Every so often the Companion Chronicles intersects with the main ranges – providing a prequel to a Lost Story, or an extra story interpolated into the current trilogy. This month we get a tale that focuses on the Black TARDIS crew (and if that doesn’t make sense, then you’ve not been following the main range Seventh Doctor stories which come to a glorious head with Gods and Monsters).
Cavan Scott and Mark Wright come up trumps once more, returning to their own creation, The Forge – or Department C4, as it’s otherwise known. Lysandra was introduced in the novel Project Valhalla, and this story fills some of the gaps between that and Project Destiny, as well as showing the alternate TARDIS team in action. Sally Morgan comes up against a particularly nasty Forge operative who is quite willing to torture if necessary, and will put the mission’s good ahead of the comfort of any of her colleagues. The identity of the operative won’t be a complete surprise, but it’s carried off very well.
Verdict: Showing that the Doctor is as adept at manipulating these two as he has been his more regular travelling companions, Project Nirvana is hopefully the first of a sequence of stories featuring Lysandra and Sally – and maybe there’ll be some other Lovecraftian homages among the names of those opponents too! 8/10