This episode introduces a new original companion, Erimem.
Due to the TARDIS suddenly going haywire, the Fifth Doctor and Peri are shot back in time a few days and end up in Ancient Egypt. They immediately save the life of a girl named Erimem. Once they've gotten her safely to Thebes, she turns out to be Princess Erimemushinteperem, who's about to become Pharaoh Erimemushinteperem.
Since Erimem's father had a few sons before she was born, she wasn't even in line for the throne until all her brothers (as well as her father Amenhotep II) quite suddenly died in rapid succession. She's not at all thrilled with the idea of being Pharaoh, especially since she'd much rather chill out with her subjects, she hates being bowed to, she's an atheist, and oh, there's an attack on her life which the Doctor just barely manages to draw onto himself. The attacker claims that Erimem is not the rightful heir to the throne, and Erimem's coronation is halted while the high court investigates the claim.
While Five gets acquainted again with his old friends, deadly poison and the floor, Peri and Erimem investigate the Palace of Concubines. They find a bunch of hidden passageways, as well as a scorpion army. Since scorpions don't usually attack in groups, let alone form land bridges by standing on top of each other, something's very wrong. Eventually, an all-out war threatens to erupt between Egypt and a group of stranded psychic aliens, who use Peri as their transmission device. These aliens have infiltrated the high court and manage to convince its members that a nice young guy, Fayum, is secretly the son of Pharaoh and therefore the rightful heir to the throne. The Doctor manages to convince them otherwise, by using the aliens' psychic enhancer and telepathically re-programming his TARDIS to block out the sun, which is what caused her to go haywire at the start of the episode.
The Doctor eventually defeats the aliens by literally confusing them senseless, and traps the alien consciousness inside the mind of a temple cat. He has some bad news for Erimem, though: he knows the names of all Pharaos by heart, and she's not on the list. It suits her fine, since she figures space is much more interesting than Egypt, and Fayum will make a great Pharaoh instead. She takes the cat along and follows the Doctor into the TARDIS.
- Ancient Egypt: The story is set there, circa 1400 B.C.
- Animal Motifs
- Assassin Outclassin'
- Bat Out of Hell
- Call-Forward: An unintentional one; there's a pool in the library.
- Chase Scene: With chariots!
- Continuity Nod: The Doctor tells Peri that he "was at a bash they threw for Nero once."
- Peri mentions meeting the Doctor and Turlough.
- Convenient Eclipse: The Doctor engineers one.
- The Corruption
- Cyanide Pill: The Assassin
- Deep Sleep: After the Doctor has been poisoned.
- Evil Chancellor
- Fan Service Extra: There's several topless girls in the court. Apparently.
- The Glomp:"Yes, erm. Please let go, you're crushing my ribs."
- God Pharaoh
- Gorgeous Period Dress
- Hidden Backup Prince
- Hive Mind
- Human Sacrifice
- I Am Legion: Peri
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: See also, Talking the Monster to Death,
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Kishik."My Lord, we are winning! Forward, cut them to pieces, sli—" *TWANG!*
- Mathematician's Answer:Doctor: "I don't believe you've told us who you are?"Girl (Erimem): "No. No I haven't."
- Male Gaze: The Dancer girls are subject to this.
- The Man Behind the Curtain: The Doctor briefly becomes this, with the eclipse.
- The Mole: An unintentional one
- Moment Killer: Peri's getting exited about the banquet, until the Doctor mentions he's never heard of a Pharaoh Erimem.
- Only a Flesh Wound: The Doctor gets stabbed, but discards it.
- Poisoned Weapons: He shouldn't've.
- Prophecy Twist: The Doctor does not remember there ever having been a female Pharaoh named Erimem. He thinks this means she is bound to die before ascending to the throne, but she ends up traveling with the Doctor instead.
- Pun: "No more boar for me. I don't want to pig out."
- Royal Harem: Of Erimem's father.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Erimem
- Slipping a Mickey: Peri suffers this done by The Doctor.
- Stable Time Loop: The incident in the TARDIS at the start of the story is a result of the Doctor using a telepathic device to make the TARDIS block out the sun and mimic a solar eclipse to prove that Erimem is Pharaoh.
- The Swarm: Of scorpions.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Well, they survive, but they're rendered harmless.
- Tongue Trauma
- Unwitting Pawn: Peri ends up being one.
- Whip It Good: Yannis.