Doctor Who: The Sonic Toolbox (general)
A Doctor Who podcast, hosted by Daisy Kaufman and Cheryl Lowe. We focus on Doctor Who from a "how does that work in the Doctor Who universe" science-ish point of view. There's also lots of other Doctor Who discussion, and some rabbit chasing.

Our thoughts and feelings about this first ever New Year Day episode.

So sorry for the delay, but Daisy is OK. Full explanation about what is going on, healthwise, is within. Thanks so much for the support.

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A very important message for our listeners.

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Sorry for the delay. As usual, we had technical difficulties uploading this.  But we are here, and we are having fun!

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Stand and deliver! No, it's not an Adam Ant song. It's a Doctor Who episode review! Maisie Williams is back this week with the sequel to The Girl Who Lived, only now she's calling herself "Me" and it's the 1600's.  Join us now as we discuss "The Woman Who Lived".


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Episode 153: We Kill the Moon for This Review

We're over the moon for the 12th Doctor.  We know, we keep telling you every week.  It may take a while for the bloom to be off his rose for us.  His 7th story...well, you'll just have to give a listen to this week's show to find out how we feel about "Kill the Moon".

There's news and feedback, too!  Just for good measure.


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Episode 148: Voyage Into the Dalek

Could a Dalek be good?  Is the Doctor a good man?  Will Clara ever get her coffee?  And just how many Gally ribbons can you get out of one Doctor Who episode?  The answers to all these questions, and more, as we review "Into The Dalek"!


Direct download: TST148-083114.mp3
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Episode 147: Take a Deep Breath

And exhale.  It's finally here. Series 8 has begun andwe have seen the new Doctor in action.  "Deep Breath" takes us to Victorian London and the Paternoster Gang.  It takes the Doctor to a rather interesting pst-regeneration.  Scottish?  Eyebrows?  And a...giant T-Rex??  Hang on, folks.  This one's gonna be a whopper!


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Episode 146: Megadeth

Summer's almost over, which is a bit bitter sweet.  We say goodbye to our Summer Concert Series (thank you all for indulging us and having fun with it), but hello to Series 8 and a new Doctor.  This week we have our headline act.  One of the most controversial in the industry, Megadeth!  And I'm sure that Dave Mustaine would love it if he knew we were using his band to bring us around to the topic of all the death that's happened on this simple, British, children's show.  That's right.  50 years of body count.  And it hasn't all been caused by everyone but the Doctor.

But first, we join our dear Uncle Elmer on a wonderful rabbit chase.  Enjoy!


"Sweating Bullets" from the Megadeth album Countdown to Extinction, 1992.

Direct download: TST146-081714.mp3
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Episode 145: Tesla

The penultimate band to hit the stage for our Summer Concert Series is comin' atcha live on the wire!  It's Tesla!!  We're going back to the beginning of the idiot box to bring you "The Idiot's Lantern", a subtle horror story written by Doctor Who's own horror writer, Mark Gatiss.  Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.

"Cumin' Atcha Live" by Tesla from the album Mecanical Resonance, 1986

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Episode 144: Loverboy

Hold on to your hearts this week, folks.  On our stage tonight...Loverboy!  That's right, Capt. Jack Harkness is working hard for the weekend and he's lovin' every minute of it.  And when it's over, you'll have heaven in your eyes.  Yup, it's all Capt. Jack this week.  Well...mostly.  In between the rabbit chasing.

"Turn Me Loose" by Loverboy, from the self titled album "Loverboy", 1980.

WARNING: Contains rabbits

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Episode 143: The Police


Po no Sto fro mo fo zo mo fo bo jo fo do wo.  Oh, sorry.  Don't speak Judoon?  We don't either.  I think we said "The Police. Not Sting from MTV fame, Zenyatta Mondatta, from Brittan.  Judoon from Doctor Who."  Or something like that.  But, yes, this week it's all about the Judoon!  Well, mostly about the Judoon.  OK, we try really hard to talk about the Judoon, but the rabbits seem to keep distracting us.




"Every Breath You Take" from the 1983 album Synchornicty




WARNING: Contains rabbit chasing


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Episode 142: The Clash


Russell T. Davies, bless his heart, gave us the Time War in an attempt to get away from those meddling Time Lords.  What he really gave us was the biggest retcon in all of time and space.  As the summer rolls on, we explore that clash and some of its implications.   Gallifrey is calling…




Opening song: "London Calling" by The Clash, from the album London Calling.


