The Ravelli Conspiracy (3.3)

Big Finish, The Early Adventures, Season 3

Strangely, the interviews for this story are most intriguing for they actually reveal things about how the actors felt about the script. Instead of the usual platitudes about it being great. Every one can’t be great now, can it? Peter Purves admits that it works better when spoken than just read on the page. And both he and Maureen O’Brien thought it was rather amusing when completed. I’m not sure where they get that idea… Maybe because the out of control, facist type brother, Guiliano de Medici, is held in check by his effeminate brother, Pope Leo X? I found this story rather disturbing in many ways so perhaps I just couldn’t see past that.

The Doctor, Vicki, and Steven arrive in a villa while en route to a 28th Century Olympics. They decide to go exploring on Vicki’s request, despite the times. Historically, historicals never work out well for the TARDIS team. So of course Steven, Vicki, and the TARDIS are hauled off to prison as they’re found in Machiavelli’s house. And despite his seeming helpful nature, Machiavelli is a devious scamp and were it not for the steadying influence of Pope Leo X, the TARDIS team would all be dead in Florence, Italy within 10 minutes of the story beginning.

Overall, it’s an interesting story with lots of intrigue. But there are a couple jump cuts that really just don’t make sense, always around Vicki. At the start, the team wanders out of the TARDIS together then suddenly, they’re separated in the house and being carted away. Huh? And at the end, Vicki’s talking to the Pope, who fancies her as a sort of consort then suddenly doesn’t, trying to convince him to come to the library instead of leave. But the point at which he’s convinced is completely left out and we’re suddenly in the library with all of the parties involved gathered together. Interesting story but very odd at points.

Maureen O'Brien(Vicki),Peter Purves(Steven Taylor/The Doctor/Narrator),Mark Frost(Niccolo Machiavelli),Jamie Ballard(Guiliano de Medici),Robert Hands(Pope Leo X),Olivia Poulet(Carla),Joe Bor(Guard Captain). Other parts portrayed by the cast.

Writers: Robert Khan and Tom Salinsky

Director: Lisa Bowerman

Release: November 2016

Laura Vilensky 2019