• PSAudios 2.3. The Paradise Machine

    Doctor Who
    Paul Monk, David Tudor and Steve Alexander star in

    The Paradise Machine
    By Martin Penny
    The TARDIS arrives on the Golden Moon Space Station, previously the most famous entertainment station in the Universe, but now host to a far more sinister project.

    The Doctor, Nick and Rob soon discover that the Golden Moon is greeting a myriad of wealthy guests - politicians, media stars and company directors. They are here to buy a visit to The Paradise Machine, a device that literally makes your dreams come true. The Doctor soon clashes with Leckard, the psychotic Controller of the station, while Nick and Rob face the machine itself - and their own innermost desires.

    The Doctor, aided by the station's Head of Security, Mills, faces a race against time to seek out the true power behind the machine, while avoiding death at the hands of the deadly Mark Four Galactic Security Droids that stalk the corridors of the Golden Moon, and somehow saving Nick and Rob from the sinister secret at the heart of a crooked scam to embezzle humanity. But is Mills all he seems? Can the Doctor protect his friends from the allure of their own dreams? And just who is Tor Garane?

    Listen - Original Edition
    Episode 1

    Download PSAudios - 2.3. The Paradise Machine- Episode1.mp3
    Episode 2

    Download PSAudios - 2.3. The Paradise Machine- Episode2.mp3

    Listen - Director's Cut
    While editing, it became obvious that there was a problem with the length of the story. Although it could be edited into two episodes, much character-based material would have to be cut. In the end Si Hunt produced two editions, a two-part story (above) and a four-part story, here:
    Episode 1

    Download PSAudios - 2.3. The Paradise Machine - Episode1 (Directors Cut).mp3
    Episode 2

    Download PSAudios - 2.3. The Paradise Machine - Episode2 (Directors Cut).mp3
    Episode 3

    Download PSAudios - 2.3. The Paradise Machine - Episode3 (Directors Cut).mp3
    Episode 4

    Download PSAudios - 2.3. The Paradise Machine - Episode4 (Directors Cut).mp3

    Cast List
    The Doctor - Paul Monk
    Nick - David Tudor
    Rob - Steve Alexander
    Controller Leckard - Alex Finch
    Mills - Antony Cox
    Professor Thrace - Simon Hart
    Tor Garane - Martin Penny
    The Baron of Boralis - Pip Madeley
    Linda McCow - Trudi Gard
    June/Emma/Computer - Kathy Riedtmann
    Security Droids - Si Hunt
    Nimon - David Barnes
    Written by Martin Penny
    Produced and Directed by Si Hunt
    Cover by Pip Madeley
    Originally released Saturday August 9th 2008 and Saturday August 16th 2008

    Click to engorge
    CD Sleeve

    CD Back

    Pictures of the cast


    “The Paradise Machine” was the first Planet Skaro Audio to be written by Martin Penny, and became the first part of what would become known as ‘The Galactic Bank Arc’.

    The original version of the story was known as “The Afterlife Machine” and would have featured Tor Garane serving a shadowy entity from another Dimension. The Afterlife machine promised to send customers into the afterlife of their choice, but in reality, they were being transported to another dimension, where the evil entity would feast of their beliefs to make itself stronger. The Doctor would ultimately have gone into the other dimension and foiled the entity’s plans. In this version of the story, there was no Controller Leckard and Mills was a humble tour guide.

    The plot of “The Afterlife Machine” was altered when it became clear that it presented too many complex ideas, which would be difficult to convey in the audio story format. It was decided instead to focus the story on a ‘Paradise Machine’ which allowed it’s users wishes to come true. The character of Controller Leckard was introduced as the main villain of the piece, while Mills went from tour guide to secret agent. Tor Garane’s role was diminished, and he became Leckard’s enigmatic superior.

    The Fantasy scene with Rob was a late addition to the script, and was written by Si Hunt, the original scene featured a 'test subject' Leckard had prepared being reunited with his family in paradise. Si Hunt also wrote the scene in which Nick enters the Paradise Machine.

    Two new characters were introduced in the story; the devious Tor Garane and the noble Baron of Boralis. The role of the Baron was played by Pip Madeley, and it was a role written especially for him by Penny, who requested that the character be portrayed in the style of celebrated British actor, Brian Blessed. Due to the Baron’s minor role in the story, Martin Penny planned on bringing him back in a future story to give Madeley, and the character, more to do.

    Tor Garane was introduced as the head of the Galactic Bank, a powerful, corrupt organisation which controls the finances of the galaxy. Martin Penny played the role of Garane himself, having developed an idea of what he should sound like during writing the story. Si Hunt suggested that Garane know of The Doctor from a past encounter, and that the character could be set up for a return appearance, as his role in this story was quite minor. Garane would later become the most re-occurring character in the PlanetSkaro Audios.

