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143b 'Whispers of Terror'

CD and audio cassette adventure released November 1999, 4 episodes

Writer: Justin Richards
Director: Gary Russell

Roots: Lawnmower Man (life after death achieved by telecommunications technology), the murderer whistles a snatch of the 'funeral march' from Beethoven's 4th, detective stories ("did he fall, or was he pushed?" "the truth will out"), Macbeth v.5 "a tale full of sound and fury, told by an idiot and signifying nothing".

Intertextuality: Previous works of Richards are name-checked, including the BBC Book Dreams of Empire; Visteen Krane was a performer in [Osterling's lost play] The Good Soldier (see: Theatre of War)

Goofs: With murderers at large in the Museum, why does Peri so willingly leave the Doctor to find the TARDIS alone? After finding Fotherill's body, why doesn't Berkeley the security officer marshal together all persons in the Museum (including Napton)?

Fluffs: In episode three Nicola Bryant mis-pronounces Stengard as "stain guard".

Technobabble: Dent is able to record and manipulate sound on a "one-time non traceable software patch". Transmogrification into a living sound wave may be accomplished via a "frequency modulation input linked into an alpha wave condenser". Krane's recording suite featured a "triple sonic bypass subsystem" (the Doctor has always wanted one).

Double Entendres: "Oh please - who writes your material? And canned applause?"

Dialogue Disasters: Peri and the Doctor: "I heard... a sort of rustling sound..."

"-I would have thought a rustler would have made more noise than that"

Peri launches into sarcasm: "Don't tell me Doctor - it's a double-whammy with extra fries and relish on the side!"

Dialogue Triumphs: The Doctor on staying to interfere: "Leave? You mean go away and never know? Wander for all eternity and never know where we were, what might have been, what was to come?"

Peri on leaving: "We can't stay - the Doctor's clothes are too loud for this Museum"

Continuity: Visteen Krane was, according to outgoing President Carlos Bilton "the greatest actor of the modern age", though little visual footage of his work (including 'The Good Soldiers') exists beyond photographs. Shortly before his death he announced his intention to stand for the Presidency alongside his agent Beth Pernell, who would be his vice-president.

When the Doctor and Peri leave the TARDIS, the doors are unlocked via what sounds to be a traditional lock and key; the Doctor's voice can still be heard within it from without (see: 'The Trial of a Time Lord' episodes 12 and 14). The Museum of Aural Antiquities houses audio (and holographic?) documents, including surveillance data. Current audio technology includes tape, CD (holographic imaging), car phones and audio recording spheres. Radio stations are also in common usage. Other non-audio technology mentioned includes video, celluloid and photographs. There is a town nearby.

The (unnamed) planet on which the Museum is situated has a democratic system and operates on a twenty-four hour clock. Perhaps oddly, no-one comments when the Doctor suggests he keep something "close to [his] hearts".

Location: The Museum of Aural Antiquities, the near future (see: 'Continuity')

The Bottom Line: Renegade sound-wave. A slick production covers some slight inconsistencies, but overall this is far superior to many of the televised versions it purports to compliment, with some good performances from the guest cast. There are some wonderful nods to the sixth Doctor's first full season in the soundtrack, but otherwise the story is refreshing for its virtual ignorance of series continuity. Atmospheric and, ironically, highly visual.

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