Customer Review

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent historical romp, 17 Oct 2006
This review is from: The Church and the Crown (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
"A nation divided

"A Queen's life at risk

"A net of conspiracy closing in...

"Sometimes being a time travelling adventurer just isn't easy...

"For a start there's a temperamental TARDIS that lands a few thousand years off course in 17th Century Paris. But why shouldn't the Doctor, Peri and their travelling guest Erimem take a look around the city on the morning of King Louis' annual State Ball?

"As Peri becomes embroiled in a plot to kill Queen Anne and smash the unity of the Church and the Crown, the Doctor finds himself duelling Musketeers on the streets.

"With Peri missing, Erimem catching King Louis' eye and a Musketeer's sword at your throat, could things get any worse?

"Probably..."

"The Church and the Crown", by Cavan Scott & Mark Wright, is an engaging historical adventure, somewhat more apocryphal than the historicals of the Hartnell years but much in the same vein - there is no sci-fi on offer here despite the Doctor, his companions and their arrival in the TARDIS.

As such new companion Erimem, as opposed to falling into the clichéd "bewildered new companion" role, instead gets to show her strength of character by bluffing her way ino the guise of "Princess Erimem of Carnak", and actively helps the Doctor as events become more chaotic, gaining his respect to the extent that he feels able to leave her keeping an eye on things back at King Louis' palace whilst he goes off to set the world to rights, and in the process earning a permanent role in the TARDIS crew. "The Church and the Crown" is a good showing for Caroline Morris' character.

"The Church and the Crown" contains a supporting cast largely of unknowns, with no particular "special guest star". However, there's not a bad performance among them. Andrew Mackay sounds a lot like Simon Pegg in the role of the arrogant and petulant King Louis, and Michael Shallard puts in an excellent performance as the sneering Cardinal Richelieu. Nicola Bryant also deserves a special mention for her double role as Peri and Queen Anne, and in the case of the latter Bryant gets to perform in something closer to her natural accent for once, which is very refreshing.

The script is strong and features a good mixture of humour and adventure. "The Church and the Crown" is best described as a romp rather than an emotional masterpiece, but it's a very well-written romp and is most definitely above average.
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4.5 out of 5 stars (6 customer reviews)
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