The first Gallifrey story since Panacea four and a half years previously, Reborn established that Romana, Leela, K9, Braxiatel and Narvin had arrived in the Axis, first seen in the Main Range story The Axis of Insanity. It saw the main characters visit a Gallifrey where Romana never travelled with the Fourth Doctor. Instead, it was Leela who helped find the Key to Time.
Amidst all the confusion, the High Council of Time Lords is poised to take the planet into an all-consuming war against the cosmos. They're selling their secrets to the highest bidder, equipping the universe with temporal technology it should never have been allowed.
And Romana's son will lead them into battle...
As K9 was able to repair the Time Scoop before Elbon could take the cure to the Dogma Virus to Gallifrey, Braxiatel was able to get his TARDIS from the Time Vortex and give the group enough time to find a proper antidote. However, Romana, Leela, Narvin, Braxiatel and K9 have chosen to live on a planetoid which has restored Leela's vision and allows them to live in peace. Leela and Narvin announce that they are to be married in a ceremony officiated by K9 and Braxiatel proposes to Romana, who says that she needs time to think.
Braxiatel is awoken from his dream by Romana and admits to her that they are at the Axis and not at the Braxiatel Collection. Saving Gallifrey was a fantasy of Braxiatel's and, in truth, it is still in danger, but Braxiatel has found an Axis portal which Romana might find interesting.
Chancellor Dondequest asks her secretariat to have Surgeon-Master Rexus meet her and to have the inquisitors' office send her a valeyard. She is interrupted by Lady Romana, who wants to know more about her husband Commander Andred's death whilst putting down an insurrection and why he had not regenerated given that he was in his first incarnation. Aware that he had spoken out against the High Council, she believes that he was silenced, but Dondequest tells her to go home and stop being paranoid.
Braxiatel leads Romana, Leela, K9 and Narvin to the portal and lets them all know where they truly are. Romana explains to Leela what the Axis is, describing it as a tree of alternative realities, most of which are caused by Time Lord experiments gone wrong and pose a threat to the primary timeline. The group enter the portal in search of a new life in a new reality and find themselves in a desert littered with bones; K9 identifies it as an alternative Gallifrey. Dozens of TARDISes materialise around them and the portal disappears, having moved elsewhere on the planet. The Chancellery Guard, let by Commander Faradac, arrest them and take them to the Capitol.
Dondequest checks in with Rexus and asks him to expand his research beyond Gallifrey as she has expanded their horizons to the galactic superpowers. Rexus warns her that the risk on an alien would be high, but Dondequest believes that it is a risk worth taking. He asks her if she would like one regeneration or two; she accepts just the one.
Romana, Leela, K9, Braxiatel and Narvin are greeted to the Capitol by Cardinal Tallan and the rest of the High Council, who recognise Leela and K9 as the seekers of the Key to Time. When Prime Usher Antonin asks who the others are, Romana cuts across Braxiatel to introduce herself as "Lady Astra", having caught sight of Lady Romana, an alternative version of her first incarnation. Lady Romana tries to make contact with Antonin, but he does not wish to speak with her and has her escorted home.
Anton informs Dondequest of the return of Leela and K9, who have not been seen on Gallifrey for many years. He also tells her about Lady Astra and how she, for reasons he is unsure of, intrigues him. Dondequest is uninterested in whether or not this is the real Leela so long as she can serve her purpose as a figurehead.
Romana and Braxiatel are approached in the street by a man who offers to sell them regenerations, the only thing that he has left to sell. Braxiatel is offended by the idea of exchanging regenerations for money and tries to stop him for an explanation, but he leaves, shouting about them being "freaks".
Rexus is scared of the nearby battle fleets, but Dondequest says that they are only potential customers whom she will join in a conference once the new President has been inaugurated. Rexus worries that it could be months before that happens, but Dondequest says that it will be at most two days. She senses that they are being spied on and calls out for them to reveal themselves. It is Narvin, who claims to have been trying to find the way back to his room, and Dondequest tells Rexus to escort him back.
Leela is bored of waiting with K9 and is visited by Dondequest, who gives her little respect and calls her a savage. She says that she is exactly what she needs and asks her if she would like to be President; her nomination has already been unanimously approved as the only human to ever hold the Key to Time. When Leela refuses, Dondequest threatens to withdraw her protection for her and her friends.
Leela tells her friends that she is now President-elect, which Narvin believes might ensure their safety until the portal returns.
Dondequest announces Leela's acceptance of the offer of President and that the inauguration will go ahead shortly. Tallan is concerned at the haste with which a non-Gallifreyan is being made President and does not believe that it is the right time for investiture given the presence of the battle fleets. Dondequest says that Leela, as a warrior, will be an ideal President for wartime.
Romana and Braxiatel discuss the sale of regenerations, which Romana believes is impossible and obscene. Antonin runs to them and says that he has many questions for "Lady Astra" about her travels, questions which Romana promises to answer later on. Romana and Braxiatel head to the House of Heartshaven to see her family.
As nobody is allowed to speak with Leela without Dondequest's approval, Narvin has to sneak in to see her and asks to put himself forward as a candidate for the vacant post of Castellan. Leela says that she has already appointed K9 to the post as she wants him around when the portal reappears. Narvin asks what he is going to do and is ordered to leave by K9 under threat of being arrested.
Romana and Braxiatel arrive at the House of Heartshaven and meet Vansell, the Doorkeep, who eventually agrees to fetch his mistress: Lady Romanadvoratrelundar. Lady Romana is charmed by Braxiatel, who flirts with her, and thinks that Romana looks familiar. She tells them that she was once married and that Antonin is her son.
Antonin badgers Leela for answers about what adventures she and "Lady Astra" have had together and is dismissed, saying that he will see her again after the inauguration.
Faradac approaches Narvin and gives him a drink. When Narvin says that he wants to get away, Faradac recommends that they go to the factory so that he can buy one of the new genetically-modified TARDISes, which have no biometric link. He explains that Gallifrey has become increasingly enterprising since decided to make the most of their biggest asset: time.
Romana and Braxiatel dine with their hostess, the meal cooked by Vansell. Lady Romana says that Antonin rarely visits her and tells them that she is suspicious of the death of her husband, Andred, who had been aware of the High Council selling its secrets. Antonin was raised to the High Council shortly afterwards, which Lady Romana believes was to keep him quiet.
Leela is invested as President, but she feels bullied, used and foolish. Dondequest tells her that she will one day look back on this day as the high point of her presidential career.
Lady Romana shows Romana and Braxiatel around Heartshaven's vineyard. Prompted by Romana, she says that she always wanted to travel and that she ought to now that she has the time. Vansell informs them that Antonin has come to visit. Lady Romana goes on a walk with Braxiatel whilst Romana and Antonin talk. Antonin reveals that he knows that Romana is another incarnation of his mother.
At the TARDIS factory, Faradac tells Narvin that the TARDISes are being sold off-world, something which Narvin disapproves of. Narvin says that Leela will put a stop to this, but Dondequest calls him a spy and has Faradac take him away. In truth, Faradac had hunted Narvin out as he had been suspicious of him.
Romana refuses to talk to Antonin and tells her to take an interest in his real mother, whom he has never bothered to form a relationship with. When she says that she has never given birth and does not have a son, he determines that she and her friends are from a different timestream, somewhere he would like to go.
Narvin is taken to see Rexus and will soon have his remaining regenerations taken from him in a painful operation. As it begins, he screams.
Romana will not allow Antonin to cross over from this timeline, but he is insistent that doing so would allow him to find a way for his people to escape the oncoming war. Romana tells him that the problems of this world are of his people's making and that they must deal with them, which Antonin points out is hypocritical given how she and her friends have abandoned their Gallifrey for a reason he does not know. When Lady Romana and Braxiatel return, Antonin tells his mother who Romana really is, but Lady Romana says that she does not believe him. He reveals that Andred had sold his regenerations for money and draws his weapon on his mother before taking Romana into his TARDIS.
K9 tells Leela that the portal will appear in the Capitol in 15.8 microspans.
Vansell is ordered to guard Braxiatel and Lady Romana. He tells them that he sold his regenerations to maintain the house and that Antonin has promised that they will be returned if he obeys him. Braxiatel fights Vansell and Lady Romana breaks a bottle of wine over his head, after which they head to her TARDIS. Before leaving, she reveals that she knew that Antonin was telling the truth about "Lady Astra" as she had recognised her as herself.
Dondequest begins her conference with the galactic powers, including the Monan Host, the Killoran Symposium, the Draconian Throneworld and the Galyari Clutch, in which she speaks on behalf of President Leela. During the meeting, the Galyari use the Oubliette of Eternity, which they have hired from Gallifrey, to erase the Draconians.
The extraction of Narvin's regenerations is 90% complete when K9 enters and orders his release. Faradac refuses to obey orders from anybody but Dondequest, but Rexus releases him after K9 shoots Faradac. Before Narvin and K9 leave, Rexus says that there is something that Narvin ought to know.
Romana and Antonin arrive in Leela's quarters, where Leela inadvertently confirms that Antonin's theory was right. Braxiatel and Lady Romana also arrive, and Antonin tries to convince everybody to allow him to go to another Gallifrey.
Rexus goes to Dondequest and lets her believe that Narvin did not survive the extraction. He gives Dondequest an infusion of regenerations and tells her how he has disagreed with everything that she has done and that Gallifreyan technology should be regulated and controlled. He is giving her 10,000 years' worth of regenerations at once, causing her to die.
K9 prepares to shoot Antonin to protect Leela, leading her to dismiss him as Castellan. The portal arrives at the Panopticon and Antonin intends on entering it, but Lady Romana tells him to return to Heartshaven with her. To stop him from killing his mother, Braxiatel badly wounds him with a staser. Not used to all of this excitement, Lady Romana feels unwell and says that it may be time to regenerate, a process which Rexus says he will help her through. He will continue the sale of Gallifreyan technology, albeit with more care, and Leela suggests that Lady Romana become the next President.
Before leaving through the portal, Narvin angrily asks Rexus how many of his regenerations were taken, but Rexus refuses to answer. Braxiatel stays behind the longest and speaks with Lady Romana, who believes that Antonin might have turned out better had she cared more about him than his reputation. He tells her to continue to educate him and departs as the regeneration process begins, promising to look after his Romana.
Romana wonders what would have happened had she not travelled with the Doctor and if she would indeed have got married and had a family, something she had never thought about before. Narvin storms away when Leela and K9 make fun of him, not having told them that he has lost his regenerations. Braxiatel says that, in the future, they ought to seal the portals behind them and leave at least one person on the Axis to reopen them at the right time, ensuring that nobody could escape through them as Antonin intended to. Braxiatel says that he will be that person, although Romana does not fully trust him given how he lied about bringing them to the Axis.
On another Gallifrey, Interrogator General Leela tells Technician Hester that Castellan Vansell is engaged in important work for the President and orders him to find and time lock Mordee before removing all information about it from the databanks. When Hester asks why, for posterity, Leela says that it is to prevent her own history from being altered to keep her from coming to Gallifrey.
- Romana - Lalla Ward
- Leela - Louise Jameson
- K9 Mk II - John Leeson
- Braxiatel - Miles Richardson
- Narvin - Seán Carlsen
- Chancellor Dondequest - Sarah Douglas
- Technician Hester - Chris Johnson
- Vansell - Anthony Keetch
- Surgeon-Master Rexus - Brian Miller
- Commander Faradac - Lewis Rae
- Lady Romanadvoratrelundar - Mary Tamm
- Prime Usher Antonin - Conrad Westmaas
- Narvin has his remaining regenerations extracted (as a form of torture).
Information relates to the alternative Gallifrey.
- Dondequest asks for a valeyard from the inquisitors' office.
- Gallifrey is selling technology such as the Oubliette of Eternity (to the Galyari), Time Rings (to the Monan Host) and Battle TARDISes (to the Killorans).
- Almost everyone on Gallifrey owns a TARDIS.
- Regenerations can be extracted and sold.
- The alternative Leela is the only human to hold the Key to Time.
- The alternative Romana never travelled with the Doctor. She stayed on Gallifrey, married Andred and had a son, Antonin. She eventually regenerates into her second incarnation.
- Unlike his prime timiline counterpart, Vansell is not the coordinator of the CIA. Instead, he is a servant of the House of Heartshaven.
to be added
- Romana recalls Braxiatel time-scooped them to what he claimed was a planetoid outside of time and space. (AUDIO: Panacea)
- The Fifth Doctor and his companions Peri Brown and Erimem once visited the Axis. (AUDIO: The Axis of Insanity)
- Romana mentions that she and the Fourth Doctor searched for the Key to Time. (TV: The Ribos Operation to TV: The Armageddon Factor) In the alternative timeline, it was Leela and K9 Mark I who accompanied the Doctor on his search for the Key.
- Romana uses the pseudonym "Lady Astra" while in the alternative timeline. (TV: The Armageddon Factor; AUDIO: The Chaos Pool)
- Braxiatel mentions having had a "modest little Collection". (PROSE: Theatre of War et al)
- Braxiatel mentions that Lord Presidents have been assassinated in the past. (TV: The Deadly Assassin)
- Romana states that a regenerative cycle can be surgically implanted. (TV: The Five Doctors)
- The Oubliette of Eternity first appeared in AUDIO: Neverland.
- In this alternative Gallifrey, Tallan was a member of the High Council. (AUDIO: Ascension)