Synopsis: The War Room coordinates the fight against the Daleks, but there is a battle for control. Rival Cardinals Rasmus and Ollistra manipulate Leela, Veklin and the General. Beyond Gallifrey, Narvin and the Resistance are making their own moves to stop the Time War.
Review: Gallifrey: War Room 2: Manoeuvres is an excellent continuation of the series. Indeed, the writers find a remarkable balance between hope and despair, given the trajectory of the story.
Familial bonds link this set of stories. Added to that, listeners are treated to even deadlier Daleks. As a result, tension mounts even higher than usual.
“Collaborators” by Katharine Armitage gives listeners wonderful world-building and foreshadowing. Armitage also explores leadership and coming of age in compelling plot threads.
“Remnants” by Georgia Cook introduces listeners to Berserker Daleks. They’re even scarier than they sound!
Cook’s unapologetic cat-and-mouse tale is cleverly and remorselessly plotted. What’s more, the survivors are not unscathed.
“Transference” by Fio Trethewey gives listeners a sojourn in Lowtown. Frankly, the writers needed this ground-level storytelling for added depth. Otherwise, Gallifrey becomes too removed for even hardcore fans.
Moreover, I appreciated how Trethewey found a new way to employ the Matrix in the war effort. That’s not easy. The Matrix can all too easily become a narrative crutch.
“Ambition’s Debt” by Katharine Armitage is where the author pays off what she sets up. In the process, she reminds listeners that England gave us Shakespearean tragedy.
Seriously, the Time War is unrelentingly bleak. It has to be.
For all that, listeners continue to care. We care because the writers and performers care along with us.
Speaking of the performers, the entire cast is superb. That said, I have to single out three.
First, Nicholas Briggs reaches a new level voicing the Berserker Daleks. He manages to convey their entire twisted backstory in just a few syllables.
Second, Seán Carlsen continues to bring new layers to Narvin. The developments in this box set require the years of skill and understanding he brings to the character.
Finally, Carolyn Pickles makes Ollistra her own. Her performance is a masterclass in contemporary villainy.
Thank you, Big Finish. Gallifrey: War Room 2: Manoeuvres delivered on all fronts. I’m looking forward to the third installment.
- You can purchase Gallifrey: War Room 2: Manoeuvres here.
- Audio Production10