Doctor? Doctor, are you there? Doctor, please! I don’t know where I am. I need help.
|01: Darkness Falls|
Preceeded by -
Followed by The Invasion of the Daleks
|The Doctor|| William Billingsley|
|Thomas Caldwell||Witold Tietze|
|Chloe Richards||Lorna Hill|
|Released|| Part 1: Nov. 2000|
Part 2: Jan. 2001
Part 3: March 2001
Part 4: May 2001
It is true to say that the life I lead is a hectic one, fraught with incident and excitement. So, every once in a while, it's nice to be able to look forward to a little peace and tranquility at the end of the day. Not so for me today.
First, there was the power drain in the tardis. (Tardis? Seems like home, at any rate.) Not that it was a major problem, mind you. After all, she is an old ship, and some routine maintenance wouldn't necessarily go astray. No, it's what happened during the power drain that caused me some... shall we say "personal relationship issues".
I can't seem to recall all the details. The best I can draw from the recesses of my restless mind is the faint memory of a children's word game. But I keep feeling, as I remember that moment, an evil force casting its shadow over the proceedings. Worrying indeed.
One other memory remains, though it is far more indistinct than the last. I was arguing with my travelling companion, Thomas Caldwell. He doesn't seem to be around any more, which is why I am putting out this general plea for information. You see, it seems I'm stuck here in this powerless tardis, without memory of recent events and without anybody to fill in the gaps.
But the biggest question remains unasked: just who am I? I hope somebody can tell me, because I really have no idea what the answer is.
Recording, post-production & CD mastering: Matthew Kopelke. Music: John Debney, John Sponsler, Louis Febre, & Robert Warnock. Series theme: Ron Grainer. Realisation: John Sponsler & John Debney. Cover illustration and packaging design: Chris Sutor. Press & PR: David Hutchison. Recording: BTR's Lacaroo Street Studios. Script Editor: Witold Tietze. Producer: Matthew Kopelke. Director: Witold Tietze.
- Time To Rise From Sleep
- Goodbye To Old Friends
- A Cheeky Time Machine
- Into The Interior
- When Old Friends Come To Visit
- Mysteries Of The Mind
- Journey's End
- Mental Interludes
- The Mystery of the Blue Box
- When Strangers Collide
- We're Off To Visit The Army!
- When Enemies Reveal Themselves
- Family Reunions
- Paradoxical Reflections
Recording "Darkness Falls"
Part One – The Beginning of the End: The Doctor and Thomas return to the Tardis, the Doctor congratulating Thomas on having persuaded a Sontaran trooper that war was futile. The Tardis takes-off, but the Doctor soon notices that yet another round of repair work is required.
Four hours later, Thomas is keeping himself occupied watching a video when the Doctor bursts in calling for help. He has been struggling to work on a particular component, and still can't get the job done even with Thomas' help.
The whole ship suddenly stops dead.
In a rather circular conversation that meanders between whether the Cloister Bell is ringing, why it isn't, and whether the Tardis has fully shut down, the Doctor deduces that they are being toyed with. He sends Thomas to the Cloister Room to find out the state of the bell.
Thomas doesn't find the Cloister Bell, but does discover that the Eye of Harmony is slightly open and venting gas. He reports this to the Doctor over an intercom, and the Doctor relays instructions on how to close the eye.
The Doctor is suddenly assailed by a sinister presence taunting him...
Returning to the console room, Thomas overhears the Doctor apparently in a fierce argument with someone, but finds the Doctor is alone when he enters. The Doctor is uncharacteristically hostile towards Thomas, bodily dragging him back to the Cloister Room and forcing him to reopen the Eye of Harmony.
The Doctor collapses, but soon returns to his senses. He finds Thomas, who rejects his apologies. The Doctor snaps, and beats Thomas to death in a fit of rage. The sinister presence returns to taunt the Doctor further, revealing that it is the remaining essence of the Master. Having hijacked most the Tardis' systems, and having driven the Doctor to the point of mental collapse, the Master is now on the cusp of returning to life.
The Doctor is suddenly struck by a beam of energy from the Eye of Harmony, and regenerates for the eighth time.
Part Two – The First Home: The Doctor recovers, and discovers Thomas' corpse. The Master continues taunting the Doctor over Thomas' death, but the Doctor drives him away. The Doctor then closes the Eye of Harmony, restoring power to the ship.
The Doctor tries to set course for Earth, to take Thomas home, but finds the console's controls do not respond. A projection of the Doctor's telepathic bond with the Tardis, essentially the Tardis itself, reminds him that the Master has seized control of most of the Tardis' systems, but cryptically promises that all will be set right in time.
Unable to return Thomas to Earth, the Doctor cremates his corpse in a furnace. The Doctor discovers trinkets and mementoes of various previous travelling companions scattered throughout the room, including Adric's unpublished mathematical theorems and Sara Kingdom's communicator. He realises he is dwelling on unpleasant memories, and resolves to regain control of the ship – if only he knew how. The Tardis projection prompts him to look to the heart to find the answer. The Doctor deduces that he must travel to the heart of the Tardis.
The Doctor begins his journey, prompted further from time to time by the Tardis projection. The Tardis readily explains why it triggered the Doctor's regeneration, but it is otherwise silent on more relevant information.
As the Doctor continues into the depths of the Tardis, he finds his perception beginning to wander. He begins debating obtuse philosophical points with unseen fellow travellers and experiencing memories of companions past, Jo Grant, Susan and... Katherine?
The Doctor soon realises “Katherine” is an illusion, a fragmentary characterisation fabricated by the Master to confuse him further. He destroys the illusion and continues his journey, but his thoughts are turning darker as he travels. In a conversation with a Gastropod, the Doctor briefly considers ending his travels and returning to Gallifrey, but comes to realise that he still has a purpose to fulfil.
The Doctor arrives at the heart of the Tardis, greeted by the echo of his past self. The past Doctor asks what the Doctor seeks, but he doesn't know. The past Doctor reveals that the point of the journey was for the Doctor to rediscover his character, and having travelled inward he must now complete this search by stepping outside and resuming his life.
Part Three – The Second Home: In a city park on Earth, 1998, a group of university students are discussing the plans of one of their group, Floyd, to enter local politics. Of those present, Chloe and Jasmine are supportive of the idea, but Rebecca is more sceptical. Floyd considers this sobering, which steers the conversation into talk of intoxication, a topic that Chloe draws a parallel of through her relationship with her teacher boyfriend, Neil. Jasmine asks Chloe how she would react if they were parted, a question that has Chloe in two minds.
Later, in her flat, Chloe is interrupted during a phone conversation by a strange noise emanating from downstairs. Investigating the source of the noise, she finds a Police Box parked in the kitchen. Chloe initially suspects it's only a practical joke. She soon finds the phone mounted in the door of the Police Box, and picks it up to berate her tormentors. Instead she finds an unexpected voice on the line...
The Doctor soon emerges from the Tardis – bumping into Chloe, who demands answers for who he is, and why a Police Box is parked in her flat. The Doctor's explanation is not taken entirely at face value, and he has to resort to showing Chloe the interior of the Tardis to prove his point. Having been delayed, the Doctor is increasingly anxious to get back to tracking down the Master, but Chloe is adamant that she won't have the Tardis left where it stands. The Doctor explains to Chloe about his search, and how dangerous the Master is, and Chloe is still intent on coming with him.
They search through a number of places the Doctor suspects could prove useful for the Master to hide a Tardis, drawing a blank at each place. The last place they search is an abandonded mansion that once housed UNIT Headquarters. Chloe finds a Tardis that appears identical to the Doctor's in the ruins. The Doctor finds this curious, as he hasn't seen the Master's Tardis appear identical to his since his visit to Logopolis. The Doctor deduces this is the Master's spare Tardis, and he would be making his way here to escape.
The Master reasserts his presence – he has been possessing Chloe since the Tardis landed in her flat, and now that the Doctor has now led him to his spare machine, he can make good his escape. The Doctor is quickly knocked out, and the Master resolves to deliver him to the Daleks.
Part Four – The End of the Beginning: The Doctor regains consciousness, and finds himself chained to the wall inside the Master's Tardis. The Master, still possessing Chloe, tells the Doctor of his plans to deliver the Doctor to the Daleks in retribution for the Master's extermination at their hands – an event the Doctor had no such involvement with.
The Doctor reminds the Master that due to certain protocols built into Tardis systems he would not be able to land the Tardis in his current form. But when the Doctor is released in order to land the ship himself, he overpowers the Master – the talk of protocols was a ruse. The Doctor lands the Tardis, but the Master attacks him...
The previous incarnations of the Doctor and the Master meet in a telepathic argument over their lives-long rivalry.
...and then flees.
Outside, the Master finds Floyd, taking him hostage in a standoff with the Doctor. The Doctor tries to persuade the Master to release Chloe's weakening body, and he does so – by transferring his consciousness into Floyd. While the Doctor helps Chloe, the Master escapes in the Tardis. But the Doctor is confident he knows where the Master will turn up next, telling Chloe that he's locked the co-ordinates to steer the Master's Tardis into a time-ram with his own ship.
They return to Chloe's flat, and find the Master's Tardis inside the Doctor's, as planned. The Doctor persuades the Master into coming out of his ship, but as he does it suddenly disintegrates. The Doctor explains that the Master opened a direct connection between the two Tardis' interiors, and with the Master's symbiotic nuclei corrupted by his possessions of others, his ship no longer had the stabilisation required to remain intact, and thus imploded; during which the Eye of Harmony ensured Floyd would survive, as it holds no grudge against humans.
The Doctor and Chloe begin to discuss where to leave Floyd to recover, but Chloe announces that she wants to join the Doctor on his travels. She's not dissuaded by the Doctor hinting at the death of Thomas, saying that if malicious aliens drop in on Earth so readily, she's safer travelling with him. The Doctor reluctantly accepts her wish, and Chloe adds two conditions: if she's ever possessed by aliens again, or if the Master ever returns, she will leave.
- The Master's essence, in control of the TARDIS, hits the Doctor's body with pure artron energy. The Doctor regenerates.
- After realising his purpose in life once again, the Doctor declares to himself "I'm the Doctor, and don't you forget it!"
- The Master, in Chloe's body, knocks the Doctor unconscious. He declares that he will hand the Doctor over to the Daleks.
- With the Doctor and Chloe revelling at the end of the Master's plan, Chloe asks the Doctor to take her with him in the TARDIS.
Additional credited cast
The Eighth Doctor (Bill Billingsley), Thomas Caldwell (Witold Tietze), The Master (David Hutchison), The Erstwhile Master (Sam Andrews), Katherine (Susannah Tiller), Rebecca Gibson (Wendy Musgrove), Floyd (Jacob Aldridge), Jasmine Fordham (Susannah Tiller), Neil Fletcher (Kane Major), Tardis Consciousness (Sam Andrews), K-9 (Matthew Kopelke), Gastropod (Sam Andrews).
Things to listen out for...
- The television program that Thomas is watching in the TARDIS is actually an audio drama entitled The Lachesis Passage. Producer Matthew Kopelke felt there was a certain degree of irony present by having a character in an audio drama watch a TV program, whose origins lay in the audio medium.
Things you probably never knew...
- Although Darkness Falls is the first serial in storyline order, it was actually the last of the four audio serials in the first season's arc to be recorded – hence the apparent sudden sharp drop in quality experienced on The Invasion of the Daleks (the actual first production) and steady return to form over the following serials, Sentinel and The Gallifreyan Recommencement.
- The first two episodes of Darkness Falls were ultimately recorded on two separate occasions, due to the first set of recordings being lost in a data accident. This second recording session allowed for Director Witold Tietze to be more exacting with the performances he wanted out of the actors.
- The Eighth Doctor: 'I heard she had troubles when she got back home. Poor girl – it got to her in the end, you see. They say she had trouble sleeping, trouble focusing, trouble adjusting... trouble living. The culture shock has a tendency to be bad enough, but this one really went through some punishment. Which is why I had to let her go, even though we grew to be close friends. To leave someone like that is the hardest thing, to leave behind the only friend you have on that long, lonely road. They all go. They all stay. They all have troubles.'