No Place Like Home was a 2003 Big Finish audio drama, featuring the Fifth Doctor and new companion Erimem. Originally included in Doctor Who Magazine #326, it was later re-released as a free download on the Big Finish Productions website. This was also the audio debut of the comic-originated character Shayde.
Publisher's summary Edit
Whilst showing his latest companion, Erimem, around her new home, the Doctor discovers that the TARDIS seems remarkably keen to be as unhelpful as possible. Almost as if it wants rid of its occupants...
Recently arrived in the TARDIS, uncrowned pharaoh Erimem and her cat Antranak are touring the ship with the Doctor while Peri remains in her room. He chides Erimem for the messes the cat has made, earning an apology from her. They visit the wardrobe, where Erimem finds the Fourth Doctor’s scarf and hat, and the Second Doctor’s (faux) fur coat. She also finds clothing worn by past companions Victoria Waterfield, Sarah Jane Smith, and Leela, and comments on her own most recent adventure with the Doctor. The Doctor reminisces about past travels with many other companions, and comments on his age. They move on to other rooms: a cricket pitch, and the cloister room—or rather, a rainforest where the cloister room used to be. The Doctor admits that the TARDIS has been moving rooms without his knowledge again. As he actually locates the cloister room, he is being observed—and the TARDIS is under the control of the observer…
Finding a room of terra-cotta soldiers—which he dropped off several regenerations ago—the Doctor realises something is wrong. They unexpectedly arrive back in the wardrobe amid the Third Doctor’s ruffled shirts, and the Doctor remarks on how the TARDIS is more his home than Gallifrey is. Sometimes he wishes to settle down…but not yet. There is evil to be fought, and work to be done. Erimem reminisces about her own family, and the Doctor about his.
The rooms continue to change, leading them back again to the wardrobe (this time finding Jamie McCrimmon’s kilt). The power fails, and a rack falls on Erimem; the Doctor uses a pack of everlasting matches to provide light. They realise the shadows are moving unnaturally. Erimem dresses for the cold as the temperature drops (wearing Amelia Earhart’s flight jacket), and they head for the console room. The temperature drops more drastically, frosting the walls and floors. Suddenly the hidden observer’s surveillance system fails. The observer wanted the Doctor to open the next door; but a voice warns the Doctor not to open it. It becomes transparent, revealing the unobstructed Time Vortex on the other side, which would have killed them by rapid ageing. A figure appears from the shadows; he introduces himself as Shayde, “a friend of sorts”, who is the corporeal manifestation of the will of the Time Lords. The Doctor remarks that on one of the many occasions that the Fifth Doctor allowed damage to the TARDIS, a creature got in, which will use the TARDIS to conquer time and space if unchecked. Shayde insists that only he can resolve the problem, but the Doctor insists on taking responsibility, and takes Erimem with Shayde to deal with the situation.
The Doctor and Erimem find the TARDIS’s dimensional induction chamber as the observer recovers surveillance. The creature traps Shayde in a force field. Erimem finds the observer in a nest of controls; the Doctor is shocked to see that it is a Rovie—a Gallifreyan mouse. This one is ten times the usual size, with a massively overgrown brainpan. They find the situation humorous, but their laughter insults the Rovie. The creature explains how it was once normal, until it got into the TARDIS by chance during one of the Doctor’s visits to Gallifrey. The ship took responsibility for it, as with all passengers, feeding and watering it. However, Shayde, at the orders of the Time Lords, had placed a remote control module in the TARDIS, so that they could subtly control the Doctor’s actions without his knowledge. The module caused a leak in the temporal relays, which led to a forced, rapid mutation in the Rovie, creating its current condition. With its new intelligence, it used the TARDIS data banks to learn to speak, and gain other skills. It then became ambitious. Jealous of the Doctor and his companions, it became angry at the Doctor’s reckless behaviour—which unintentionally puts the Rovie at risk with the TARDIS—and therefore it began taking over control of the TARDIS. Now, it intends to take the TARDIS to Gallifrey and blast the capital with the same temporal energy, killing the Time Lords and mutating the other Rovies in the same way. The evolved Rovies will then use the Time Lords’ technology to conquer everything.
