The Gallifrey Chronicles
Roots: The Matrix (the slow-motion martial arts battle between the Doctor and Grandfather Paradox). Marnal's literary career seems to have been inspired by Michael Moorcock, especially his influence on bands. Mondova is possibly inspired by Dr. Doom and/or Darth Vader. There are references to Rovers, Audis, Lexuses, Pride and Prejudice (Mr Darcy), The Oxford Companion to English Literature, Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field, Lord Marney, Bob Marley, Wynton Marsalis, Amazon, Pearson's Magazine, The Strand, The Idler, The Graphic, Herge, Saki, Iain M. Banks, Brian Blessed in I, Claudius, The Da Vinci Code, Clark's shoes, The Avengers (Emma Peel), W. H. Smiths, MFI, Jules Verne, Monty Python's "Spam" song, Tolkien, Freud, Revenge of the Sith, War of the Worlds, A Christmas Carol ("The Ghost of Christmas Cancelled"), Winston Churchill, Shallow Grave, Hitler, the Scissor Sisters, The Bill, Pandora's Box, The Times Literary Supplement, Mansfield Park, Cluedo ("The Doctor in the Edifice, with the binding energy"), Ockham's Razor, Isaac Newton, Scope, HMV, the Gordian knot, BMWs, GM-TV, Coronation Street, EastEnders, Ant and Dec, Dallas, Star Trek, Badly Drawn Boy, Radio 4, Capital Radio, Interzone, Gaudi, and Sisyphus. The Doctor quotes Hamlet. There are quotations from Shelley's "To- , One Word is Too Often Profaned", and Martin Luther King.
One of Marnal's books is entitled The Witch Lords, which was the working title of State of Decay. Ulysses is from the "Leekley Bible", in which he was supposed to be the Doctor's father (see Doctor Who - Regeneration). Catavolcus appeared in the Doctor Who comic strip "The Neutron Knights". Varnax first appeared in Mark Ezra's unused Doctor Who movie script 'The Return of Varnax' (see The Nth Doctor).
Goofs: TARDIS is yet again said to stand for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space, rather than Dimension. [Though the sheer number of times this has happened suggests it be treated as a retcon rather than a goof - Ed]
Even if Ulysses and Penelope aren't actually the Doctor's parents, the fact that they have a child at all flatly contradicts Lungbarrow [unless their secret experiments have allowed them to overcome the Pythia's curse, although Cold Fusion strongly suggests that the curse wasn't exactly universal].
How did the medical kit survive the fusion explosion in the TARDIS? [it was in an area protected by emergency shutters].
Dialogue Disasters: "One of their PCs is letting me borrow their PC. Very PC of him, I thought."
Dialogue Triumphs: The Doctor tells Trix, "One of the things you'll learn is that it's all real. Every word of every novel is real, every frame of every movie, every panel of every comic strip" prompting the reply, "But that's just not possible. I mean some books contradict other ones."
"The entire history of this incarnation is one of temporal orbits, retcons, paradoxes, parallel time lines, reiterations, and divergences. How anyone can make head or tail of all this chaos, I don't know."
"I am often faced with serious decisions. Life or death decisions. I know that I am not infallible, I know that I am not all-powerful."
"The Doctor was the finest dream of hundreds of human beings, refined as they tapped away at their typewriters. For generations, they'd made him a hero to countless millions in over a hundred countries. Then, just once, he hadn't come back. His enemies had kept him away. But despite their best efforts he hadn't been forgotten. There were those who remembered him when they walked past a dummy in a shop window or sat on a beach looking out to sea, and every time they ground pepper. Some of those who remembered him had typewriters of their own. And, after far too long, a new generation of children were about to hear that music for the first time, and they would learn their sofa wasn't just for sitting on."
