"The Chimes of
Midnight", February 2002's offering, sees the release of some scary stuff from
the pen of the well-established playwright Robert Shearman. This is his second
Big Finish Doctor Who production. His first brought us the audio combination of
Doctor and Frobisher in "The Holy Terror"
which proved such a critical success on its release in November 2000.
story can best be described as "Upstairs, Downstairs" meets "Sapphire &
Steel" with The Doctor and Charley stuck in the middle!
Paul McGann, as the Eighth
Doctor, and India Fisher, playing companion Charley
Pollard, this story is directed by Barnaby Edwards
and was recorded on the 17th and 18th January 2001. The
cast for this story also includes: Louise Rolfe, Lennox
Greaves, Sue Wallace, Robert Curbishley and Juliet Warner.
Chimes of Midnight
unable to reach 1930, the TARDIS
places The Doctor and Charley into an Edwardian household,
in 1906. It is Christmas Eve and it's freezing outside
with thick snow falling. But surely it can't be cold enough
that time itself has frozen? But this is exactly what
it appears when The Doctor and Charley start to explore
their surroundings. But this large house turns out to
be not as deserted as it first appears
the servants' quarters the staff are busy preparing for
their masters' Christmas. Mrs Baddeley, the cook, has
prepared her famous plum pudding; Frederick, the chauffeur,
is trying to untangle himself from Mary, the maid; and
Mr Shaughnessy, the butler, is being as stern as ever
with the much put-upon scullery maid, Edith.
But if the servants of Edward Grove are bustling
about so much, why is it that the newly-arrived Doctor and Charley are unable
to see them? Walking between the downstairs rooms, they find them as deserted
as the Marie Celeste - and as evidence of time manipulation is gathered, The Doctor becomes alarmed at the implications as he realises that in a sense, they
have got stuck in a moment.
Once the barrier is broken down, allowing them to
escape, they meet the servants of Edward Grove who seems to keep his workers in
a constant state of bewilderment and terror. However things are about to get
much worse when the scullery maid is found murdered.
Who is behind
the bewildering temporal inconsistencies? Why are the servants so keen to
believe that The Doctor is a great detective who has come to their aid? Why are
the servants so keen to prevent The Doctor and Charley from leaving the
servant's quarters and going upstairs? Why does Charley sense the house staff
before The Doctor can and what does the mysterious Edward Grove want with them
With lots of Christmas pudding to be eaten and lots of carols
to be sung The Doctor and Charley have a lot of deaths to investigate. How can
the famous amateur sleuth known as The Doctor solve the mysteries and break the
cycle of death in a house where they seem to be completely unstoppable. A
murder at ten o'clock, another at eleven can The Doctor solve these murders and
stop another before the chimes strike midnight. But it isn't easy when the
suspects keep on dying and even harder when the victims keep coming back to
life as they shift into different moments in time.
And then as midnight draws even closer The Doctor's own life is in danger. To escape from the house The Doctor must
consider desperate measures and abandon everyone else in the process. But
escape is not easy with the TARDIS absorbed within the house and caught in a
Charley's history has caught up with her when she realises
that her trip, and apparent death in the R101, may be the cause of the time
loop they find themselves in. With Charley no longer herself, and convinced
that she has to die, how can The Doctor convince her and Edith, the scullery
maid, that they must want to live to break the time loop and so become
The Doctor is in a race against time before the clocks strike
midnight to achieve everyone's freedom. But why is it so important to convince
Edith that she is somebody and that Edward Grove's servants do not need to die
over and over again.
- Featuring the Eighth
Doctor and Charley
- Serial Number: 8G
- Number of Episodes: 4
- Cover Length: 100 minutes
- Episode Lengths: 1 = 27'01", 2 = 26'50", 3 =
28'54", 4 = 33'03"
- This story takes place after "Doctor
Who: The Movie".
- Cover Illustration: Clayton Hickman
- Recorded: 17th and 18th January 2001
- Recording Location: Christchurch Studios
- Released: February 2002
- ISBN: 1-903654-58-0
|On the Back
'Twas the night
before Christmas, and all through the house not a creature
something must be stirring. Something hidden in the shadows.
Something which kills the servants of an old Edwardian
mansion in the most brutal and macabre manner possible.
Exactly on the chiming of the hour, every hour, as the
grandfather clock ticks on towards midnight.
and afraid, The Doctor and Charley are forced to play
detective to murders with no motive, where even the victims
don't stay dead. Time is running out.
And Time itself might well
be the killer...
ITS ALMOST AS IF TIME warps around Christmas -
it's only one day of the year, but I always seem to be preparing for it or
recovering from it. I love it - but competing with hundreds of shoppers in
crowded department stores always brings out the worst in me. I had the thought
to write a horribly black comedy in which everyone got murdered in a really
Christmassy manner - someone throttled by a piece of tinsel, another having
their throat slashed by a broken glass bauble. I considered calling it The
Holly Terror - but fortunately changed my mind several nanoseconds
From that rather silly idea grew The Chimes of
Midnight. I live in an old Victorian house not unlike the one in which this
story is set, and took to writing a fair amount of the dialogue with the lights
dim in the middle of the night. What I expected would be quite funny ended up
being something which gave me a few troubled dreams. I hope that just a few of
my night terrors get felt by the listener to this adventure.
matter what time of year it is. Draw the curtains, turn the lights down low,
even hang some mistletoe over your head if you feel so inclined. And imagine
that you're hearing a festive ghost story, with the fire roaring in the hearth,
and the snow outside falling heavy and fast, blocking out any means of
| Full Cast
|Gary Russell and
|Executive Producer for the BBC