This is a warning to all space-farers. You must keep
away from this planet. Its hostile, repeat, hostile...
On a planet with no name, the Doctor finds himself confronted
by a faulty memory and some killer plants. Meanwhile, in a
distant galaxy, Erimem leads a troubled empire. Back on Earth,
Peri tells her son about the good old days when she used to
travel with a guy called the Doctor...
(Caroline Morris) in charge of an alien planet? Peri (Nicola
Bryant) back on Earth, with a family - but how, when shes
still with the Doctor (Peter Davison) in The
Caves of Androzani? These revelations (particularly
the last one) might have been more surprising if the title
of this three-part adventure had been something other than
The Minds Eye, which tips the listener off to
the fact that this is probably an illusion.
Colin Brakes story zips along at a fair lick. It started
out as an idea for a four-parter, as the CD extras inform
us, but actually three episodes is the perfect length for
this tale, allowing one cliffhanger for each of the Doctors
guest cast, including Owen Teale (Vengeance
Rebecca Front (Knowing Me, Knowing You, Nighty
and Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Love
Human Nature / The Family of Blood)
all take on multiple roles spread across the real and imaginary
worlds. This is done not only for budgetary reasons but also
to lend a Wizard of Oz flavour to the events. Even
Nicola Bryant has a go, doubling up as the aliens in this
releases bonus single-part adventure Mission of the
Viyrans. To the casts credit, I didnt realise
that such doubling up was going on at all until I heard the
CD extras and read the cast list. For instance, I recognised
Teales voice as the scientist Hayton (in which role
he chews the scenery somewhat - not that there is any scenery
in audio drama, but you catch my drift), though I didnt
realise he was also playing Erimems advisor Malarou.
casting of Teale makes for slightly odd listening owing to
his previous appearance alongside Bryant in Vengeance on
Varos. Despite that serial having been made more than
20 years ago, Bryant is playing a younger Peri here than she
did back then! Still, she does get to act her age
as a more mature Peri in her illusory domestic life on Earth.
that you keep an eye out for The Minds Eye.
We are not pretending to be you. We are the Viyrans.
There is a matter of urgency. Did you remember the Doctor...?
The Doctor and Peri take a holiday on the planet Gralista
Social, but soon discover that they arent the only time-travelling
aliens in town...
The Minds Eye started life as a four-parter,
the additional one-part story on this double CD, Mission
of the Viyrans, is not written by Colin Brake. Nevertheless,
it develops the preceding serials themes of false memory
(the Viyrans are trying to erase Peris recollection
of a certain event) and Erimems departure (which is
foreshadowed in The Minds Eye and has already
occurred in Mission).
absence of Erimem confused me when I listened to this story
- at first, I thought I had missed something. However, Big
Finishs website explains that while The Minds
Eye takes place after Son
of the Dragon,
Mission of the Viyrans is set after the forthcoming
of Peladon. The CD sleeve should have explained
/ executive producer Nicholas Briggs introduces what promises
to be a recurring foe for the Doctor in the form of the Viyrans.
What were creating, explains Briggs, is
an alien species with a unique, evolving motivation that will
bring it into contact with the Doctor for very different reasons
throughout his life. Theyre not necessarily evil, but
sometimes the results of their actions can be catastrophic.
Owing to their involvement in this Nicola Bryant showcase,
the loosely themed Virus Strand arc of single-part
adventures begins to take shape.
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