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An uncrowned Pharaoh from ancient Egypt, Erimem travelled in the TARDIS with the Fifth Doctor and Peri before remaining on Peladon to marry Pelleas. However, she was summoned to 2015 London by a cult, resulting in her losing swathes of her memory.
Erimem was born in 1419 BC to Amenhotep II and Rhaoubak, one of his sixty concubines. (AUDIO: The Eye of the Scorpion) When she was a child, the chief of the palace guard, Antranak used to bound around her bed-chamber on all fours, bellowing like an animal to entertain her. (PROSE: The Coming of the Queen) In her fifth year, she saw a leper child in the streets during a royal procession.
She lost her first kitten in a temple before Pyran helped her find it. She was told by her father about a white pyramid where the greatest evil slept and once stole a scroll from his study depicting the Great Old Ones, which gave her nightmares for years. (AUDIO: The Roof of the World)
When Erimem was seventeen, (AUDIO: No Place Like Home) her brothers were killed when Miral, wife to her brother Mentu, plotted to take the throne of Egypt. Shortly after Erimem killed Miral, Antranak told her that her father had been killed by Hyksos mercenaries. (PROSE: The Coming of the Queen) Erimem was groomed as the next Pharaoh, raised in near isolation and treated more like a god than a person. (AUDIO: No Place Like Home) There was controversy about the throne passing to a woman. (AUDIO: The Eye of the Scorpion)
Travels in the TARDIS
Joining the Doctor
With the help of the Fifth Doctor and Peri Brown, Erimem survived the assassination attempts of Horemshep, who tried to replace her with Fayum using the stasis box entity. Realising that she was not destined to rule Egypt, she decided to leave - perhaps for Greece - to study. The Doctor offered her a chance to learn further afield, (AUDIO: The Eye of the Scorpion) planning to take her to the Braxiatel Collection. (AUDIO: The Church and the Crown) She accepted, taking her cat with her. (AUDIO: The Eye of the Scorpion)
Instead, the TARDIS landed in Paris in 1626, where she posed as "Princess Erimem of Karnak" and encouraged the French army to unite against the English. Although the Doctor had been apprehensive about travelling with a historical figure, he extended the offer of further travels with him and Peri, which she happily accepted. She decided to name her cat after Antranak (AUDIO: The Church and the Crown) and regretted not saying goodbye to her mother before leaving. (AUDIO: No Place Like Home)
After visiting a number of places, including Prelax where she and Peri went to a costume party against the Doctor's wishes, Erimem was given a tour of the TARDIS. During this tour, they found a mutated Rovie who tried to take control of the ship, taunting him with mouse-based insults which provoked him into leaving himself vulnerable. Erimem smashed his machine and set Antranak on him. (AUDIO: No Place Like Home)
The Doctor took Erimem and Peri to Garazone and, at Erimem's request, the Nekromanteia system. There, she was attacked by Harlon and attempted to offer herself as a sacrifice to prevent the rupture of the Time Vortex. However, Antranak took her place, which she chose to believe was due to Antranak himself rather than the entity within his mind. (AUDIO: Nekromanteia)
The TARDIS crew landed in the United States in the 1860s where Erimem experienced bigotry due to her skin colour. (PROSE: Blood and Hope) They also went to Edinburgh, where she and Peri were kidnapped, before going to England and meeting Tegan Jovanka, going to the pub with her after an adventure. (PROSE: Graham Dilley Saves the World) In London, Erimem was appalled by the Doctor's willingness to ally himself with Charlie Shutter. (PROSE: The Gangster's Story)
Erimem began learning how to read English, with Peri giving her lessons. In the Axis, she tricked Jarra To into revealing his true identity and entered Protok's TARDIS. (AUDIO: The Axis of Insanity) In 1917 Tibet, she fell under the spell of the Great Old Ones and was visible only to Mortimer Davey, who showed her visions. (AUDIO: The Roof of the World)
Throughout her travels with the Doctor and Peri, Erimem sought out causes and crusades into which to throw herself. For instance, she allied herself with Arius at the Council of Nicaea in 325. (AUDIO: The Council of Nicaea)
At some point, she, Peri and the Doctor arrived at an exhibition displaying hieroglyphics depicting her own life. An archaeologist, Carra Wilton, although unaware of her true identity, assured Erimem that the world would know her story. (PROSE: The Coming of the Queen)
As part of a plan with his seventh incarnation, the Doctor left Erimem and Peri at a party in Monte Carlo in 1966 where they had to stop the theft of the Veiled Leopard, a jewel which had once belonged to Erimem’s father. Though she disliked how the jewel was being treated, and even sympathised somewhat with the thief’s motives, Erimem helped Peri stop the theft and return the jewel to its safe. They then rejoined the party. (AUDIO: The Veiled Leopard)
In order to spare the lives of the Doctor and Peri, she became engaged to Dracula in Ungro-Wallachia in 1462, and remained committed to the matrimony until he released her from it following his military defeat. (AUDIO: Son of the Dragon)
It was the Doctor who got to see many of her desires first hand in an induced fantasy world created by the plants of YT45. In this fantasy, she was the ruler of "New Cairo", an amalgam of many of the worlds she had visited with the Doctor and her original home in Egypt. As part of this she had to deal with a riot and an assassination attempt. When she realised that she had been reigning for 25 years she thought something was wrong. The Doctor wanted her to be revived once she was found. The Doctor was placed in the dream to help her revive. Ukarme showed her the previous survey team and his mission. (AUDIO: The Mind's Eye)
The Doctor, Peri and Erimem answered a distress call from the Ice Warrior prince and ambassador, Zixlyr in the 41st century. Zixlyr had blown up an explosive within his ship to smuggle a Xanthoid volataliser onto Peladon after his sister, the previous ambassador to Peladon, Alixlyr, had disappeared; he claimed he had been attacked by Arcturans and knew that if he entered Peladon through more conventional means, the volataliser would have been detected. As the ship began to fall towards Peladon, part of the ship's hull broke off, leaving the TARDIS around Peladon's orbit and making escape impossible. The Doctor, Peri and Erimem helped Zixlyr safely crashland the ship as it entered Peladon's atmosphere, crashing it into a forest. Zixlyr and Peri went to the citadel of Peladon, while Erimem took care of the Doctor as he recovered.
An Aggedor, the daughter of the late Aggedor the Doctor had encountered in his third incarnation began approaching the Doctor and Erimem. The Doctor used Erimem's signet ring to hypnotise and tame her. Queen Belldonia of the royal house of Peladon discovered them while on a hunt and escorted the Doctor and Erimem back to the citadel.
An explosion set off by the criminal Arktos and his accomplice, Elkin, had ripped apart the floor of the nearby mines, killing the miners inside. Within the wreckage, Erimem discovered a message in Egyptian hieroglyphs warning of the Osiran, Sekhmet, whom the Egyptians worshipped as a god. The Doctor found a secret passageway leading to Sekhmet's trisilicate tomb, where three of her four blood locks had been broken after she fed on the blood of three royal women, including Alixlyr and the newly-crowned King Pelleas' predecessor, Queen Elspera, and used the Aggedor to break down the door. Erimem offered her blood to Sekhmet, but had poisoned it with mandrake root that was inside her ring. Zixlyr grabbed onto Sekhmet and set the countdown on his volataliser. Zixlyr sealed the chamber, blowing himself up along with Sekhmet. The Doctor and Erimem escaped, but Erimem was still dying from her poison. Peri used the Time Lord biochemistry in the Doctor's blood to revive Erimem by performing a "very crude" blood transfusion on her.
King Pelleas proposed to Erimem, and she accepted so that she could run Peladon and show Pelleas how to be a good ruler. According to Erimem, "We're genuinely fond of each other and who knows? That may blossom into love." She parted company with Peri and the Doctor, staying behind to rule Peladon. (AUDIO: The Bride of Peladon)
Life in the 21st century
Erimem was pulled into London in 2015 as a result of a cult dedicated to Ash-Ama-Teseth who wanted to sacrifice her to bring back their leader. Erimem was left a massive gap in her memory, yet she retained knowledge of how technology that she did not remember seeing before worked. During their defeat of the cult, Erimem bonded with Andy Hansen and her distant relative, Ibrahim Hadmani. She eventually took the cult's stolen time travel technology as her own. Ibrahim managed to get her falsified records so she could enroll in the London University of History and Antiquity as his cousin from Egypt. (PROSE: The Last Pharaoh)
In the time after she arrived in London, Erimem moved in with Ibrahim and his girlfriend, Helena. She set up the Habitat behind a cupboard in their apartment and became Ibrahim's assistant at the London Museum of History and Antiquities. (PROSE: The Beast of Stalingrad)
Erimem became good friends with Andy. For Christmas 2015, Erimem took Andy to 1964 to get the rare book, Doctor X in an Amazing Adventure in Space. (PROSE: In Search of Doctor X) After David Bowie died, Erimem and Andy put a copy of Life on Mars on the surface of Mars. (PROSE: Life on Mars on Mars)
In 2018, Erimem watched Warrior Queen of the Nile with Andy, Ibrahim and Helena. Noticing that Erimem played one of the parts in the movie, they travelled back to 1940 to become part of events. Finding that the Egyptian Falcon, one of the props in the movie, was in fact a real artefact capable of bringing the dead back to life as zombies, Erimem had to prevent a group of Nazis and Mr Gray from acquiring it. To stop their plans, she sent the Falcon back in time, creating a paradox that led to it arriving in Hollywood in the first place. (PROSE: The Egyptian Falcon)
- Erimem lived to be an elderly Pharaoh.
- Erimem promoted Fayum to leader of the Council of the Priests and intended to marry him.
- Erimem married her brother, Thutmose IV, but was murdered by him so Thutmose IV could make his favourite wife his new queen.
- Erimem gave birth to two sons, Mentu and Thutmose, and had to intervene to stop Thutmose from murdering Mentu.
- Erimem was promised as a bed slave to Yanis after her father's army was defeated. When she refused, Yanis instructed Amenhotep II to kill Erimem to save his people and Erimem began to fight him for her life.
- Erimem waged a successful attack on a deep space vessel as a junior member of the Council of Ministries.
- Erimem lectured on Egypt for sixty years.
- Erimem and Adam Doherty began a romantic relationship.
- Erimem, Andy, and Tom faced freezing to death on Mars. (PROSE: Echoes)
Erimem was intellectually curious and, oddly for a Pharaoh who was said to be a god, mostly irreligious. She generally professed that she did not believe in Egyptian gods, and instead favoured scientific investigation. She was inclined to believe, for instance, some of the very earliest scholarship which asserted that the world was round. Indeed, when she gave up her claim on the Egyptian throne to travel with the Doctor, the original plan was that he would take her to a university of some kind. (AUDIO: The Eye of the Scorpion)
Despite her generally irreligious stance, she did claim to believe in the Egyptian gods in 15th century Wallachia, though this was likely to prove her neutrality in an ongoing war between Christians and Muslims. (AUDIO: Son of the Dragon) Although she wore a signet ring with religious symbology, her only known act of voluntary religious devotion was when she prayed to Osiris on Peladon when she thought the Doctor was near death. (AUDIO: The Bride of Peladon)
She was a natural leader, and quickly found herself in command wherever the TARDIS took her. On her very first journey, she spurred the forces of both Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu against George Villiers' English troops in 1626. (AUDIO: The Church and the Crown) She seemed to truly desire to rule or be close to a ruler over a group of people. (AUDIO: Son of the Dragon) Even her subconscious asserted her desire to command, (AUDIO: The Mind's Eye) although she had a very strong sense of honour and a resistance against tyrannical rule. She believed that a leader had a sacred trust to hear and defend her people. So strongly was she committed to the idea of fairness in public discourse that she was prepared to stop travelling with the Doctor in order to ensure that all sides of an important politico-religious argument were heard at the Christian Council of Nicaea – even though she herself did not believe in that, or any, religion. (AUDIO: The Council of Nicaea) Her desire to help others by being a good leader was the cause of her departure from the Doctor, when ultimately she assented to marry a king of Peladon to help him rule. (AUDIO: The Bride of Peladon)
Her marriage to Pelleas of Peladon had been presaged by several other instances in which she was poised to leave the Doctor and Peri. Her propensity to leave most often came as it did in Nicaea, Ungro-Wallachia and Peladon — out of a desire to help others. However, once, following a disagreeable time in the Himalayas during the time of the British Raj, Erimem wanted to stop travelling with her companions out of fear of the things she was learning about herself. (AUDIO: The Roof of the World, Three's a Crowd)
Behind the scenes
Erimem as pictured on Big Finish covers was modelled upon the face of her voice actor, Caroline Morris, who is light-skinned. However, in many — though not all — Doctor Who Magazine illustrated previews she is drawn with darker skin, as her stories depict her. It is of narrative importance that Erimem is dark-skinned in a number of stories, including Blood and Hope, The Church and the Crown and The Council of Nicaea.
In 2011, Iain McLaughlin used his creation in episode eight of Kerides the Thinker, an American series of audio plays created by him and Claire Bartlett. The episode, Return of the Queen, was published February 20, 2012. Erimem was played by Christine Mosere instead of Caroline Morris. The reason given, in story, for the different voice was that Erimem was possessing the body of a soothsayer.