Continuity: The Second Law of Time is "Do nothing, and all will be well." In addition to the three small oceans (The Ancestor Cell) Gallifrey had tiny ice caps at the poles. Gallifrey had over two-dozen seasons. The large continents consisted largely of deserts and broken mountain ranges. The Towers of Canonicity and Likelihood were dimensionally transcendental buildings on Gallifrey. The destruction of Gallifrey unleashed a vast ripple in the space-time continuum, making it impossible to navigate or even see the area at any point in the planet's history [thus resolving the explosion/erased from history controversy]. The destruction irreparably damaged the Vortex. Time Lords have increased cranial capacity compared to humans, blood with a capacity to carry oxygen that is vastly greater than hæmoglobin, a body temperature of sixty degrees, and a lindal gland. Gallifreyan is written in the Gallifreyan omegabet, the letters of which are suspiciously similar to the Greek alphabet [explaining of course why Time Lords have nicknames like Omega and Theta Sigma]. Whilst pondering who might have been responsible for the destruction of Gallifrey, Marnal mentions the Klade (Trading Futures), the Tractites (Genocide), the Ongoing, and Centro (The Infinity Doctors). Time Lords measure the development of civilizations on the Kardashev scale; by 2005, humans have yet to reach Type 1, since they don't control the resources of their own planet, let alone a solar system or galaxy; the Time Lords were a Type 4 civilization. Cobblemice are Gallifreyan rodents. A maser is an old Gallifreyan weapon, military issue; it has numerous settings, including ones that induce depression and other distracting emotions in the target.
The disembodied voice that speaks to the Doctor from the Eye of Harmony is almost certainly the Master; he claims, "This is a mere echo of me. The ghost in the machine" and accuses the Doctor of imprisoning him in the ultimate power source, knowing he would be unable to escape and make use of it (see The TV Movie).
Marnal was the Castellan on Gallifrey before the Doctor fled. Marnal was first exiled to Earth in 1883. During his time on Earth, Marnal has met Mervyn Peake, who illustrated one of Marnal's novels, and H. G. Wells. He uses the name Marnal Gate. In his twelfth incarnation he is an old man; after he regenerates, he is a young man with brown eyes. His amnesia disappears when he regenerates, allowing him to remember Gallifrey and the Time Lords, due to the surge of artron energy restoring his synapses (see The Deadly Assassin, Four to Doomsday). During his exile, he wrote numerous science fiction and fantasy novels, which actually contain the entire history of Gallifrey. His novels include The Kraglon Inheritance, The Witch Lords, The Emergents, The Giants, The Hand of Time (published in 1976), The Time of Neman, The Beautiful People, Marnal's Journeys or the Modern Crusoe, Day of Wrath, The Monkey to Time saga (published in November 2001), and Valley of the Lost. Despite spending over a century trapped on Earth, he has never bothered learning to drive. He once wrote an episode of Star Trek, but it was changed so much that he took his name off it. Marnal has a son on Gallifrey. He also has four adopted daughters on Earth from his wives' previous marriages, whom he describes as parasites. The Vore kill him, and since he is in his Thirteenth incarnation, he can't regenerate; before he dies, the Doctor tells him that he was his childhood hero [which might be a white lie, but is quite possibly true, given Marnal's tendency to interfere in the affairs of others, albeit for Gallifrey's good].
Ulysses was one of the first Time Lords to give himself a new name. He married Penelope, a human female with long red hair [presumably, Parkin intends the pair of them to be the Doctor's parents, although perhaps mercifully this isn't confirmed]. They are both friends with the blue-skinned Mister Saldaamir, the last survivor of the Time Wars in the ancient past. They considered themselves explorers, and associated themselves with Lady Larna, a Time Lady from the relative future. Marnal and the High Council were aware at this time of a prophecy that Gallifrey would be destroyed after first surviving attacks by Omega (The Three Doctors), the Sontarans (The Invasion of Time), Tannis (Death Comes to Time), Faction Paradox (The Ancestor Cell), Varnax, Catavolcus, and the Timewyrm (Timewyrm: Revelation) (see Dalek), and that a Time Lord living at that time would be central to defeating these attacks. Ulysses and Penelope have a son, unbeknownst to the High Council; when Marnal threatened to expose them, they used his TARDIS' telepathic circuits to wipe his memory and dumped him on Earth in England, 1883, with Penelope's mother.
