The Sonomancer was the fourth and final story in the audio anthology Doom Coalition 2, produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by Matt Fitton and featured Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, Nicola Walker as Liv Chenka, Hattie Morahan as Helen Sinclair and Alex Kingston as River Song.
Publisher's summary[edit | edit source]
On the other side of the galaxy a mining company is exploiting the already unstable planet of Syra for every precious mineral it contains. River Song is attempting to save the native people. She needs the Doctor's help, but she also knows he mustn't yet discover her true identity. The final confrontation sees the Doctor once again face his enemy the Eleven in an attempt to prevent the destruction of Syra and the genocide of its inhabitants.
Plot[edit | edit source]
River pinpoints the spot where she says "everything will begin" and has Mariam blow a horn. With a quake coming, River agrees that Mariam's people should relocate and tells her to have Madam Yeva look after her vortex manipulator and a paper message which should soon teleport to her assistant and, thanks to her sonic screwdriver, relay coordinates.
At the nearby volcano, a mineworker is killed by the Eleven and an alarm sounds. A number of people scream. River encounters Ruslan and tells him that she is the planet's only hope, but he locks her up in a mining capsule. Caleera - now calling herself the Sonomancer - calls out to the Eleven, who she says is enjoying his work too much, and orders him to return to his TARDIS. Trapped as the planet approaches destruction, River threatens Ruslan, telling him to wait until her husband gets home.
The Doctor, Liv and Helen are tracking seismic activity on the planet and spot Mariam and her people, escaping said activity. Mariam tells them that the planet is called Syra and, using her diviner, detects that a quake is about to hit them. The ground splits and the Doctor hurries to the TARDIS with Liv, having an idea.
Ruslan tells Madam Yeva that, whilst Mariam leads people away from the lakeside settlements, Madam Yeva must herself move camps once again due to seismic activity. He asks to inspect River's sonic screwdriver, but Madam Yeva denies him, saying that she has only been gone for two days and may yet return.
River is still in the capsule and has thus far tried 50,000 different codes to get out. She notes that the Doctor should be there already and laments not having a TARDIS of her own, with which she could easily send out a cancelling wave.
The Doctor emerges from the TARDIS and tells Helen that Liv is holding down a button which is creating such a wave as River talked to herself about. He names Helen their ambassador to the natives and tells her to get an audience with their leader whilst he and Liv head to the energy source within the volcano.
The Sonomancer is meditating and detects the Doctor's presence on the planet, which she says is the reason that she brought the Eleven with her.
Mariam gives the Doctor and Liv a Six Legs to ride and assigns Ivo the job of looking after Helen and the TARDIS. The Doctor gives Helen his sonic screwdriver to detect tremors caused by the Gift and tells her to get Madam Yeva to get the Syrans underground whilst he and Liv try to prevent the Gift doing more damage.
Helen meets with Madam Yeva, who is told by Ruslan that they will have to move camp again and leaves to speak with the Elders. Helen agrees to go with Ruslan to an underground bunker which he claims to hope that they can convince the Syrans to retreat to. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Liv climb the volcano and find a cave through which they can enter. Ruslan pulls a laser drill on Helen and, after she denies being from a rival company, locks her in a mining capsule with River. She welcomes Helen to Syra.
The Doctor and Liv walk deeper into the volcano. River tells Helen about how she came to investigate a power surge that she detected and, once Helen intimates that she is a companion of the Doctor, she shows her pictures of him in her diary Helen points him out and River says that, in that case, she cannot meet him.
As well as abandoned tools, the Doctor and Liv find bodies and, as they descend, there is a cave-in. River explains to Helen her asynchronous relationship with the Doctor and the two escape after Helen produces the Doctor's sonic screwdriver.
The Sonomancer taps into the trace of the Gift in the Doctor's mind and locates him in the Eleven's trap. She sends the Eleven to deal with him, saying that the Doctor has arrived too soon.
Helen and River return to Madam Yeva to tell her about Ruslan. River takes back her sonic screwdriver and vortex manipulator and finds that the volcano is being shielded with a damper field, prompting her and Helen to head there. Helen tells River that the Doctor and Liv are there, looking for the Gift.
The Doctor and Liv are mostly unharmed and climb from the rubble. The Doctor tells her that the circumstances have escalated and that the entire planet is at risk before hearing the Eleven talking to himself nearby. River climbs onto a Six Legs to carry her to the volcano when Helen insists that she join too, climbing up with her and beginning their journey. Liv draws off the Eleven and attacks him, knocking his gun into the lava.
Encountering Ruslan, River shoots his laser drill and orders him to leave, handing him over to Mariam. She and Helen take his scooter and continue on as Mariam tells her people that they will no longer help Ruslan.
The Doctor finds the Sonomancer, who corrects him when he calls her "Caleera". She tells him that nobody can survive her song and attacks. Meanwhile, Liv gets into a mechanical mining suit and attacks the Eleven to keep him from the Doctor. The Sonomancer gives the Doctor the chance to join her, which he refuses, and he asks why she is causing such destruction.
River uses her screwdriver to find Galactic Heritage's frequency before sending a transmission using her vortex manipulator, directing them to the planet. She hands her vortex manipulator to Helen and tells her to talk to GH when they arrive. Both in mining suits, Liv and the Eleven continue to fight. River detects multiple Time Lords, which surprises her, and saves Liv from the Eleven, who falls. She and Helen help Liv climb to safety and River introduces herself as Melody Malone.
The Doctor asks the Sonomancer to save the Syrans, but she refuses and says that it is already too late. The Eleven reappears and takes Helen hostage, forcing River to drop her gun. She kicks it off the ledge and tells Helen to press the green button on the vortex manipulator, making her disappear. River and Liv knock him down and Helen reappears with Madam Yeva and Mariam. She responds to GH's call. River beats the Eleven with Venusian aikido and, with Liv's help, locks him in a mining capsule.
Ruslan tries to fly away from Syra but finds that his ship is unable to. Below, the Syrans chant a song which causes the ship to tremble. The Doctor calls on the Gift still within his mind and uses it to flood the room with lava, causing the Sonomancer to scream. GH arrive and Helen directs the Syrans into the lights that they beam down before following River's orders and entering the TARDIS, using the fast return button to materialise it in the volcano thanks to the Doctor's recall. River tells Liv and Helen to keep the Doctor out of trouble until it is her turn and leaves using her vortex manipulator.
The Doctor arrives and gets into the TARDIS with Liv and Helen, dematerialising it before the planet dies. On a GH ship, Mariam tells Madam Yeva that they will be taken to New Syra to begin again, saying that they take their song wherever they go.
The Eleven, trapped in the mining capsule as the planet is destroyed, is saved by the Sonomancer, who teleports him into their TARDIS. She has transcended, becoming sound and energy. She rhetorically asks what her love would think if he could see her. The Eleven says that they must return and pilots the TARDIS.
The Doctor finds that, according to the TARDIS databank, Syra is not supposed to be destroyed for millennia and wonders how the Sonomancer could destroy it. Helen blames herself for the planet's destruction due to her having been the one to convince the Doctor to save Caleera and lies when the Doctor asks about the "Hello Sweetie" card and when Liv asks about "Miss Malone". The Doctor can find no trace of the Eleven's TARDIS and says that he has no clue where to start looking for the Sonomancer.
In a shop, River browses clocks and uses her sonic screwdriver to find a specific one. She sonicks it, leaving a "pointer to another rendezvous" for the Doctor, Liv and Helen, saying to herself that she will have to find something fabulous to wear.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- The Doctor - Paul McGann
- Liv Chenka - Nicola Walker
- Helen Sinclair - Hattie Morahan
- River Song - Alex Kingston
- The Eleven - Mark Bonnar
- Caleera - Emma Cunniffe
- Ruslan / Ivo - Derek Ezenagu
- Yeva - Janet Fullerlove
- Mariam - Laura Harding
- Mineworker / Galactic Heritage Officer / Shopkeeper - John Banks
References[edit | edit source]
- The Eleven kills a mineworker called Ved.
