Big Finish Folly, Part 49 – Mission of the Viyrans, by Nicholas Briggs
On a short, rejuvenating break on the planet Gralista Social (where everybody is erm… social) Peri’s night out turns into a nightmare as a mysterious virus turns everybody – including the Doctor – into a clone of Peri herself. Now the Viyrans want her to forget it ever happened…
Bundled with The Mind’s Eye, yet clearly taking place after Erimem’s departure from the Tardis, this must have served to make Big Finish’s audience wonder what would happen to Erimem in her last full-length story. It also rounds up (apparently) the ongoing short arc of “virus” one-parters, which includes Urban Myths as well as two Colin Baker tales that obviously this blog hasn’t covered yet, so little wonder it doesn’t feel like a complete story in itself. It isn’t bad though – the premise is strong enough and also somewhat creepy, reminiscent of Invasion of the Bodysnatchers. The Viyrans are stagy and preachy, but they’re also sufficiently alien to make their aloofness work for them rather than against them. Perhaps the structure of the tale itself doesn’t quite work – if it had reeled itself in from the end instead, like Memento, it might have had more impact for me, but I guess single-act stories only have so much wiggle-room, especially when this one has to introduce an entirely new race of aliens.