(Contains some spoilers for other stories.)
After the events of the latest Seventh Doctor trilogy from Big Finish we discovered that the Doctor had not only been travelling with Ace and Hex, but also with Sally Morgan (Amy Pemberton) and Lysandra Aristedes (Maggie O’Neill). The two soldiers were recruited by this manipulative incarnation of the Doctor not for their love of travelling or need to see the Universe - but in order to serve a purpose: to battle Elder Gods and eventually help out in the battle between the Doctor and Fenric.
But although we got to see Sally and Lysandra towards the end of their epic campaign, we never had a middle point offered to us. As described in Big Finish stories Black and White and Gods and Monsters, their journey was by no means short and their preparations for war had been building up for a while. Project: Nirvana, by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright, presents us with just the interim story that we require in order to discover more about these two very interesting and, so far, very underused characters.
This story moves at a breathtaking pace, from the initial halo jump from the TARDIS by Aristedes and Morgan, to the creepy and unsettling train scenes and concluding in the open air for a showdown with one of the elusive Elder Gods. Mentions of the Forge and Nimrod only help to fuel the story, whilst Lysandra comes face-to-face with her past quite literally and finds out just how far the Doctor is willing to take things.
While Companion Chronicles are usually one-off journeys into the past to keep the memory of the first three Doctors alive and well, this story serves as a true companion piece to the recent events in the Seventh Doctor’s life and fairs better than most with the guest appearance of Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor rather than having actresses Maggie O’Neill or Amy Pemberton trying to do an interpretation of him.
For those of you who haven’t been following the saga of the Elder Gods, there’s a healthy story here that will keep you entertained; to those of you who have been keeping a close eye on the events taking place in the life of the Seventh Doctor, this is an essential coda to the main story.
Project: Nirvana is available from Big Finish now.