The Vore originate from the Shoal, a vast asteroid plain clinging to one percent of the galactic rim. Conglomerates of asteroids, rogue planets, and moons form occasional Concentrations. The Vore are large insects, with mandibles and legs sharp enough and powerful enough to tunnel through rock. They feed on temporal cicatrixes, scars where space-time has tried and failed to heal itself, to which they are drawn "like moths to a flame". Marnal was the first Time Lord to make contact with the Vore, when he and two other Time Lords visited the Shoal to destroy a temporal anomaly. The Vore have a slightly hunchbacked appearance, with bulbous bodies and tiny heads. They have asymmetrical bodies, and silver carapaces with black hairs protruding through the gaps. They stand on their hind legs and are about the height of a man; their two front pairs of legs are shorter, and all of their legs are moulded into vicious spikes, sharpened curves, and hooks. They can move through the fifth dimension by manipulating hyperspace corridors. They live on moons, which they move via these tunnels. The Vore communicate using gestures and chemical signals. They are essential animals, with no individual intelligence; they act on instinct and transform the life of planets they invade into chyme (vomit), which they use to grow the fungus on which they feed. They spray their dead with tetramethrin, which they excrete, in order to mark them as such and have them removed from the hive; by spraying humans with this chemical, other humans' senses are confused into believing that those people are dead, and they become unable to see them. By Supreme Council order, date index 309456/4756.7RE/1213GRT/100447TL, no Time Lord is to engage the Vore and to observe an exclusion zone no less than one parsec and one century in all directions from any Vore moon.
Marnal shows the Doctor his part in the destruction of Gallifrey, finally making him aware of his actions (The Ancestor Cell). The Doctor's amnesia was not caused by the actual destruction of his home planet; in order to save the Time Lords, he edited out his memories using the TARDIS' telepathic circuits and downloaded the entire Matrix, containing every single Time Lord mind [since they were all dead by the time Gallifrey was actually destroyed] into his brain. The Matrix files are supercompressed and stored away, and he is unable to access them. One he has defeated the Vore, he intends to rebuild Gallifrey and restore the Time Lords [thus explaining how it exists to be destroyed again by Rose (see Dalek)]. He sends K9 to Espero, in order, it is implied, to find Madame Xing [i.e. Compassion] who can restore his lost memories (see Halflife). The Doctor's [The Other's? see Lungbarrow] mother told him about Grandfather Paradox when he was little; the Doctor was unable to sleep that night as a result and had taken the story very, very seriously. The Doctor notes that he hasn't used his gift for prescience in ages (The TV Movie). He doesn't know how Fitz will die. The Doctor reads George Bernard Shaw's The Doctor's Dilemma.
Rachel Rowley was in Miranda's class at Greyfrith County Primary School (Father Time). One of their teachers was named Mrs. Castle. During his time trapped on Earth whilst raising Miranda, the Doctor defeated an invasion attempt by the Network. Marnal's list of the Doctor's companions, in the order in which the Doctor met them, includes Lorenzo, Delilah, Frank, Claudia, Deborah, Jemima-Katy, Miranda, Nina, Anji, and Beatrice; Marnal notes that they are all from twentieth or twenty-first century Earth, so presumably these are companions that he has travelled with since The Burning. According to Marnal's investigation of the Doctor's past and future timelines, he has three Ninth incarnations (Scream of the Shalka, Rose, and Curse of the Fatal Death). The Doctor didn't cry after Miranda died, preferring to reflect on the fact that he is now a grandfather and avoiding reflecting on the past (Sometime Never...). Marnal mentions the Doctor waking up in "that carriage" (The Burning). Whilst meditating, the Doctor has a vision of his Seventh incarnation, who mentions the Timewyrm and Ace being given one of Mel's memories as a result of him editing his own memories (Timewyrm: Genesys, Timewyrm: Revelation), he also reminds the Eighth Doctor that he gave his umbrella to Benny (The Dying Days). The Doctor forgot all his martial arts knowledge along with the rest of his memories. The Doctor claims that he has often thought about writing a novel and writes one thirty thousand words long whilst trying to jog his memories in the TARDIS. He calls it Mansfield Park, and it features various authors and literary characters, including Mr. Darcy. After Marnal dies, the Doctor takes the entire contents of his library, including his back catalogue of novels, into the TARDIS.
Marnal was the original owner of the Doctor's TARDIS, before the Doctor stole it. The scratching from behind the TARDIS' "back wall" (Trading Futures) is actually caused by K9 Mark I, whom Romana dispatched to the Edifice to kill the Doctor, in order to prevent him becoming Grandfather Paradox (The Ancestor Cell). Fitz and Compassion used the architectural configuration circuits to trap him behind the wall. He has been trapped for one hundred and fourteen years, nine months, three days and six point three hours, the length of time since the destruction of Gallifrey in the Doctor's (and the TARDIS's) personal timeline. He performs a cerebral scan on the Doctor.