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Episode 141: Blondie

Next up on our Summer Concert stage is none other than that punk sensation...Rose Tyler!  Oh, you were expecting Blondie?  THAT punk, the one from the 1970's with Deborah Harry.  Yeah, no.  This week it's all about Rose.  Kinda takes you back to 2005, doesn't it?


"One Way Or Another" by Blondie, from the album Parallel Lines

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Episode 140: Los Lobos


Even a man who is pure at heart, and says his prayers at night…can meet Queen Victoria on the road to Torchwood House and stop a werewolf it it's tracks.  And so it is this week, from the Mexican/American music of Los Lobos to the moors of Scotland under a summer's full moon, we bring you "Tooth and Claw" to face your darkest fear.  Will the wolf survive?  Who knows?


Opening Music:

"Will the Wolf Survive", Los Lobos, from the album "How Will the Wolf Survive" (1984)


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Episode 139: Three Dog Night

No bull…frogs here, Jeremiah or otherwise named.  Just a robot dog named K-9.  Of course, there’s no “just” about him.  Loyal, smart and with a lazar nose and tickertape tongue, K-9 is probably one of the Doctor’s best beloved companions.  At least among us fans.  We love him, and we’re talking all about him.

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Episode 138: The Beatles

Come on in and don't rush the stage.  It's festival seating and the tickets are free!  Welcome to the start of The Sonic Toolbox 2014 Summer Concert Series!!  This week on our stage it's The Beatles!!!  Ok, so it isn't really, but we are reviewing the 10th Doctor/Donna story "Turn Left".  You know, the one where she has a beetle on her back.  See what we did there?  So sit back, put those records on your record player (or turn on your MP3 player...just doesn't have the same ring to it, tho) and join us in a Magical Mystery Tour of an alternate kind.


A Quantum of Time

Are Chronons the Elementary Particles in space and Time?

Time Particles



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Episode 137: Yeti Yeti Yeti

The Doctor faces off with the Yeti once again!  This time in the London Underground.  With Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart.  Yup, this week we review the Second Doctor story "The Web of Fear".  This is the story where we meet the Brig before he was a Brigadier.  So much furryness.  So much story.  So much...hey! Where's episode 3?  Damn you, BBC!!  Oh, well.  Has anyone dared to look in Sudanese TV station studios, maybe??

WARNING: Contains rabbit chasing

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Episode 136: Meatloaf Shouldn't Go Thunk

We've talked about the TARDIS before.  We've had discussions about the Chameleon Circuit and temporal physics.  This week, we're discovering a whole bunch (but by no means all) of the little used funtions of the TARDIS.  Little things that the Doctor may have mentioned or used only once, things that writers or showrunners came up with at the last moment when they realised they had painted our intrepid crew into the perverbial corner.

And stuff...

WARNING: Contains rabbit chasing

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She's our favorite new Who companion.  This week we discuss why we love her so much.  Donna Noble, that fiery redhead, draws us in and becomes our touchstone companion with her down-to-earth way and her lack of attraction to the Doctor.  That and so much more.

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Episode 134: Remembering The Brigadier

It's Memorial Day (due to technical dificulties, Memorial Day is almost over) and even tho he's not in the U. S. Armed Services, and died of old age rather than service to his country, we here in the Toolbox have decided to honor Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart on this week's show.  Join us as we discuss our beloved Brig and try our best to stay on topic.

WARNING: Contains rabbit chasing

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Episode 133: The Space Cockroaches Come Back

R of the Daleks.  Resurrection this time.  And we're talking about it.  The 5th Doctor, Tegan leaving (spoilers!) and the very beginning of the Dalek civil war.  A civil war that spans many years and two regenerations, that's three Doctors.  We're taking a look at "Resurrection of the Daleks" in our own, special, rabbity way.

Also, actual news and yarny talk.  Enjoy!

WARNING: Contains rabbits

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Episode 132: Diary of a Madman

His name is Davros.  He created a maniacal race of mutants from his own people, the Kaleds, and called them Daleks.  He programed them with the desire to take over the universe.  Dude's got issues.  Good thing, too, or he'd be boring to talk about.  And that's what we're doing this week.  Talking about the nutjob in the mobile life support unit.  Grab your jackbooks, we're in for a bumpy ride!

WARNING: Contains multitudes of rabbits

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Episode 131: Short...Like a Sontaran

We conclude our two part review with "The Poison Sky".  Since Daisy kept accedentally talking about it last week, this week is a bit of a short episode.  Filled with short potato aliens.  And, as usual, rabbits.

