I’ve always liked Peri but I’ve never thought too much of the Sixth Doctor. The reason is not so much because of his coat [although, (time)lord knows, that’s reason enough], but more because of the way he treated her throughout the whole of the 22nd season. She deserved better than that. JNT attempted to course-correct throughout the following season-long “Trial of a Timelord” story arc, but considering the way that worked out for Peri, it was something of a wasted effort.

Nicola Bryant was never wild about the whole marriage to Lycos thing, but rather envisioned Peri becoming a secret agent in an American version of UNIT. Working closely with writer Nev Fountain, she was finally able to get her wish… after a fashion. “Peri and the Piscon Paradox” is the second two-disc adventure in the Companion Chronicles series. Says producer David Richardson (and I agree), “The extra space allows Peri’s paradoxical tale more room to breathe; it’s a complex, witty and powerful tale that could not have been told in 60 minutes.”

Structurally speaking, I was expecting one four-part story and was a little surprised when, half-way through, I had already been told an entire story with a beginning, middle and end. The first two parts are narrated by young Peri and take place (from her point of view) between “Planet of Fire” and “The Caves of Androzani.” Parts three and four are narrated by an older Peri and take place in the year 2009 (just after “The Trial of a Time Lord” from the Sixth Doctor’s point of view). After the conclusion of the trial, the Doctor, recalling this adventure with the “forty-several” year old Peri, set out to rectify the paradox.

The second half of the story, then, tells the same sequence of events from a different point of view, which would be clever enough if that’s all it was. It starts out as more of a sequel to the first half than a continuation of it, but it soon becomes clear that there was more going on beneath the surface of the first half than we were led to believe. After I listened to parts three and four I had to listen to parts one and two a second time, from my new perspective. I’m reluctant to say much more about it because once can listen to it for the first time only once, and I don’t want to deprive any of you of that experience.

Nev Fountain (rightly so) gives much of the credit for the success of the production to Nicola Bryant: “I think it’s safe to say that Nicola shaped this drama. With ideas, and in the performance, she nailed it.” That is certainly true, but a performer is only as good as her material, and Fountain has written an extremely funny script. David Richardson said, “I think you’ll laugh your way through this one. Then, by a certain point, the laughter will stop. Be warned. The Piscon Paradox might just break your heart.” That, too, is true.

It is produced in the style of “Love and Monsters” and compares favorably to the new TV adventures. Of course this couldn’t be done on TV (at least not easily… maybe animated) because Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant would have to appear as they did 25 years ago. Peri and the Piscon Paradox is easily my favorite audio adventure, and I recommend it to anyone familiar with Peri’s tenure as companion to the Fifth and Sixth Doctors, as well as her final (?) fate as revealed on TV.

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I've been reading it up on-line - they've been doing some interesting things to her continuity.
You've been reading about this Companion Chronicle specifically, or about some of her other work for Big Finish? (She's done some Lost Stories, as well, but I don't know anything about those.) She'll be in an upcoming episode of Dark Shadows, too, but I don't know anything about that one, either, other than that it's written by Jonathan Morris and she describes it as "excellent."

Unfortunately, no matter how good any of the Big Finish Audio productions are, the BBC only considers the TV series canon.

 

Meanwhile, where the heck are you folks getting these from? Maybe I'm stuck in a black hole, but I've never come across any of them.

@Jeff:  Just about that particular story.

 

@Lee:  You used to be able to find them in specialty shops, now I gather you pretty much have to order them from Big Finish.

She'll be in an upcoming episode of Dark Shadows, too,

With or without atrocious faux American accent?

Lee, you can find some on eBay but ordering from Big Finish is the way to go. You can order physical discs but most stories are also available as digital downloads. Digitals a) cost less b) don't have a shipping charge and c) are available within minutes instead of days.
Unfortunately, no matter how good any of the Big Finish Audio productions are, the BBC only considers the TV series canon.

That doesn’t matter. I can assure you it’s in continuity on Earth-J. :)

With or without atrocious faux American accent?

We shall see. She takes a lot of flak for that accent, but I never thought it was all that bad. She does let an occasional word slip out of accent, though (or sometimes one of the various other voices she does slips in for a word or two. Bryant doesn’t consider what she does as “doing voices” (and there’s a line in the script that reflects that), but she does a Tennessee accent I had to check whether or not someone else was hired to voice that part.
Jeff of Earth-J said:
With or without atrocious faux American accent?

We shall see. She takes a lot of flak for that accent, but I never thought it was all that bad. She does let an occasional word slip out of accent, though (or sometimes one of the various other voices she does slips in for a word or two. Bryant doesn’t consider what she does as “doing voices” (and there’s a line in the script that reflects that), but she does a Tennessee accent I had to check whether or not someone else was hired to voice that part.

In fairness, my comment was partly in jest. Certainly her American accent -- at least, the version she was using 25 years ago -- is approximately One Googolplex better than any version of a British accent I could ever possibly attempt. And it's also far from the worst I've ever heard. (It's not even in the running for the worst American accent I've ever heard on Doctor Who.)

But there are some faux American accents that have something hard-to-pin-down-exactly-but-just-wrong that grate on your ear like nails on a blackboard. For me, hers is one of those.
All I can say is, "When is The Gunfighters coming out on disk?
But there are some faux American accents that have something hard-to-pin-down-exactly-but-just-wrong that grate on your ear like nails on a blackboard.

Darin, m'friend, there are some real American accents that have something hard-to-pin-down-exactly-but-just-wrong that grate on my ear like nails on a blackboard. Bryant's faux American accents sounds exactly like that of many girls I met in college. Yes, it grates on my ears, but that's why I like it: I find it authentic-sounding.
The Baron said:
All I can say is, "When is The Gunfighters coming out on disk?

Anything in there worse than Bill Filer?

I really like Nicola Bryant... and Colin Baker, when it comes to it. But the way BOTH were written for most of Season 22 was appalling.  (And yes, I do put the bulk of the blame on Eric Saward. Terrence Dicks, Robert Holmes, Christopher H. Bidmead and Andrew Cartmel all showed how the job of story editor SHOULD be done. JNT shares the blame, mostly for having HIRED the guy, and never FIRED him!!)

 

Last time I watched, it struck me Peri's accent changed a bit in her last 2 stories (along with her attitude). Come to think of it, there's a scene in "The Mysterious Planet" where Colin reminded me very much of TOM Baker. I put that down to Robert Holmes, who also wrote "The Two Doctors", without question the best story of season 22.  (Ironically, "Revelation of the Daleks" I rate as the 2nd-best-- but this only proves Saward should have been writing, NOT story-editing. But, in his story, The Doctor does NOTHING, except at the very end of the story, where he suggests turning the planet into a giant farm. Plus, for the 2nd time in one season, Saward THROWS AWAY a perfectly wonderful character, just to satisfy his endless bloodlust. Lytton and Orcini should have survived for return bouts.)

 

When I watched some of the videos Nicola appeared in years later, I realized, her natural English accent is MUCH prettier!  What a beautiful girl...

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