Dead Air was the seventh and final exclusive-to-audio adventure to feature the Tenth Doctor. It was written by James Goss and performed by David Tennant. Released by BBC Audio as a part of their ongoing line of original, single-actor plays, it went on sale on 4 March 2010.
While all previous BBC Audio-exclusive Doctor Who stories were two-disc sets with run times of about two and a half hours, Dead Air is a shorter story with a run time of approximately sixty minutes on one CD.
"Hello, I'm the Doctor. And, if you can hear this, then one of us is going to die."
At the bottom of the sea, in the wreck of a floating radio station, a lost recording has been discovered. After careful restoration, it is played for the first time - to reveal something incredible. It is the voice of the Doctor, broadcasting from Radio Bravo in 1966. He has travelled to Earth in search of the Hush - a terrible weapon that kills, silences and devours anything that makes noise - and has tracked it to a boat crewed by a team of pirate DJs. With the help of feisty Liverpudlian Layla and some groovy pop music, he must trap the Hush and destroy it - before it can escape and destroy the world...
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- The Doctor mentions the Silurians.
- Though never explicitly stated, it is strongly implied that the Hush was a weapon built by the Time Lords for use against the Daleks in the Last Great Time War.
- When Layla discovers the Doctor isn't human, the Doctor asks her if that doesn't surprise her. She replies "When you've met the Beatles nothing surprises you".
- The announcement of this release in early 2010 appears to have taken some by surprise. BBC Audio, as well as Doctor Who Magazine promoted the preceding audio, AUDIO: The Last Voyage as the final Tenth Doctor audio adventure.
- This release is unusual for the new series audios in featuring the Doctor narrating the story in the first person. It also takes the form of a drama more than an audio book, similar to Big Finish Productions' Companion Chronicles series.
- This story is very nearly a "one-hander" for David Tennant, primarily as his Doctor, who also narrates the lines of the rest of the cast, in-character, creating effectively two layers of acting for Tennant, much in the manner of the Companion Chronicles, as mentioned above. The only other voice performer is a single-line role by the actress who voices the announcer who opens the story with a brief summary of the in-universe circumstances behind the audio's recovery. Tennant also briefly takes on the roles of both Layla and the Hush from a "live", rather than narrated, perspective at the climax of the story. Snippets of The Hush (using various voices, but all done by Tennant) are also heard throughout as it corrupts the tape we are listening to.
- The story was also available as a download from the AudioGO website before the company went into administration.
- This story won the Best Audiobooks of the Year award in 2010.
- The Doctor mentions Donna Noble. (TV: Journey's End)
- The Doctor previously encountered a sound creature that could steal voices. (AUDIO: Ghost in the Machine)
- The Doctor mentions the number of labyrinths he's been chased through, but that he usually has a ball of wool. (TV: The Horns of Nimon)
- During his fourth incarnation, the Doctor visited another pirate radio station in June 1964. (AUDIO: Wave of Destruction)