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Episode 130: The Side Dish Stratagem

Break out your sour cream, the Potato Heads are back!  This time they are...working with a genious kid and his genious kid students?  Ee, Er, WHAT???  It must be "The Sontaran Stratagem", part one of the two part 10th Doctor Sontaran story.  It's the focus of our show this week.  Tho, we must admit, sometimes our focus gets a little fuzzy.

WARNING: Contains rabbit chasing



















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Cloned super soldiers that look like potatos.  Who else can we be talking about but the Sontaran race?  This week we put these war mongering side dishes under the microscope to find out just what makes them tick.

WARNING: Contains rabbit chasing

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Episode 128: The Once and Almost Story

Arthurian legend (without Arthur) meets interdimentional space travel meets U.N.I.T. meets quirky English countryside characters.  It must be a story from the 7th Doctor era.  This week we discuss, review and attempt to stay of the subject of "Battlefield". 

WARNING: Contains rabbit infestation


TV Tropes website.  Have fun!

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The Baker Street Report 2014

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program to bring you this special report.  This week we're liveish from the Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center in Atlanta, Georga.  Our roving co-host, Cheryl, is attending the Sherlock Holmes convention 221b Con and brings you these reports from throughout the weekend.

The Sonic Toolbox will resume regular programming next week with the promised review of the 7th Doctor story, "Battlefield".

Direct download: TST-221b-040614.mp3
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Episode 127: Ideal Pairings

We've all done it.  Facebook posts have been dedicated to discusing it.  There have probably even been panels at cons on the subject.  This week we tackle the topic of fantasy TARDIS crew building.  Like chefs in the kitchen, we're taking a pinch of him, a dab of her, putting them together and seeing what comes out. 

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Episode 126: Turlough's Choice

Spooky music, ships that race in space and creepy ship's officers are the thing this week.  The 5th Doctor, Turlough and Tegan find themselves stuck between an Eternal and a Black Guardian in "Enlightenment", and we find ourselves talking about it.  And a whole lot of other things, too.

WARNING: Contains rabbits, lots of rabbits

"Electric Avenue" by Eddy Grant, off the album Killer on the Rampage (1982, Parlophone, EMI)

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Episode 125: Down The Rabbit Hole

This week we make a valient effort to discuss the powers and abilities of Time Lords.  However, we keep getting drawn off topic, tho not off subject.  Yes, we're still talking about Time Lords (sort of), just other stuff regarding them.  Like regeneration and artron energy. 

WARNING: Contains rabbit chasing

dynamic character:
a literary or dramatic character who undergoes an important inner change, as a change in personality or attitude. 
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Episode 124: Do I Detect A Red Shirt

Having just seen Katy Manning at Gallifrey One, we decided to review a Jo Grant episode.  Then we noticed that this week is right in the middle of the 42nd anniversary of "The Sea Devils" first airing on TV in the UK.  It seemed a match made in...well, somewhere.  So here you have them: The Master, the third Doctor and the wonderful, amazing, self-relient Josephine Grant!  Oh yeah, and a guy who checks out strange noises in the dark.

WARNING: Contains some rabbit chasing

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Episode 123: Trying Not To Step On The Cockatiels

As we try to recover from our trip to Gallifrey One, we explore the doctor's own recovery process from regeneration.  Each itteration of our favorite time lord has his own reaction to post-regeneration sickness.  From coma to crazy, this week we talk about who did what and what causes this bizarre condition.

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This is our entry for the last two days of Gallifrey One: 25 Glorious Years.  Sorry it's a bit late, but this year things were so busy time just slipped away.  In fact, after we recorded this, Daisy had to run to help her friends from L.I. Who host a party.  Fun days!

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Our reactions to the first day of Gallifrey One and touching Arthur Darvil.

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Episode 122: Gearing Up for Gallifrey One

With Gallifrey One, the largest Doctor Who convention in America, only days away, we can't help but talk all about what's going to go on outside of the panels.  The ice cream social, the trock concert, the kaffeeklatsches.  There's so much going on you need a time turner to do it all!  If you're going to Gally, we hope that this weeks show whets your anticipation.  If you're not going, we hope the show piques you interest for next year.

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This week was supposed to be Episode 121 and we were going to review Series 3 of Sherlock.  We did record it, however, during editing the computer crashed and most of the audio was lost.  There is not enough left that makes sense.  I guess it's just as well since Daisy was sick and coughed throughout the recording and almost lost her voice by the end. 

