Doctor Who Monsters, Aliens and Villains

The Eorgem
Audio - The Blood Furnace
The Blood Furnace
(Eddie Robson)
 Name: The Eorgem

 Format: Audio

 Time of Origin: Waged a campaign of conquest centuries in the past; The Doctor confronted them on Earth in 1991.

 Appearances: "The Blood Furnace"

 Doctors: Seventh Doctor

 Companions: Melanie Bush and Ace

 History: While the Eorgem are an ancient race with ambitions of conquest, The Doctor has encountered them only rarely because they were defeated centuries ago. Utilising a power that was essentially magic, the Eorgem waged an elaborate campaign on the other planets in their vicinity. They demonstrated a wide range of magical abilities, ranging from being able to project images of their surroundings to projecting hail or transforming a helicopter and its pilots into birds.

 That said, it is important to note that the Eorgem had a crucial weakness as they were actually vulnerable to digital technology, as it disrupted their own powers (the inverse of how magic in Harry Potter prevents technology from working in its vicinity). They justified their opposition to other races as they found such a technological way of life ‘offensive’, but in reality this was because they objected to anything that limited their own abilities. Their vulnerability to digital technology was so great that they were relatively easy to defeat once they were opposed by a suitably advanced adversary, being defeated by an alliance of their former slave worlds so long ago that even The Doctor hadn’t heard of them. After they were finally defeated, the Eorgem were forced to make a deal where they would be forbidden to make any new warships on their own, bound by their own magic to ensure that they could never break that rule.

 Centuries after the Eorgem’s original defeat, Cardinal Archmage Linfess was able to find a loophole in their rules where the Eorgem could contract another race to build their ships for them. It took decades of secret deals and plans, but eventually she was able to make contact with Earth, specifically meeting with Stuart Dale, an engineer who was in financial difficulties after his last employers had gone bankrupt and left him needing three months backpay. Presenting herself as Carolyn Evans, Linfess gave Stuart the knowledge to create dark alloy, a new metal that was stronger and easier to handle than steel while also being lighter. With Carolyn’s ‘support’, Stuart was able to take ownership of local docks that were going out of business, providing the residents with new job opportunities after the Eorgem used their spells to give everyone the skills they needed to work the dark alloy. While various parties questioned some of ‘Carolyn’s’ rules, such as her refusal to allow computers to be used on-site, in general they all accepted the unconventional circumstances, the spells likely stopping them explicitly questioning the situation. One of the few people to be actively aware of what was wrong was Orla, officially employed to manage the stocks; her true job was to work the supply gate, a structure seemingly made of bone that could be controlled by manipulating strange stones in a pool in a particular way to set relevant coordinates. Some Eorgem had even managed to infiltrate the police, or at least intercept any calls made to the police about the docks so that they could ensure that no official investigation was carried out into any activities in the docks.

Sylvester McCoy
Sylvester McCoy
 Fortunately for Earth, shortly before Linfess’s ship could be completed, the TARDIS materialised in the shipyard where it was being built. Although the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Melanie Bush were initially accused of a murder, they were saved from having to deal with too many awkward questions as Stuart was an old boyfriend of Mel’s. When Stuart offered Mel a job working on the site’s computer systems, Linfess decided to start her own campaign against technology by giving Mel champagne with a ‘magic potion’ that essentially gave Mel a virus that caused her to immediately overload any technology she came into contact with. This virus was even powerful enough to disable the TARDIS, but fortunately none of the computers on site had access to any wider networks. Although The Doctor had to shut down the TARDIS to give it time to recover from the virus, he was able to determine that Mel was the only one infected with the virus, as Stuart hadn’t drunk the champagne and The Doctor was immune to such an infection.

 Meanwhile, Ace realised that one of the other workers, Vinny Gillespie, was an alien spy working undercover in the shipyards to determine what the Eorgem were up to. Vinny had killed the man who had been murdered just before the TARDIS arrived as his disguise equipment had malfunctioned in the other man’s presence; Vinny’s natural state was undefined but it was capable of producing some form of ink, his disguise unit being a corset-like device attached through something compared to Velcro. Unfortunately, Vinny was soon convinced that Ace and The Doctor were rival spies investigating the Eorgem for their own agenda, driving him to attack Ace as a potential threat rather than explain his own actions to her. Unwilling to listen to Ace’s protests, Vinny forced her to accompany him to Orla so that she could operate the supply gate on his behalf, taking Ace and Orla back to the gate. When Vinny abandoned his disguise as it was no longer necessary, he tried to force Orla to use the gate for him, but ignored Orla’s protests that she had only been told how to set it to travel to a few specific destinations and didn’t know how to program it for other location. With The Doctor and site supervisor Lee trying to get into the gate room to help, Vinny was prepared to throw Ace into the gate, only for Ace to throw him through it in the struggle. The Doctor reflected that the improper programming used when the gate was activated would have probably killed Vinny, but accepted that Ace had been acting in self-defence and appreciated that she regretted the death.

 Now aware that others were actively attempting to investigate her, Linfess had a new wave of Eorgem forces pass through the gate, subsequently using a spell to burn dark matter and make the workers do their job faster, completing two weeks’ worth of work in a single night (such a spell could have caused the workers to literally burn out and die from the strain, but fortunately none of them actually did so). Investigating the ship, the TARDIS crew, Stuart and Orla found focus orbs on the inner hull that The Doctor determined would generate a form of anti-gravity, giving The Doctor further evidence that the ship was intended to be a spaceship despite looking like a conventional sea-faring ship. While The Doctor took Stuart and Mel to the supply gate to use it to cure their infection from the anti-technology virus (teleporting the contagion out of them like the Fourth Doctor had used transmat technology to cure Sarah Jane of the Cybermen virus ("Revenge of the Cybermen")), Ace and Orla tried to learn more about the ship’s power source. They determined that the core of the ship’s power was the blood crystal, but were only able to watch as Linfess sacrificed Lee to the crystal, literally cutting out his heart before Ace could work out a way to stop it.

 With Mel and Stuart having seen mass supplies of the dark alloy on the other side of the supply gate, The Doctor was more determined to stop the Eorgem, but the ship took off before he could come up with a plan, Ace and Orla still on board. The Forgem attempted to dispose of the women by throwing them off the ship, but Ace had already led Orla to the TARDIS to try and escape; while the ship wouldn’t let Ace pilot it, the TARDIS had recovered enough from the virus that it was able to configure its interior to protect them once the Eorgem threw it over the side. Using Vinny’s cloaking device and a memory card taken from an arcade machine at the docks, The Doctor was able to combine the two technologies to create a defence against the Eorgem. With the game’s memory card as a template, the cloaking device was able to stimulate a digital environment based on the game in a thirty-foot radius of itself. With Ace and Orla’s experience on the ship giving them the target of the blood crystal, Ace used The Doctor’s new gadget to control an avatar of one of the fighters in the arcade game, every punch or kick she used damaging the Forgems’ equipment.

 While Stuart used the gate to send a message to Linfess and try and distract the Eorgem, The Doctor, Ace, Mel and Orla returned to the Eorgem ship by homing in on a TARDIS component The Doctor had given Stuart. Fighting their way through the ship, the group eventually reached the blood crystal, Ace taking off the cloaking device but leaving it so close to the crystal that it swiftly decayed from exposure to the digital energy. The crew were able to stop the ship crashing straight away, but Ace noted that if it was possible for the crew to keep this ship up on their own they wouldn’t have needed the crystal in the first place. As Linfess travelled down to the crystal to try and keep it under control, The Doctor observed to Linfess that her people had lost from the start, as basically all civilisations in the universe achieved digital technology at some point so the Forgem would be forever surrounded by their weakness. The Doctor explicitly stated that the Eorgem had attacked Earth at a point just after it had begun to develop the required level of technology that would be dangerous to them.

 Refusing to accept her loss, Linfess tried to stay in control by torturing Stuart with a pain spell, but he was able to kick her away and Linfess’s second-in-command accepted The Doctor’s offer of surrender. Linfess stubbornly stayed with the ship even as it was redirected to crash into the sea, but the rest of the crew were allowed to leave in the TARDIS and subsequently return to their home planet through the supply gate, The Doctor making it clear that they could tell their superiors that Earth was too advanced to be a suitable target for them. With the Eorgem gone, Mel encouraged Stuart to see what he could do to help the docks on his own even with the industrial boost provided by the Eorgem gone, although Mel chose to continue her travels with The Doctor rather than take Stuart’s job offer.
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Parts of this article were compiled with the assistance of David Spence who can be contacted by e-mail at
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