Night of the Vashta Nerada
Tom Baker (the Doctor), Lisa Kay (Alayna), Pam Ferris (Amanda Steele), Lorelei King (Georgia Donnelly), Emma Lowndes (Phelan), Matt Devitt (Bennetto). Other parts played by members of the cast.
Funworld was set to be the happiest planet in the galaxy. A planet of joy, of euphoria, of laughter and delight. Except construction was marred by reports of a predator and then, a few days before opening, all communication ceased.
Owner Georgia Donnelly is desperate to open the resort and has hired Amanda Steele’s crew to find out what happened on the planet. They’re the best. But even they might not be up to the task.
Joined by the Doctor and being picked off one by one, they slowly start to realise that something terrifying lurks in the shadows.
Night of the Vashta Nerada was the first story in Classic Doctors, New Monsters: Volume Two, produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by John Dorney and featured Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor.
The Doctor says that his previous companion has just departed for “Pastures New.”
Phelan is a psychic.
Georgia Donnelly is the owner of Funworld.
The Doctor describes humans as intelligent predators.
Steele once killed an entire Sontaran assassination squad.
Steele describes the Doctor as “a right wuss”.
The Vashta Nerada on Earth are peaceful, living on carrion and vermin rather than humans.
Light slows the Vashta Nerada down. They are described as “insect-piranha.”
This is one of the few instances in a Big Finish anthology release in which the Fourth Doctor is present in a story set alongside stories featuring other incarnations.
The Doctor describes Donnelly as a “frumious Bandersnatch”, a reference to a creature from the 1872 novel Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll.
Phelan is offered a chance to travel in the TARDIS but dies before she has the opportunity to do so. The same fate also befell several characters in the revived series including Lynda Moss, Madame de Pompadour, Astrid Peth, Rita and Osgood.
The Doctor comments that his companion has recently departed for “greener pastures,” seemingly placing this story shortly after The Hand of Fear and/or The Deadly Assassin when Sarah Jane Smith leaves. It could also occur after Leela leaves in The Invasion of Time with K9 Mark I, before the Doctor constructs K9 Mark II.
Phelan refers to the fact that The Vashta Nerada exist on many planets, including Earth. (Silence in the Library, Untitled)
The Doctor describes the Vashta Nerada as the piranhas of the air. (Silence in the Library; Untitled)
The Doctor would later encounter the Vashta Nerada in his eighth, (Day of the Vashta Nerada) tenth (Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead; Untitled) and eleventh incarnations. (Shadows of the Vashta Nerada; Space Oddity)
The Gorlan Civil War is being fought. (The Two Masters)
Following the deaths of Donnelly and the skeleton crew, the Funworld project was abandoned and the world became known as Theta 49. (Day of the Vashta Nerada)