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Ghosts was the eighth story in the Doctor Who: Redacted podcast series, produced by BBC Sounds. It was written by Doris V Sutherland with additional writing by Juno Dawson and Ella Watts and starred Charlie Craggs as Cleo Proctor, Holly Quin-Ankrah as Shawna Thompson, Jacob Hawley as Jordan Proctor, Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor and Doon Mackichan as Madame Vastra.

Publisher's summary[]

Cleo gets a call from her mum. After what happened to Jordan, she doesn’t want to wait around and risk losing someone else. So it’s time to go back to the Powell Estate where she grew up. Meanwhile, Abby and Osgood are watching the world get much, much quieter...


Cleo checks her phone to see a voicemail left by her mother, asking if she is coming home soon, but interspersed with the familiar distortion noise. Recognising it as the same noise that interrupted Jordan when he went missing, Cleo and Shawna fear the worst. After three return calls with no response, Cleo makes up her mind to return home, with Shawna in tow in case the visit goes as badly as she expects.

On the train into Peckham Rye, Shawna tries to reassure Cleo that her mum disowning her is not normal behaviour, but Cleo tries to brush it off as an unhappy childhood typical of most people before admitting she feels slightly cursed. She then listens to another voicemail, hearing a man telling her to "check the orange juice". None the wiser, she assumes it was a wrong number and the two friends depart.

Arriving at the Powell Estate, Shawna picks up a strange feeling that Cleo agrees with, thinking it feels strangely empty. She points out to Shawna her home block and the one that used to house Sally Salter, a trans woman that inspired Cleo growing up by being part of the popular local band No Hot Ashes, yet also made her realise her mother's view on trans people. She then receives a third voicemail - another from her mum, acting casual about her returning home as if nothing had ever happened. With Cleo extremely on edge, Shawna decides they should visit the estate sandwich bar.

Cleo and Shawna enter the deserted café, which is apparently not an uncommon state for it. However, Cleo is interrupted when she supposedly sees a completely black figure with no noticeable face outside before it quickly disappears. She receives another voicemail, this time from Jordan, who asks to play some video games. Startled and concerned, she leaves him a return message swearing to kill him if his disappearance was all a prank. Noticing a strange smell, Cleo walks into the back room to get a member of staff but finds that all of the bar's food has been left to rot; nobody has entered for days.

Cleo's attempts at alerting Shawna are halted when Shawna spots a couple of "fuzzy" people out of the window, like what happened to the Requiem Group. Suddenly, Cleo's phone gets several more voicemails - repeats of some previous ones and a new one from a girl asking about No Hot Ashes, despite them not having existed for years. Cleo realises that the man asking about the orange juice was her former neighbour, Steve, and that all of the messages are from her childhood. Suddenly, the people outside get easier to see: they are essentially ghosts. Cleo tries filming some footage on her phone and then immediately attempts to call the police.

Lesley the emergency services operator listens to Cleo describe the figures trying to kill them as the ghosts swoop nearby and help is dispatched immediately. As Shawna tries to board up the door, two police cars containing four officers arrive, sirens blaring, but a third car is attacked by the ghosts and disintegrates in a howl of static, taking the officers with it. Realising they need to run, Cleo hangs up on Lesley and drags Shawna out.

Rather than running away from the ghosts, Cleo leads the way to her mum's flat, being forced to take the lift so they can reach the tenth floor in time. They only narrowly make it into the lift before the ghosts phase through the doors behind them and nearly attack Shawna, whose thoughts briefly turn to Abby's safety.

The friends arrive at Monica's flat and Cleo quickly notices that it is empty and unlocked, which is not usual for her mother. She notices a message on the landline phone and answers it, revealing Monica desperately asking after her daughter due to having been taken away somewhere, just like Jordan. Cleo picks up the phone and talks to her, with Monica revealing that she is behind her as they speak, but as a ghost. Cleo genuinely considers leaning in for a hug against her own advice about the ghosts, especially as Monica refers to her as "Cleo" for the first time, but their moment is interrupted when Requiem appears, slamming the door open and throwing an EMP grenade at the ghosts, destroying them and knocking out the girls.

As first Shawna and then Cleo wake up, they realise that they are faced with Requiem, who explains that she could only locate them through them coming to her meeting. She asks if they are companions of "him" before more ghosts arrive, destroying everything in their path. Requiem picks up a chair and smashes the tenth-floor window as a last-ditch escape route, but Cleo refuses to accept help from a stranger. Begrudgingly, Requiem takes off her veil, revealing her true form as a Silurian: Madame Vastra. With no other option, she forces them to jump out of the window.


Uncredited cast[]


  • Written by Doris V Sutherland
  • Additional Writing by Juno Dawson and Ella Watts
  • Produced and Directed by Ella Watts
  • Executive Producer: James Robinson
  • Sound Engineer: Paul Clark
  • Studio Assistant: Jacob Tombling
  • Sound Design: David Thomas
  • Additional Sound Design: Arlie Adlington
  • Original Composition: David Devereux
  • Production Co-ordinators: Sarah Sharpe and Sarah Nicholls
  • Script Editor: Tasha Dhanraj
  • Recorded at Sonica Studios, Clapham

A BBC Studios Production for BBC Sounds


  • When Cleo claims to see a person all in black, Shawna wonders if they are a Goth or a funeral director.
  • Cleo says that only Jessica Ennis could sprint up ten flights of steps faster than a lift.
  • Cleo nicknames one of the ghosts "Casper".


  • This is the only episode of Redacted in which Abby McPhail does not appear. However, she is mentioned in the story's summary.
  • Petronella Osgood is mentioned in the story's summary, but does not appear in the story itself, nor is she mentioned.


External links[]


  1. Although credited on the BBC Sounds website, Abby doesn't actually appear in this story.