As with the inaugural Big Finish audio adventure - Phantasmagoria - the first of Virgin's range of 'Missing adventures' features the Fifth Doctor; although Turlough is replaced by Nyssa and Tegan, coming as it does from a slightly earlier point in The Doctor's travels. The story follows loosely on from Terrancve Dicks' New Adventure: 'Blood Harvest' and is the final book in a trilogy of sorts which began with the Target novelisation of the TV story 'State of Decay'.
Ruath, a renegade Timelord and one-time peer of The Doctor, has joined forces with the enigmatic Lord Yarven, direct descendant of the Vampires that the Doctor defeated in State of Decay. Yarven craves revenge on The Doctor and aims to use the Timelords' blood to both feed his hordes and at the same time put The Doctor through intense agony by forcing him to regenerate over and over until he is dead.
Paul Cornell is a modern Doctor Who veteran and his prose style is consistently both fluid and engaging. As well as avoiding much of the pseudo-scientific jargon that seems to bog down many of his contemporaries, Cornell is also no resepecter of persons, the latter trait is evidenced by Nyssa becoming a vampire whilst on holiday in Tasmania with the rest of the TARDIS crew. The Trakenite narrowly avoids becoming permanently undead but as with Tegan and The Mara, she is irrevocably changed.
The book is quite simply good fun - not as 'worthy' perhaps as some of its successors in the range but it is certainly one of the most entertaining.