WARNING: YOU ARE ABOUT TO ENTER THE CUBE. ALL FORMS OF
TELEPATHY ARE PROHIBITED. DO NOT ATTEMPT TELEPORTATION UNDER
ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. PSYCHIC POWERS WILL BE FORCIBLY REMOVED.
CAUTION: YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS. YOU HAVE NO POWERS. YOU HAVE
NO DEFENCE. YOU ARE NOW INSIDE THE CUBE...
One of the most immediately noticeable aspects of this production
is the sound design by Joseph Fox. His incidental music, with
its unusual mixture of synthesised strings - ponderously plucked
strings working at odds with the more urgent bow work, like
hippies protesting in the face of violent conflict - would
not seem out of place in a movie about the Vietnam War. It
just feels as though it's of that era and mood.
is entirely appropriate, because the story, like Star Trek:
The Next Generation's The Hunted and The X-Files'
Sleepless, is a sci-fi metaphor for the punishments
endured by Vietnam veterans who, altered by their experiences
in the war, found it difficult to integrate back into society.
For many vets it was the horrors of the conflict and their
lethal training that made them a menace to society. For the
inmates of the Cube, it is the deadly psychic powers they
acquired during their training.
Doctor (Paul McGann), a man not unknown for his mental prowess,
finds himself a prisoner within the Cube, but he finds it
hard to defend his innocence, owing to the fact that he's
lost his memory. Yes, I know, the Eighth Doctor suffering
from amnesia - again. I could list some previous examples
of this incarnation's propensity for memory-loss (on TV, in
books and on audio) but it might be quicker to list the stories
in which Doctor number eight doesn't lose his memory!
characteristic more associated with McGann's successor, Christopher
Eccleston, is the Doctor's interest in football. The Time
Lord had never paid much attention to the beautiful game before
the 2005 television series, instead favouring more upper-class
pursuits such as cricket. Then, in Aliens of London,
the Ninth Doctor admitted to Mickey Smith that the TARDIS
scanner receives "all the basic packages" of TV channels,
including the football. Perhaps with this in mind - or, more
likely, McGann's own love of the game - writer Trevor Baxendale
has the Eighth Doctor making a number of footie-related metaphors.
slightly more explicit piece of foreshadowing of the new television
series is the revelation that the Doctor owns more than one
sonic screwdriver. This might be an attempt to explain the
device's radical change of appearance between the old series
and the new. It's also possible that one of the screwdrivers
(probably the more advanced model, which seems to have an
almost infinite number of settings) is the one that Romana
gave to the Seventh Doctor at the end of the New Adventures
production is a little slow-moving, but this is offset to
an extent by Baxendale's jumbling of the sequence of events
during the first disc, by means of flashbacks to the TARDIS
in all, there's something inside the CD case worth listening