The Doctor and Peri find themselves in the Museum of Aural Antiquities, where every sound is stored for posterity — from the speeches of Visteen Krane to security service wire taps and interrogation tapes. But they also find an intruder, mysteriously changed recordings, and a dead body.
Before long the Doctor realises that there is more going on than a simple break-in or murder. How can he defeat a creature that is made of pure sound?
The Doctor and Peri are having an argument in the TARDIS. Peri claims that the Doctor still doesn't know how to fly the ship and the Doctor admits that he is not always accurate. They look out through the scanner onto a dark landscape.
Elsewhere, the curator of the Museum of Aural Antiquities, Gantman, and his assistant, Miles Napton, are revising the speeches of Visteen Krane, stored in the archives. Gantman claims that Krane was the greatest actor that ever lived that he could have run for president, had he not died. Gantman departs for bed whilst Miles remains working.
Within the museum, two pairs have broken in and are sneaking around; the Doctor and Peri and Dent and Fotherill. The latter pair break into the sound decks within the museum. They retrieve file '973/15', which is Krane's speech that Gantman was earlier listening to. As Dent starts to make the necessary changes to the file, she is alerted by the sound of whistling outside the sound deck. In a panic, they both creep out and are separated in the dark corridors. Fotherill attempts to call out for Dent but with no reply. Suddenly, he hears an altered, computerised version of Dent's voice. The disembodied voice states that Dent is not there and is overlaid with the sound of children laughing. Terrified, Fotherill attempts to run away. He unknowingly wanders into the restricted archives and after a warning from the security systems, he is electrocuted for trespassing. This triggers an alarm which wakes Gantman from his sleep.
The Doctor and Peri accidentally walk in on Dent making changes to another Krane audio file. She is startled and quickly instructs the computer to destroy all change logs. She flees the room before they have a chance to question her. Intrigued, the pair begins to follow her through the corridors and stumble upon Fotherill's charred corpse. Trying to replicate the death sequence, the Doctor concludes that he knocked his head on the table and fell into the electrified security doors. They are soon discovered by Detective Berkeley. He immediately accuses the pair of pushing Fotherill into the doors in order to murder him. Outraged, they are marched to Gantman's office. They recount their story to the curator and his assistant. When describing how they found Dent, they state that they distinctly remember hearing the words "No single man is greater than his policies" playing over the speakers. Gantman is quick to correct them by telling them that the quote is "A single man is greater than his policies". He continues to assure them of this when they further deny it. It is here that Gantman reveals that he is blind and that he has a very sharp sense of hearing. They replay the clip to settle the dispute and, to Gantman's surprise, the Doctor and Peri are correct. Outraged, he says that Beth Pernell, curator of the Krane tribute, will verify his memories of the audio file when she arrives the next day.
In a flashback sequence, Fotherill is commanded to meet Dent outside the museum by an unknown, robotic voice. He is assured that she knows what to do. When asked, he confirms that he knows the identity of the voice.
Elsewhere in the museum, Dent is still searching for Fotherill in vain. She hears his voice played back in a computerised manner, just as Fotherill had heard hers earlier. She calls out for him, assuming it is only him playing the fool. The voice morphs into that heard in the flashback scene and soon it gets louder and louder, mocking her shouts and laughing in a robotic voice. With the voice yelling after her, she escapes the museum.
Intrigued by the noise, the Doctor and Peri go down to investigate. As they arrive, it gets louder still. They try to call out for hope but they are drowned out. The voice shouts angrily, asking "Who am I?". Petrified, Peri lets out a bloodcurdling scream.
- The Doctor - Colin Baker
- Peri - Nicola Bryant
- Amber Dent / Car Computer - Rebecca Jenkins
- Goff Fotherill / Computer Voice - Hylton Collins
- Visteen Krane - Matthew Brenher
- Radio Announcer - Harvey Summers
- Museum Curator Gantman - Peter Miles
- Miles Napton - Mark Trotman
- Detective Berkeley - Nick Scovell
- Hans Stengard - Steffan Boje
- Beth Pernell - Lisa Bowerman
- Answerphone Message - Justin Richards
- Audio Voices - Jacqueline Rayner
- The Doctor quotes Macbeth.
- This audio drama was recorded on 17 and 18 July 1999 at the Nu Groove Studios, London.
- Oddly, this story doesn't use either the Peter Howell or Dominic Glynn theme tunes associated with the Sixth Doctor's era, but rather the second rendition of the Delia Derbyshire theme tune used from 1967-1980.
- The characters' names come from Justin Richards's Mission: Impossible episode guide.
- This is the first main range release to not feature the Fifth Doctor.
- Working titles for the story included The Sound of Fear and Sound Judgement.
- This story was originally released on CD and cassette. It is now available as a download, as well as to stream on Spotify.
- This story is set between Revelation of the Daleks and The Trial of a Time Lord.
- Official Whispers of Terror page at bigfinish.com
- DisContinuity for Whispers of Terror at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide