ominously entitled "Red", by Stewart Sheargold,
is August 2006’s release and features Sylvester
McCoy, as the Seventh
Doctor, and Bonnie Langford, as
Bush, and is an exploration into the
motivation behind murder. It is directed by Gary Russell
and was recorded on the 7th April and 1st June 2006.
release guest-stars author, actor and broadcaster, Sandi
Toksvig as Vi Yulquen, matriarch of the mysterious needle.
Also starring are: Denise Hoey, Ann Jenkins, Sean Oliver,
Peter Rae, Kellie Ryan, John Stahl and Steven Wickham.
the habitat known as the needle everything is controlled
by Whitenoise, the managing sentinel, who reports to
Chief Blue – But something is wrong with Whitenoise’s
programming which is not helped by the arrival of The
Doctor and his travelling companion Melanie.
soon as they arrive The Doctor it seems has been infected
and starts to behave strangely – and then they
find a dead body – the body of someone who has
been murdered. And then Melanie is forced out of the
needle leaving The Doctor to fend for himself and facing
Whitenoise and Chief Blue – who explains to The
Doctor that to be allowed within the needle he has to
be micro-chipped for his own safety and to protect the
current inhabitants - and so The Doctor becomes Subject
Melanie’s fall from the needle is not life threatening when she is caught
by Subject 10034 Draun on his way to a dwelling under the needle. She learns
from him about the needle, its inhabitants and why they are chipped.
corruption extends to editing the memories of the inhabitants
of the needle and to misjudging the two intruders both
of whom have not been chipped – unlike the rest
of the inhabitants. But not all the inhabitants are content
with their existence – especially Vi Yulquen, the
designated Matriarch of the needle
are in danger as the murderer spreads amongst them and
Whitenoise slowly loses more and more control of the
needle and The Doctor – who witnesses condition
Red first hand when Uvio commits murder despite The Doctor
not being anywhere near the murder scene – but
because of the connection he thinks he is responsible
and so Redlines and prevents Whitenoise from taking control
of the situation.
is happening to those in the needle and why are they
being murdered? How is The Doctor connected to current
events and how is he able to witness the murders first
hand? Why is Vi Yulquen so keen to experience pain, despite
it contravening Whitenoise's programming, and begs Melanie
to hurt her? What is the Red Tape and why does Chief
Blue have such a dangerous obsession to watch it? Why
is Whitenoise unable to keep control of the inhabitants
and to prevent them being harmed? And why has Melanie
been left unchipped and how will The Doctor be able to
cope with his?
the reason The Doctor is connected to the murderer be
an affect of being chipped or could it be that it’s
because he is a Timelord? If so then could the murderer
also be a time traveller?
Doctor and Melanie must overcome the murderer’s
intentions and both are in equal danger from the presence
that is affecting all those in the needle. But this won’t
be easy as The Doctor’s synchronisation with the
killer increases and so makes The Doctor himself a target
of Whitenoise’s programming to terminate all those
who are in constant redline.
attempting to stop the presence Whitenoise becomes infected
and in an attempt to keep the peace he becomes the killer
himself. But worse The Doctor and Melanie need to prevent
Whitenoise from losing control completely and from following
his programming to purge the needle of all the inhabitants.
As Whitenoise works through purging all those who have
chips he becomes ever closer to Subject 3999 – The
Doctor – and the only person that can save them
- Featuring the Seventh
- Serial Number: 7DB
- Number of Episodes: 4
- Cover Length: 130 minutes
- Episode Lengths: 1 = 33'33", 2 = 29'50",
3 = 29'56", 4 = 29'27"
- Total Story Length: 122'46"
- This story takes place between "Paradise
Towers" and "Delta
and the Bannermen",
and follows on from "Unregenerate!".
- Early Titles: "The Pull of Red" and "Synchronicity".
- Cover Illustration: Stuart Manning
- Recorded: 7th April and 1st June 2006
- Recording Location: The Moat Studios
- Released: August 2006
- ISBN: 1-84435-176-9
|On the Back Cover:
Subject 2660 - Celia Fortunatè, designated
citizen of the needle. Subject experiencing traumatic,
violent delusions during waking moments. Subject remains
passified and under control of Whitenoise. Medication
has been prescribed.
Subject 0357 - Vi Yulquen, designated Matriarch
of the needle. Subject is under constant surveillance
due to her wish to experience harm. This is in direct
contravention of Whitenoise's programming. Also supplier
of the drug classified as Slow. Editing is required.
Subject 0841 - Chief Blue. Technician in symbiotic
relationship with this Whitenoise system. Knowledgeable
in human psychological evaluation. Subject has been diagnosed
a voyeur, and has a dangerous obsession with the Red
Tape. Machine augmentation is favoured to curb this defect.
Subject [error] - Melanie
companion of subject 3999. Subject [error] is not chipped
and is a threat. Her ability to harm has not been checked,
compromising the continued security programming of this
Whitenoise system. She must be inhibited.
Subject 3999 - The Doctor. Subject has committed homicide. This subject now in
constant redline. His propensity for violence remains unchecked. Analysis suggests
synchronisation with the killer. The Doctor will attempt to kill again. He must
|On the Inside Cover:
I must admit that I was
pleased when new story editor Alan Barnes suggested
I change the title of this story to Red, which was
nearer to my original ideas. Here, red is not just
a colour, it’s a feeling, and it’s a
contradictory feeling within the same notifier -
passion or rage; two extremes. Extremism was what
I was interested in, dualities - of those who become
depraved on account of being deprived. What if we
could have security and irresponsibility and a perfect,
satisfied life, free from worry and danger? What
would we have to give up to attain this? And would
removing violence actually cause us harm instead?
In the end, we always want what we do not have. What
if, having removed our violence, a very real, necessary
emotion, to measure all others by, we wanted it back?
Or what if it came back itself, unbidden?
There are people who must
be thanked for this one. Writing Doctor Who was the
big one, and these people helped in one way or another:
Joe Curreri, for inspirational comments and understanding
Doctor’s seasonal transition better
than I did; Paul Zorzi and Kevin Holley, for dragging
me out and keeping me sane and sociable during the
writing; Nick Murphie and Moray Laing for Who-talk;
mum and dad and Elle; and, finally, Gary Russell, for
everything, though most especially for showing us what
a marvellous companion Melanie
Bush really is.
should probably also thank Autechre, whose ‘music
for architecture’ stylings were the first inspiration
for this script. And now, it’s over to Sylvester
and Bonnie. Cue the theme tune...
Sheargold has written a number of tales for Big Finish’s
Doctor Who: Short Trips collections, as well as three
audio scripts for its Bernice Summerfield range. This
is his first full-length Doctor Who audio. About time
The Seventh Doctor
First television appearance: "Time
and the Rani"
First chronological Big Finish audio appearance: "Unregenerate!"
has been exploring the universe for hundreds of years. He fights injus¬tice.
He defeats evil. He helps people. Since his regeneration, The Doctor - now
travelling with his friend, Mel - has been a little unpredictable. One moment
he can be frivolous and fun, the other he’s thoughtful and serious.
How will this affect his friendship with Mel?
First television appearance: "The
Trial of a Time Lord"
First chronological Big Finish audio appearance: "The
computer expert from twentieth-century Earth - Pease
Pottage, East Sussex, to be specific - Melanie Jane
Bush is young, bright and enthusi¬astic. She
enjoys her time with The Doctor and the adventures
they have. They met for the first time from Mel’s
point of view in 1989 - however, The Doctor had by
this point seen his future and had already met Miss
Bush! However, The Doctor has recently regenerated...
Can Mel still trust her friend?
|The Cast Gallery:
|| The Seventh
Doctor - Played by Sylvester McCoy
‘If I jam my umbrella here, I
can access the building’s mechanics.
Don’t worry, I’ll have us out of
this in a jiffy. Now, if I just press here...
Oh, that’s not supposed to happen.’
- Played by Bonnie Langford
name’s Mel, not Red. I had enough of
that in school, thanks. Speaking of thanks,
I probably should thank you for saving my life,
Mr - er, what did you say your name was?’
Yulquen - Played by Sandi Toksvig
dear, I didn’t realise I was in such
danger. Please, come and sit down. You’re
very welcome. The point is, you could hurt
me. And I wouldn’t mind. I don’t
think I should tell you where The Doctor
is. I think you should force it from me.’
- Played by John Stahl
‘Each subject has a nanochip implanted
in their brain which I can control. When a
violent urge initiates, the chip gives a small,
barely noticeable electric shock, and removes
the intent for harm. They are usually not even
aware it occurs. It is a humane method of control.’
Blue - Played by Sean Oliver
was put here to oversee your continuing,
smooth operation. Not vice versa. All machines
break down, one way or another.’
Fortunaté - Played by Kellie Ryan
sorry, but I’d rather not have pleasurable
thoughts about you if they’re only
going to be curbed by Whitenoise. He thinks
of physical pleasure as the precursor to
- Played by Peter Rae
be fine. You didn’t fall that far.
And I’ve got something much better
than a doctor. Well, it may kill you, but
I don’t imagine you’d care about
that since you just threw yourself out of
the Needle. You’re going to love it…’
- Played by Denise Hoey
‘After so long under the machine,
we were disgusted at our capacity for violence.
We couldn’t handle the reality of it.
We suffered the consequences of our actions.’
| Full Cast List:
The Production Team:
||Gary Russell and