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'House of Blue Fire'

CD audio adventure released September 2011, 4 episodes

Writer: Mark Morris
Director: Ken Bentley

Roots: The Goons ("Nurse, the screens!") Blue Fire Air's movies include Die Hard 2, Red Eye, Flight Plan and Snakes on a Plane. A Nightmare on Elm Street (dying in one's dreams means death in real life) The Addams Family (No 5 compares Soames to Lurch the butler) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ("Mirror, mirror") Fatal Attraction (a pet rabbit in a cooking pot) The visual representation of the Mi'en Kalarash recalls Max Schreck's Orlok in Nosferatu. 'Keep Calm and Carry On' posters. The Wizard of Oz ("how are we going to get out of here, click our heels together?") Aldous Huxley's Doors of Perception ("I close the door").

Dialogue Triumphs: "You're serious?" "No, Mr Dodds, I'm joking. I always joke about the end of the world"

"Sally Morgan, I am the Doctor and you are... safe."

"Procedure is just another name for procrastination"

"I tend to find cutting a few corners invariably results in a more interesting journey."

"Of course it'll hold - it's made in Birmingham!"

"Oh I have plenty of mercy. But none, I'm afraid, for you!"

Double Entendres: "Here, give me a hand will ya? This is really stiff!"

"Sometimes it's easier to show than tell"

Continuity: Mi'en Kalarash - "blue fire" is an ancient myth from Gallifrey, said to inhabit "the wasteland between realities",feeding on nightmares. The creature is composed of a series of minute slivers in incremental time, a "time magnet", although its outward appearance is a tall, thin humanoid figure with dark leathery skin, a bestial face and swathed in blue fire. This blue fire stimulates the victim's limbic system, feeding off the resultant emotion. The Doctor thinks the Mi'en Kalarash picked up his temporal trace and is tracking him, seeking to manipulate and corrupt impressionable military minds to bring about Armageddon. Already the Mi'en Kalarash has been present on Earth, manipulating Nurse Eve Pritchard for twenty years after occupied her mind while she was under sedation following a car crash when she was four years old.

Dr Magnus Soames' Blue Fire project was supposed to work on volunteers with specific phobias, to identify and, using REP (Remote Emotional Programming) technology, to create "fear bullets", potentially crippling entire nations with acute psychological trauma. Twenty volunteers completed the trial without consequence, but the four here displayed heightened psychic trauma where the only treatment was to keep them connected and under sedation. When revived, the subjects showed signs of distress and increased destructive psychic activity. The unconscious minds of the test subjects are wide open to attack; they are far more dangerous sedated than they are with their psychic powers on the loose when they are awake.

The Doctor says that psychic ability is inherent in everyone; "it's just a matter of tuning into the right frequency."

The TARDIS exterior is said to be black and not blue. Sally describes the interior as being like a cathedral. By connecting the TARDIS' vortex manipulator to the Blue Fire system creates a temporal trap.

Regular army Private Sally Morgan (Patient 18 in the Blue Fire trials) has athazagoraphobia, the fear of being forgotten or ignored. Her three companion patients were Private Jerome Fisher (Number. 16, suffering blattodephobia), Private Rachel McMahon (Number 5, suffering from aquaphobia) and Private Toby Dodds (Number 12, suffering captropophopbia)

The Doctor takes five to six sugars in his tea. His UNIT pass is out of date. The Doctor calms sally by touching her temples. He reveals his fear to be the Old Time, the Times of Night and Chaos and he knows the creature remembers those times too, what was done to it and what it did. Stored in his mind is the misery of a hundred thousand worlds and races. He sets up a psychological block (i.e. cuts off the food supply for the Mi'en Kalarash) in Sally's limbic system by touching her forehead.

Future History: By 2020 Sony's Playstation game consoles are up to the PS9.

Links: The Doctor refers to the curry restaurant he visited in the Khyber Pass (Ghost Light) "There. That should do it" (Doctor Who) When Number 18 tells the Doctor that they await "the Master," he mistakenly believes that she is referring to the Time Lord of the same name.

Location: The medical wing of Fulton Down military base, 2020

The Bottom Line: "The universe is full of terrors, Mister Twelve. You couldn't begin to imagine..."

After a fantastically creepy opener 'Blue Fire' settles down into something a little more familiar, with mad science, extra-dimensional monsters of Gallifreyan myth, and psychic wildernesses. As with The Doomsday Quatrain much of this has already been visited, but this is Morris' best script to date with some lovely scenes (including Soames' indignation at being reinterpreted as a butler!) McCoy seems to relish his roles here, particularly that of Sergeant Major, and his potential new companion Sally Morgan sounds interesting. All the same, with a black TARDIS beckoning, one worries for her future...

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