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Reviews for The Council of Nicaea

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At least there wasn't a deus ex maxhina

By:Phil Ince, Trudy Styler's tantric colostomy
Date:Saturday 13 August 2005
Rating:   3

The Council of Nicaea - hmm. I hated it. I really didn't want to but I did. It struck me as formless - who was the intended focus, what was the plot? The Doctor and Peri entirely marginal and Erimem worse than ever. Not thick this time but for all her protestations of disloyalty, she was the disloyal one and I'd have been quite happy to have her stabbed. She came across to me as repulsively priggish, abusive and treacherous to her friends and, fundamentally, an ignorant hypocrite; espousing a cause she had no understanding of or connection to.

We've wound the clock backward to Adric. But - with the crutial exception of Saward's shit-headed writing whose aspirtation is banality - even Watertrouser's seasons were largely better written than this.

The idea that Constantine - Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire -, a man who murders his own wife in a nasty way would have the trust, the patience and crutially the time to allow strangers and plotters to dash into and out of his palace and go running around the streets of the city was absurd. It was farce without the gags and more dependent on the ancient Hartnell story, The Romans, than one might have cause to expect.

Full of trite lines, what happened? A few streets were run up, a few houses run into, a few repeated conversations - "Don't betray me", "You betrayed me!", "Give me one more chance" -

By the time of the part 3 cliffhanger - "Ooh, she's got a bruise!" - I was just bored, just restless, inattentive. Just tired.

The one hope for poor staggering Bog Flush is that someone like Nigel Fairs - who did such a great job at bbv with the Faction audios - may yet give The Flushings a lift. Isn't he doing some 8th Doctor stories soon? Christ almighty, roll 'em on.

A Weak Premise

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Saturday 17 June 2006
Rating:   4

While I did not hate this one quite so much as the previous reviewer, I still found it among the weaker Big Finish stories. The main problem is Erimem. It is not that she is hypocritical as the other reviewer states, just that the script is nonsensically written. As the previous reviewer noted, she throws off her friends and allies to support a cause she knows little about. It is really worse than that, though. She throws in her lot to support a man she has met only once for an hour or so. Her sole reason for considering Peri and the Doctor traitors to her is that she judges Arius to be an "honorable man." Given what little time she has spent with him, how can she determine that? Furthermore, she criticizes the Roman Emporer Constantine for his cruelty, calls him a tyrant, and organizes a revolt against him. Again, motivation for all this is sorely lacking. After all, even if Erimem never got the chance to be a despotic pharoah, she must know that all her predecessors were despots worse a thousand-fold than Constantine, and that ruling an empire in her day required ruthlessness and cruelty in extreme measure. It makes little sense for her to be ranting about justice and honor and fairplay. That the audioplay has such a weak central premise means that it can never really get started.

Come on now - it's just a story

By:Doug, Pocono Summit, PA, USA
Date:Sunday 3 September 2006
Rating:   5

Okay, well, I'd judge this a little differently than the other two reviewers have. I agree that it makes no sense for someone in Erimem's position to judge Constantine as being a cruel tyrant, I agree that Constantine is most likely rather poorly characterized, and I agree that Erimem's sudden near-betrayal of her friends stretches credibility. But in spite of all of that, I found this to be an entertaining story. Even though it was rather unsensible, what Erimem did was an interesting departure from what the Doctor's companions typically do. I also enjoyed how Constantine was written, and I thought the speculations about what was actually happening in Rome in those times (as presented by the script) were rather interesting. If you don't take it all too seriously, you might just enjoy this one.

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