The Viyrans were a race of mysterious beings, infamous for the creation of a variety of biological and viral weapons.
Viyrans had three fingers and a thumb on each hand (AUDIO: Patient Zero) and skin which looked like it was made of wet tissue paper. (AUDIO: Embankment Station) They almost always wore white hazmat suits and had no spoken language, communicating telepathically, through hand motions or by replicating an individual's voice. (AUDIO: Patient Zero)
The Viyrans may have created the Amethyst Viral Containment Station to safely store the deadly viruses they created. They used flying glass coffins to collect infected patients to try to cure them. They were capable of time travel. (AUDIO: Patient Zero) They used the Ever-and-Ever Prolixity to travel through time. (AUDIO: The Viyran Solution)
As the Viyrans had no vocal chords, they used language assimilators to communicate with others. These assimilators would copy the voice of the person the Viyrans were talking to, but the voice could be distorted and modified. The Viyrans had limited neural modification technology. For example, they could tell when a person was remembering things, but not what the memories were. They could also wipe a person's memories, but on one occasion it took 339 attempts, with the memories continually reasserting themselves. (AUDIO: Mission of the Viyrans) They could also create perceptual barriers. (PROSE: No One Died)
The Viyrans were best known for the diseases they created. One disease could destroy the minds of everyone on a planet, (PROSE: No One Died) one could transmit itself through telephones to induce beneficial coincidences, (AUDIO: Urgent Calls) one could cause a frenzy, (AUDIO: Urban Myths) one could grant wishes, (AUDIO: The Vanity Box, The Wishing Beast) and a mutagenic virus would warp the DNA of the host, slowly killing them. (AUDIO: Mission of the Viyrans)
The Viyrans waged a war with an unknown force with a variety of viral weapons. Peace was eventually reached and the biological weapons were gathered together in Amethyst Viral Containment Station to destroy them. During an incident with the Sixth Doctor and the Daleks, the viruses were spread throughout the universe. The Viyrans began travelling through the universe to find and cure these diseases. (AUDIO: Patient Zero)
One disease fell through the atmosphere of Grallista Social and was ingested by Peri Brown. It caused the population to start to turn into copies of her. After the Viyrans arrived, they were able to cure them. They also tried to wipe Peri's memories so that the virus couldn't be replicated, which took them 339 attempts. This was also the Viyrans' first encounter with humans. (AUDIO: Mission of the Viyrans)
In the far future, a Viyran was infected with a temporally active virus known as KX Variant 243. (AUDIO: The Viyran Solution) It was sent back in time to 1918 to the Blackwell Convalescent Home where it educated Dr. Herbert Goring in Virology before the term was supposed to be invented. It set up a base at Blackwell known as the White Room and began infecting human subjects with samples of KX Variant 243 to alert the Viyrans in the future. When the Eighth Doctor arrived in the TARDIS, the TARDIS' artron energy activated the virus and a Viyran from the future used KX Variant 243 to come and contain the infection by incinerating the Earth. The Doctor convinced the two Viyrans that they were each Patient Zero and that their duty was to destroy each other. The contaminated remains of the Viyrans were left to disintegrate and the virus was left dormant in both the infected subjects and the remnants when the Doctor left. However, the Viyran's remains were what caused their past selves to be infected in the first place, creating a causal loop. (AUDIO: The White Room)
At some date in Earth history, the Viyrans' attempt to eliminate a single viral particle- despite the fact that there was only a one in five billion chance that the virus would manifest seven hundred millennia in the future- resulted in human society collapsing as most of the population regressed to a feral mental state due to a side-effect of the radiation used in the treatment. Using a Viyran disseminator, the Sixth Doctor was able to use the TARDIS to expose all of Earth's population to chronal energy, which he had determined would eliminate the viral particle, as well as turning back time so that the Viyrans' original attempt to eliminate the virus never happened. (AUDIO: Blue Forgotten Planet)
In 1962, a viral particle fell onto Lower Downham. The Viyrans followed it to try to neutralise it. The virus was too dangerous, so the Viyrans evacuated the whole village and set up a perceptual barrier, making it seem to disappear. The Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler interfered, but the Viyrans removed everyone. (PROSE: No One Died)
Behind the scenes
Created by Nicholas Briggs, the Viyrans first appeared in No One Died, a short story included as part of the Doctor Who Storybook 2007. They later appeared in audio stories produced by Big Finish Productions. This was the first time any element created for the revived Doctor Who franchise appeared in a Big Finish-produced work.