Romana, knowing what an asshole Narvin is, has K9 Mark II relay a hologram of herself glaring at everyone until they stop squabbling while she goes on a joyride in her new TARDIS.
Leela’s career as a dancer gets off to a poor start as she is arrested for the murder of another dancer, Lexy. Leela is furious, since she didn’t actually murder Lexy, but sure as hell wishes she had. Leela blames the incredibly kinky Flinkstab of the Pakistani as the murderer, since not only does he have "stab" in his name, he’s the only delegate kinky enough to give K9 the eye.
Suddenly there is a Groundhog Day time loop and time rewinds to the start of the day. This time round, Narvin chokes on his drink before he can start an argument, and Romana doesn’t use her funky hologram. Leela decides to hang around Lexy and wait for her to get killed while K9 Mark I contacts K9 Mark II and demands to know what in the name of Temperon sodomy is going on.
However, suddenly one of the robo butlers explodes, killing the non-speaking delegate and every blames Narvin. This is rather ironic, as the murder victim was only delegate Narvin WASN’T planning on killing. Just when things look grim, events return to the start of the time loop and we have to go through the whole shebang all over again.
Romana finally turns up, her TARDIS neatly disguised as an inconspicuous beach hut, and is immediately attacked by a crazy robo butler only to be saved by Leela who is sick and tired of this time loop bollocks. The robo butler turns out to be one of the exotic dancers in disguise. For some reason, this proves that Flinkstab is evil and trying to stir up trouble between Gallifrey and the Other Temporal Powers so the Pakistani can big themselves up.
Leela decides to go to Flinkstab and beat a confession out of him, even though technically he hasn’t murdered any hookers yet. Ironically, however, he has – on a previous business trip, but he insists he’s just an ordinary perverted sadist and not a political assassin. It is in fact Hossak behind the whole thing, and once more restarts the time loop after the Moaning Host delegate announces he has absolute proof that Narvin have a device capable of wiping them out and ruins the negotiations yet again.
Hossak has spent years of her (for want of a better word) life arranging this summit and is determined that nothing shall go wrong. Whenever something risked the destruction of all she’d worked for, she rolled time back and started the summit over again. When Romana and Leela confront her, she threatens to rewind time again and this time – for some reason – they will cease to exist, a small price to pay for the success of the summit.
Romana laughs cruelly and reveals that this ISN’T the real summit. The real one is being held with Braxiatel and all the important people and Hossak’s summit is a lure for any Flexi-Time terrorists to come crawling out of the woodwork. With Hossak’s humiliation complete, Leela punches her lights out.
Romana then confiscates Narvin’s Moaning Host Remover doomsday weapon ostensibly to aide the course of inter-temporal peace, but mainly to piss him off even more than he is pissed off now.
But one question remains: who nicked all those robo butlers? The further question occurs: why did no one mention those missing robo butlers earlier on in the narrative? Huh? Explain that!
Episode 3: The Whitewash
Romana is brought before Inquisitor Darkel from 1986’s "Mistrial of a Time Lord" and Cardinal Braxiatel to justify her response to the mucky business of Valldon. After listening to the charges for three hours, Romana deduces that all she needs to do is prove that there WAS a timonic atom bomb involved and she’ll be in the clear. The problem is the Time Lords never made a working TED and no one else even knows what TED stands for – so where the hell did Flexi-Time get their bomb?
In her quest to prove she didn’t completely overreact, Romana points out that Braxiatel was involved in the prototype TED as was Narvin, so the inquiry is hardly impartial. K9 Mark II decides to look up "TED" in the Matrix and accidentally unleashes a computer virus hidden on that particular wiki page. Braxiatel is puzzled there is actually an entry for the TED in the Matrix anyway, and Romana the Paranoid deduces that the Time Lord built a working TED in secret!
