The Macros, based on the unproduced TV story The Macro Men, is the eighth Lost Story of Season 23 to be developed into an audio play. It stars Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant as the Sixth Doctor and Peri Brown.
The TARDIS materialises on the USS Eldridge, after the Philadelphia Experiment has gone disastrously wrong. Most of the crew are dead, the ship is disintegrating, and the Doctor soon realises that the problem comes from another dimension...
As they attempt to find a way to get the ship home, the Doctor and Peri visit the distant planet Capron and meet its tyrannical ruler Osloo. But the search for a possible solution only creates increasingly dire problems. Osloo's horizons have been widened – and space and time are hers for the taking...
Two men aboard the a ship are talking. They check the instruments and repair some damage that one attributes to moisture at sea. He says the interface was a few seconds off. They discuss the countdown on board and what will happen when it reaches zero.
The TARDIS lands and the Sixth Doctor and Peri Brown walk out. Peri notices that there is thick fog outside. Peri is trying to get back to Baltimore to contact her family. The Doctor determines that they are on a ship at sea. Peri hears two men talking, but they don't see her or acknowledge her when she tries to make contact with them. They are repeating their previous conversation. As Peri tries to get back in the TARDIS to leave, the Doctor tells her that he noticed something went wrong as they were materialising, some sort of interdimensional temporal flux that caught them between two dimensions. Peri looks and sees the same two men repeating the same conversation again. They decide to investigate. Peri calls the Doctor over to the capstan where he finds it covered in a strange, green rust. They notice that the ship is being eaten away by the rust.
Up in the wheelhouse, the Doctor and Peri find the Captain and helmsman. The Doctor tries talking to them and notice that the Captain is just like the other men they saw on the ship, he can't see or hear them. The Captain initiates a 20 second countdown. Peri tries to switch off the panel, but is unable to change anything. The Doctor determines they can't interact because all this has already happened. At zero, the men on the bridge disappear. Suddenly, the conversation begins again. A life vest on the ship reads USS Eldridge and the Doctor explains that the Eldridge was the subject of invisibility experiments in 1943. They head back to the TARDIS as the conversation on the bridge starts again.
As the Doctor explains what's happening to Peri, they don't realise they're being watched by Brian Tessler and Bosun who are unaffected by what's happening on the ship. The Doctor takes a probe out of his pocket and asks Peri to find a large patch of the green rust and put the probe into it so he can take some reading back at the TARDIS. The probe has a two way communicator so the Doctor can keep track of her. Peri walks back to the capstan and the Doctor begins his diagnosis. He determines that the rust has anti magnetic elements. The Doctor begins talking to himself trying to determine where the rust is coming from.
Peri screams as she is grabbed and gagged by Tessler. The Doctor shouts for Peri. They remove the gag and Peri explains that she and the Doctor are there to help. Peri asks why they can see her. Bosun responds that Tessler thinks it was because of where they were in the ship when the test went off, but they're really not sure. They all introduce themselves. Bosun says that Tessler has been working on their problem, but can't pinpoint a time of how long that has been. The Doctor explains that the ship is caught between two dimensions and if Tessler is able to boost the power in their generators, they should be able to pop themselves in one of the two dimensions. He says he's been trying to do that but each time they boost the generators it drains away without moving the ship. The Doctor explains there is another element at play, but Tessler may find it difficult to believe.
On the Planet Capron, Commander Bundth introduces Presidena Osloo. She explains to the court that the traitor is her step-son, Commander Ezz who has been mislead by subversive elements of society. Currently, the planet uses slave labour to extract power for the city and Ezz wishes to stop this practice saying this is destroying the world. Osloo asks the council to pass judgement on him.
to be continued
to be added
- The Doctor – Colin Baker
- Peri Brown – Nicola Bryant
- Presidenta Osloo/Anne Tessler - Linda Marlowe
- Commander Ezz / Steward - Jack Galagher
- Lady Yka - Rachael Elizabeth
- Professor Brian Tessler - Vincent Pirillo
- Bosun / Guard - Stewart Alexander
- Mers / Admiral Greg Calloway / 1st Rigger - Paul David-Gough
- Chancellor Bundth / 2nd Rigger / Captain / Guard / Tannoy - Matt Addis
- The riggers refer to the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
- Presidente Osloo is the ruler of Capron. She imprisons her stepson Commander Ezz on a trumped-up charge of treason.
- Professor Tessler compares the Doctor to H. G. Wells.
- The Doctor compares the colourful sky of Capron to the aurora borealis.
- Peri cannot sing. However, she attempts to sing Row, Row, Row Your Boat for Osloo and her guests.
- Time passes much more rapidly in Capron's pocket universe than in the primary one.
- The USS Eldridge has been trapped in a state of temporal flux for 67 years.
- The Doctor tells Anne Tessler that he is Dr John Smith and that Peri is his niece.
- Admiral Greg Calloway was the best man at the Tesslers' wedding.
- The Macros, originally The Macro Men, was an unproduced story for Doctor Who written by Ingrid Pitt and her husband Tony Rudlin after the former played Solow in Warriors of the Deep in 1984. Pitt also played Galleia in The Time Monster in 1972. The couple first got the idea from reading Charles Berlitz' The Philadelphia Experiment, a story about an experiment conducted by the United States during World War II in the attempts to try and make the USS Eldridge invisible to RADAR.
- This audio drama was recorded on 2 and 3 November 2009 at The Moat Studios.
- This story is set between Revelation of the Daleks and The Trial of a Time Lord.
- Peri requested that the Doctor take her to visit her mother Janine Foster and her stepfather Howard Foster in Baltimore, Maryland in 1984 to let them know that she is alright after she left them on Lanzarote to travel with the Fifth Doctor. (TV: Planet of Fire) They would eventually do so after Peri learned that Anthony Chambers, her best friend Katherine Chambers' father, had been murdered. (AUDIO: The Reaping)
- The Doctor tells Peri that the TARDIS was once accidentally reduced in size. (TV: Planet of Giants)
- The Doctor is able to restore Peri to full health by placing her in the Zero Room. He tells Ezz and Yka that he has used it himself to recover from accidents. (TV: Castrovalva)
- Peri tells Yka that, during her travels with the Doctor, she has been transformed into a bird (TV: Vengeance on Varos), placed on "an Androgum's lunch menu" (TV: The Two Doctors), chased by Ice Warriors (AUDIO: Red Dawn, The Bride of Peladon, Mission to Magnus) and Tractators (AUDIO: The Hollows of Time) and that she was once almost trapped on the astral place (AUDIO: Point of Entry).
- The Doctor took a battery from Reverend Foxwell's laboratory in Hollowdean, England during the early 1980s. (AUDIO: The Hollows of Time)
- The Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond would later visit the U.S.S. Eldridge during the 23rd century. (GAME: Shadows of the Vashta Nerada)
- Official The Macros page at bigfinish.com
- DisContinuity for The Macros at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide