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10 October 2012

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: Cavan Scott & Mark Wright

RRP: £8.99

Release Date: 30th September 2012

Reviewed by: Matthew Davis for Doctor Who Online

Review Posted: 10th October 2012

In 2015 amongst the Carpathians, a mysterious train is on its way to a secret location. The black TARDIS materializes above it and from its doors emerge Private Sally Morgan and Captain Lysandra Aristedes. These two professional soldiers have a mission to complete and a rendezvous point with the Doctor.

Of course it is not easy. For this train is linked to a dark part of Lysandra’s past; The Forge. Something is aboard the train and as monsters and enemies lurk in the night, Lysandra is going to discover her connection to Project: Nirvana.

The only problem is she cannot remember a thing about it.

As this year’s momentous Seventh Doctor trilogy comes to a close, Big Finish have decided to fill in a few of the tantalising gaps with this Companion.

As the title suggests this story is very explicitly linked to the Forge, the black ops organization that has been very much a part of the plot threads of the most recent main range trilogy. It is only right that its creators Cavan Scott and Mark Wright return to handle more of the organization’s sordid history and it is rather enjoyable.

This is quite clearly Lysandra’s story as Maggie O’ Neill takes the reins for most of the narration with Sally taking over for a small but significant moment. We get an interesting insight into Lysandra’s history in the Forge and her suspicions of working with The Doctor. O’ Neill performs an excellent reading but I do feel we have not heard enough from Sally Morgan.

Amy Pemberton portrays Sally so well that I want to learn much more about her character’s history in her own words. However the beauty of the Companion Chronicles means there are always future releases and Project: Nirvana does a fine job of expanding on the back story of one of the most troubled of The Doctor’s new companions.

The story is a fun one and gives an interesting view of The Seventh Doctor orchestrating military precise operations which for some strange reason seems to fit that Doctor’s character rather well. Speaking of The Doctor, it is very nice to hear Sylvester McCoy included in this release as it gives the story a little boost at the start and near the end. 

The story does feel a little rushed towards the end and the alien threat is dealt with rather swiftly, but this is overshadowed by the amount of good back story revealed here about Lysandra.

I do hope there are more stories from this TARDIS team as Project: Nirvana is not only a nice side step to the main trilogy, but a lovely addition to the mythology of the Forge.

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