- The Syrans use diviners, which remind the Doctor and Helen of didgeridoos.
- Ruslan plans on digging a new mine at the lakeside settlements.
- River has a doctorate from Luna University, five master's from the Sorbonne in as many alternative timelines and an honorary membership of the Royal Society.
- River is locked in a mining capsule and has to break a six-digit alphanumeric entry coder with 17,550,000 possible codes.
- River says that, with a TARDIS, she could neutralise the tremors by bouncing out a cancelling wave of the direct coefficient to the tectonic resonance.
- The Doctor names Helen as the TARDIS crew's ambassador to the natives.
- River has modified her vortex manipulator with a weather app and a subspace communicator.
- River claims to have escaped the Bloody Tower and the private boudoir of the Marquis de Sade as well as the Stormcage Containment Facility.
- Liv says that she would prefer to travel by Navcon than Six Legs.
- Madam Yeva consults the Elders.
- On Kaldor, Liv went mountain-climbing with her father.
- Syra has every metal required for hyperdrives and nanodrives.
- Ruslan threatens Helen with a laser drill.
- Ruslan asks if Helen is one of "Greeslo's lot" at GalactiCorp.
- River says that she is either an archaeologist or anthropologist depending on when she arrives.
- The miners use mechanical mining suits.
- Ruslan uses a damper field around his mines to cover up the damage.
- Helen worked as a specialist in translation for the Department of Linguistics in the National Museum.
- River mentions her and the Doctor's wedding.
- The Doctor mentions the Music of the Spheres.
- River learnt aikido at the Venusian Martial Arts Academy for one of her honeymoons, having misread the brochure.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- This story was recorded at The Moat Studios.
Continuity[edit | edit source]
- River asks Helen if the Doctor has come as "the magician, (TV: The Husbands of River Song) the spiv or the geography teacher." (TV: Let's Kill Hitler onwards)
- This incarnation would later encounter River in an encoded radio transmission, when she was under the pseudonym of Miss Spritz. (AUDIO: The Rulers of the Universe)
- River is under the impression that all the Time Lords are dead. (TV: The End of the World, etc.)
- River calls herself Melody Malone. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan, PROSE: The Angel's Kiss: A Melody Malone Mystery)
- The Eleven sees that River has some aspects of a Time Lord. (TV: A Good Man Goes to War)
- River references her doctorate from Luna University. (TV: Let's Kill Hitler, A Good Man Goes to War)
- River says, "Just you wait 'til my husband gets home!" (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan)
- River shows Helen three pictures of the Doctor in her diary to find out which incarnation she is travelling with: the magician, the spiv, or the geography teacher, but Helen says she is not travelling with any of them, then points out the Eighth Doctor's image and says she is travelling with him. River realises she cannot meet the Eighth Doctor or it will interfere with their timelines. (TV: The Time of Angels, The Husbands of River Song)
- River comments that it would be very unlucky for the Doctor to see her "this many lifetimes before the wedding." (TV: The Wedding of River Song)
- River uses Venusian martial arts on the Eleven. (TV: The Mind of Evil, etc.)
- A trace of the Gift is in the Doctor's mind. (AUDIO: The Gift)
- River contacts Galactic Heritage (PROSE: The Tomorrow Windows, etc.) and tells Helen that they have warships.
- Liv mentions the Lorelei. (AUDIO: Robophobia)
- The Doctor awards gold stars to his companions. (TV: Demons of the Punjab)
- The Doctor set a recall on his sonic screwdriver. (AUDIO: The Satanic Mill)
- Helen feels guilty for the destruction of Syra as she was the one to convince the Doctor to save Caleera on the old TARDIS. (AUDIO: Scenes From Her Life)