a real world point of view
|The Book of Kells|
|Main enemy:||The Monk|
|Main setting:||The Abbey of Kells, Kells, Meath, Ireland, 1006|
|Publisher:||Big Finish Productions|
|Release date:||30 September 2010|
|Format:||1 CD - 2 parts|
|The New Eighth Doctor Adventures|
The Book of Kells was the fourth release of the fourth series of The New Eighth Doctor Adventures.
Publisher's summary Edit
'Anyone who's prepared to kill for a book interests me.'
Ireland, 1006. Strange things have been happening at the isolated Abbey of Kells: disembodied voices, unexplained disappearances, sudden death. The monks whisper of imps and demons. Could the Lord of the Dead himself be stalking these hallowed cloisters?
The Doctor and his companion find themselves in the midst of a medieval mystery. At its heart is a book: perhaps the most important book in the world. The Great Gospel of Columkille. The Liber Columbae. The Book of Kells.
- The Eighth Doctor - Paul McGann
- Tamsin Drew - Niky Wardley
- Brother Bernard - Jim Carter
- King Sitric - Terrence Hardiman
- Abbot Thelonious (The Monk) - Graeme Garden
- Brother Patrick / Brother Timothy - Ryan Sampson
- Olaf Eriksson - Nick Brimble
- Brother Lucianus - Ash Hidminster
- Brother Bernard is the chief librarian at the Abbey of Kells.
- Olaf Eriksson mistakes Tamsin for a valkyrie.
- Abbot Thelonious' predecessor Abbot Anselm disappeared from the Abbey one night, leaving behind all of his belongings. Abbot Thelonious tells Brother Patrick that he left the Abbey "as monastic life isn't for everyone."
- In order to gain entry to the Abbey, Tamsin uses the alias of Sister Maria from Salzburg, Austria referencing Maria von Trapp from the 1965 musical film The Sound of Music. Forced to improvise, she tells Abbot Thelonious about the edelweiss, the mountains and the goat herds, all of which appear in the film. Furthermore, she claims that the Doctor is her apothecary.
- Tamsin refers to King Sitric Silkbeard, the Norse king of Dublin, as "King Citrus."
- Brother Timothy is the head illuminator in the scriptorium at the Abbey. Prior to his death, Brother Patrick was his partner.
- King Sitric spent three days riding to Dublin on his horse Sleipnir, who was named after the eight-legged horse Sleipnir from Norse mythology.
- Olaf suspects that Abbot Thelonious may favour Brian Boru, the King of Munster, in the aftermath of the Leinster Revolt of 1000.
- King Sitric has ruled Dublin since 989 but tells Brother Patrick that he has been little more than a lapdog to Brian Boru, who unlike him is Irish-born, since the Leinster Revolt. Although the Book of Kells was written on the Scottish island on Iona, it is a powerful symbol of Irishness. He is concerned that if Brian Boru gains possession of the book, he may be able to use it to gain control of Dublin and Ireland as a whole. Brother Bernard and Olaf Eriksson were plotting to protect the book to prevent Brian using it as a pawn in his political machinations.
- The Doctor tells Brother Bernard that there will be a second revolt in Leinster in several years time and advises him to stay away from Clontarf in 1014.
- Abbot Thelonious is revealed to be the Meddling Monk and his companion, Lucianus, is the alias of Lucie Miller. The Doctor initially believes that Brother Bernard is the Monk. The Doctor had previously believed that the Monk was dead.
- The Monk's alias "Abbot Thelonious" refers to the 20th century American musician and composer Thelonious Monk.
- The Monk has regenerated at least once since his previous encounter with the Doctor.
- At Lucianius' insistence, the Monk did not kill Abbot Anselm. Instead, he rendered him unconscious and smuggled him into his bedchamber, where he remained until the Monk departed the Abbey.
- A Vortisaur recently crashlanded in a barn near the Abbey of Kells. Shortly before its death, it immolated Brother Timothy. The monks used its hide to make vellum. Brother Patrick refers to it as "a winged demon" whereas Abbot Thelonius dismissed it as a strange looking bird.
- The Doctor uses a temporal spectroscope to scan for irregularities in the time space field so as to determine whether any other time travellers have been dragged to the Abbey in 1006. He detects a time eddy in the Abbey's library.
- The Monk has a Mark IV TARDIS, which is considerably more advanced than the Doctor's TARDIS.
- The Monk made a DIY time scoop. It is only calibrated for interstitial space.
- Using its fully functional chameleon circuit, the Monk's TARDIS disguises itself as a sarcophagus.
- The Monk employed the monks at the Abbey to create a new directional unit for his TARDIS, given that the First Doctor had stolen his previous one many years earlier.
- Brother Lucianus uses a vocoder to make her voice sound masculine.
Time travel Edit
- Tamsin refers to the Time Vortex as a "temporary whirlpool" rather than a "temporal wormhole."
- This story marks the first appearance of the Monk in an audio drama as well as his first appearance in performed Doctor Who since TV: The Daleks' Master Plan in 1966.
- Sheridan Smith is credited as 'Ash Hidminster' (an anagram) in the liner notes, to disguise the reappearance of Lucie.
- As the Doctor states, it is a matter of historical record that the Book of Kells was stolen from the Abbey of Kells in 1006. When it was recovered some weeks later, the gold and jewels of the cover were missing, along with several pages. This brief period was the only time that the Book of Kells was outside the monastery until it was placed on display in the Old Library of Trinity College, Dublin in the 19th century, where it remains today.
- Ryan Sampson (Brother Patrick / Brother Timothy) previously played Luke Rattigan in TV: The Sontaran Stratagem / The Poison Sky and would later play Father Thane in AUDIO: The Elite.
- Terrence Hardiman (King Sitric) previously played Hawthorne in TV: The Beast Below and would later play Reverend Dobbs in AUDIO: The Broken Crown and the Gryphon in AUDIO: Aladdin Time.
- Graeme Garden (The Monk) previously played Professor Ivor Fassbinder in AUDIO: Bang-Bang-A-Boom! and Geoffrey Vantage in AUDIO: Max Warp.
- Nick Brimble (Olaf Eriksson) previously played Shreeni in AUDIO: Exotron, the Kith in AUDIO: Max Warp and Dudley Jackson in AUDIO: The Eternal Summer.
- When the Doctor claims that the TARDIS has been thrown off course, Tamsin reminds him that "that is what [he] said last time." (AUDIO: Nevermore)
- The Doctor's former companion Charley Pollard kept a Vortisaur named Ramsay as a pet in the TARDIS for a brief period after it travelled through the Time Vortex and arrived on the British airship R101 on 5 October 1930. She named it after the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Ramsay MacDonald, whom it apparently resembled. (AUDIO: Storm Warning to Minuet in Hell)
- The Doctor once again superstitiously refers to Macbeth as "the Scottish Play." (AUDIO: Medicinal Purposes, The Next Life)
- The Seventh Doctor previously visited Ireland in September 1649 during Oliver Cromwell's sieges of Drogheda and Wexford in the company of Ace and Hex. (AUDIO: The Settling)
- The Doctor recalls his first encounter with the Monk in Northumbria in 1066 when he attempted to alter the outcome of the Battle of Hastings (TV: The Time Meddler) as well as their subsequent meetings on the volcano planet Tigus and in Egypt in 2650 BC (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan).
- The Doctor's last encounter with the Monk occurred in London in 1976 during his seventh incarnation. On that occasion, the Monk assisted the Vardans during their attempted invasion of Earth. (PROSE: No Future)
- The Monk refers to the Doctor stealing the directional unit from his TARDIS in Egypt, which caused him to be stranded on an ice planet, the name of which he never learned. He was eventually able to repair his TARDIS sufficiently to allow him to leave the planet, though he has not been able to replace the directional unit. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan)
- The Monk was the time traveller who organised the companion auditions in London in 2010 (AUDIO: Situation Vacant) and the "strange little man" who was responsible for the destruction of Corinth Minor (AUDIO: Nevermore).
- Lucie Miller left the Doctor in Blackpool on 25 December 2009 following the death of her aunt Patricia Ryder. (AUDIO: Death in Blackpool)
- Official The Book of Kells page at bigfinish.com
- Detailed synopsis of The Book of Kells at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- DisContinuity for The Book of Kells at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide