The Kingmaker (#81)

Big Finish Main Range

This is definitely one of the weaker historicals in the Big Finish cannon. The villain is Shakespeare??? And Peri and Erimem are trapped in England for 3 years? I do like that Marcus Hutton plays the Duke of Buckingham again, as in The Church and the Crown. Nice touch there. But the Doctor can’t find them in time? The parallel storylines is also a nice touch but it doesn’t really make the story any better. The fact that Shakespeare can fly the TARDIS is just not very believable and doesn’t fit into how Doctor Who works. That took me right out of the story as the TARDIS is supposedly a highly technical machine that no one but the Doctor can fly except if she lets them. I really don’t think the Doctor was so drunk as to explain how it works and Shakespeare THAT brilliant as to pick it all up so easily. And Shakespeare is portrayed here as conniving and underhanded, while he’s a decent and honest fellow in the TV show with David Tennant.

Just how does Shakespeare recover the use of his leg after it’s broken by a henchman? The Doctor figures out what Richard is trying to do and all shenanigans are brought to a screeching halt except that they aren’t and things get crazy again. The plot line is so erratic that it’s difficult to follow at times. This may be a result of not knowing British history and perhaps this whole story would be a lot funnier if I knew more of it. I do like the wrap up—Richard writes the stories and brings his two nieces along, Susan and Judith, the ex-princes. Peri is a bit overly gullible as she thinks the Master is involved and the prince is a robot. Not her usual style of thinking things through at all. And do you mean to tell me that Erimem would fit right into English life in the 1400s? Is her hair long enough for that? I’m just not convinced though I do love how droll Stephen Beckett plays up Richard. Ultimately, it’s just too much of a muddle to really earn better than a three jelloid good rating.

Peter Davison, Nicola Bryant, and Caroline Morris

Writers: Nev Fountain

Director: G-Russell

Release: April 2006

Laura Vilensky 2019