Monte Carlo, 1966.


 Four time travellers.

 Two missions.

 One costumed ball.


 The Doctor has sent

 Peri and Erimem to

 prevent A fabulous

 diamond from being

 stolen. Which is odd,

 seeing as the Doctor

 has sent Ace and Hex

 to steal the diamond.


 How will the two

 teams cope with this

 contradictory task?

 Will Peri's asp slip?

 Why does Ace have

 to pretend to be a

 French maid? How

 will Erimem cope


 Pharaoh? And can

 Hex "do posh"?


 PREVIOUS                                                             CONTEMPORANEOUS


The Veiled Leopard

MARCH 2006







Now here is a curiosity. The Veiled Leopard. A Doctor Who Magazine ‘giveaway’

CD; in effect, an extended advert for Big Finish’s Doctor Who audio adventures… but with no Doctor. Well, two Doctors. Two Doctors that aren’t in it, that is. Two Doctors that stand

off stage pulling the strings of their four very interesting companions, two of them created

in-house by Big Finish, who both take full opportunity of their chance to shine…


Part 1 of the story features Peri and Erimem in Monte Carlo, 1966. After watching the fifth Doctor argue with an “odd little man in a strange pullover,” the two young ladies are sent to prevent the Veiled Leopard – a famous diamond which once belonged to Erimem’s father – from being stolen. The episode is very entertaining to say that the plot is necessarily thin. After all Peri and Erimem have been through in recent stories, it’s great to see the two of them having fun together in such an evocative setting, mingling with the likes of the Lady Lillian (Lizzie Hopley) and Peter Mathis (Ian Ruscoe), both of whom are compelling in their own right.


This second episode is slightly more

serious than the first, but still bags of

fun. Ace and Hex are also in Monte

Carlo. The seventh Doctor has sent

them to steal the Veiled Leopard, and

replace it with a forgery. As was the

case with Peri and Erimem in Part 1,

it’s great to see two mates having a

laugh together. I especially enjoyed

seeing Ace letting her hair down. The character will go through so much and become so ruthless and so hard, it’s great to see

her as she is in this story – a young woman enjoying herself. She is clearly loving being “in charge” and playing the part of the Doctor, even impersonating his slight Scots accent and saying things like “don’t interrupt!” to Hex when she’s explaining things to him. For his part, Hex is given more than his fair share of action, finally managing to complete the Doctor’s mission and steal the Veiled Leopard, which is revealed to be no ordinary diamond, but a data storage device containing all the history, culture and DNA of a dead alien species.


The second episode reminded me a little bit of Flip-Flop, as in my head I had to try and cobble together what Peri and Erimem were doing contemporaneously and how it fitted

in with what Ace and Hex were doing. Luckily though, the plot is relatively simple so that much head-scratching wasn’t required; in fact, it all fits together rather neatly.


In all The Veiled Leopard is a wonderful showcase for not only the Big Finish range as a whole, but also for Philip Oliver’s Hex and Caroline Morris’ Erimem - who might both be unfamiliar to many fans - as well as Nicola Bryant’s Peri and Sophie Aldred’s Ace. In fact,

I would say that this Doctor-less story tops all four of the previous DWM ‘giveaway’ CDs,

all of which actually featured the Time Lord himself! I can’t think of a greater compliment

that I could pay to these four wonderful companions…


Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2006


E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.



No propositional guidance accompanied the release of this Doctor Who Magazine freebie. However, given

that Peri and Erimem have been sent on a mission of their own, it is likely that, for them, these events take place while the Doctor is involved in the events of The Gathering and Cuddlesome.


There are no significant clues to help determine a placement for Ace and Hex beyond that they are both in buoyant moods. We have therefore elected to place their involvement in this story between Night Thoughts and The Settling, which it was released between.


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