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The Marian Conspiracy (Doctor Who) Audio CD – Audiobook, 30 Mar 2000


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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Big Finish Productions Ltd (30 Mar 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903654173
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903654170
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 12.4 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 406,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jacqueline Rayner is happy to write thousands upon thousands of words of fiction, but has just spent over an hour trying to think of something to say about herself for this biography. She has written books about Doctor Who, Merlin and other TV series, and even some books that aren't connected to TV series at all. She lives in Essex with her husband and twin sons, and spends a lot of time thinking of ways to raise money for http://letsdoitforme.blogspot.com/

About Quick Reads:

"I've been lucky enough to write two Quick Reads, Doctor Who: The Sontaran Games in 2009 and Doctor Who: Magic of the Angels in 2012. Quick Reads is a wonderful initiative providing short, easy-to-read books for people who struggle to find the time for longer works or find them daunting. They aim to open up the world of words for those who've forgotten or never knew how much fun reading can be.

"I have a special reason to love Quick Reads. A few years ago, during a particularly bad bout of ill health, I found myself too unwell to read. This lasted for several months, and as someone who has spent almost every spare second reading for as long as I can remember, it was incredibly frustrating. Then one day my husband came home with a copy of Chickenfeed, a Quick Read by one of my favourite authors, Minette Walters. Slowly, page by page in my sick bed, I managed to get through it. The realisation that reading wasn't lost to me after all is something I'll always be grateful to Quick Reads for."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Wilberforce on 11 April 2006
Format: Audio CD
"Tracking a nexus point in time, the Doctor meets Dr Evelyn Smythe, a history lecturer whose own history seems to be rapidly vanishing.
"The Doctor must travel back to Tudor times to stabilise the nexus and save Evelyn's life. But there he meets the Queen of England - and must use all his skills of diplomacy to avoid ending up on the headman's block."
Big Finish's second Sixth Doctor audio adventure distances itself somewhat from the TV series, with a brand new companion in Evelyn Smythe and a less cantankerous version of Colin Baker's character. The Marian Conspiracy, written by Jacqueline Rayner, is the Big Finish series' first true Hartnell-style historical, with a bare minimum of sci-fi being used as the premise for the Doctor and Evelyn to get into trouble in Tudor England, here under the rein of the fanatical Catholic Queen Mary (in a sound reading by Anah Ruddin).
Maggie Stables' Evelyn Smythe is completely different from any of the Doctor's previous companions: at fifty-five, Evelyn is a middle-aged busybody whose ability to witter on and willpower is a match for even the Doctor himself. Evelyn is able to cope with anything events throw at her, apart of course from her near encounters with oblivion as her history begins to unravel. She is an entertaining character that could equally become tiresome; I will be interested to see what path Big Finish take with her in future stories.
The story of The Marian Conspiracy is simple but entertaining. An able cast play the supporting characters with no particular standouts but good performances all round. As mentioned, Colin Baker's Doctor has mellowed, but he still has many of the mannerisms familiar from the TV series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 July 2006
Format: Audio CD
The continuing redemption of the sixth doctor into a character who works well gets a great step forward here with the debut of his companion evelyn smythe, middle aged history professor. Superbly played by the redoubtable maggie stables, she and colin baker form a wonderful partnership.

An interesting plot takes them to the days of queen mary, and provides us with some fascinating history. There are science fictional aspects that don't really go anywhere, but the historical element gives us strong and well acted characters, and makes this an excellent listen
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Keen Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER on 2 Jun 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this, the first story with Evelyn Smythe as the Doctor's ... companion? I'm not sure she'd put up with being referred to as that - she's a great character. I have heard several of the later stories with Evelyn and have gone back to the earlier stories, because I have enjoyed the development of her character, and the wonderful way in which the character is portrayed by Maggie Stables.

The Sixth Doctor, brash as usual, really seems as if he has may have met his match in Evelyn - she certainly gives him a run for his money and keeps him in line. But they get on well, and that's evident right from the start of this first story. The Doctor gets in trouble in Evelyn's history lecture for making a noise, and when his search for a dangerous time nexus seems to lead directly to Evelyn herself, well ... she packs her cocoa and her toothbrush and insists on going with him to sort it out.

The story is a timely reminder of the threats when travelling in Earth's history - what seems obvious to us (or to Evelyn as a history professor) is not so obvious when you're actually in Tudor times - the troubles of Queen Mary Tudor are handled empathetically and with compassion ... she is never demonised in this story, and I found that refreshing. The Frenchman de Noaille is Gallicly fiendish, and the Protestants and the Catholics are suitably entrenched - but the Doctor and Evelyn manage to find their way around Tudor England and leave things, perhaps, better than they were before. But it's sad to see that the insecurities of Queen Mary have, by the end of the story, been magnified into complete paranoia - a forerunner of her tragic legacy coming to its time.

Whiel a serious story, there are glimmers of humour, and it's all handled very well. A great story, and a great start to a partnership with the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn - looking forward to hearing even more stories from this duo.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Timelord007 TOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 Jun 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Marian Conspiracy.
Doctor: Sixth Doctor.
Companion Dr. Evelyn Smythe.
Main enemy: Queen Mary I, Reverend Thomas Smith, Francois de Noailles.
Main setting: Sheffield, 2000, London, January 1555.
Writer: Jacqueline Rayner.
Director: Gary Russell.
Producer: Jason Haigh-Ellery, Gary Russell.
Format: 4 Episodes on 2 CDs.
Running time 120 minutes.

Cast.
The Doctor - Colin Baker.
Dr. Evelyn Smythe - Maggie Stables.
Reverend Thomas Smith - Nicholas Pegg.
The Queen - Anah Ruddin.
Lady Sarah - Jo Castleton.
Francois de Noailles - Barnaby Edwards.
George Crow - Sean Jackson.
John Wilson - Gary Russell.
William Leaf - Jez Fielder.
Royal Guard - Alistair Lock.

Trivia.
1)The Doctor once again uses his well worn alias, Dr John Smith, to gain access to the Queen's inner circle.
2)The Doctor does some serious name dropping during this story, mentioning meetings with Socrates, Sir Francis Drake, Henry VIII, Lady Jane Grey (whom he met in the Tower of London), William Cecil & Queen Elizabeth I.
3)Evelyn was once married, but left her husband after a row about her attendance at an academic conference on the day of their anniversary, Her specialty is Tudor political history, She can pick locks with a hairpin after years of dealing with students who have locked themselves out of their rooms & she has a pathological love of cocoa & cakes.
4)The Sixth Doctor previously visited 16th century London at least twice, both times in the company of Peri Brown. (Audio: Point of Entry, Audio: Recorded Time)
5)Queen Mary refers to her late stepmother, Anne Boleyn, the mother of her younger half-sister Elizabeth, as a "harlot.
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