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< 37. The Sandman
39. Bang-Bang-A-Boom! >

38. The Church and the Crown

Rating Votes
10
11%
15
9
16%
22
8
37%
50
7
18%
25
6
13%
17
5
4%
5
4
1%
2
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
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Average Rating
7.8
Votes
136
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 6/27/17 1:07 am
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

This is a fun, fairly low-stakes historical adventure. It's got quite a different tone from "The Eye of the Scorpion". In that previous story, war is a terrible, destructive force. But this story is operating the vein on "The Three Musketeers" and other tales of high adventure. War is an enjoyable pastime for a gentleman. Violence is a welcome distraction on a boring Saturday afternoon.

This story plays on that peculiar "Doctor Who" trope of doppelgangers popping up out of the blue. Like the Doctor resembled the Abbott of Amboise (or, later, Salamander),so Peri just happens to resemble Queen Anne of Austria, wife of King Louis XIII of France. People randomly running into doppelgangers for no reason is a weird trupe, and yet thanks to "The Prisoner of Zenda", it feels right at home. The script makes adequate use of the conceit (Peri being mistaken for the Queen and kidnapped, for example, which motivates the Doctor to get involved with the story).

But the whole thing feels rather insubstantial, and to make matters worse, the jokes aren't exactly fresh either. But if you're in the right frame of mind, this a fun and frolicking tea-time adventure. A particular highlight, I believe, is Erimem. Even outside her own environment, she has a very strong sense of self. Instead of adapting herself into the narrow role of companion, Erimem brings her experiences into the story. In her first proper story since being introduced, she's definitely making an impression.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 9/26/16 2:33 am
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

A good historical that manages to achieve quite a bit for a single story. The story itself is interesting as it tries to bring listeners the real musketeers and the real Cardinal Richelieu. The parts about Richelieu is interesting as we find he's a sincere man trying to achieve unity in France while dealing with a childish King and a difficult political situation. Of course, that doesn't mean he's saintly. He's determined and can threaten violence with ease. But he's a far more interesting character Dumas paints him to be in novels.

Nicola Bryant does a good job in her double role as Peri and Queen Anne. The story also has some great humorous moments, that really work well particularly in the final two episodes.

At the same, Erimem really shows her worth as a companion. She holds her own in King Louie's court, on the battlefield, and with the musketeers. She's clearly a force to be reckoned with and the sister act that Peri and Erimem have going on is a lot of fun. Overall, a delightful story.

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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 12/14/15 8:48 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Something about this story just feels the slightest bit off. This may be due to the fact that Project: Twilight was such a dark story and The Church and the Crown while not being comedy by any means, it does have a much lighter tone than Scott and Wright’s last efforts to Doctor Who. It could also be due to the fact that there are several moments in this story where it feels like it was meant for the Sixth Doctor. I mean it isn’t completely out of character but the Doctor is called the court jester and he acts much more arrogantly in several actions. It feels like this story was rewritten and well done except for those telltale signs that there was something it was meant to be in an earlier draft of the story that was just never really taken out of the script. I have really no problems with its plot as it is a historical story which I like but it feels almost like The Reign of Terror or The Highlanders, good stories, but nothing with an actual purpose except to explore the time period. Heck it blatantly rips off plot points from Black Orchid which works a lot better here because the characters aren’t used as damsels in distress to move the plot along as the plot is already pretty thick.





The story sees the Doctor and Peri land in France with Erimem during the time of Louis XIV and Cardinal Richelieu. The musketeers and cardinal’s guards are almost at war with each other with duels happening every day in the streets while Queen Ann has arrived and looks just like Peri and the Duke of Buckingham is getting ready to invade all while Louis is holding a masquerade ball. Again see quite a few similarities with Black Orchid especially with Peri being mistaken for the Queen and being captured for portions of the story. This is still the weakest of the aspects of the story, but it is by no means bad. I can only describe it as average and if it wasn’t for the atmosphere of the story along with some fine acting we could be looking at a failure of a story.





The atmosphere however is nothing bad as every second outside the TARDIS, be it down to the music playing in the background or just some of the sound effects just pulls you into the idea that this is France. The masquerade scenes feel like a masquerade and you can imagine the beautiful costuming in this story. Gareth Jenkin’s sound design for exterior scenes sounds like an Enlightenment era score and Russell Stone’s music points this out completely with a lot of strings. Gary Russell is also great at directing the story which I actually quite like unlike his direction in The Sandman which just felt a bit too flat for my tastes.





The acting in this story is also a joy with Nicola Bryant working her hardest as Peri and Queen Ann, switching accents between lines of dialogue and still contributing to the story. Here we flesh out her relationship with Erimem as they can now laugh at each other as they get into all sorts of trouble. Caroline Morris is great as the naïve Erimem. She wants to learn about the universe as she has the world opening her eyes, but she is still a brilliant diplomat as she name drops like hell and gets her and the Doctor in good with Louis who is really just incompetent and pompous. I also have to make note to mention Maurice the beggar who is there for a little bit of comedy, but it is some of the funniest lines that I have heard and it had me in stitches.

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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
5
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
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Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 9/9/15 9:24 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The Church and the Crown is a pure historical and was written by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright, and directed by Gary Russell. It features original Musketeers, not those created by Alexandre Dumas. Russell Stone's 17th century lute music mixed with fairly modern synths is a bit dated sounding but this was recorded on 5 and 6 September 2002 at The Moat Studios.

The time travelling trio of the Doctor, Peri and Erimem (an uncrowned Pharaoh from ancient Egypt and newly joined member of the crew) land in 17th century Paris and are soon separated from Peri as she is snatch when her abductors confuse her with Queen Anne. The Doctor and Erimem become embroiled in local politics and an attempt to assassinate the Queen.

Nicola always gives a good performance whilst getting to play Queen Anne Lake as well. How people can mistake Queen Anne for Peri when she starts sounding like a Gangster's Moll I don't know. The Doctor tries to warn Peri that it may not be safe to go off but she brushes off his warnings. Does that sound like Peri to you? In the final episode there is a conversation in some tunnels where Peri asks "How do we know this wasn't the way it was supposed to happen? We could be changing history!" I imagine her next question if the conversation had been allowed to run would be "How do I know I am really me?" Isn't it accepted convention in the time travel genre that in order to change history you have to aim for the opposite of what you remember it to be?

Davison is always capable but I can’t say that I am particularly sold on the idea of Erimem and Caroline Morris strikes me as distinctly average. Michael Shallard voiced Cardinal Richelieu with a silly nasal quality that gives his performance a slightly comic quality and the King is painted as a petulant child. In fact almost all the supporting actors are very caricature which makes it hard to take completely seriously at times. The vein of comedy that runs through this play is reminiscent of 'the Romans' or 'the Gunfighters'

This a pretty average affair with competent acting and writing, but the dialogue is a little average and the music is a bit dated, there are also occasional dashes of humour.