Review: Erimem 4: Prime Imperative

Erimem 4By Julianne Todd

Thebes Publishing, out now

Erimem, Andy and Tom arrive on a space station that is expecting the arrival of a long-missing spacecraft… but all is by no means well on the probe ship Clinton…

The adventures of erstwhile Fifth Doctor companion Erimem continues with this story that feels like a homage both to some of the Troughton era stories (particularly The Wheel in Space) and The Quatermass Experiment and the many B-movies and TV episodes that were inspired by similar themes (including The Ark in Space). Todd establishes the threat that the Clinton presents very early on, and then introduces to the crew of the space station, including the wife of one of the Clinton crew, and a doctor and commander who have a strong bond beneath their working relationship.

While Andy and Erimem fit in well, assisting with the operation to bring the Clinton back, and then investigating the problems that that causes, Tom is very much a fish out of water, unable to do more than provide some manual labour, and proving the maxim about what happens when the going gets tough. It seems an odd decision by Erimem to take him along and I’m rather hoping that this might be the last we see of him.

Todd has a brisk writing style that makes the book feel rather like a novelisation, and thus a quick read (and helps you overlook the gremlins that have appeared in the text). She creates tension along the way, and since this series has thrown more than a few curveballs in its short life so far, you don’t feel that there’s a guarantee that anyone (bar Erimem herself) will survive…

There’s another short story at the end, from co-creator and editor Iain McLaughlin, which focuses more on Ibrahim and Helena. It’s a bittersweet tale, and I trust that the revelations that it promises will come soon.

Verdict: Another very different adventure for the former Pharaoh that continues to demonstrate the versatility of the character and format. 7/10

Paul Simpson

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