Grandfather Paradox wasn't specifically the Doctor's future self, but everybody's future self. In this case, he was the Doctor two hundred and ninety-two years in his future.
Since To the Slaughter, Fitz and Trix have started a relationship and have been sleeping together. Fitz and Trix liberate a couple of bottles of wine from Mondova's cellar. Whilst on Mars in 2097, they dress in sequined catsuits, with electric blue wigs and lipstick. They go shopping for clothes in London, 2005, during which Trix buys a new skirt and Fitz buys a guitar. He also buys a new suede jacket, white shirt, and jeans. The Doctor erased Fitz's memories of Gallifrey's destruction at the same time that he erased his own, but failed to completely wipe them [hence Fitz's erratic memory between novels!]. Fitz regained all of his lost memories on Espero (Halflife). He knows various songs written by the Beatles in parallel universes, including "Back Home", a version of "Jealous Guy" with different lyrics, and "Celebrate the love", which the Beatles played at the Live Aid concert. Whilst playing guitar and singing in a pub, he again adopts the alias Fitz Fortune and sings a song that he has written, entitled "Contains Spoilers". He also performs parallel universe Beatles song "Celebrate the love" and a Dramarama song. The Vore spray Fitz with tetramethrin, thus leading Trix to believe that he is dead; the Doctor breaks the influence of the chemical on Trix's mind, thus allowing her to see him once more.
Trix's real name is Patricia Joanne Pullman. She is wanted for the murder of her father, Anthony Charles Pullman. Trix has a "nest egg" on Earth in 2005, in the form of a bank account containing One hundred and fifty million pounds. She has maintained contact with Anji, and has been giving her information on future markets as well as antiques and bits of alien technology in return for which Anji has been paying large sums of money into her account. She carries a fake passport and provides one for Fitz that won't be issued for several years after 2005. She can "just about" fly a passenger plane. She has never visited Africa before.
Anji has been promoted to the board of her company (Timeless). She and Greg have now been together for nearly a year and they are engaged. Greg is a journalist. He calls Anji "Kap". He is a film buff. Anji hasn't told him about her travels with the Doctor and Fitz, but has mentioned the pair of them and Trix.
Sam's full name was Samantha Lynn Jones. She was born in 1980. After leaving the Doctor and Fitz, she died in 2002 and was buried in a London churchyard (see Sometime Never...). According to Marnal, if she hadn't met the Doctor she would have been a graduate working for an inner-city charity by 2005, and would live to be a hundred, remaining a political activist until she died.
Although only referred to, UNIT battles the Vore and the Brigadier (now General Lethbridge-Stewart) provides the Doctor, Fitz, Trix, and Rachel with transport to Guinea-Bissau.
The TARDIS contains a first edition copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and its nine sequels. The TARDIS has a handbrake (The Monsters Inside). Marnal confirms that full operational TARDISes have practically infinite interiors. The power room of a TARDIS can look like anything, but always contains what looks like an iron ball the size of a house. Marnal sets the TARDIS to recalibrate, a process that will take several hours, since less than ten percent of her functions are working as they should. Important components that aren't working include the absence detectors, all of the aesthetics gauges, the ahistorical contextualiser, the ambiguous resolver, the animal-language translation circuits, the aprioritron, the art device, the assimilation contrastor, and the axiomator. Marnal's fusion reactor detonates inside the TARDIS, destroying its entire contents, including the books and bookshelves, the antique furniture, kitchen, food machine, fault locator, lamps, hat stand, shaving mirror, gramophone, wine rack, chess sets, ormulu clock, full-length mirror, butterflies, tool kit, and a large pirate chest kept in one of the corridors [possibly the same chest seen in The Power of the Daleks and The Abominable Snowmen]. The TARDIS swimming pool is boiled dry, the ivy in the cloisters is vaporized, and a wardrobe the size of an aircraft hanger is burned clean. Fitz's room, including all of his records and souvenirs, is also torched. The actual fabric of the TARDIS is largely undamaged and repairs itself. The console room has a sprinkler system. Emergency barriers keep the blast away from the engine rooms and other critical areas, and channel the energy into the Eye of Harmony (The TV Movie). The TARDIS has an emergency procedure to channel such energy through the Eye of Harmony, to the original Eye on Gallifrey, which can absorb it. The Doctor has never changed the emergency procedures [all of this explains why the TARDIS has a new, less cluttered look, by Rose]. Two of the TARDIS's three great libraries survive the explosion unscathed. The medical kit is still located where it was in Shada (TV).
