The Cosmic Hobo

Thoughts & reviews about the science fiction series Doctor Who.

Audio Review: The Eye of the Scorpion

“The Eye of the Scorpion” (Big Finish #24)
Written by Iain McLaughlin, directed by Gary Russell
Featuring the Doctor, Peri, and Erimem

Rating: D+

I was so pleased in listening to “The Marian Conspiracy” and finding that the Sixth Doctor was finally given a good companion. Evelyn Smythe is great, and the chemistry Maggie Stables has with Colin Baker is just perfect. Naturally, when I saw that Big Finish was giving the Fifth Doctor a new companion, I was pretty excited there too. Unfortunately, “The Eye of the Scorpion” was pretty much entirely a let down.

The Doctor and Peri find themselves in ancient Egypt, just in time for a pharoah called Erimem to take her throne. The Doctor and Peri rescue Erimen from someone trying to have her killed, as apparently there are a lot of people who aren’t too crazy about the idea of a female pharoah (although she wouldn’t have been the first). There’s a lot of assassination attempts and general ne’er-do-welling going on, including conveniently writing the Doctor out of part two to give Peri a time to shine.

It is kind of ironic to be listening to an audio featuring a companion who, on the television show, was essentially just eye candy. I don’t think Peri is the worst companion in the show’s history, but she is hardly upper echelon. I do think she is slightly better in the audios than she had been on television, but I’m not singing the praises of her audio performances the way I am Colin Baker and Peter Davison.

The new companion, Erimem, just didn’t compel me at all. I can’t pinpoint exactly what I don’t like or like about her, but she lacks the chemistry with the Doctor and Peri that makes the aforementioned Sixth Doctor & Evelyn Smythe pair so great. Her performance is above average, but she’s not a particularly interesting character.

The story itself was pretty weak, too. It drags a bit and even when stuff is happening I never felt particularly interested by what was going on. It didn’t transfix me the way some of the previous audios had. It’s not offensively bad, but there was just nothing to like here. Meh.

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5 thoughts on “Audio Review: The Eye of the Scorpion

  1. I am convinced that Peri and Erimem were introduced primarily for the benefit of femslash writers.

    The biggest problem with this story is that it would make a great historical, but the writer has taken the easy route of doing a rather unoriginal science fiction historical.

    I do like some aspects of this. This is the best Big Finish peformance I have heard from Peter Davison (though he gets written out of one episode for no good reason).

    I love the Peri/ Fifth Doctor team they work so well together. Although Caroline Morris is not astounding, I think she is good and Erimem is a great character. Some of her dialogue in this story is not very belieavable, but I still think bringing her in was a bold idea. I am trying to get hold of all her audios.

  2. I suppose it’s shallow, but I do prefer imagining Peri and Erimem listening to an audio than conjuring up Evelyn Smythe in my mind.

    • I can understand that, but Evelyn is a better written character, she has more to her. Peri is just a dumb, naive American… I think Davison was better in “Loups-Garoux” than in this, but he was still very good in this. He’s much better in the audios than what I have seen of his television serials.

      • How does Nicola Bryant’s accent sound to your American ears?

      • Ehhh. Average. I’ve heard worse, but she’s not the best. She’s usually good but occasionally slips, mostly in pronunciation of words like “adult” which we would pronounce a-DULT instead of AD-ult. They also write her to have English slang instead of American, which isn’t her fault but doesn’t help.

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