The Mind’s Eye & Mission of the Viyrans (#102)

Big Finish Main Range

For once, the ending material is actually entertaining and informative. I didn’t feel like it took away time from the story though perhaps that’s because there’s just one track with the music from the story. I hardly ever listen to those, though. There was another Peter Davison story where he talks about just tossing his script pages on the floor as he goes, which is entertaining, but in these interviews, he talks about being unprepared, his role in Spamalot, and is just generally charming. Things weren’t mashed all together and each interview told a little about the story but actually went through more of the actors’ connections and interests in Doctor Who. Even Nicola Bryant’s was interesting! She talks about doing different voices and her long association with Doctor Who, but mostly about how she can get back into the character of Peri and how the voice is of a teenager, so different from her own. It’s actually very good stuff. Kudos to Big Finish for finally figuring out the best presentation for the interviews!

The Mind’s Eye is a classic Doctor rescuing his companions tale. Throughout the adventure, the three of them are separated and he is working his way into their dreams to save them. I really like the theme of dreams being more tangible and real than reality. Peri feels she kills her son to return to reality even! In order for both Peri and Erimem to return to reality, they have to leave their deepest dreams behind, things that the plants have found in them that they most want. Peri—a family, Erimem—another kingdom to lead. The questions Erimem poses about her dreams are about leaving the Doctor—too obviously a setup for her actually leaving. Peri’s dreams aren’t about being with the Doctor traveling but she doesn’t question her actually being with him.

There are a couple problems with the plotline I didn’t get—why didn’t Major Takol just shoot the Doctor, Erimem, and Peri? She didn’t want them to find out but she pretends to be on their side? Confusing, despite the explanation. And how the heck does Ukame plant a bomb on the shuttle when he’s locked inside of the room with the other three the whole time it’s on the ground? Very odd that. Robot plants it on the engine? And just why is the Doctor so upset at the end about Ukame and Hayton dying? These things tend to happen to him and he doesn’t seem that upset at the time so why then?

Mission of the Viyrans is definitely a more disturbing tale that stuck with me long after I listened to it. That one alone is a 5 jelloid adventure, that’s for sure! Then finding out the Peri did the voices of the Viyrans? Wow! That’s totally not distinguishable. And that sure is one vicious virus! I do like how there’s no explanation until after the end theme rolls. It’s obvious that the Doctor realizes something is wrong due to the time discrepancy. I just have this nagging feeling about the story—why couldn’t Peri and the Doctor realize or know about the Viyrans after they left? What harm would that do? They will encounter them in a full story later according to the interviews. So there’s something sinister behind the scenes there. Why erase people’s memories of the virus? It sure was disturbing for Peri but for the others? Maybe the treatment was just that bad and so many died… Difficult to say. Peri is patient zero, the one infecting everyone else, so there’s definitely room for another encounter here. Why haven’t the Viyrans run into this issue before with humans and memory? Or perhaps they have and we just don’t know it. hmmm. This one really makes me keep coming back to it.

Excellent short tale by Colin Brake! He also wrote Three’s a Crowd, a very good audio with some amusing turns for the three adventurers. What even makes things more intriguing about Mission of the Viyrans is that it’s obviously directly after Erimem leaves them as Peri’s still upset about whatever happened. It couldn’t be as bad as with C’Rizz but it wasn’t a good ending, from her tone. And I totally was confused in the final interviews by Barnaby Edwards—he sounds just like Conrad Westmaas! The Conrad Westmaas in the interviews, not the C’Rizz voice. It was really bizarre. Maybe they’re just from the same part of England but the resemblance was uncanny.

Peter Davison, Nicola Bryant, and Caroline Morris

Writer: Colin Brake

Director: Barnaby Edwards

Release: November 2007

Laura Vilensky 2019