Spoilers are precisely defined here. Rules vary by the story's medium. Info from television stories can't be added here until after the top or bottom of the hour, British time, closest to the end credits roll on BBC One. Therefore, fans in the Americas who are sensitive to spoilers should avoid Tardis on Sundays until they've seen the episode.



audio stub

Hysteria was the second story in the Doctor Who: Redacted podcast series, produced by BBC Sounds. It was written by Juno Dawson and starred Charlie Craggs as Cleo Proctor, Lois Chimimba as Abby McPhail, Holly Quin-Ankrah as Shawna Thompson.

The story also featured Jacob Hawley as Jordan Proctor, Kieran Hodgson as Oliver Morgenstern and Anjli Mohindra as Rani Chandra.

Publisher's summary[]

Following an ominous message from Rani Chandra, Cleo drags her brother Jordan to the creepiest hotel in London to find out what the hell she's talking about. Meanwhile, Abby meets Dr Oliver Morgenstern to ask him about what happened at Royal Hope Hospital in 2008.


Abby starts recording her opening speech for the next episode of The Blue Box Files, listing examples of when doctors through history have not been as trustworthy as they say they are. She stops and decides to chat with Cleo and Shawna about the episode's contents. Cleo repeats the story of being phoned by Rani Chandra about having to find someone called "the Doctor", leading Shawna to recall the disappearances of Graham and Ryan, while Abby mentions that some of the blue box records also mention a doctor. However, all the other forums are down and Abby's notes on the conspiracy are mysteriously corrupted.

Shawna is interrupted by police sirens and notices a group of officers talking to Najia and Hakim Khan who live nearby, leading her to wonder if their daughter on the force is OK. Cleo interrupts to mention that Rani could be some kind of serial killer when they meet, but Abby states that "the blue box doctor" is supposedly a man so she should be safe, and double-checks Rani's credentials. As she does, she also finds a new lead and quickly starts recording the podcast.

While recording, the trio mention how they have received no listener messages in the last week, but move on to discuss the phenomenon of mass hysteria. Although supposedly a debunked Victorian era medical occurrence in women, it has also been used to describe the time in 2008 when hundreds of witnesses all claimed that the Royal Hope Hospital in London seemingly vanished for a couple of hours before reappearing. People who were there all agree that the hospital was taken to the Moon, but despite claims, no BBC news coverage exists. Shawna lists several ways so many people could mass hallucinate, but Abby relishes in the news that 60% of sightings mention a vintage blue box, including a certain doctor that should not have been in the hospital.

Later on, Cleo is shopping as Abby calls her to try and get her to convince Penny Carter to keep her name on their podcast interview. Cleo agrees to try and reaches Penny's voicemail, which suddenly dissolves into horrible static noise. Upon trying again, it gets even worse.

Cleo gets home to find Jordan playing Call of Duty. She asks him if he has spoken to their mum, to which he replies that he is still planning to visit her on Sunday. Cleo is still convinced that she had some part in their father's disappearance, which Jordan protests, but he admits that even if he has just run away having an affair, they will never know. Trying to lighten the mood, Cleo jokes to Jordan that she is going on a "hot date" with Rani before explaining it is for the podcast. Jordan tells her that he will come and rescue her if anything strange happens.

The next day, Abby enters a café in Edinburgh and visits her next guest for the podcast: Doctor Oliver Morgenstern, making her slightly disappointed it is not the Doctor himself. After a short chat, they start recording, with Oliver hoping to set the record straight over the Royal Hope Hospital affair. Abby mentions reading his novel discussing "giant rhino aliens" taking the hospital to the Moon, but he claims to have re-evaluated his stance. Having since trained as a psychiatrist, he now believes that although a traumatic event did occur, it was likely to be related to some form of mass hysteria. Although he mentions other similar events of group delusions, Abby is disbelieving, especially as he was there himself. Oliver explains that he does not remember being on the Moon and just wishes to move on, especially as he lost his girlfriend and other friends over his beliefs - including one friend, Martha Jones, who became so caught up with a man called the Doctor that she vanished. Hearing this, Abby panics, makes her excuses, and promptly leaves.

On a street in London, Cleo meets up with Jordan who has agreed to accompany her on her meeting with Rani. She ignores Abby's call and braces herself to enter Rani's meeting place: a hotel that they both admit is very creepy.

Meanwhile, Abby next tries phoning Shawna and she answers. Abby explains that after her meeting with Oliver, she is convinced that Rani might be dangerous and that Cleo is in trouble. Both being several hours' drive away, they cannot visit in person and are too embarrassed to call the police. Shawna worriedly says that she does not want to become the next subject of their podcast.

In the strangely empty hotel, Cleo and Jordan ask to visit Rani, and the receptionist redirects them to Suite 13 on the fourth floor. Concerned, Jordan admits that when passing the street on the way to his building work, he never saw a hotel in this location. Reaching the suite, they notice the key is very strange-looking, but it works on the door and they enter the empty room.

Suddenly, a whirring stirs up and a hologram of Rani appears. She refuses to explain where she is or what she is doing but admits that she needs Cleo's help. Cleo is convinced that she would be no use, but Rani admits that a group of former friends of the Doctor have been tracking the podcast from afar, noting that people who have been in his sphere of influence have been going missing. Rani insists that Cleo must tattoo herself with the phrase "the Doctor in their TARDIS" somewhere she can see it so she does not forget, but Cleo refuses. Suddenly, the sound of explosions is heard in the background of Rani's side; she says that "they" know the Doctor is gone and are trying to strike. Rani explains that the Doctor would never hurt his friends intentionally, but with Luke, Clyde, Martha, and Jo gone, there are only three of their group left. She is interrupted by a robot voice telling her to freeze, so she begs Cleo to find the Doctor and their blue box before being forced to duck out of the way of an explosion. The robot appears on the hologram, having detected human signs where Cleo and Jordan are in London. It finds their location and begins to teleport to the hotel, saying that the humans must die.



  • Written by Juno Dawson
  • Produced by Ella Watts
  • Directed by Ella Watts and James Robinson
  • 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
  • Recorded at Sonica Studios, Clapham

A BBC Studios Production for BBC Sounds



  • The Blue Box Files covers the incident at Royal Hope Hospital (TV: Smith and Jones) claiming that it occurred in 2008. However, in doing so, it contradicts its own claim that the events of Partners in Crime occurred in 2008 as well, since there's a Christmas in between and Donna mentions those events - "that replica of the Titanic flying over Buckingham Palace on Christmas Day" - and Wilf mentions both prior Christmas Specials. The Sontaran Stratagem also places Voyage of the Damned, chronologically, before Partners in Crime as Wilf mentions the Doctor "disappeared right in front of me" and Donna is already with the Doctor.


External links[]