Big Finish Folly, Part 47 – The Mind’s Eye, by Colin Brake
Peri has settled down and now only has to fight for the affections of her would-be step-son Kyle. Erimem has become leader of the colony of New Cairo, a magnificent Pharoah in space. And the Doctor? Well, he’s struggling through an alien jungle, being attacked by telepathic plantlife and wondering where his companions have gone… something, quite obviously, is not right here.
An odd affair: this one, a three-parter, is paired with a single-episode tale set after Erimem’s departure (which comes, fact fans, in Part 48). We’ll deal with Mission of the Viyrans separately, however. For now, let’s see what the jungle has in store for us. The plot whips between Peri’s suburbia, Erimem’s future-pyramids and the Garden of “Eden” in which the Doctor has found himself and though the jumps aren’t confusing at all, I wondered if the story might have been better for a restructuring – for example, one episode for each of the characters, slowly subverting the girls’ worldviews until the Doctor finally pulls them through into the real world, at which point the danger becomes horribly real.
As it is, The Mind’s Eye doesn’t quite do it for me. There are several superficial similarities to Exotron (scientists hoping to develop weaponry, telepathy, science vs military…) and I felt a little dissatisfied by the slightly convoluted McGuffin the story required to function. I was also a bit put off by the idea that Peri would actually dream of such a terrifyingly bland & soapy existence outside the Tardis – not brilliant writing there.
One thing that does work well is that Erimem’s pump is primed – shown a vision of herself ruling a civilisation once more, after having been close to becoming Mrs Impaler in the last play, she’s just about ready to leave the Tardis for good.
And so, to Peladon…