Reviewed By: adamelijah
Review Date: 5/14/15 10:01 am
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.
Peri and the Piscon Paradox features two Doctors and two Peris in a complex, hilarious, and occasionally poignant tale.
The Fifth Doctor and Peri arrive on Earth to confront an evil Piscon, who they find isn't so evil but is trying to commit "Suicide by Doctor" in hope of being reincarnated and they also encounter Peri's future self who is a hard as nails alien investigation agent. Or so we think. The adventure ends with the young Peri disillusioned from her older self and swearing never to become like her. Then we learn what really happened from the Older Peri's perspective, including how the Sixth Doctor plays into the story.
The comedy in this is hilarious. It manages to work in some hilarious barbs and social commentary. Young Peri on seeing the extremely thin women in advertisements and ponders how anyone could see that as healthy, let alone attractive and then concludes the super thin women must be the result of plagues warned about in the 1980s. While the older Peri wraps her head about regeneration by comparing the Doctor's regeneration to Madonna's constant reinventions.
Nev Fountain does a great job of making both Peris feel genuinely American and gives the older Peri almost a hard boiled feel. This is a two disc set and both discs end with some solid drama, touched with Irony. The end of the first disc tells us the story is set right before the Caves of Androzani and gives us a clue to why the Sixth Doctor behaved so bizarrely towards Peri while the Second Disc attempts to resolve all the alternate Peris in spin-off media.
Of course, the story could easily become a timey wimey exposition box-checking exercise, however Nicola Bryant's acting and a well-written script ensures that doesn't happen. She is superb, managing to play the two different Peris as two slightly different characters, but the same.
There are minor issues one can raise with this production. The Fifth Doctor is written a bit broadly, but that's forgivable for the comedy purposes. While Fountain does so much to make Peri sound genuinely American, there are a few lines that don't ring true such as when Older Peri suggests asking her younger self and the Doctor if they "fancy going to the pier," a phrase nobody uses over her unless they've been binge watching British TV. I also didn't like the comparison draw between the Sixth Doctor and Peri's Ex. But those are both quibbles. It's also fair to wonder how this story will hold up over time with all of its pop culture references. It captures early twenty-first Century America fine, but in 2030, it may seem a bit dated.
Still, the overall production is superb, with a great script and a flawless performance from Nicola Bryant. It's a must-hear Companion Chronicle.