Mondova used the robotic Kybords to enforce his rule; shortly before he is overthrown, they switch allegiance to the Rebels.
Sulumians resemble bipedal mules with dolphin-like skin, and glowing red eyes. They live in the eighth dimension. Thorgan, and presumably other Sulumians, can travel in time. Gelatine is apparently harmful to Sulumians.
The Network is intelligent software that runs on human brains instead of computers. It has existed for millennia and has spread from planet to planet by broadcasting itself between them, spreading out in wavefronts travelling at the speed of light that are picked up by any planet with sufficiently advanced technology, which it thus uses to invade. It uses radiation as a means of mind control, and tends to use children, since their minds are more susceptible. The Great Provider rules the Network. It tries to absorb the Doctor's mind, but the Doctor is too strong and repels the Network from Earth.
Klist is a planetary string in the North Constellations, between Anquar and the Santine Rift. It is home to an "immeasurably ancient" civilization ruled by the Ruling Mind.
The Gallifrey Chronicles is charged with the complicated task of tying up all of the loose ends from the Eight Doctor Adventures post-The Ancestor Cell and dovetailing into the new series. The question is, does it achieve this?
The answer is yes, but in a rather roundabout way. With explanations as to what actually happened to Gallifrey (i.e. was it blown up or erased from history) and why the Doctor is suffering from amnesia, the two most controversial issues of the range are dealt with, and with K9 sent off to Espero the Doctor is all set to restore his memories once he's emptied his head of the Matrix. This in turn gives him a chance to restore Gallifrey and the Time Lords, which he intends to do after he's defeated the Vore, and which he has clearly done by the time that it is destroyed by the Daleks in the Time War.
There are however one or two details left ambiguous; the cliffhanger ending, as the Doctor, Fitz and Trix are poised to leap into the Vore hive in Africa, leaves two possibilities open. One is that the Doctor dies in the attempt and regenerates into the Ninth Doctor, although given that the Doctor is still acclimating to his new face in Rose it's unlikely that he's had time between The Gallifrey Chronicles and that story to rebuild Gallifrey and fight a massive war with the Daleks. The most likely sequence of events is that he saves the day here, defeating the Vore, restoring Gallifrey, and regenerating at some undisclosed later time, which allows the possibility of many more adventures for the Eighth Doctor before the new series.
As for Fitz and Trix, their fate is left far more ambiguous; it is possible that they die in the attack on the Vore, or that they survive and get to live happily ever after. Ultimately, in the absence of further information, it's up to the reader to decide; for the record, I prefer that latter option...
Links: The Ancestor Cell. The Doctor refers to Sabbath, specifically his interference with the time lines (The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, Time Zero, The Infinity Race, The Last Resort, Timeless, Sometime Never...). The description of the Doctor on page 12 includes father and grandfather (references to Miranda (Father Time), Zezanne (Sometime Never...) and of course, Susan), and violinist (The Year of Intelligent Tigers). The cube used by Marnal to send a telepathic signal is the same type first seen in The War Games. The TARDIS "back wall" and the mysterious scratching from behind it were first mentioned in Trading Futures. Marnal mentions block transfer computations (Logopolis, Castrovalva) and the Eye of Harmony (The Deadly Assassin, The TV Movie). The Doctor gives a knowing smile when Trix protests that Sherlock Holmes was a fictional character (All-Consuming Fire). Rachel sees Tractators and Frontios in Marnal's temporal monitoring chamber (Frontios).
There are references to the Doctor's meetings with Priam (The Myth Makers) and Graham Greene (The Turing Test). Fitz mentions Selonart (The Infinity Race) and astral flowers (The Tomorrow Windows). Marnal's temporal monitoring chamber shows the Doctor speeding around San Francisco on a motorbike (The TV Movie), confronting an Ice Warrior at the Tower of London (The Dying Days), attending an arms bazaar on the Moon, and punting down the Cam (Shada). Marnal mentions divergences in the Doctor's Eighth incarnation, an oblique reference to Zagreus. Fitz recalls sleeping with a version of Sam from a parallel universe (Unnatural History).
