Council of Nicaea" has been written by Caroline Symcox
and features Peter Davison, as the Fifth
companions Peri and Erimem played by Nicola Bryant and
Council of Nicaea
historical adventure has been directed by Gary Russell
and was recorded on the 18th and 19th April 2005.
Also starring are: David Bamber, Claire Carroll, Steve
Kynman, Martin Parsons, Michael Garland, Sean Carlsen
and Stephan Bessant.
the Roman Emperor Constantine called a council of Churchmen
to Nicaea 1,680 yeas ago, he wasn’t to know that
the reverberations would still be felt upon Western civilisation
many centuries later.
year is 325AD and the TARDIS
deposits The Doctor and his two companions in the city
of Nicaea a few thousand years and 600 miles or so from
Erimem’s home on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean.
They have arrived a few days before the first great Church
council, called by the Roman Emperor Constantine, in a
very civilised part of the Roman empire. The Doctor with
his companions are there simply to watch events unfold.
Gaps remain in the history books, and The Doctor has come
to satisfy his curiosity.
as visitors from Alexander The Doctor manages to gain
the trust of Constantine and also to the council meeting
itself where theology, philosophy and politics will be
brought together for millennia to come.
But none of them are ready for what greets them in Nicaea.
Intrigue within the Imperial Palace has become violence
on the streets. Mobs roam the alleyways and blood is spilt
in the name of faith. Even in the face of murder and injustice
though, The Doctor is keen to make sure that his fellow
time travellers must stay aloof and not get involved.
This is history, after all.
But for Erimem this is her future she is witnessing and
so does not appreciate the complexities of time travel
and the damage that can be caused if key historical events
are changed when to one person this is the future and
not the past.
political intrigue in Nicaea turns to mob violence and
retribution, the time travellers become more enmeshed
in it, both physically and philosophically.
Peri and Erimem, in trying to escape a riot, become separated
from The Doctor and meet Athanasius who it seems will
be the most effected by the injustice that is rife –
but has no means to defend his beliefs or himself. Erimem
though is determined to put things right even if it means
the break-up of her friendship with her closest friends
and the unravelling of history.
After being thrown out of the first council meeting for
speaking up for Athanasius it is all The Doctor can do
to stop them all being thrown into jail and to keep Erimem
from doing any more damage. Disgusted Erimem runs off
but Peri manages to track her down. But Erimem has become
to far involved and caught up with her emotions to listen
to reason and so Peri is not able to persuade her fellow
companion to return to the TARDIS.
Unbeknown to Peri she has been followed by Emperor Constantine’s
legionnaires who try to capture Athanasius. This raid
instead leads to the capture of Erimem who is even more
angry with those orchestrating current events and even
more determined to obtain justice for Athanasius.
But is it possible for the future of one and
the history of many be rewritten? And if it can, can The Doctor afford to let it?
Is one theologian’s cause worth risking your life?
One companion it seems is determined to find out whatever
- Featuring the Fifth
Doctor, Peri and Erimem.
- Serial Number: 6QH
- Number of Episodes: 4
- Cover Length: 110 minutes
- Episode Lengths: 1 = 28'12", 2 = 30'41",
3 = 21'45", 4 = 26'47"
- Total Story Length: 107'25"
- This story takes place between "Planet
of Fire" and "The
Caves of Androzani"
and after "The
Roof of the World".
- Cover Illustration: Stuart Manning
- Recorded: 18th and 19th April 2005
- Recording Location: The Moat Studios
- Released: July 2005
- ISBN: 1-84435-134-3
|On the Back Cover:
The year is 325AD.
In the city of Nicaea, the first great Church council,
called by the Roman Emperor Constantine, is due to begin.
Here theology, philosophy and politics will be brought
together for millennia to come.
Peri and Erimem are there simply to watch events unfold.
Gaps remain in the history books, and The Doctor has
come to satisfy his curiosity.
But none of
them are ready for what greets them in Nicaea. Intrigue
within the Imperial Palace has become violence on the
streets. Mobs roam the alleyways and blood is spilt
in the name of faith. Even in the face of murder and
injustice though, the time travellers must force themselves
to stay aloof.
This is history,
Yet what is history
to one person is the future to another.
Is it possible for
history to be rewritten? And if it can, can The Doctor
afford to let it?
|On the Inside Cover:
I NEVER WOULD
HAVE THOUGHT, WHEN I SAT in my room at Keble writing
essays about the Council of Nicaea, that one day I would
be writing a Doctor Who story about it. Patristics,
the study of the early Christian Church, is a required
paper for the Oxford BA course. One book is essentially
the Bible for all undergraduates studying patristics
(apart, that is, from the Bible), and anyone who’s
ploughed through the pages of J. N. O. Kelly’s
Early Christian Doctrines will know just how
dry this stuff can get. But there’s so much more
to it than that. I’ll never forget my amazement
on going to certain lectures and learning about the
murders, violence and riots that surrounded these Church
Councils. While a bunch of bishops sat inside, debasing
the subtle differences between homoousios and homoiousios
and what that choice of words would do to Church doctrine,
outside the ordinary folk of the time were fighting
about it. The level of common interest was staggering.
It was having my eyes opened to these social and political
aspects of the time that suggested it to me as the basis
for a Doctor Who story.
The Council of
Nicaea is a pure historical, and as such I’ve
tried to stay as true as possible to the people involved
in these events. Some characters might be a little more
villainous than their real life counterparts, while
some people that you might expert to see are absent.
Alexander and Eusebius are only name-checked, for example.
Artistic licence has been taken. But every so often
I’ve also had the opportunity to include things
from the remaining documents we have about the Council.
Parts are taken word for word from history. Some things
you just can’t resist.
So, I would
like to thank my various lecturers and tutors for introducing
me to the Council of Nicaea, and apologise to them for
anything I’ve got wrong. Of course, huge thanks
to my wonderful producer and director, Gary Russell,
and all at Big Finish. And finally, I would like to
thank my husband, Paul, who helped me by assiduously
refusing to hear the plot, read the script or in any
way interact with the story before is was recorded.
Paul, and everyone
out there, I hope you like the finished article!
Symcox is a third year D.Phil. student in theology at
Oxford University. Though she as yet has no official standing
in the Church of England, she is hoping to become an ordained
minister at some point. This is her second audio for Big
Finish; the first - co-authored with Paul Cornell - was
Seasons of Fear, which also had bits featuring
Romans. Weird, eh?
Although it ended up as a purely historical story, The
Council of Nicaea didn’t start off that way.
Caroline Symoox’s original outline suggested that
the emperor was in fact one of the splinters of Scaroth from the 1979 Doctor Who adventure City
of Death, trying to manipulate events for his own nefarious
producer Gary Russell nixed the idea, feeling that the
story would be better served by being true to itself.
The contentious subject of religion in Doctor Who,
particularly Christianity, might ironically have been
less contentious in a sci-fi setting, but it could also
have trivialised what is one of the most important moments
in history. On top of that, the exact truth of who owns
what, copyright-wise, regarding Scaroth made this a
no-no. (Strictly speaking, as David Fisher created the
character, but Douglas Adams and Graham Williams collaborated
on the final scripts for City of Death, Scaroth’s
ownership is a grey area.)
a result, this story became, the TARDIS aside, Big Finish’s
first truly historical Doctor Who audio story
in more than two and half years.
The Fifth Doctor
First television appearance: "Castrovalva"
First chronological Big Finish audio appearance: "Land
of the Dead"
has been exploring the universe for hundreds of years.
He fights injustice. He defeats evil. He helps people.
Always accompanied by travelling companions, The Doctor
has lately found his TARDIS shared by Peri and Erimem,
two lively young girls from different points in Earth’s
history. They can be a handful - as the intense teasing
he endures testifies to...
First television appearance: "Planet
First chronological Big Finish audio appearance: "Red
Brown has been travelling with The Doctor for a while
now. Their relationship can he fractious - but is generally
lighthearted and friendly. A keen botanist, resourceful
and compassionate, Peri also has a edgy side; a wry
sense of humour that can infuriate her travelling companion.
Lately, the two have been joined in their travels by
Erimem, with whom Peri has immediately bonded. Slightly
older than the former Egyptian Pharaoh, Peri has taken
it upon herself to play the older sister.
First Big Finish audio appearance: "The
Eye of the Scorpion"
the death of her father, Erimemushinseperem - Erimem for short - became Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. During
an attempt on her life she met The Doctor and Peri,
who were instrumental in saving her. Before her coronation,
the officials decided upon a different, male, Pharaoh
- a decision that did not completely disappoint Erimem,
who then joined The Doctor and Peri on their travels.
| Full Cast List:
The Production Team:
|Gareth Jenkins and
|Gary Russell and