The cat, Antranak, arrives, having followed Erimem, and she tries to use it to kill the Rovie. The attempt is unsuccessful, and the Rovie grows enraged, considering it an insult to be thought of as a common mouse. The Doctor plays on this, taunting the Rovie with more mouse-based jokes. Erimem adds to the taunting, and the Rovie moves toward them, threatening them—but when it steps out of its forcefields, Erimem strikes, destroying its control panel. Shayde, now freed, absorbs the Rovie into himself; he says he will take it to Gallifrey, where it can be re-educated and made into a civilised being. The Doctor insists that Shayde remove the control unit as well. When Shayde leaves, the power returns, and the tour continues—with the occasional cat mess.
The Doctor Edit
- The Doctor used to hide from his former companion Tegan Jovanka in the Cloister Room.
- The Doctor uses everlasting matches.
- Peri Brown once considered wearing one of Leela's skins, which she found in the TARDIS wardrobe, to a fancy dress party.
- The Rovie refers to Peri and Erimem as the "female monkeys."
- Eriemem sees ice for the first time.
The TARDIS Edit
- Aside from the console room and the wardrobe, the TARDIS contains a full sized cricket pitch, several fields, a rainforest, various control relays, the swimming pool, at least two libraries, several gardens, a storeroom full of terracotta Chinese soldiers, the Dimensional Induction Chamber and the Cloister Room.
- Shayde first appeared in the Fifth Doctor comic strip The Tides of Time. He later developed a more complicated relationship with the Doctor in the Eighth Doctor comic stories, beginning with The Final Chapter. This is the only audio drama to feature Shayde.
- This is the only audio story in which Erimem appears but Peri does not.
- Shayde's warning to the Doctor is a direct homage to the Time Lord's warning to the Fourth Doctor. (TV: Genesis of the Daleks) Again, the Time Lords "foresee a time" when a race will conquer the universe — only this time, it is the Rovies.
- As in Time and the Rani and later in The Christmas Invasion, the TARDIS wardrobe holds the outfits of several earlier incarnations. In particular, Erimem finds the Fourth Doctor's scarf and hat, (TV: Robot, et. al.) the Second Doctor's furry overcoat (TV: The Abominable Snowman, The Five Doctors) and the Third Doctor's ruffled shirts and smoking jackets (TV: Spearhead from Space, et. al). Of the three, the Fifth Doctor seems fondest of the scarf — which he describes as "useful" but cumbersome as he tended to trip over it. The furry coat is described as being made of polyester rather than animal skin and as having come from the planet Thraxis. He expresses positive embarrassment at her discovery of the kind of clothes which he wore during his third incarnation.
- Companions' clothes are also discovered in the wardrobe, including a dress worn by both Victoria Waterfield and Sarah Jane Smith (TV: Pyramids of Mars), a kilt worn by Jamie McCrimmon and one set of Leela's skins, which the Doctor says Peri once considered wearing.
- The TARDIS is said to have the ability to automatically reconfigure its rooms, leaving the Doctor temporarily unaware of where the rooms had gone. (TV: Castrovalva, The Eleventh Hour; COMIC: Tesseract) He tells Erimem that he doesn't like it, similar to what the Second Doctor said upon entering the Third Doctor's TARDIS. (TV: The Three Doctors)
- Similar to a conversation between the Second Doctor and Victoria in TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen, the Fifth Doctor speaks to Erimem about his memories of his family. He says that he does not, in fact, think of his family very much at all, save for occasional thoughts of his granddaughter Susan Foreman. (TV: An Unearthly Child et al)
- The Fifth Doctor expresses a disdain of cats. This was a running gag in his adventures with Erimem, at least until her cat Antranak's death. (AUDIO: Nekromanteia)
- The Doctor claims that he delivered the Terracotta Army to the first Emperor of China, Qin Chi Huangdi, during his third incarnation. The Second Doctor had encountered the Emperor towards the end of his life in 210 BC. (AUDIO: The Emperor of Eternity)
- The Doctor refers to the Library of St John the Beheaded. (PROSE: All-Consuming Fire)
- Shayde refers to the Doctor as "Lord President". (TV: The Five Doctors)
- The Doctor remarks that, unlike Antranak, K9 was TARDIS trained, paraphrasing Marius. (TV: The Invisible Enemy)
- Official No Place Like Home page at bigfinish.com
- DisContinuity for No Place Like Home at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide