Roots: The Wizard of Oz ("I had the strangest dream... and you were there too!") and other dream-state stories. Erimem's dream includes a panic room. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
Goofs: There is confusion between the hypothalamus and thalamus - one is said to create alpha waves (neither do, it's the occipital lobe) and delta waves (only the thalamus does this, and it's not mentioned. On the other hand this could be a reflection of the Doctor's physiology and not Erimem and Peri's.)
Double Entendres: "Nothing is allowed to delay The Harvest"
Continuity: The planet YT45 is a little-explored humid jungle world with a 114-hour diurnal cycle. Among its fauna are primates called 'Jekylls' by the survey crew. These are very strong and resemble lemurs with oversized incisors; they also have a 'split personality' - by day they are largely peaceful, but by night they become aggressive and hunt, using their acute sense of smell. It si suggested that the Jekylls exist almost symbiotically with purple flowers called kyropites. Kyropites are neurological parasites, emitting an anaesthetic gas which stuns nearby fauna, allowing the plants to feed off the animal's alpha waves telepathically and sharing and influencing the victim's dream state. In contrast the gas causes the nocturnal aggreession in the Jekylls, providing protection from plant-eating animals and removing creatures ith advanced immunity from the anaesthetic gas. The anaethetic gas affects humans in the normal sense, interfering with short-term memory and promoting a dream-state, as happened to the first survey team, leaving them vulnerable to the Jekylls who shared their kills with the kyropites. The kyropite dreams experienced are fantastic and utterly real to the victim to the extent that the longer the victim is 'under', the harder it becomes to tear one's self away. There are four stages of the dream-state: in the first stage this lasts for a few hours and does not involve dreaming - during this time the plant accesses the host's memories, using them to create the dream-world of the next stage. In stage two the victim wakes within the dream world and interacts accordingly, and in the following stage the plant physically bonds with the host through its tendrils. For the next twenty-four hours the host's DNA hybridises by cellular mutation through the epidermis and in the host's brain while the plant absorbs them until the final stage, death of the host is reached. Takol's conclusions to the team's experiments are that through extracts from the kyropite specimens human telepathic abilities can be unlocked.
The first survey of the planet occurred six months ago, while the TARDIS has landed near caves in what Ukarne describes as 'Sector 4-North'
The dream worlds of the Doctor's companions are created from their memories and personalities. For Erimem her world is New Cairo, a Terran colony on the planet Kandoor in the Hyran System 'hundreds of light years from Earth' some time in the 25th century and nearly three millennia in her future. New Cairo is based on Ancient Egypt, while back on Earth the true pyramids have been encased in plastic for protection from the elements. The Doctor tells her that none of it is real or ever will be.
Peri's fantasy involves her having left the Doctor after Erimem's 'death' (see: Links) and settling down with her boyfriend Mike and his son Kyle. A home-maker obsessed with a soap opera called Love MD, she rushes Kyle, suspected of contracting meningitis, to St Peter's hospital, where she initially encounters the Doctor, seeing him as a chubby man with glasses and bad acne (the celery stalk in his lapel remains, however.)
Alpha waves are generated in the Doctor's hypothalamus (see: Goofs) Hayton suggests his history of telepathy makes the Doctor less susceptible to the flowers (see: Links) - certainly he doesn't appear to enter the second dream-word stage. The Doctor recognises other plant specimens in the laboratory including Methuselan poppies, Gavinci's strangle weed and Kemsel moss. He feels a 'presence inside his head while in the jungle. With regards to the plants the Doctor insists that he's just an enthusiastic amateur and it's Peri who's really the expert.
Links: The Doctor recalls having lock-picking lessons from Harry Houdini (see also Planet of the Spiders). Peri's dream has her 'remembering' Erimem being killed by 'crocodile things', meaning the Krillian Horde (Three's a Crowd). The Doctor's past telepathic experiences are numerous, but with relation to plants they may relate to the Screaming Jungle on Esto, or Marinus (The Keys of Marinus)
Q.v.: 'Who and Houdini'
Future History: Hayton revelas that results from the previous expedition were 'fast-beamed' to base. Policing of drugs throughout the systems is administered by the Federation Drug Administration.
Location: The planet YT45 (a designation rather than a name.)
The Bottom Line: "Dream on, my friend"
Another pretty straightforward tale from Colin Brake, enlivened with an episode structure that allows some interesting mini-stories for both companions. While Erimem's is perhaps the most obvious - ruler of a quasi-Egyptian realm, Peri's suburban nightmare of herself as an unwanted stepmother with an ungrateful teenage child is a revelation. Outside the dreamscapes it's a mixture of technobabble and gore, but it's over so quickly it doesn't outstay its welcome.