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A rip-roaring swashbuckling adventure from Big Finish Productions  

Audio - The Church and the Crown
The Church and the Crown
(Cavan Scott and
Mark Wright)

 The release for November 2002 is "The Church and the Crown". It was originally titled "The Swashbucklers" and was a replacement for "Nekromanteia", by Austen Atkinson, which had to be delayed until February 2003. "The Church and the Crown" was also originally due to be released in October but it swapped places with "The Sandman".

 "The Church and the Crown" marks the return of the writing team of Cavan Scott and Mark Wright to the Big Finish Productions Doctor Who audios, who previously wrote their successful debut story "Project: Twilight". This time though they have delivered something completely different: a pure historical adventure that has the hallmarks of being influenced by The Three Musketeers.

 It features the same cast as "Nekromanteia" of Peter Davison, Nicola Bryant and Caroline Morris as the Fifth Doctor, Peri and Erimem and will now be the first actual adventure with former Egyptian Pharaoh Erimem as a companion since her debut story "The Eye of the Scorpion". This story sees The Doctor and his two female companions visiting 17th Century Paris where trouble - inevitably - waits for them.

 Also starring are: Andrew Mackay, Michael Shallard, Marcus Hutton, Peter John, Andy Coleman, Robert Curbishley and Wendy Albiston. It is directed by Gary Russell and was recorded on the 5th and 6th September 2002.



 The peace in Paris, under the reign of Louis XIII, is regularly breached by skirmishes between the King's musketeers - like the flamboyant Delmarre and Rouffet - and the personal guards of Louis' chief minister, Richelieu.

 As the two King's Musketeers find themselves confronted by a mob of the Cardinal's Guards it is readily apparent that Paris is not a very peaceful city.

 So when the temperamental TARDIS, makes another off-course landing a few thousand years off course, and deposits The Doctor and his two female companions in the 17th Century French capital, they can hardly escape the friction between the monarchy and the man of God.

 Shouldn't The Doctor know better than to encourage his companion Peri and their travelling guest Erimem take a look around the city on the morning of King Louis' annual State Ball?

 Why does Peri feel that everyone - including Richelieu - is reacting strangely to her? What intrigue is the Duke of Buckingham planning and how will Pharoah Erimem fare in an unfamiliar court? How dangerous will the King and Cardinal's own skirmishes become and does anyone know the whereabouts of Queen Anne?

Fifth Doctor
Fifth Doctor
 As Peri becomes embroiled in a plot to kill Queen Anne and smash the unity of the Church and the Crown, The Doctor's first meeting with the story's hero Musketeers causes a misunderstanding which leads, inevitably, to a challenge to a duel. The Doctor may claim that he knows a thing or three about the novelised musketeers, but what happens when he runs into some real ones?

 With Richelieu determined to achieve what's best for France, irrespective of whether his King approves or not and with his guards' loyalty not being extended towards Louis' queen, Anne of Austria there is a deep division between Cardinal Richelieu and King Louis XIII.

Caroline Morris
Caroline Morris
 As King Louis anxiously awaits Anne's return he, along with everyone else in Paris, is unaware that a look-a-like has already arrived. Then after a chance meeting Peri finds herself kidnapped and in a far great danger then she realises. And with Erimem in danger too The Doctor has rather a lot of things to do to save his travelling companions from certain death.

 As the breakdown of the relationship between Cardinal Richelieu and King Louis escalate significantly there is a much greater risk that the country will become even more divided between the two factions that they represent. However, could the conflict actually be manipulated by an outside source? The Doctor is in a race to discover the truth before it's too late.

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

 Highly likely if The Doctor is involved...
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  • Featuring the Fifth Doctor, Peri and Erimem.
  • Serial Number: 6Q/C
  • Number of Episodes: 4
  • Cover Length: 105 minutes
  • Episode Lengths: 1 = 23'28", 2 = 30'25", 3 = 21'09", 4 = 27'42"
  • Total Story Length: 102'44"
  • This story takes place between "Planet of Fire" and "The Caves of Androzani", and follows "The Eye of the Scorpion".
  • Early Titles: "The Musketeers" and "The Swashbucklers".
  • Cover Illustration: Clayton Hickman
  • Recorded: 5th and 6th September 2002
  • Recording Location: The Moat Studios
  • Released: November 2002
  • ISBN: 1-903654-75-0

On the Back Cover:

   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?


On the Inside Cover:

 YOU KNOW, TIME TRAVEL is supposed to be fun. From watching the Fifth Doctor's era on TV, you may have missed that bit. The TARDIS crew of the time were a whining bunch of kids who spent most of the time arguing whilst the Universe tapped its foot, looked at its watch and waited to be saved. Nobody seemed to want to be there. And let's not get started on Turlough.

 Writing The Church and the Crown was a particular pleasure for many reasons. Firstly, Mark got to write for his favourite Doctor (Cav got to do that last time), along with Peri, one of the missed opportunities for a Doctor/companion team. Secondly, we were able to play in a world of swashbuckling adventure, romance and double cross, a real love since first watching Richard Lester's filmic spin on The Three Musketeers in our youth.

 Finally, The Church and the Crown sees Caroline Morris as cosmopolitan Pharaoh around town, Erimem, embarking on her first adventure as a member of the TARDIS crew proper, and the Fifth Doctor finally getting two companions who can stand to be in the same room together. lain, we hope we did your girl proud.

 Oh, and for those wondering, the vampires don't turn up until the end of episode three this time.
Cavan Scott & Mark Wright,
September 2002

 Mark Wright lives in London. Cavan Scott lives in Bath. Thankfully some bright spark invented email, thus enabling these two miscreants to work on this, their second Big Finish audio drama – their previous was called Project: Twilight. They also wrote a Bernice Summerfield short story for the Dead Men Diaries anthology, entitled Christmas Spirit. These men are dangerous and the public are advised to steer well clear.

Production Notes:

 The Church and the Crown emerged one evening from conversations that took place regarding a possible sequel to the writers' previous audio, Project: Twilight. Another Fifth Doctor script had been delayed and a replacement was needed, thus preliminary discussions were halted on what would eventually become Project: Lazarus and once it had been decided that a pure historical was required, Mark was very keen on a pastiche of The Three Musketeers or, in particular, Bichard Lester's wonderful movie version from the late Seventies. One further twist on this was giving Nicola Bryant an opportunity to shine even brighter than she normally does as Peri...

Full Cast List:

The Doctor Peter Davison
Peri Nicola Bryant
Erimem Caroline Morris
De Chevreuse (A Lady-in-Waiting) Wendy Albiston
Rouffet (A Musketeer) Andy Coleman
Morand (A Captain) Robert Curbishley
Buckingham (An English Duke) Marcus Hutton
Delmarre (A Musketeer) Peter John
Louis (A King) Andrew Mackay
Richelieu (A Cardinal) Michael Shallard

The Production Team:

Writer Cavan Scott
and Mark Wright
Director Gary Russell
Sound/Music Russell Stone
Theme Music Mark Ayres
and Alistair Lock
Producers Gary Russell and
Jason Haigh-Ellery
Executive Producer for the BBC Jaqueline Rayner
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