Back in 2003, Big Finish released No Place Like Home as a special gift for readers of Doctor Who Magazine. Since then, the story has been made into a free download on their website, which I became aware of as I was scanning for the free stuff they have on offer. There’s quite a bit of to be found there if one is interested. A lot of them are samples of longer stories, but No Place Like Home is a complete, albeit short (a bit more than half an hour), adventure featuring the Fifth Doctor played by Peter Davison and audio-only companion Erimem, an Egyptian princess played by Caroline Morris.
(Daily Doctor Who #66)
No Place Like Home is a quirky little adventure which all happens on board the TARDIS. The Doctor is showing Erimem around (so I guess she’s still new), while Peri, who was a companion at the same time, is just on board elsewhere. In the course of thing, the geography of the TARDIS interior begins to go a bit funny and the two start getting lost. We hear a menacing voice laughing evilly at the Doctor as his doom approaches…
Amusingly, the voice turns out to be that of a “rovie”, which is basically a Gallifreyan mouse that got lost in the TARDIS and mutated by the time-stream to become super-intelligent (and super-belligerent). The Doctor and Erimem of course recognize the threat, but also can’t help but to laugh at the absurdity of the situation. The nonsense is compounded by the arrival of the Shayde–a Gallifreyan construct who was used to monitor the Doctor covertly by the disembodied deceased Time Lords that resided in the Matrix (yeah, I know, don’t ask). The Shayde does what it can to help the Doctor, but in the end it comes down to the Doctor and Erimem insulting the rovie with mouse-based put-downs which cause it to lose its cool and become vulnerable to their counter-attack.
The story, by Iain McLaughin, is light-hearted nonsense but a fun diversion. Big Finish audio is the perfect format for these sorts of off-beat adventures, which are too odd or too slight to warrant a whole TV episode, but fit perfectly here. Peter Davison is always great, and Mark Donavan does a good job in the double role of both the Rovie and the Shayde. I don’t really have enough of a sense of Caroline Morris’ Erimem to make a comment, but certainly she’s fine here and I enjoy the fact that she has a cat on the TARDIS.
The free download also comes with a preview of Dalek Empire II: Dalek War (the first episode of that drama), but I already had that (and commented on it here) so it wasn’t of much interest to me. But the story itself was good for a quick laugh.