a real world point of view
|The Chimes of Midnight|
|Script release:||The Audio Scripts: Volume Three|
|Main enemy:||Edward Grove|
|Main setting:||Edward Grove, London, 24 December 1906|
|Publisher:||Big Finish Productions|
|Producer:||Russell Stone and Andy Hardwick|
|Cover by:||Clayton Hickman|
|Release date:||February 2002|
|Format:||4 Episodes on 2 CDs|
|Big Finish Doctor Who audio stories|
|Invaders from Mars||Seasons of Fear|
The Chimes of Midnight was the twenty-ninth monthly Doctor Who audio story produced by Big Finish Productions. It was the second in a series of 6 audio stories featuring the Eighth Doctor. It featured the Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor and India Fisher as Charlotte Pollard.
Publisher's summary Edit
’Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house not a creature was stirring...
But 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.
Trapped and afraid, the Doctor and Charley are forced to play detective to murders with no motive, where the victims don’t stay dead. Time is running out.
And Time itself might well be the killer...
Part 1 Edit
The Doctor and Charley step out of the TARDIS and find themselves in a dark room. The Doctor asks Charley where they are, but it is so dark that she can't tell. The Doctor says that the console's giving a blank readout.
The Doctor goes into the TARDIS to find some torches, and tells Charley to investigate, but she says she can't see. He tells her to use her other senses. She says she can't hear anything, but she can smell fruit.
She tries to feel around, but accidentally smashes a jar. The Doctor thinks she has been badly wounded, but he realises the jar was full of raspberry jam. On shining a torch around, they see that they are in a well stocked larder. On inspecting some cans of custard, the Doctor figures that they've landed in the early 20th century. They leave the larder to investigate the rest of the house.
He asks her why she is caterwauling, saying that it is so loud that even the master of the house may be able to hear it upstairs. He says that her excitement over Christmas is causing her work to suffer, and that the dust is so thick she could write her name in it.
Edith says she couldn't write her name if she wanted to, as she can't write, and Mr Shaughnessy shows her how to. He then tells her to return to work, and to remember what he always tells her, to which she says "I'm nothing, sir. I'm nobody."
In the dark house, The Doctor and Charley find themselves in the scullery of an Edwardian house, sometime from 1901 to 1910. The Doctor lights candles instead of continuing to use the torches so as not to be anachronistic.
Charley finds that the scullery maid has left her dish washing half-done, but that the water is still warm. The Doctor walks over to the table and finds a name written in the dust, Edith Thompson. The Doctor wonders if she is the missing scullery maid.
Charley tries to write her name in the dust, but the dust spreads back over it, leaving only Edith's name intact. The Doctor remembers that he found the jar Charley had smashed intact, and Charley finds that the raspberry jam stain on her dress is gone too. They look for someone who can explain what is happening to them.
In the kitchen, Mr Shaughnessy asks the cook, Mrs Baddeley, whether everything will be ready for the Christmas feast the next day. She replies that she's got everything prepared and that the turkey's especially big this year. She says that she's made one of her famous plum puddings.
As Mr Shaughnessy complements Mrs Baddeley's plum puddings, they hear Edith singing in the scullery. Mrs Baddeley tells her to stop working in the scullery and to help her in the kitchen. She tells Edith to take the plum pudding of the stove for her.
Edith asks if they will be eating the pudding on Christmas Eve. Mrs Baddeley says that the servants are eating the smaller one. Edith asks why they don't get the bigger one, as there are more servants than people upstairs, and Mr Shaugnessy says that that's a wicked thought. Edith apologises, not meaning to be wicked on Christmas. Mrs Baddeley tells Edith to remember that "we are nothing. We are nobody."
Mr Shaugnessy hears a bell ringing, and goes off to give his master his sherry. He tells Edith to keep helping Mrs Baddeley. While they work, Frederick, the chauffeur, walks in. He asks Mrs Baddeley if he could have a private word. She sends Edith out, and tells him she knows what he wants to talk about, and that it will do him no good. He asks if they can come to an arrangement.
The Doctor and Charley walk into the kitchen, and find that there is still no one to be seen. The Doctor finds a plum pudding, and Charley finds another. Charley says that her cook always made too much plum pudding at her house.
They look for a turkey, to find whether it is before or after Christmas. Charley exclaims that she has hunted the turkey, and the Doctor says this means it's Christmas Eve. The Doctor wonders where everyone is, and wonders whether everyone else is still there, and they're the ones missing.
Charley stops and asks the Doctor if he can hear anything. He says he can't. She says she can very faintly hear someone singing 'Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,' but the Doctor can't hear anything. Charley says it's probably a caroler outside, and the Doctor says he hopes so.
In the kitchen, Frederick is again complementing Mrs Baddeley on her plum pudding when Edith hears Charley's voice saying that she's hunted the turkey. Neither Frederick or Mrs Baddeley can hear it, and Mrs Baddeley tells Edith that his lordship hunts foxes, not turkeys. Frederick again asks Mrs Baddeley for a private word, and Mrs Baddeley again sends Edith out.
Mrs Baddeley says she knows what Frederick wants to ask, and that it'll do him no good. She knows what he is, a "veritable monster." Frederick begs her not to tell, or he and Mary, the lady's maid, will lose their jobs. Mrs Baddeley says that's for her lady to decide.
Frederick says it was just a bit of fun, and offers Mrs Baddeley money. She says she already has plenty saved up, and that she's richer than him. Frederick says she's not stronger than him, and, shocked at this threat, throws him out of her kitchen.
The Doctor and Charley find the servants' lounge. They see that the fire is burning, but the flames aren't moving. The Doctor tells Charley to pull a cracker with him, as an experiment, and it flies back together.
The Doctor says that time is blocking them out, which isn't possible unless someone's doing it intentionally. He tells Charley to pull the cracker with him again. It seems to be as before, but this time the Doctor has managed to grab a joke and a paper hat which he puts on.
They read the joke. It says "When is a door not a door?" but instead of saying "when it's ajar," it says "when it's a raspberry jam jar. The Doctor says that whatever is doing this, it's mocking them. to be finished
- The Doctor - Paul McGann
- Charley Pollard - India Fisher
- Edith Thompson - Louise Rolfe
- Mr Shaughnessy - Lennox Greaves
- Mrs Baddeley - Sue Wallace
- Frederick - Robert Curbishley
- Mary - Juliet Warner
- The Doctor mentions that Charley helped him find a first edition of Oliver Twist at Charing Cross Road.
- Charley's diary was found in the wreckage of the airship R101 after it crashed in France on 5 October 1930.
Time travel Edit
- The Doctor and Charley experience several time loops.
- The Chimes of Midnight was the first time that a companion created specifically for the audio range had featured on the cover.
- The cook, Mrs Baddeley, shares a name with actress Angela Baddeley, who played Mrs Bridges in the ITV television series Upstairs, Downstairs which is also set in a large Edwardian house.
- This audio drama was recorded on 17 and 18 January 2001.
- Edith references some of the events of AUDIO: Storm Warning.
- The Doctor mentions the events of AUDIO: The Stones of Venice and AUDIO: Minuet in Hell.
- The Celestial Toymaker would later refer to Edith Thompson in a riddle while Charley was playing his games in the Celestial Toyroom. (AUDIO: Solitaire)
- Official The Chimes of Midnight page at bigfinish.com
- The Chimes of Midnight at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- DisContinuity for The Chimes of Midnight at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide