Publisher's summary Edit
Why is there a colony of artists on a planet that is little more than a glorified garage? What is the event that the passengers of the huge, opulent pleasure cruiser 'Gallery' are hoping to see? And what is hidden in the crates that litter the cargo hold?
The plot is not written in the way it unfolds in the story.
The Krill, a deadly species designed to be a superweapon, were once at war with the inhabitants of the planet that would later be known as Duchamp 331. To fight against the Krill, these people developed a superweapon of their own: the Warp Core, an entity of pure energy. However, it destroyed its creators and escaped, fleeing through time and space until it reached Earth, where it inhabited the mind of famous painter Edvard Munch. Munch managed to resist the Core and trap it within his painting The Scream, where it remained dormant for centuries. At some point, it was encountered by the Master, who was still suffering from the Cheetah infection. He desired to gain control over the Warp Core, but couldn't handle its immense power, which stripped the Trakenite body from him, reverting him to his decaying form. Realising that he needs to be better prepared, the Master devised an elaborate plan.
He gained possession of The Scream and sold it to Damien Pierson, an insane and easily manipulated artist, and arranged for him to set up his base on Duchamp 331, previously the home of the Warp Core and now a dust-covered backwater planet serving as a refuelling outpost. Under the guise of "Mr. Seta", he has also funded and boarded the space cruise organised by art collector Madame Salvadori, who has commissioned Damien the ultimate work of art - a living planetful of dust bending to the artist's will. Upon their arrival to Duchamp 331, Salvadori expects to impress her guests with this masterpiece and sell it for an enormous price, not realising the danger it poses: Damien is being manipulated by the Warp Core, which uses its telekinetic powers to animate the dust. The Master has collected and brought with him several Krill eggs; his plan is that the Warp Core would set itself free and get into a fight with its old enemy the Krill - a fight which would weaken the Warp Core enough for the Master to gain control over it and trap it with his TARDIS.
Meanwhile, the Doctor and Ace arrive on Duchamp 331, seeking to "rescue" The Scream just as it is about to disappear, according to historical records, under mysterious circumstances. Coincidentally, Bev Tarrant, a salvager and thief who has previously met the Doctor and Ace on Kar-Charrat, is also on the planet, stranded with no money to pay for the fuel. The three of them investigate the strange occurrences of the dust seemingly coming alive and destroying a fuelling station and then reanimating a corpse of one of its technicians. They discover that these were Damien's "sketches" performed in preparation for his final "masterpiece", and learn about the dangers of the Warp Core after it briefly manages to possess the Doctor's mind. They evacuate everyone on the planet and travel to Salvadori's cruise ship - just as the Master releases the Krill, which kill nearly all of the ship's crew and passengers.
When Damien fully unleashes the Warp Core, it forms giant limbs made of dust, which reach for the cruise ship in orbit and the Krill onboard it - just as the Master has planned. However, his plan fails as once again he is unable to gain control over the Core, forcing him to retreat to his TARDIS. The Doctor, Ace and Bev do so also with the help of Salvadori, the only remaining cruise survivor, who sacrifices herself to the Krill, feeling guilty about the deaths of her assistant and other passengers.
Meanwhile on the surface of the planet, Guthrie, a long-time resident of Duchamp 331 who refused to evacuate, programs all the fuel in all the fuelling stations to be released into the atmosphere. Back in his TARDIS, the Doctor uses its telepathic circuits in an attempt to manipulate the dust and stop the Warp Core, while the Master does the same in his TARDIS in an attempt to control the Core once again. As the Warp Core struggles to resist both Time Lords, Guthrie ignites the fuel in the planet's atmosphere, triggering an explosion. Amplified by the power source of a buried Dalek ship that has crashed on the planet a long time ago, the explosion blows the planet apart, flinging both TARDISes into time and space.
The Doctor assures Ace and Bev that the explosion has scattered the Warp Core all across the universe in particles too small to harm anyone, and ponders about the Master's further evil plans. Desiring a break, the trio travels to an art gallery on Earth. Ace and the Doctor gaze at The Scream, musing over how the Warp Core is still dormant within it and how they can't change the future by taking it now. Suddenly, they notice that Bev has gone missing, and just as the alarms go off, they realise that perhaps it was a bad idea to bring a thief into an art gallery...
- The Doctor - Sylvester McCoy
- Ace - Sophie Aldred
- The Master / Seta - Geoffrey Beevers
- Madame Salvadori - Caroline John
- Bev Tarrant - Louise Falkner
- Guthrie - Ian Ricketts
- Klemp / Ambassador - Mark Donovan
- Damien Pierson - Johnson Willis
- Jay Binks - Gary Russell
- Albert Bootle - Alistair Lock
- Skredsvig - Jez Fielder
- Maggie - Jane Goddard
- The Krill - Gareth Jenkins
- Lift Computer - Jacqueline Rayner
- Museum Announcer - Mark Wyman
- This was the audio debut for Geoffrey Beevers as the Master, which also marked the first appearance of the character in an audio drama.
- An illustrated preview for this story featured DWM 306 illustrated by Lee Sullivan.
- This audio drama was recorded on 31 March and 21 and 22 April 2001.
- The first two editions of aHistory dated this story to circa 4260, but the third edition redates it to circa 5257 in keeping with the redating of The Genocide Machine.
- Andy Hardwick's score to the story, alongside the scores to The Rapture and Bang-Bang-a-Boom! was released on the CD Music from the Seventh Doctor Audio Adventures.
- Big Finish Productions had invited Anthony Ainley to reprise his role of the Master, but were unable to reach a suitable deal with him. The Tremas Master was thus written out by having the Warp Core strip the Master of his previous body, leaving behind his previous emaciated form — thus allowing Geoffrey Beevers to take over the role.
- The Krill previously appeared in PROSE: Storm Harvest.
- Bev Tarrant last appeared in AUDIO: The Genocide Machine and would later go on to appear in the Big Finish Productions Bernice Summerfield series.
- The Doctor would encounter this incarnation of the Master once again on Perfugium in the far future. At that time, the Master believed himself to be a surgeon named "Doctor John Smith." (AUDIO: Master)
- In his art gallery, the Doctor has a copy of the Mona Lisa. He tells Ace the one in the Louvre has "This is a fake" written in felt tip. It is implied that the Doctor has the original. (TV: City of Death)
- The Master refers to the Traken source for his previous body. (TV: The Keeper of Traken)
- The Master's TARDIS is once again in the form of a pillar. (TV: Logopolis, Castrovalva, Time Flight)
- The Doctor has a sculpture constructed by a Terileptil artist. (TV: The Visitation)
- Official Dust Breeding page at bigfinish.com
- DisContinuity for Dust Breeding at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide