Ghost in the Machine was the fourth story of the eighth series in The Companion Chronicles audio range. It was produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by Jonathan Morris and featured Jo Grant. As of 2021 this is the final companion chronicle to feature the Third Doctor.
Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow
And everywhere that Mary went, that lamb was sure to go.
Jo Grant steps outside into the darkness and finds the frozen body of her friend, and the ship's log recorder. On it is attached a simple message - 'Use Me'.
As she explores this place, recording her every move, Jo discovers the horror that lies in the shadows.
But by then it is too late.
After spending a couple of hours sorting through the TARDIS wardrobe, Jo returns to the console room to find the Doctor absent. After discovering that they've landed and theorising that he's gone out to explore, she checks the scanner to find it completely dark outside. She takes a torch and, after a moment of apprehension for what may be out there, ventures outside.
She discovers numerous bodies in the darkness, all of them reduced to skeletons. After a moment of exploration she discovers the cold, unresponsive body of the Doctor and fears him dead. She then discovers a tape recorder by his side with the words "Use Me" written on it. She assumes that the Doctor had left a message for her, but after playing it back she discovers it is blank. Ever the optimist, Jo refuses to believe that he's dead and instead compares aspects of this current predicament with similarities of previous adventures - she theorises that, like on Spiridon, the Doctor has become frozen and wants her to record any progress or discovery she makes while he's out cold, so he can catch up on it later when he comes round. She begins recording at this point. She also theorises that, like the events at Devil's End, the Doctor will be awoken by a sudden rise in temperature. She sets off to the TARDIS to fetch a medical kit but discovers that the door locked itself after she closed it, with the Doctor possessing the only key. She returns to his body but after rummaging through his pockets, she finds the key missing. Jo then decides that the best course of action is to look for a way out and find help. She promises the Doctor's unconscious body that she will return, and sets off into the darkness.
Whilst exploring the location Jo discovers many unusual things, including some concrete-blocked stairs with skeletons gathered around it in positions that suggest discomfort, a feeling of someone watching her in the darkness and a voice reciting "Mary had a little lamb".
to be added
- Jo spent approximately two hours going through the TARDIS wardrobe trying on different outfits.
- The Doctor has Venusian conkers and jelly babies.
- Jo claims that she is "pretty nifty at karate" and that she once rendered Sgt. Benton unconscious.
- Jo theorises that the Centre is in America or Australia, a "little bit in the future."
- The first phonograph recording ever made was Thomas Edison reciting "Mary Had a Little Lamb" in 1877.
- This story was recorded on 18 October 2012 at The Moat Studios.
- In several scenes, Jo, the Doctor, and Benjamin are forced to swap bodies in order to communicate when the Doctor is rendered voiceless. Thus, by the end of the story, Damian Lynch has played all three characters and Katy Manning has played both Jo and the Doctor.
- Unlike most Companion Chronicles, this audio is not narrated in the past tense but actually takes place in the "real time" of the story. Additionally, this frame makes use of tape recordings just as The Forbidden Time did.
- This story was originally released on CD and download. It is now available as a download only.
- The Doctor and Jo briefly switch bodies. During his sixth incarnation, he switched bodies with Peri Brown on Volnex VI in 3978 (PROSE: Turnabout is Fair Play) and on Hurn after Peri and the Doctor are reunited. (AUDIO: The Widow's Assassin)
- When Jo finds the Doctor unconscious along with his audio log, Jo refers to the last time that this happened to him. (TV: Planet of the Daleks)
- Jo notes a sign is in English, meaning she's on Earth. She is not aware of the TARDIS translation circuit. (TV: The Masque of Mandragora)
- The Doctor will later encounter another creature that exists in a recorded medium. (TV: The Idiot's Lantern)