    At one point during pre-production, an idea was developed to have made Tor Garane a possible descendant of the Doctor’s companion, Edward Bradley, due to Martin Penny playing both characters. Dialogue was recorded which had The Doctor finding something familiar about Tor Garane, but when it became apparent how different Garane and Ed sounded, the idea was dropped and the dialogue cut from the finished episode. A small segment of the dialogue remains however, in which The Doctor curiously asks Garane if they have met before.

    A lot of thought was given to the end of the story, in particular the function of the Paradise machine that ejects people into space. This was the aspect of the script that attracted the most criticism, and was ironically suggested by Si Hunt.

    The sound of the Security Droids was developed by Si Hunt using various saw and electronic limb sound effects for when they moved. The noises for their movement and some of their voice phrases was deliberately retained in case the robots ever returned.

    Once more, Trudi Gard recorded a cameo appearance as Rob's Mum, this time inside his Paradise Machine fantasy.

    While editing was progressing it became obvious that there was a serious problem with the length of the story - although it could be edited into two episodes as scripted, much character-based material would have to be cut. On the other hand, would a story written in two episodes stand up to stretching out to four? A three part version was even considered, although it wasn't felt the cliffhangers fitted this format. In the end Hunt produced two versions of the story, a standard two parter and an extended four parter which came with an extra disc in the CD release of the story.

    The final scene of the story was an uncredited addition by Si Hunt and Pip Madeley, and featured a cliffhanger ending which would lead straight into the next adventure – “The Curse of Ratanapura”.

    BARON OF BORALIS: “The Baron was appalled!”


    TOR GARANE: “How easy it is to part a fool from his money. I shall join you shortly, to help herd the Lambs to the slaughter.”

    MILLS: “I nearly got trampled to death by thousands of pompous millionaires!”


    THRACE: "Controller! I didn’t see you there."

    LECKARD: "That’s because I turned the lights off for dramatic effect."


    DOCTOR: Now he was a good companion. There was this time on Mymazor! We’d been shopping for a new trellis for the TARDIS gardens, when we bumped into the Master, who was plotting to take over every hardware store in the galaxy! Well, that was until Ed cleverly tripped him up with a strategically placed rake! Ah, you just don’t get companions with that ingenuity any more!

    Listener Response

    "I have just listen to it and I must say this sounds as one of the best so far and I must say well done to everybody involved as the story acting and production is fantastic."
    Cyber Chris

    "This is deffo my fave story of the season! It's full of atmosphere, and all the cast are really on top form. A couple of very minor niggles, though this may be because I was listening to it through our TV: The balance in the first couple of scenes was a bit out - I could hardly hear some of the dialogue over the music and sound effects. Some of the dialogue is a bit distorted, though I realise that there's nothing that can be done to this in post-production. Oh, and some of the cast seem to be wearing high-heels - even Mills!"
    Antony Cox

    "I liked Mills' chuckleworthy line: 'I nearly got trampled to death by thousands of pompous millionaires' And talking of versatility, I have to take my hat off to Martin, especially for Tor Garane. The scene between the Doctor & Tor Garane, which led up to a cracking cliffhanger, was particularly good. And well done again to Paul for another fine performances as the Doctor, which showed through especially well on that scene."
    Wayne Jefferies

    "This feels like a traditional Doctor Who. It is as good as the previous two stories & I can give it no higher praise. There's a very Leisure Hive feel about it that I can't quite define."
    Tim Hawtin

    • The characters of Emma Bonham, June River and Linda McCow return in this story - as part of Rob and Nick's fantasy world's.
    • Tor Garane first became aware of The Doctor during an unseen adventure, in which The Doctor stopped the Galactic Bank's plan to assume control of the planet Thenos-4.
    • Nick's fantasy world features him starring in the Clear Waters soap opera - which was first seen in the story “Echoes of the Protii”, and later played a major part in “Soap of Fatal Death”.
    • The Nimon makes a cameo in Rob's fantasy.
    • The Doctor makes a reference to he and Ed doing battle with The Master, and tripping him up with a strategically placed rake.
    • Mills makes a reference to Herge’s Tintin.
    • This is the only Planet Skaro Audios adventure to mention Richard Branson.

    Forum and comments
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    Other Stories
    The Baron will return in 3.1 A Baron For All Seasons
    The Doctor, Nick and Rob are back in time for 2.4 The Curse of Ratanapura
    Previous Story: 2.2 Heist
    Season 2 Index

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    Easter Egg

    Download PSAudios-2.3.TheParadiseMachine-EasterEgg.mp3

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