Anji recalls the Doctor catching her with a future copy of The Financial Times (Trading Futures). She mentions Dave (Escape Velocity). The Doctor's "half-full, not half-empty" line is an oblique reference to the revelation that he is half-human (The TV Movie). Fitz forgets to ask Anji about Jamais and Chloe (Timeless). Marnal attempts to make telepathic contact with the Doctor (The Three Doctors) and sees the man with the blue rosette (The Adventuress of Henrietta Street) and the Minister of Chance (Death Comes to Time). Fitz mentions giant robots (Robot) and pyramids on Mars (Pyramids of Mars).
The Doctor sees Pazithi Gallifreya destroyed (Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible). He mentions, "walls built with time itself" (The Face of Evil) and "false gods and their games", which might be a reference to the Celestial Toymaker (The Celestial Toymaker, Divided Loyalties, The Nightmare Fair). One of Marnal's books refers to "giant space needles" (The Infinity Doctors). The APC net is mentioned (The Deadly Assassin). K9 refers to Professor Marius (The Invisible Enemy) and remaining behind on Gallifrey (The Invasion of Time). He notes that he has been authorized for independent missions in situations classified as too dangerous for Time Lord intervention (K9 and the Time Trap, K9 and the Beasts of Vega, K9 and the Zeta Rescue, K9 and the Missing Planet). Mister Saldaamir was first mentioned in Beige Planet Mars, and again in Father Time.
The opening passage in Marnal's novel The Giants is the opening voice-over from Death Comes to Time. The cover of one of his books depicts monster that look like trolls, presumably a reference to Sontarans. The "psychedelic pattern" observed on Marnal's temporal monitoring chamber describes the opening title sequences from the television series. Several of the chapter titles refer to other Doctor Who stories, including Deadly Reunion, The Edge of Destruction (The Edge of Destruction), and The Vore Games (The War Games).
Location: An unnamed planet, date unknown; Italy, 40BC; London, England; Manhattan, New York, America; Guinea-Bissau; and the Vore moon in orbit around Earth, June 2005; in orbit around Ross 128, a little under eleven light years from Earth in the Virgo constellation, date unknown; Greyfrith, the 1980s; the Shoal, date unknown.
Future History: The History... of Death is broadcast on BBC Four in 2007. There are eventually nine sequels to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Circa 317,040AD humans encroach on the domain of the Sulumians in the eighth dimensions.
In 2097 the female Pope makes the first papal visit to Mars to consecrate the first cathedral there and anoint the first Martian archbishops; because this a crucial point in Earth's relationships with alien species, the Daleks attempt to assassinate her.
Unrecorded Adventures: At the start of the story, the Doctor, Fitz and Trix overthrow dictator Mondova - it isn't clear how long they've been on his planet aiding the revolution. The Doctor, Anji and Fitz once visited Mars.
The Doctor met George Bernard Shaw at one of Oscar Wilde's parties. He has also met Lawrence Olivier and Dr Johnson. He defeated Thorgan in Pisa c1160AD. He attended a couple of séances during the 1920s. Prior to The Ancestor Cell he fought and defeated the Great Provider and the Network numerous times. He taught the Beatles to meditate in Bangor. He is a friend of the Ruling Mind. He met William of Ockham and tried to get him to work out the history of Skaro, which almost gave William a nervous breakdown. He has seen a termite mound in Africa. He also met G. K. Chesterton [whom, in a nod to the First Doctor's frequent mispronunciation of Ian's surname, he calls "Chetterton"].
The Bottom Line: I think it's time for you to find out what you did.' Having written the first Eighth Doctor novel, Parkin gets to write the last, and is charged with the unenviable task of rounding off the increasingly controversial arc that began with The Ancestor Cell. As such, there is a lot happening in The Gallifrey Chronicles, but Parkin not only manages to tie up all the loose ends, he also manages to tell a decent story in its own right, with Marnal and the Vore both making interesting additions to the mix. He even gets to fulfil his long-held ambition of killing off Fitz, albeit temporarily. Overall, The Gallifrey Chronicles brings much-needed closure to a range that has increasingly lost focus over the last few years but does so with considerable verve.