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This is the seventy first release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Peter Davison as Five, Nicola Bryant as Peri and Caroline Morris as Erimem. There are 4 episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs.

After a bit of an uneven run for the TARDIS crew of Five, Peri and Erimem this is a real corker of a story, and uses the characters of the three leads to good effect. It's an old story in some ways - a companion wants to try and change history for the better, but the Doctor knopws that it cannot be done and ends up running round just trying to keep everyone alive. But it is done extremely well, with a fine performance from Davison as the increasingly panicking and desperate Doctor trying to make people listen, and Morris as the strong willed and independent Erimem desperate to make a difference.

The story revolves around the council of Nicaea, headed by the Emperor Constantine, and the minor points of theology that people were willing to die in the defence of. It's a strong story, with some strong characters, especially the driven Constantine who only wants a peaceful empire, even if it means having to kill everyone. It plays on themes of trust and the difference that we can make. The ending is superb, a believable conclusion that brings the three travellers closer together. An excellent tale, 5 stars.
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VINE VOICEon 5 August 2005
The Council of Nicaea finds the 5th Doctor, Peri and Erimem back in 325 AD, where relative newcomer Erimem's interference in the unification of the early Church threatens the timelines. Essentially this is nothing more than a straight re-write of the William Hartnell classic historical The Aztecs with a new TARDIS crew and a different historical background, but thanks to some sterling performances this play is both enjoyable and informative, and the lack of any of the usual evil invading aliens that turn up in Doctor Who is a blessed relief. Good stuff.
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on 5 September 2007
I like stories and plays that dont make up beliefs to be totally moronic and something to joke about.

I dont believe in making fun of others beliefs and religions. I believe in respecting others views even if i believe in something different.

I like it even more when people dont laugh and criticise what different people may believe in. And most of all, I like it when writers dont take the pee out of Christianity. As a follower of Jesus myself, its a rare relief to find a story that doesnt make out Christianity to be totally wrong or stupid. And here is a story that dwells on the early church in a decent and believable way. It isnt saturated with jokes and rubbish like nearly all other followers of the Lord are made out to be on tv these days. Its great to see a series like Doctor Who doing a story like this, and it is very enjoyable.

Caroline Symcox has written a well crafted historical with plenty of good moments and acting. Caroline Morris especially impresses as Erimem, trying to help out at the council but not fully realising the cost of what could happen. Peter Davison is excellent, but that goes without saying surely.

Yes, a thoroughly decent play thats a breath of fresh air after so much alien over the topness on tv and many other stories and audios. Yes, this is like a Hartnell historical with the fifth doctor. A good type of story in all...
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on 8 November 2007
This is one of the most enjoyable Big Finish audios I have heard (out of about 20 plays). Personally I even preferred it to 'Spare Parts'.

You don't have to be interested in Christianity, only in history, to appreciate the story. It is interesting to see how Church doctrine and power arose; and that a hotly debating council decided on the divinity of Jesus about 300 years after he died. I think Arias' position was more sensible, but if you don't know what I'm on about then listen to the play.

Equally interesting are both the character of Constantine and the violence and involvement of men on the street which is what makes for a good traditional 'Doctor Who' historical adventure. There is a lot of tension and drama showcasing the audio format at its best and evoking the classic tv series itself.

Peter Davison gives a sterling performance. His vulnerability and argumentativeness are utilised to good effect in a plot that also partly hinges on the tension between him and Erimen.

Highly enjoyable.
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on 2 April 2009
The Fifth Doctor takes his companions Peri and Erimem to the city of Nicaea in 325 AD, to witness the First Council of Nicaea. However, religious fervour is running high, and theological disputes threaten to spill over into actual violence. In the midst of this, the Doctor and Erimem find themselves on different sides...
A superior audio adventure from Big Finish; the historical stories always remind me of Sixties 'Who' in that they are gently didactic and give The Doctor the opportunity to share his boundless knowledge with his companions and therefore with the listener too. This suits Peter Davison's Fifth Doctor and the birthplace of the first great church council offers him plenty of scope for this. Peri is as annoying as ever but works well in tandem with Egyptian princess Erimem.
Overall this is an above average entry in the monthly series of Doctor Who dramas from Big Finish and well worth getting hold of.
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It's fascinating to have a doctor who story centered round an historical event that many people won't have heard of, but the execution of the story leaves a lot to be desired.

The hub of it is one of the doctors companions defying him and endeavouring to change history in the process. A nice idea, but the companion comes over as behaving like a spoiled brat in the process, and the story never makes it clear why changing history in this respect would be such a bad thing. The council was discussing an aspect of god's divinity. Why would history be so damaged if the decision was changed?

Many of the supporting characters are very flat and dull, and the direction of the story is slightly lacking. The actor who plays the emperor is the only cast member who really stands out.

Worth it if you want a little bit of history, but not a great bit of doctor who
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