Bernice Summerfield and the Criminal Code was the sixth story of the fourth series of The Companion Chronicles, produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by Eddie Robson, narrated by Lisa Bowerman and featured the Seventh Doctor and Bernice Summerfield.
The Doctor and Bernice Summerfield are on the planet Shanquis, where the Doctor is trying to negotiate a peace settlement between this world and the neighbouring world of Esoria. The Doctor should be in his element, in an arena where the fighting is done with words, not weapons.
Yet after days of talks, the situation is getting worse. The planets are on a war footing and the Doctor cannot break the deadlock. He'd planned to join Bernice at an archaeology conference on the planet, but she ends up going on her own in an effort to distract herself from the increasingly dismal situation.
Whilst there, Bernice learns of the Shanquin "forbidden language", which it is illegal to read, speak or even think. As Bernice pursues the root of this obscure, archaic law, she finds herself obstructed and threatened — and realises that her investigations may have given her the only hope of stopping this war...
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- This audio drama was recorded on 6 September 2009 at the Moat Studios.
- It was released on 24 January 2010.
- The story's working title was The War of Words.
- Told from Benny's perspective, this was the first of the Companion Chronicles to star a companion who did not originate from the television series.
- This story is set after Survival.
- The function of the TARDIS' telepathic circuits (which here allow Benny to understand the forbidden language) was first described in TV: The Masque of Mandragora.
- Bernice recalls her first meeting the Doctor on Heaven in 2570. (PROSE: Love and War)
- Benny mentions how quiet the TARDIS is now that Ace has left again. (PROSE: Set Piece)