Narvin discovers new evidence that the TED is still on Valldon, having vanished in time but not in space, and so sends Torvald, Leela and K9 Mark I there to collect it, only to find it already be collected by those robo butlers who went missing in the previous episode. They capture the TED, but all the robo butlers explode before they can be interrogated, so the story arc of us wondering who is behind all this can continue apace.
Meanwhile, Romana discovers the computer virus was designed by none other than Braxiatel himself, who has been collecting artwork, sculpture, furniture and even whole buildings from across the universe to provide a trans-temporal tax dodge of frightening proportions. His eBay purchases are dumped on the planet Cholesterol 12 where the primitive natives refer to it as "the Braxiatel Collection". Romana starts headbutting the wall in annoyance she never noticed one of the greatest art installations in the cosmos had the exact same name as her long-standing Cardinal.
Bored with the courtroom drama, Leela decides to threaten Narvin with a knife until he reveals what happened to her husband, the Guy in the Red Hat. Narvin, brain box that he is, realizes that she’s not bluffing, has an embarrassing panic attack and wets himself.
He reveals that her boytoy Andred went nuts one day and turned into a conspiracy theory junkie and tried to investigate the CIA and discover once and for all if their assassination of JFK was part of the Nazi Gold plot to bring about the End Times as prophesized by the Illuminati, he asked Narvin for a job. Narvin told him to get the fuck out of his office and put some clothes on. Andred then rugby-tackled Torvald and they both fell off a walkway and splattered into the ground 500 metres below. By the time Narvin got there, he discovered that there was only one survivor – the regenerated Torvald.
Leela is delighted at this news, as she finally has an excuse to slaughter Torvald, who has been bugging her for ages.
Before she can get down to gutting the sod, Romana discovers the computer virus in the Matrix has caused unstoppable pop ups – each one containing a ridiculously right-on essay from the young student Braxiatel about how his roomie Narvin build a TED and activated it despite the fact it was a Wednesday and Narvin really should have been doing the washing up first, as noted in the House Charter. Worse, the TED shockwave blew up the planet Minyos, the only world whose inhabitants were stupid enough to worship the Time Lords as gods. Luckily they happened to having a bit of a global war at the time and no one suspected two university students just committed genocide. Filled with righteous indignation, Braxiatel seeded the Matrix with the computer virus to reveal the truth!
Does that make sense? Not for long.
After a very long and confusing argument it becomes clear that someone... or someTHING... went back in time to the dorm of Narvin and Braxiatel and then stole the real TED and left a cardboard meths dispenser in its place. Narvin and Braxiatel assumed it was a bust and got on with their lives – but this evil entity forgot to edit the wiki entry of the Matrix when all of history was rewritten, so the original course of events is now there for all to see!
Of course it now means that history must be set back on its proper course and Minyos destroyed yet again, which means that the TED turned out to be a fake because the original was never stolen... but on the bright side it means not even Inquisitor Darkel is anal enough to keep going on about this. After calling the rest of the courtroom "a bunch of Faction Paradox wannabes who’ll be the first up against the wall when the Temporal Difference of Opinion came", she declares Romana not guilty and goes for a very long vacation.
Narvin clears his throat and tries to get everyone to turn on Braxiatel for his eBay addiction, but since he just committed genocide his opinions counts for even LESS than it does normally. But while we finally discovered what happened to those robo butlers we still have no idea WHO was behind it all!
Just then Romana conveniently gets a space-time email from Sglitz354@hypenet.co.androm, or in other words Sabalom Glitz marked "I KNOW WHO WAS BEHIND IT ALL! Let’s do lunch!"
Episode 4: The Other Pollard Girl
President Romana of the oldest and most all-powerful of civilizations, travels back in time to 3 September 1939 to have lunch in the dining car of the Vienna-Calais train because a two-bit Andromedan crook knows something she doesn’t. The moral of this is to keep a sense of perspective and got get above your (railway) station.
Glitz explains that, for reasons far too tedious to go into here, he needs a night alone with Cecila "Sissy" Pollard, the infamous twin sister to Charley Pollard. Sissy is doomed to die in a rather over-dramatic gesture to show both countries the futility of the war about to be declared, but Glitz wants Time Lord permission to lure her into one last steamy sex session, buying her a few extra hours of shagging. In return, he’ll finally tell her who the evil mastermind behind all these unresolved plot thread really is!
But if you think Sissy is still the cute little nympho we remember from 'Sphincter of the Adept', you are goddamn gonna be surprised. Eight years without the stabilizing influence of her sister Charley have made Sissy a repressed, strictly hetero prude who can only achieve orgasm with Aryan stormtroopers reciting Hitler’s Nuremberg rallies. The sheer thought of lower-class families brings her out in a cold sweat and the idea of kissing another woman is so hideously Jewish she automatically vomits at the thought.
Leela therefore, is wondering which way she should skin and gut Sissy the next time she refers to the Sevateem Warrior as "Gypsy Queen".
Suddenly, the train is flagged down not only by Sissy’s latest boytoy Enalc Karnip, but also Narvin and Torvald and soon a huge argument begins between the Time Lords since Leela finds herself having more and more reasons to kill the bleeding lot of them. Glitz reveals that Enalc is one of his comedy sidekicks who has decided to come up with a completely different plan to screw with Sissy’s destiny as a one-dimensional empty-headed Hitler groupie Nazi bitch.
While Sissy’s reminiscences of her charming and insightful orgies with Hitler and Oswald Mosely and how common scum cannot be allowed to drag better people down to their level make EVERYONE want to kill her, Enalc can’t keep up the pretence of being her boyfriend any more. He is a CIA Time Lord operative, and frankly doesn’t find Sissy attractive – he is, in fact, Torvald before that nasty regeneration business.
This revelation makes Leela determined to kill him to change events and save her late husband. In her words "fuck history". Narvin insists they can always punish the present Torvald for his past self’s crimes. The current Torvald whimpers and reveals that he’s not actually Torvald, but a regenerated Andred who pretended to be his own murderer so not to blow his cover.
The revelation that her husband effectively faked his own death and pretended to be her enemy for months on end shakes Leela to the core. She still wants to kill him, though, but this time for destroying their love as much as being his own murderer.
The true Torvald reveals he kidnapped Sissy to see if having sex with her could open a gateway to another universe – which, after all, happened with her sister, give or take nine months. When asked WHY he wants to do such a pathetic thing which could, after all, nearly destroy the entire universe, Torvald mumbles something about it being a protest at Romana’s liberal government.
Rolling her eyes, Romana has Torvald’s mind wiped and let loose to fulfill his incredibly pathetic destiny of dying horribly, while Sissy is also released to suffer a similar fate. It then strikes Romana that Glitz never told her who was behind the plot to start a Temporal Difference of Opinion and corners him.
Glitz insists that he only wanted Sissy’s corpse stuffed and sold as a prime bit of Nazi memorabilia on the frontier worlds of the galaxy, but Romana thinks he’s lying. She accuses him of working with Torvald and the Gallifreyan Isolationist Front, stealing some robo butlers, and then stealing the TED to spark a time war between the temporal powers that he, as an arms dealer, would be able to profit by.
After looking incredibly guilty for a few minutes, Glitz awkwardly explains that it WASN’T him and it was actually Torvald, and since he just had his memory erased, there will be no proof.
Romana accepts this version and allows Glitz to depart scot-free while she, Leela, Narvin and Andred return to Gallifrey in her TARDIS, surreptitiously disguised as a white cabana.
It is only when she and the others are back on Gallifrey does Romana begin to suspect that he might have been fibbing, and immediately lets out a long, violent exclamation in Old High Gallifreyan.
Book(s)/Other Related – Life on Gallifrey: Funk to Funky
A Brief History of Time Lords
Sissy Pollard the Concubine: Third Rate Third Reich! (dir. Baz Lurhman)
Fluffs – Lalla Ward seemed down in the latest opinion polls for most of this spin-off audio series.
"It’s Time! For a change! The Time Lords! Are very strange!"
"My name is Mephisto... Maristotle... Mister Fillies... My Fisting Fillies Arcade! Yes. Oh, fuck it, just call me Glitz."
Fashion Victims –
ROMANA: That is Liaison Officer Hossak.
LEELA: She has wet eyes. Trust and care in her eyes. What a loser.
ROMANA: I know. Who would wear a black bra under a white top?
Goofs – The Time Lord who runs the Panopticon Archives is the same Showboat who refuses Leela’s request to be a groupie. Does this Time Lord lead a double life? Or can you be a worthless, smelly bum AND run the biggest repository of knowledge in the universe? Is he only a Showboat on weekends as a kind of kinky fetish?
Dialogue Disasters -
NEPENTHE: In the beginning was the word. And the word was "God". God created the universe in six days. Then God took Flexi-Time!
LEXY: Ooh, oo’s a big boy? Fancy a bit of business ducky? Ere, what’s that knoife for? Waaah!
ROMANA: I don’t have a reverse gear, that’s what K9’s for!
Sissy Pollard’s heart-moving suicide note:
"My dearest Charlotte, Wandering Sex Fiend, this is to say goodbye. I send you my most incestuous lust wherever you may be. So much has changed since last you were in bed with me. The fact is, these days I’m about as popular as a fart in a spacesuit. When you return from your decade-long sex holiday, the twitters and chatterers will be queuing up to tell you what a rotten shag I was. Darling sister, they’d be right. I have pleased myself for myself, I’ve faked orgasms, pretended not to be into bondage and closed my eyes and ears to what would make a decent person hot and horny. Bad friends and bad choices. Munich is crap, but England’s worse. I’m either locked up as a menace to morale and husbands, or kept as a comedy Nazi concubine sidekick. I get to dress up as a dancing bear for my master’s amusement, but apart from that it’s no fun at all. Never be notorious, Charley, you just get typecast after a while. But don’t be sad, because I’ve done everyone I wanted, though none of them were any real good in bed. I think I’m a shallow person, but I never really bothered to check measurements. What is there left for me but putting something long and hard in my mouth and then blowing my brains out? Only this time, with a gun, obviously."
BRAXIATEL: One of the great pleasures of today is knowing how tomorrow works out. I love spoilers, you know. I’m a spoiler junkie.
NARVIN: Fuckin Moaning Host, they think they’re so bloody great, don’t they, the assholes. You know? You know? You know what they did?
NARVIN: They, they generated an occlusion field over their history, that’s what they fucking did. So none of us can check how the hell they became a temporal power, or why they’ve got such a stupid fucking name. Moaning Host for the love of Omigod.
FLINKSTAB: I know. But, turns out, it’s not that interesting.
FLINKSTAB: Their history.
NARVIN: What about it?
FLINKSTAB: It’s boring.
NARVIN: How the hell do you know?
FLINKSTAB: We Pakistani snuck a peak before they raised the bloody shield, didn’t we?
NARVIN: ...you are a fucking genius. Hic.
FLINKSTAB: Yep. Turns up they were just minding their own business when BANG! Time and space get all mixed up and the Moaning Homeworld turns into a solar system, each planet the Moaning Homeworld at a different bit in history. The Moaning Hosts from the future conquer their ancestors, study the time stuff, harness it and Bob’s your aunt.
NARVIN: Fucking Moaning Hosts. That never works when we try it.
FLINKSTAB: I know, man. I know. Nuther drink?
NARVIN: Sweet, bro.
ROMANA: On Gallifrey they think of me as a radical. Mind you on Gallifrey they think sensible trousers are radical.
Dialogue Triumphs –
NEPENTHE: What are you doing here?!
GLITZ: Devilment, deceit, dilettantism, dicking about with Time Lords... the usual. Forgive a galaxy-class Holmesian character for his pretensions. No one else will.
ROMANA: K9 is a vicious criminal from the 5th Galaxy. Aren’t you, K9?
K9: Boyakasha, Mistress.
BRAXIATEL: The only thing maintaining order in the Time Vortex is the Temporal Powers’ promise to protect lesser races and lesser races agreeing not to piss about with time travel behind our backs. The mere existence of time weaponry would undermine our authority. If someone has a TED we are all fucked!
Viewer’s Quotes –
"The finale to this series was, in all important respects, mind blowing. Do you know what this MEANS? It means Leela is single again! I knew it! Dave, get me my Red Hat! I’ve got a noble savage to seduce!"
- Nigel Verkoff (2004)
"I’m a drooling Romana freak who’d happily listen to Lalla Ward reading from a Jamie Oliver cookbook for an hour, and as such am perhaps not the most objective source you could consult. But she rocks! I felt like lighting up a cigarette afterwards! Bloody listen to it or else!"
- Random Fan at Gallifrey One Con (2006)
"Gallifrey is one of the worst places invented by Doctor Who writers, a total betrayal of the show’s aura of mystery. Plus it’s such a glitzy, mundane little shithole full of senile old dodderers banging on about how fucking great they are – it’s the House of Lords with really big triceratops collars! I just don’t know WHY people don’t enjoy Gallifrey 90210 audios as much as I do." - Joe Ford (2005)
"Lynda Bellingham recaptures the spirit of 86 so fully I instantly pictured her wearing a silly hat and playing with a biro. Mind you, I often do that if I don’t take my medication."
- Strange Guy I Met At A Self-Help Group (2003)
"Not half as good as Lawrence Miles’ The Bök of the War!"
- some embittered heckler staggering into his chapel of worship with a whisky bottle clutched in one hand and a battered copy of Mad Larry’s autobiography in the other... actually, I think it WAS Mad Larry himself after all (2004)
"Inquisitor Darkel! She’s back, and it’s about crime! We get the point already, please stop ramming it down our throats!"
- Eve Markson (2009)
"Leela has to go undercover as an exotic dancer? One wonders if this idea is from the pages of a sticky journal of fanfic written when he was fourteen, it has very much the ring of adolescent wish-fulfilment. One wonders, come to that, exactly how old Leela is meant to be in this story. And of course, one wonders why one keeps referring to oneself as one - perhaps because one is unspeakably pretentious? Oh, it always feels more acceptable out in the open than smuggled in via suspiciously heavy-breathed, hair-palmed asides about tits and asses. Ahem. One understands." - Sir Richard Richard (2008)
"Asylum seekers, preemptive strikes, political tensions in the UN... Ah, sheer mindless escapism. And people say that Barnes and Russell are craven-hearted opportunists laying things on with a trowel without actually having anything to say about the issues at hand!"
- Tony B. (2004)
Lalla Ward Speaks!
"I don’t think the character’s changed that much, except she’s finally got rid of the Doctor and she’s made her way up the Gallifreyan political ladder with her guts, determination, bare cunning and sleeping with all the right people. As Presidents go, Romana’s a hell of a lot better than George W Bush. Mind you, Lavros would be a better president than George W Bush."
Louise Jameson Speaks!
"I love this job. It’s such a good atmosphere. Repeatedly stabbing annoying bastards REALLY takes the edge of things like you wouldn’t believe. The writing lets her do all the thing she wants to do people rather than having to worry about Mary Whitehouse. Leela meets Reservoir Dogs – good things are gonna happen!"
John Leeson Speaks!
"What’s changed? Sod all. It’s always been audio for me. Life sucks."
Lynda Bellingham Speaks!
"Just like I did back in 1986, I just played it like Mrs. Thatcher. Still, at least I know I gave as much effort acting the role as the writers did creating it. At least this time there are no dumb extras stepping on my dress and causing me to trip arse over tit in front of the cameras. So big improvement there. Don’t mention the OXO adds."
Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more as the great Big Finish brand extends to yet ANOTHER spin off thoroughly exploring a 1970s four-parter and doing sod all else for the best part of five years. But rather than space-opera Dustbin tales or the adventures of Sarah Jane Smith, Gallifrey 90210 blends hardcore fan self-abuse with the diplomacy of Star Trek, the intrigue of Babylon 5, the sneaky missions of Yes Minister and the ridiculously camp female Presidents from mid-period Blake’s 7. An interest in Gallifrey, Time Lords and robot dogs is, frankly, surplus to requirements for this audio range.
However, the accumulated tackiness matters not one whit, for who gives a tinker’s cuss about Gallifrey itself when you have a cast like this? This miniseries represents not so much a chance to look at backstabbing Panoptical shenanigans as an opportunity to enjoy The New Adventures of Romana, Leela and K9 and K9.
Gay Russell had wanted to do a spin-off soap opera about Gallifrey ever since he stole the idea from Tim Robbins’ fanzine article "What A Fucking Stupid Idea That Would Be!" and completely missed the point. For the next twenty years nothing came of this until, during the 24-7 bowel-shattering insanity that was Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, he realized that Big Finish could achieve his lifelong dream for a serial set on the Doctor’s home world that had to be damn well listened to in the right order for the inevitable cliffhanger ending to make any sense.
Using the scenes of President Romana and her personal shiatsu masseuse Leela as a starting point, Russell decided to force his butt monkey and slave Alan Barnes to pen the entire series. However, by this time Barnes’ rising mental instability meant they needed other writers with less of the ego. Unfortunately the only ones free were Justin Richards and Steve Lyons, the latter of which was rather annoyed at the whole enterprise as he, himself, had just had the brilliant idea of a planet ruled by immortal shape-changing aristocrats who had become masters of time itself using time machines bigger on the inside than the outside. When it was pointed out that the idea had been in existence for over forty years, Lyons snorted "Likely story!" in a sarcastic manner.
Between the three raging egomaniacs trampling over each other’s plots, Russell decided there STILL wasn’t enough estrogen present and decided to bring back another female Time Lord – the Inquisitor from 1986 who had no real personality bar thinking the Doctor was a useless jerk and being part of a High Council conspiracy to destroy all life on Earth, annihilate Andromedan upstarts and alter the basis for all future continuity in Doctor Who. Apart from that, she was a blank canvas, which meant that all they had to do to amend the scripts was have the character Darkel occasionally referred to as "Inquisitor" and no one would ever be able to tell the difference.
The character of Braxiatel had been invented by Justin Richards for his New Adventure novel Theatre of Waugh, a sickeningly successful and pretentious Time Lord who, after about eight years, was revealed to the Doctor’s more important, pampered, self-obsessed elder brother who absolutely no one could stand to be in the same room in for more than twenty-two seconds at a time. Russell decided to make Braxiatel a regular for two reasons – first, because the character of Braxiatel was a recurring character in Big Finish’s Benny Summerfield range and they had the actor ready; and secondly, to finally explain why no one noticed that Braxiatel had the exact same name of a famous alien art gallery mentioned in Douglas Adams’ 1979 story Paris Sucks. The real reason for this, of course, was Richards ripped off the name because he couldn’t think of a cool enough name on his own.
The first series of Gallifrey 90210 was, oddly enough, barely set on Gallifrey as none of the writers could bring themselves stay on the most stale and boring planet in the universe. Barnes was worst effected, and not only had a story not set on Gallifrey at any point, also brought back India Fisher as a Pollard sister to provide some emotional support while he rounded off the first series.
With Gallifrey 90210 established as a version of Alias only with lots of odious little shits and callous snobby little twerps native to the higher Time Lord ranks, and the ongoing theme of Romana is a very different President and how everyone (well, most of the speaking parts) disagree with how she presides. Big Finish was supremely confident that the new Welsh revival of Doctor Who would be unlikely to have any real effect on the future of Gallifrey.
Oh boy were THEY pwned!