This First Doctor and Susan audio adventure is the second (or first, depending on your point of view) of a trilogy written by Marc Platt. Chronologically it takes place just prior to the first television episode (“An Unearthly Child”), but the framing sequence takes place just after the previous Platt audio adventure (“An Earthly Child”), in which the Eighth Doctor reunites with his granddaughter and meets his great-grandson Alex for the first time. The setting is taken from a throwaway bit of dialogue from the TV episode “The Edge of Destruction” in which Susan mentions the planet Quinnis in “the Fourth Universe” where they nearly lost the TARDIS a few trips back. This story develops that setting and ostensibly explains why, immediately following this adventure, the Doctor decided to settle with Susan in 1963 London.

Platt does an excellent job painting a word picture of a truly alien culture and society. Carol Ann Ford’s performance is convincing as both Susan’s present day as well as younger self, and there’s a role for Tara-Louise Kaye, Ford’s real life daughter, as well. The plot is of a type similar to a First Doctor adventure, except for the unlimited special effects budget the spoken word inspires in the imagination. It’s a good standalone story of it’s own, but is intended to be the middle part (not the first) of a trilogy.

NEXT UP: “Relative Dimensions”

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Who does the First Doctor's voice?

Carol Ann Ford.

She doesn't do a bad job, but at times it sounds more like a parody of Harnell's voice than an impression.

Speaking of doing voices, the next one of “The Companion Shronicles” series I’ve got my eye (or should that be ear?) on is Peri and the Piscon Paradox performed by Nicola Bryant. There’s a preview of it on Quinnis, and Nicola Bryant does a superlative job of voicing both her student and “forty-several year-old” selves (a subtle distinction, but well-played). The adventure features both the Fifth and the Sixth Doctors, with Bryant voicing the Fifth and Colin Baker playing the Sixth. Regarding that, from an interview in the latest Big Finish catalogue, Bryant says, “I didn’t really think of it as ‘doing voices’ — it sounds a bit tricksy, like it’s all about doing an impression, and I don’t believe Peri should be any better at ‘doing voices’ than your average American college student. It wasn’t something she demonstrated a skill for in the TV series — so what I did was try to remain authentic to Peri telling her story rather than an actor doing impressions. And knowing I felt like this, [the writer] put something very simple into my dialogue to address this point.”

Regarding the story itself, something happened on the planet Piscon to give Peri two separate futures. Regarding that, Bryant said, “I was very happy with my original exit — that is to say, I loved the shaved head, the mind transplant and Yrcanos blowing my body to smithereens. It was dramatic, poignant and shocking. So of course I hated it when they retconned (I’m told this is the word!) my exit. I simply adore how Piscon Paradox explains the truth of Peri’s situation. Because once again it is poignant and shocking…”

Sounds good to me!

I actually had an idea for a story involving bringing back Peri and Mel, following up on what had happened to them.  My notion was that Peri married Yrcanos in a "making the best of a bad situation" sort of way.  They would've had a son a few years later, and a few years after that, Yrcanos would've been killed in battle while their son was still a minor, with Peri becoming Regent of Thoros Alpha, and, with help from her late husband's trusted advisors, becoming a surprisingly effective administrator, helping the Alphans overcome the baleful influence of the Mentors.

Meanwhile, in a nearby time and space, we find that Sabalom Glitz had quickly grown weary of Mel quashing all of his "dodgy deals", has taken a starship, and "lit out for the territories", leaving Mel in charge of Iceworld.  Mel also becomes a surprisingly effective administrator, and builds up a nice little trade empire for herself. She also finds a new target for her moral outrage - the corrupt Mentors of Thoros Beta.  In aid of which, Mel leads a trade mission to Thoros Alpha, about whose Regent she has heard good things. While the mission is genuine, it is also a smokescreen for Mel to sound out the Regent regarding a possible alliance against the Mentors.  When Mel and Peri meet, they soondiscover that they have "mutual friend". 


The mission goes well, but there're two things that Peri and Mel don't know:


1)The Mentors are aware of their meeting, and its true purpose, and are already moving against them both.


2)Their "mutual friend", new wearing a new face, has just materialized on Thoros Alpha...







Sounds interesting (although, as I just mentioned on another thread, I don’t know what happened to Mel because the BBC has not yet released “Dragonfire” on DVD). I have not yet ordered Peri and the Piscon Paradox. Before I do (or before I listen to it, anyway) I need to re-watch the four parts of “Trial of a Time Lord” dealing with Yrcanos and the final (?) fate of Peri. “Trial of a Time Lord” was the first of the Sixth Doctor I watched, I saw it only once, and that was a few years ago. Speaking of “Trial of a Timelord” I have a story idea of my own (well, not really an “idea” so much as a vague impression of a story I’d like to see).

I would like to see a story that re-establishes Robert Holmes original intention that [SPOILERS for “Trial of a Timelord”] the Valyard is, in fact, the thirteenth incarnation of the Doctor himself, not whatever namby-pamby explanation it was that ended up on screen. So much of that storyline can be called into question, the on screen revelation of the Valyard’s identity could be overturned with a line of dialogue. Furthermore, I’d like to see the origin of the Valyard somehow tied in with that mummy thing which ushered in the transition from the Fourth to the Fifth Doctor. Was that explained in any more depth in the paperback adaptation? I’ve got that one; perhaps I should read it.

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