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The Galileo Trap was the third story of Doom Coalition 1, produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by Marc Platt and featured Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, Nicola Walker as Liv Chenka and Hattie Morahan as Helen Sinclair and Mark Bonnar as The Eleven.

It saw the first appearance of Galileo Galilei in Doctor Who media since The Empire of Glass and showed his friendship with the Eighth Doctor. It was also the first appearance of a historical character in the Eighth Doctor Adventures since Sitric Silkbeard in The Book of Kells.

Publisher's summary[]

Helen Sinclair doesn't know what hit her. One moment she was trapped in a dead-end job in 1960s London, and now she is transported back to Renaissance Italy over three centuries before. Florence is a city in turmoil. A new plague stalks the streets. A ferocious behemoth rampages through the vineyards. And Galileo Galilei, celebrated scientist, astronomer and old friend of the Doctor, is imprisoned in his own villa for heresy.

But why has Galileo summoned the Doctor? Who are the mysterious Fortuna and Cleaver? Why have they been sent to Earth? And what is Galileo's secret? Is it the last thing he saw before he went blind?


A young man flees from something to a hospital where a monk closes the doors, being at full capacity due to the plague. The man runs elsewhere but is caught and screams.

Count Licori asks Captain Cavalli about Massimo da Riva, who reportedly deals in strange creatures. Liv and Helen wander Florence and are almost run over by Count Licori before the Doctor returns to them, having had no luck finding Galileo.

Count Licori and Captain Cavalli hunt a bloodhog, supplied by da Riva. Captain Cavalli seems suspicious of the merchant and, once he has gone, says that the hunt is up.

The Doctor has learnt from the prison that Galileo is living under house arrest in Arcetri some leagues from Florence. Liv comes across a wounded boy and gives him some antiseptic whilst the Doctor gives his mother some peaches.

The hunt continues and Count Licori is injured by the bloodhog.

Helen reads a man's tombstone, excited by her ability to read Latin, and meets da Riva, who takes notice of her watch and asks to know where she is really from. He leaves as the Doctor and Liv arrive and remind Helen that they are looking for Galileo.

Galileo is fed by his daughter, Virginia, and tells her to read his own Discourses and Mathematical Demonstrations to him. He thought that he heard an animal in the night.

The Doctor, Liv and Helen walk to Arcetri and meet Captain Cavalli, who tells them of Count Licori's death and mentions his knowledge of snapshots. The trio arrive at the home of Galileo, who remembers the Doctor in an older incarnation and tells him that his message was made under duress and was a warning to keep him away from 1639.

Captain Cavalli enters da Riva's house and confronts him about feeding on humans and unleashing a bloodhog. Da Riva reveals himself to be Volkbrood and unleashes his pet morgrahound Heracles upon him. Captain Cavalli is mauled to death.

Helen asks Liv if joining the Doctor was the right idea and Liv responds by telling her that it is simply culture shock. They hear an unearthly animal in the distance and Virginia lets them in whilst the Doctor is talking to Galileo, who changes the subject once Virginia returns. She serves food, including magentas which the Doctor and Helen recognise as being extraterrestrial, and Galileo tells the Doctor that he has discovered another planet.

Da Riva meets Virginia, whose real name is Fortuna. She admonishes him for the death of Count Licori and tells him that the Doctor has arrived.

Galileo tells the Doctor about the planet that he discovered in 1637 between Mercury and the Sun, which he has named Phaiton and which caused his blindness. Da Riva and Fortuna come upstairs for the Doctor, whom Galileo unsuccessfully attempts to protect by claiming that he is an impostor. The Doctor tells Liv and Helen to run and is tied up by da Riva.

Liv and Helen encounter a creature and are saved by Cavalli 2, a cyborg who downloaded all of the previous Cavalli's memories. He tells them that da Riva is a criminal called Cleaver and shows them terracotta pots containing children, marked with the same wound as the begging woman's son, which he believes are used as dog food.

Cleaver and Fortuna wait to hand over the Doctor to their client. Cleaver admits that he has been feeding on the souls of humans and intends on staying in Italy once he has handed the Doctor over, although Fortuna has no intention of doing so.

Liv and Helen board Cleaver's spaceship with Cavalli 2 and find a collection of art and weapons. Helen opens a door and unwittingly releases a number of morgrahounds. Meanwhile, Cleaver reveals himself as Volkbrood, which comes as no surprise to the Doctor. Cavalli 2 shoots one morgrahound whilst the other runs off, but one of his arms has been bitten off.

The Doctor tricks Fortuna and switches places with her, allowing him to escape. He takes a helmet off of Galileo, thinking that it was hurting him, but Galileo instead tells him to put it on himself.

Cleaver returns to the ship and kills Cavalli 2 whilst Helen flees to find the Doctor.

The Doctor realises that the helmet is a celestial projector not unlike a telescope, which Galileo says was given to him by Fortuna. He tells him that the real Virginia died five years previously and that he knew Fortuna was not really her. Fortuna returns with a gun, telling the Doctor that it would soon be time.

Cleaver finishes eating Cavalli 2, whom he did not enjoy due to his lack of a soul, and instead sets his sights on Liv, who brandishes an antique gun. He returns to the house.

When Phaiton comes into alignment with the Earth, allowing for communication, Helen arrives at the house. Fortuna makes contact with the Eleven and confirms that she has the Doctor in her possession whilst Helen sees to Galileo and helps him downstairs. Cleaver takes the Doctor to prepare him for transport and Galileo asks for Fortuna to stay, confessing that he knew what he and Cleaver had done thanks to the celestial projector.

Broteus returns to the house and is killed by the Doctor, who throws him a device. The Cosmos Security Service arrive, led by Cavalli 2, and Cleaver tries to kill the Doctor with Fortuna's blessing but is overwhelmed by the Doctor's soul. He burns up and dies whilst Fortuna escapes to the ship with Helen as a hostage.

The Doctor offers to trade his life for Helen's, but she instead chooses to take them both. The CSS have locked the ship and she is shot and arrested by Cavalli 2.

Galileo encourages Helen to go out and see the universe with the Doctor and Liv whilst she still can. The Doctor says goodbye to him and prepares to go to Phaiton in search of the Eleven, offering to take Helen home before they go. She chooses to stay.





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