08: Smokescreen
Btrdwcd08 cover
Preceeded by Deep Undercurrents
Followed by God Rust Ye Merry Gentlemen
Featured cast
The Doctor Matthew Kopelke
Guy Anwar Kane Major
Production notes
Recorded June 2001
Released Part 1: January 2002
Part 2: March 2002
Part 3: May 2002

Attempting to evade the eyes and ears of his Watcher, the Doctor takes the TARDIS to the planet Decalia, where a nearby rip in the fabric of Space and Time can provide a form of 'smokescreen' to help mask both his and Guy's biorythms.

Within minutes of arriving on Decalia, the Doctor and Guy are shot unconscious by a group of military deserters who are attempting to evade vivisection at the hands of the Legati, who are at war with another alien race - the Sichmah.

Things, however, are not as simple as they first appear. Why are the Legati and the Sichmah at war with each other? Why are the Legati slowly dying from a disease that eats away their body tissue? And are the Sichmah really all that they appear to be...?


Recording, post-production & CD mastering: Matthew Kopelke. Music: Chris Thompson. Series theme: Ron Grainer. Realisation: The London Theatre Orchestra. Cover illustration and packaging design: Mark Brill. Press & PR: David Hutchison. Recording: BTR's Lacaroo Street Studios. Script Editor: Witold Tietze. Producer: Matthew Kopelke. Director: Matthew Kopelke.



  1. Freighter Attack
  2. Shocking Revelations
  3. Surprises Come in Twos
  4. Another Guest
  5. Take Me To Your Leader
  6. An Horrific Discussion
  7. Escape!
  8. Interrogation Process
  9. Decisions
  10. Final Assault


Episode endings

  1. Guy, having been separated from the rest of the group, is located in a tunnel by a lone Cyberman, who takes Guy prisoner.
  2. Taylor attempts to disarm a bomb that has started a countdown too early. Guy watches on, as the timer reaches critical...
  3. Hern, now acting Captain of the Legati cruiser, finds himself face-to-face with a lone Cyberman, who quickly guns him down.

Additional credited cast

Helm Officer (Bill Billingsley), Captain (Witold Tietze), Computer voices (Rosalind Graham), Cyberleader (Matthew Kopelke), Harris (Owen Spratley), Taylor (Michelle Ladley), Cheng (Rosalind Graham), Droid voices (Matthew Kopelke), Commodore Kemp (David Hutchison), Cybermen (Matthew Kopelke & David Hutchison), Hern (David Nagel).

Popular myths

Things to listen out for...

  • Several notable sound effects from Star Trek are used here, for such elements as console effects and weapons fire. These were only used due to their availability, and appropriate sci-fi sound, as opposed to any attempt to make this episode sound like it featured technology from Gene Roddenberry's fictional universe.

Things you probably never knew...

  • This script was originally submitted by Peter Grehan to BBV's Audio Adventures in Time & Space product line, and was originally written to feature the Dominie & Alice characters. When Bill Baggs closed down production on those stories, Peter Grehan brought the script to BTR for production. It was adapted to fit the characters of the Doctor & Guy, although several elements from its original setting still remain (such as Guy's sudden interest in explosives being a left-over from the Alice character portrayed by Sophie Aldred). Given the original BBV intention had been to create a story arc around the idea of the Dominie & Alice being hunted by a mysterious Watcher, BTR Script Editor Witold Tietze felt this could work as an appropriate hook for BTR's own second series, and so the idea was expanded upon.
  • The cast featured in the final product was actually the second cast assembled for this production. The original intention had been to back the recording of this serial onto that of the Beyond Traditional Recognition episode Shards of a Forgotten Tomorrow, utilising the same cast for both productions. Whilst roughly half of Smokescreen was recorded featuring this original cast, the recording session had to be abandoned mid-way through, when exterior noise at the recording location (the old Mitchelton campus of the Australian Catholic University) became too much. While attempts were made to complete the recording with the original cast, sadly actor availability issues meant it came to nothing, and it was necessary to start again from scratch.
  • Originally, the Cybermen featured here were to sound exactly like those from BTR's previous Cybermen adventure, Sentinel (thus creating some much-needed continuity between the two serials). However, after the release of the Big Finish audio drama The Sword of Orion, Producer Matthew Kopelke felt that it would be possible to re-create a more emotionless version of the 1980s Cybermen voice effect (as per what Nick Briggs had done for said serial), and this was eventually used in its place. In terms of Cybermen continuity, these particular Cybermen are refugees from the CyberNomad subspecies, who had been involved in the Vogan War.
  • Commodore Kemp's shouting at Hern during their first scene together did not require any pre-amplification to go into the audio mix. The two parts of the scene were recorded separately, and David Hutchison really did shout that loudly in his delivery of those lines.

Quote, unquote

  • Commodore Kemp: "I can't believe you even considered this! You want us to become machines? And I thought we couldn't sink any lower." Hern: "Would you rather we died?" Commodore Kemp: "No, you're obviously right. We should do whatever it takes to survive, use the Ravage to justify our actions. We slaughter those who fight for us, defile their remains by using them as lab specimens... we've slaughtered thousands in our war against the Sicmah. But none of it's our fault, of course – the Ravage made us do it."