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The TARDIS is drawn off course, and arrives in Egypt, 1400 BC, where the great God-King Pharaoh has recently died. After saving a young woman from a bloodthirsty mercenary, the Doctor and Peri learn that she is Erimem, the next in line to the throne! Returning to Thebes with her, they discover that traitors are all around, plotting to overthrow Erimem and instal someone else as the next pharaoh. The Doctor knows Erimem will never rule Egypt, but can he save her from her would-be assassin? And who are the sinister Horemshep’s alien allies?
This is a fairly standard psuedo-historical story, elevated by a couple of nice twists and some really strong characterisation for the new character of Erimem, who joins the TARDIS at the end. Caroline Morris makes a strong debut in the role, sharing great chemistry with Peter Davison and Nicola Bryant, and really tapping into the fierce, defiant personality Iain McLaughlin‘s script gives her.
Davison and Bryant also give impressive performances, particularly in the final part, when their characters are more personally affected by the strange goings-on in Thebes. While the rest of the story’s characters are a little nondescript, they’re well-performed and this, alongside David Darlington‘s evocative music and sound design, adds to the story’s success.
Overall, The Eye of the Scorpion is a strong story which, while set in a very familiar period in history, attempts to do something a little different with the setting and characters. Recommended.
The Eye of the Scorpion is available on CD or as a download from http://www.bigfinish.com