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Ascension (identified on the cover simply as Chapter Twenty-Four) was the third and final story in series 6 of Gallifrey. It was written by Justin Richards.

Publisher's summary[]

Gallifrey Rises...

Romana's sacrifice sees Gallifrey restored to its former glory, but at a terrible cost.

As the Time Lords begin to reclaim their stronghold, Leela and Narvin find themselves trapped in a decaying reality... and only K9 can help them.

As old friends fight to reunite, new threats lie in wait...

Because Braxiatel was right: war is coming.


In the Panopticon, Chancellor Valyes strikes the Rod of Rassilon before declaring the results of the presidential election. He declares a recess when Romana suddenly materialises, not knowing where Leela and Narvin are and confused as to why there has been an election when Matthias is President.

Trey, Leela and Narvin have watched Romana disappear after stabilising the Eye of Harmony for a time and do not know where she has gone.

Romana learns from Valyes that Matthias has resigned and is surprised to see Castellan Slyne push past Commander Jevon and expresses his support for Romana becoming President. Valyes, Slyne and Jevon explain that Matthias forcibly quarantined those affected by the Dogma Virus with Shada technology, leading to a civil war in which the Matrix was damaged. Once the virus was contained, he retired and exiled himself to the Outlands, eventually returning as a broken man. Seeing Romana's return as a sign, Valyes decides that she will be the new President, but she is unenthusiastic and believes that whoever becomes the next President will need the support of the cardinals.

The transduction barriers have failed and the Capitol is falling apart around Trey, Leela and Narvin. They head to the Archives in search of a record of where Romana had have gone.

In the Panopticon, Valyes proposes that the election is made void and that Romana be reinstated. The cardinals talk amongst themselves, some remembering Romana's presidency as a golden age, and ask Romana to speak. She addresses the cardinals as a citizen and calls for a President who will be able to rise to the challenge of rebuilding Gallifrey, saying that that person is not her and that they need a new leader. The cardinals applaud her and one of them nominates Romana, beginning a chant of "All hail Romana, the once and future President". Romana is not impressed.

Trey, Leela and Narvin reach the Archive, where Leela pulls from the shadows the figure that she saw earlier and who joined them at the Panopticon, the archivist Coordinator Tallan. He tells them that the Matrix is damaged and shows Trey to the terminal whilst Leela and Narvin realise that they met Tallan on another Gallifrey.

Slyne accompanies Romana to the presidential office and Jevon comes to swear his loyalties to her once more. Jevon does not recognise Slyne and suggests that Romana makes the restoration of the Matrix one of her primary aims. She agrees, wondering if the damage has anything to do with the backup copy of the biodata extracts that they took to the Axis. When Slyne refers to the Matrix as a virtual world, Romana realises that she arrived here through a Matrix door activated by her biocode and believes that she is now in the Matrix.

Trey cannot access the Matrix and has no idea how or why Tallan is here. Her plan had been working, sending Romana through the Eighth Door, but Tallan is not part of it and she orders him to leave. Narvin is no longer sure that Trey is his President.

Slyne tells Romana that her belief that she is in the Matrix is a delusion, but she does not listen. He leaves and K9 arrives, something that Romana sees as further proof that she is in a virtual world. K9 denies this and explains that he escaped from the Daleks and has been assimilating and collecting Axis data and found that all portals have been closed, information that Romana already knows. He is more than 99% sure that this is the one true Gallifrey, but Romana is unconvinced.

K9 approaches Trey, Leela, Narvin and Tallan and explains that he was sent by Romana to help them; whilst Romana is on the real Gallifrey, they are all in the Matrix as the exit point of the portal they used was altered by Romana. Trey and Tallan do not exist and are only Matrix projections, Tallan being projected by K9 as he had no biodata to project himself, but K9 has been able to boost his signal since the Eighth Door was opened. No longer necessary, Tallan disappears. The Matrix is beginning to fail as its power is being drawn away and soon Leela and Narvin will die. They hurry to the Eighth Door with Trey.

Slyne informs Romana and K9, who has returned from the Matrix, that the quarantine system is failing due to the Matrix decay and that the infected are being released. Lukas counts down to the failure of the security doors over a speaker. Jevon is having his Chancellery Guards keep the infected back and Slyne tells Romana that she will have to authorise the use of heavy weapons to repel them. Romana refuses to sanction this. She plans to reboot the Matrix using the ancillary data in the backup, but K9 warns that this will overwrite Leela and Narvin. Slyne urges her to do it regardless, but she points out that the backup is inside the Matrix with Narvin. Giving the presidential codes to Slyne, Romana heads to the Panopticon with K9 to open the Matrix door for Leela and Narvin.

Leela and Narvin reach the Panopticon, having lost Trey, and the ceiling collapses. Leela is trapped but Narvin refuses to leave without her and goes in search of a way to free her. Trey arrives and tells her that she is a projection of a future Romana and that she has a message for her second incarnation, one which she will not yet understand. Leela is to tell Romana that, when the time is right, she will know when she and Trey are to meet again. Trey leaves and Narvin returns, succeeding in rescuing his trapped friend.

