Technophobia was the first story in the The Tenth Doctor Adventures: Volume One, produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by Matt Fitton and featured David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor and Catherine Tate as Donna Noble.
Publisher's summary Edit
The most brilliant IT brain in the country can't use her computer. More worrying, the exhibits are attacking the visitors, while outside, people seem to be losing control of the technology that runs their lives.
Is it all down to simple human stupidity, or is something more sinister going on?
Bex is visiting the London Technology Museum when she runs into Donna. Donna helped her open an automatic door and they chat a bit while drinking free coffee. Finally, the the Doctor meets up with them and introduces himself to Bex. The Doctor is fascinated by the M-pad, a tablet-like device with a built-in A.I named Silvi. They then hear a scream and rush off to help.
They find a man being “attacked” by a painting robot. The Doctor deactivates the robot and scans it, noting it is working completely fine. Donna and Bex asks the man for his name and what has happened, and he said his name is Brian and the robot just starts attacking him. They then go to make some coffee to cool off. The Doctor and Donna go and look at some more exhibits, and the Doctor feels something is off. The museum is way too quiet and devoid of visitors.
Meanwhile, Jill Meadows is doing an online interview regarding the M-pad, when suddenly the device lost connection. Jill starts to feel disorientated. Then the call reconnects to Terry. They chat a bit before the call ends and Jill is locked out of her M-pad. Silvi then says: “We are the Koggnossenti, you know nothing.”
Back at the museum floor, the Doctor inquires about why people seems to be spooked by technology. Then Brian starts to become afraid of the coffee machine. The Doctor hypnotises Brian with his sonic screwdriver to calm him down. Then the lift starts to come down, with a janitor named Lukas inside being completely terrified. The Doctor scans the lift, but finds it to be completely normal. The Doctor is now intrigued as to what is happening to everyone. They then noticed Brian has gone missing.
Brian has wandered off and cut the power to the museum. He then encounters the Koggnossenti, which kills him. The Doctor and Donna wanders the street to look for Brian. London is in chaos, with everyone being suddenly afraid of machines. Bex and Lukas informed the Doctor they found Brian. The Doctor examined Brian’s corpse, and notes that Brian’s brain has appeared to be “switched off”. They then receive a call from Jill Meadows asking for help. They then head up to help her.
The group enters the office and find Jill cowering under her desk. Jill is afraid of her M-pad. Meanwhile, Bex and Lucas are watching a news forecast where the news anchor suddenly becomes afraid of the teleprompter. Then the Koggnossenti’s voice come through. They then go to inform the Doctor. The Doctor deduces whatever is happening is affecting people’s minds instead of the machines. Then a Roomba comes in and Bex and Lucas scatter. The Roomba starts following Lucas, which causes him to jump out of a window to his death.
At the Koggnossenti ship, overseer Kram informs they need live human samples to increase the efficiency of the machine. Supervisor Lobo orders all humans to be reduced to competency level 0 and to capture more humans. Back at the office, Bex is worried about her grandmother and wants to go find her. The Doctor then notices Donna and Bex are not affected. The Doctor guess that the more one is exposed to digital devices and machines, the quicker they are affected. The Doctor then have them go outside to find Bex’s grandmother.
Donna and Bex head to the subway. They hear trains are still running. At the escalator, Bex starts to get affected. Bex is too afraid to go on, but Donna helps her through the gates and down the escalator. They then notice something with red eyes coming down the subway tracks. They start running, and a man saves them by opening up a lift and holding the doors open for them, but Bex can’t get on and they are forced to abandon her. Bex is subsequently captured by the Koggnossenti.
At the office, the Doctor is examining Jill Meadows with the sonic screwdriver. The sonic suddenly stops working. The Doctor then resorts to using a metronome to hypnotize Jill to staying calm. Donna Noble later returns to the Doctor with the man. The man introduces himself as Kevin, a train driver. Donna and Kevin tells the Doctor the aliens are hiding out in the subway tunnels. The Doctor then notices Bex is missing. The Doctor and Donna then takes Kevin to the TARDIS.
Back at the Koggnossenti’s ship, they put Bex into a cage. They notice that Bex is not affected as much as she wasn’t in town when they started. They explain they plan to reduce the intelligence of the human race to conquer the planet.
At the Tardis, the Doctor detects the alien’s base in the London underground. The Doctor then collapses on the ground as what’s happening to everyone else is affecting him too. The Doctor stumbles out of the Tardis in pain. Kevin asked again about the alien’s base, and Donna asked what kept the trains running when the aliens are there. Kevin then says no trains are running. The Doctor then realises the aliens are using infra-sound in the London underground to affect the human mind. The Doctor then shuts off higher brain functions to be able to walk. He says they need to get to the underground. Donna then commandeers a bulldozer to break open the shutters to the subway.
The Doctor and Donna wanders into the London underground and into the Koggnossenti’s base. They are then imprisoned in the same cage as Bex. While the Doctor and Donna distracts them, Kevin uses the trains to disable the Koggnossenti’s machine by ramming into them.. The Doctor’s and everyone else’s intelligence has returned. They then free all the captured humans and has Bex help them escape. The Doctor tampers with the machine with the sonic while pretending he is simply scanning them. Then power to the alien’s machine has returned, and the Doctor gives them one chance to get away. The aliens then reactivate the machine, and the Doctor revealed he changed the machine to target the Koggnossenti’s mind. The Koggnossentis then try to escape while the Doctor run out of the ship. Due to their reduced intelligence, they instead blow themselves up.
The Doctor and Donna then meet up with Kevin and Bex. They all say their goodbyes and then the Doctor and Donna go check up with Jill Meadows. Jill has no memory of the events of the past few hours and the Doctor suggests she takes an hour off. She agrees, and the Doctor shuts off her M-pad.
- The Doctor - David Tennant
- Donna Noble - Catherine Tate
- Bex - Niky Wardley
- Jill Meadows - Rachael Stirling
- Brian - Chook Sibtain
- Kevin - Rory Keenan
- Lukas - Jot Davies
- Silvi - Rachael Stirling
- Terry / Newsreader / Koggnossenti - Rory Keenan
- Kram - Jot Davies
- Lobo / Koggnossenti - Chook Sibtain
Companions of the Doctor Edit
- Bex asks Donna whether she needs to check on friends and family. However, Donna assumed her mother and gramps would be fine.
Popular culture Edit
- By 2011, most films are 3D. There is also a movie about Justin Bieber.
- Katie Price has a perfume.
- Donna nicknames the malfunctioning paint droid "Metal Michelangelo".
- "User-friendly" is a popular phrase in technology.
- Donna has recently been on a shopping spree in Henrik's.
- The Doctor gets excited by dongles.
- In the early 22nd century, the Robot Olympics began.
- When his sonic screwdriver fails to work, the Doctor works out that it isn't a fault with the sonic. Instead the sonic can't connect to the thought patterns in his failing brain functions.
- The Koggnossenti hub ship transmatted to London from another dimension.
- The mind control used by the Koggnossenti works on 99.2 per cent of people leaving 0.8 unaffected.
Earth culture Edit
Alien culture Edit
- The Doctor says that robotic art is similar in quality to the work housed in the Eminesence Gallery on Terileptus 9.
- Upon release of this story, Big Finish's website crashed with the sheer amount of internet traffic on their site. The website remained under maintenance for several hours.
- This was David Tennant's first appearance in a Big Finish audio drama since The Wasting in June 2005, though this is his first as the Doctor.
- Originally, this story was intended to be about sleep deprivation. However, when Big Finish sent the script over to Cardiff, they became aware that a TV episode with a similar plot, Sleep No More, was being produced, so Matt Fitton changed the plot of the story. (VOR 87)
- This story was released dubbed in German, as Technophobie.
- Axel Malzacher voiced the Doctor, Kordula Leiße voiced Donna, Cathlen Gawlich voiced Jill Meadows, Daniela Hoffman voiced Silvi, Lars Schmidtke voiced Brian, Julia Stoepel voiced Bex, Sebastian Walch voiced Kevin and Carsten Wilhelm voiced Lukas. Arne Fuhrmann, Mario Hassert, Sebastian Kaufmane, Thomas Martin and Nico Tech provided additional voices.
Cover gallery Edit
- The Doctor tells Donna that some of his best friends had been robots. (TV: The Invisible Enemy, The King's Demons)
- Donna shows her lack of knowledge and interest in technology. (TV: The Runaway Bride, Journey's End)
- Donna tells the Doctor that she hasn't sneaked a look at any of her future. The Doctor once warned her not to peek at future events during a trip to the Library in the 51st century. (TV: Silence in the Library)
- Before catching up with the Doctor in the museum, Donna decides to go on a shopping spree in a local branch of Henrik's. (TV: Rose)
- The Doctor and Donna are once again mistaken for a couple. (TV: The Fires of Pompeii, Planet of the Ood)
- Donna refers to the Doctor as "Spaceman". (TV: Journey's End)
- When Kevin first enters the TARDIS, he is amazed yet sceptical at the bigger interior of the ship. (TV: An Unearthly Child, Rose) He later tries to rationalise it as a trick "with mirrors", a similar thing was said about another subject matter while the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble helped Agatha Christie solve a crime on 8 December 1926. (TV: The Unicorn and the Wasp).
- When Donna states that the TARDIS "fizzles in", the Doctor corrects her by attempting to replicate the noise made by the TARDIS. He will go on to attempt to do the same in his eleventh incarnation. (TV: The Time of Angels)
- In order to enter a locked tube station, Donna drives a digger into its shutters. When noticing that she has run over a parking meter, she clearly expresses her lack of remorse. After her travels with the Doctor, Donna would later go on to threaten a parking attendant. (TV: The End of Time)
- Technology is used to make computers seem complicated. Similarly, hypnotic suggestion was once used to make the Serfboard seem amazing despite it being bog-standard. (TV: The Man Who Never Was)
- Official Technophobia page at bigfinish.com
- Official Doctor Who auf Deutsch: Technophobie page at bigfinish.com