The Brood of Erys (#183)

Big Finish Main Range

This is a story where the trailer gives you a hint of what’s going on but also misdirects you from the plot for sure. The Doctor encounters some child-like beings, called the Drachee, in a planetary system with one sun, planet, and moon. There are warning beacons placed around the system and Flip makes the mistake of thinking the Drachee are cute and harmless. As soon as she lets them into the TARDIS we know things are going to go downhill from there! So the Doctor and Flip are split up within the first 5-10 minutes of the story and aren’t re-united until the 3rd act. So the Doctor speaks to the people living on the planet Asphya and Flip is brought to Erys, where she quickly discovers the nature of the threat. The Doctor eventually arrives with Sarra, whose ship was destroyed in the system near the TARDIS so he rescued her. And Sarra has amnesia though it appears to be induced. And then the plot careens around like a ping pong ball in a pinball machine.

Though there are some really good things going on with this plot, I got a bit disgusted with Flip in this story. Is she completely nave to things in the universe? Things aren’t always what they seem is a saying for a reason! She’s definitely taken in by appearances yet seems to have this uncanny ability to escape when she needs to get out fast. This story seems more suited to the 5th Doctor and Nyssa or Tegan, honestly. The 6th Doctor figures things out but instead of doing it in a brash way, he is almost sedately wandering about, figuring things out from the clues he’s given, which isn’t his usual method for solving problems. The new characters in this story, Sarra, Elgin, Terrill, and even Erys seem much more vibrant and dangerous as characters than the Doctor and Flip. Mind you, with a living planet under your feet providing you breathable air and a place to stand, what can you possibly do against it? Though I was definitely conflicted after listening to this one (moments of fantastic turning to moments of “huh?”) it’s a great story overall. Though I may downgrade it to 3 jelloids after a second listen….

Colin Baker, Lisa Greenwood

Writer: Andrew Smith

Director: Nicholas Briggs

Release: February 2014

Laura Vilensky 2019