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135e 'The Church and the Crown'

CD audio adventure released November 2002, 4 episodes

Writers: Cavan Scott & Mark Wright
Director: Gary Russell

Roots: Dumas' The Three Musketeers and Richard Lester's 1970s film versions. The Doctor paraphrases Baden-Powell's observed Ghanan saying ('softly softly catchee Peri') The Prisoner of Zenda/The Prince and the Pauper - look-alikes switched for aristocracy.

Intertextuality: Mention is made once more to Barastabon (c.f. 'Project:Twilight' et al). The Braxiatel Collection's location on the asteroid KS159 comes from the BF Bernice Summerfield range

The Doctor's comments on the nature of history paraphrases the one in the prologue to the Target version of The Crusaders. Peri's dream to backpack around the globe before meeting the Doctor was first mooted in Matthew Jones' New Adventure Bad Therapy.

Goofs: Why has it not been apparent previously to the Doctor that Peri resembles Queen Anne?

The Doctor identifies Buckingham as the Prime Minister of England, a post which was not created until 1721.

Dialogue Triumphs: 'All for one!' '-what?' '...never mind...'

Dialogue Disasters: Buckingham's extended (and tortured) metaphor: 'Do you smell it in the air, men? Victory - and it's in our grasp. It's so tangible I can almost touch it!' [er, that's what 'tangible' means...]

Double Entendres: 'Sheath, gentlemen!'

'You are very attractive, Peri.' Not so innocent given that this line comes from Erimem!

Continuity: This story appears to take place directly following 'The Eye of the Scorpion' (the intended destination was the Braxiatel Collection) and covers two days. Peri was once offered horse-riding lessons, but didn't take them. She apparently has a talent for fashion. She tells Erimem that she gets goose bumps whenever the TARDIS lands. She looks exactly like Queen Anne, apparently, but Anne's nose is crooked.

The Doctor can ride a horse (but is reluctant to use a sword this time). In his pockets he carries a tiddlywink, a lifetime membership of the MCC and some gold dust (It seems the only time he doesn't carry gold dust is when he actually encounters Cybermen...). He contemplates replacing his celery again. At the end of this tale he becomes an honourary musketeer and king's guard.

The Doctor has now pretty much given up the concept of non-interference in history. He now accepts that all of his actions are now a part of history.

Untelevised Adventures: The Doctor knew Buckingham's grandfather and met Louis XIII in 1637 (the Doctor says he's had a 'nip and tuck' since then, so presumably this was in a previous incarnation). He was present when Phillippe Auguste laid the cornice stone for the Louvre in the Twelfth Century and once had to smuggle a drunk François Bouchet into the building through its hidden tunnels. The Doctor claims [jokes?] that he once knew a Visigoth who owned a sword. Manacled by Buckingham, he regrets not having listened to Houdini (see: 'Links'). He gave Dumas notes on the first draft of The Three Musketeers. The Doctor has visited the Louvre since its modern retrofit with the glass pyramid (post 'City of Death'?) and doesn't like it.

Links: 'Eye of the Scorpion', The Doctor mentions K9, Houdini ('Planet of the Spiders' and 'Revenge of the Cybermen'), and the Braxiatel Collection ('City of Death').

Location: Paris, 1626.

Bottom Line: 'She looks nothing like me!'

A fast-paced historical comedy, mixing together political intrigue and sword fighting action. Admittedly it relies on the well-used premise of a Doctor or companion having an exact look-alike, but this is not over-used. Despite the political intrigue, the story is still easy to follow and is kept light with the almost comical duo of swashbucklers ('The Swashbucklers' being an earlier title for this audio). An enjoyable story, and a good innings for all three TARDIS inhabitants. - it's good to hear that Erimem's military prowess hasn't been forgotten!

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