At the Panopticon, K9 alerts Romana to the fact that something within the Matrix is drawing on its power. Leela and Narvin manage to get through the Matrix door just before it closes and give the backup to Slyne, who suggests that they use the backup to reset the Time Lords, wiping the Dogma Virus away. Romana refuses to do this as it would mean to wipe away their recent experiences, but Leela grabs the data from her and does it herself, putting all of the Time Lords but Romana, Narvin and Slyne to sleep.

Romana realises that Slyne is still awake and he admits that there is no Slyne in this world; he is the Slyne that they knew on the Regenerator's Gallifrey and managed to get here by taking advantage of K9. He engineered this situation to get the Time Lords put to sleep and used the presidential codes to open the Matrix doors across the Capitol to release his masters, who waited in the Axis for Romana to discover a cure for the Dogma Virus, an infection which they developed. They are now hidden in the Matrix and drained the power to ensure that the backup was taken to be used in the real world.

Several Daleks emerge from the Matrix door before it and all the other doors are closed, preventing the main invasion force from arriving. Romana presumes that it must have been Trey who closed them. The Daleks exterminate Slyne, who has served his purpose as the multiversal anomaly, and order Romana to hand over the presidential codes to reopen the Matrix. Romana, Leela, Narvin and K9 run, with K9 returning the Daleks' fire until his batteries are severely depleted. In the Presidential Office, K9 activates the defence grid and Leela gives Romana Trey's message. Romana considers why Trey had created a copy of the Capitol in the Matrix and sends Leela and Narvin to hide, having worked out what the message meant. Romana accesses the Matrix and the Daleks break in.

Leela and Narvin head towards the CIA Tower by way of the Transport Controller's office, but Leela stops as she does not want to abandon Romana.

The Daleks take Romana prisoner and take her to the Supreme Dalek in the Panopticon. Leela and Narvin arrive return to the office to find Romana gone and K9 sealing the Matrix on Romana's orders.

In the Panopticon, the Supreme Dalek tells Romana that the Daleks will take her codes and authorisation from her mind to lower Gallifrey's defences and allow the main invasion fleet to arrive. Trey arrives and Romana reveals that they are inside the Matrix, K9 having opened a Matrix door in her office.

K9 tells Leela and Narvin that Romana and the Daleks are trapped within the Matrix, the world sealed in a data pocket. With Romana's absence meaning that Valyes or Matthias might become President and that nobody but her can rebuild Gallifrey, Narvin believes that it is worth attempting to prevent the creation of the Daleks and goes to find Valyes. He watches Matthias wake up and, after explaining what has happened, puts him back to sleep and awakens Valyes, taking him to the CIA Tower; he tasks Valyes with going to Skaro and getting the Fourth Doctor to avert the Daleks' creation.

Leela and K9 return to the Presidential Office and find Romana there, learning that she did not enter the Matrix but instead used an avatar to deceive the Daleks. When Narvin comes, he realises that he has risked temporal war for no reason. All Time Lords have now awoken and Romana says that it is a new dawn for Gallifrey, believing that the Daleks will no longer be a threat.


Uncredited cast[]


  • Valyes is still the Lord Chancellor of Gallifrey.
  • Lord President Matthias ordered that all those infected with the Dogma Virus be quarantined in time-locked facilities. This led to another civil war After his orders were carried out, Matthias resigned and went into self-imposed exile in the Wastelands.
  • Coordinator Tallan is the archivist of the Matrix.
  • While in the Axis, K9 catalogued 1,000 different alternative versions of Gallifrey.
  • Narvin and Leela are trapped inside the Matrix. Tallan was a construct created by K9 as he could not project an image of himself into the Matrix as he did not have biodata on file in the Matrix's records. He created the Tallan avatar in the image of a Time Lord who died decades earlier in the proper timeline but who was still alive in one of the alternative timelines which they visited.
  • In actuality, Lady Trey is a projection of a future Romana created by the Matrix. She gives Leela a message to deliver to Romana: "When the time is right, she'll know we will meet again."
  • The Matrix projection, including Lady Trey, was created by a future version of Romana.
  • The Dogma Virus was created by the Daleks.
  • K9's blaster ray has an accuracy of 98%.
  • The CIA Tower is the safest place on Gallifrey.
  • The Dalek Supreme accompanied the invasion force to Gallifrey.


  • This audio drama marks the first appearance of the actual planet of Gallifrey in the proper timeline on the series since Panacea in August 2006.
  • This audio drama marks the first appearance of K9 on the series since Forever in March 2011.
  • Although the Matrix was destroyed in Warfare, no mention is made of this in the story and it is said to have been damaged in a civil war during Matthias' presidency.
  • Valyes is sent to meet the Fourth Doctor and inform him the Time Lords have foreseen a time where the Daleks would threaten the universe, which is a trick by Narvin. However, A Device of Death shows the Time Lords monitoring the changes to history around Skaro, meaning their messenger Ferain (PROSE: Lungbarrow) was genuine.


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