Our next episode is our Gallifrey One pre-con show. 

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Episode 120: Don't It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue

It's Cheryl's first time with Leela as a companion.  What better way for a horror fan than with The Horror of Fang Rock.  It's got all the classic elements, and a Rutan for good measure.  What more can we say?  You'll just have to listen.


The Doctor's electrical gobbledygook explained

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Episode 119: I Am Woman

Hear me roar!  And scream, and complain and ask “What’s that, Doctor?”  But watch me fight, and run, and calculate, and build, and outsmart and survive.  The wonderful women of Doctor Who are the subject of this week’s Toolbox.  We’ve heard just about all we can take regarding misogyny in Doctor Who and we’re out to refute those claims.  As women ourselves, we have long held these female companions as role models.  Strong, independent and smart, these women hold their own alongside the Doctor throughout his adventures. 

WARNING: Contains rabbit chasing

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Episode 118: The Rabbit Dilemma

It’s Episode 118 and we’re talking about The Twin Dilemma.  Since we just had a regeneration, we figured it was a good time to examine a post-regeneration story and what better one than the Doctor’s 6th.  Since it looked like our new (Peter Capaldi) Doctor seems to be suffering with post-regen memory loss we wanted to take a look at past regen that went thru not just memory loss a drastic personality change, as well, just in case.

The Twin Dilemma is one of those polarizing stories in Doctor Who history.  It seems either you love it or hate it.  The vast majority seem to hate it.  Here in the Toolbox, we have a split, which works out wonderfully to give you a fair look at this controversial story.   Also, Daisy gets completely confused trying to count in hexadecimal (which she hasn’t done in 20 years) while Cheryl falls into a small coma.

All this and rabbit chasing, too!

How to count in hexadecimal.

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Episode 117: TARDIS Talk and Gally Walk

We know the Doctor loves his TARDIS.  Like a man and his hot rod, the Doctor dotes on his old girl.  What exactly is the relationship between a Time Lord and his TARDIS?  This week, we try to get inside the mind and design of that relationship.  Is it like a husband and wife?  Or is it more symbiotic than that?

Then, with only five weeks left before Gallifrey 2014 the first block of panel discussion topics has finally been announced.  In our over excitement, we give you our preview of them all.  If you are going to Gally this year, this will get you just as excited as we are.  If you're not going, we hope this will begin your desire to start saving your money now for 2015 since tickets will be going on sale in a few months.

Life on a TARDIS
Gallifrey 2014 - Late December Program Update & Panels

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Episode 115: Time Travel is a Paperclip

The most important thing about time travel is never break The 1st Law of Time Travel.  Which, of course, the Doctor breaks about every 10 years.  In fact, we're breaking it right now.  This is episode 115, our last episode was 116 and our next will be 117.  We're looping back on ourselves!  (Actually, this is the episode that we missed due to technical difficulties, but what the hey!)  This week we're discussing the intricacies of time travel and The 1st Law.  So, take an asprin, pour yourself a drink and get comfortable.  This is where it gets complicated.

WARNING: Contains rabbits

Time Travel Grammar
TV Tropes - Time Travel Mutability
More Time Travel Grammar

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Episode 116: Time of the Doctor Review

Watch out!  This episode is spoiler filled, if you haven't seen The Time of the Doctor yet.   If you have, jump right in.  We're talking all about the Christmas/Regeneration episode for this year.  We're also fantasizing about what Peter Capaldi will be wearing as the Doctor.  There's not much else to this episode but lots of Christmasy Time of the Doctor talk...and CAPALDI, CAPALDI, CAPALDI!

Also, a bit of Gally news and, of course, rabbit chasing.

Merry Christmas, one and all!!

Direct download: TST116-122513.mp3
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Error Message

Due to extensive technical difficulties, we are unable to bring you this week's episode.  Fortunately, we had already planned to post our review of the Christmas special early, on Christmas shortly after it airs on BBC One.  We should hopefully be able to give you this week's episode, about the 1st law of time travel, next Sunday.

Direct download: TST115ErrorMessage-121213.mp3
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Episode 114: The First Meetup

Forty years ago the first multi-doctor story celebrated the 10th Anniversary of Doctor Who.  Here, the first three Doctors (sort of) get together to combat the evil Omega and thwart his insane plans.  This week we get into our TARDIS and zoom back to take a look at that story, cleverly entitled "The Three Doctors".  We also delve, sometimes a little too deeply, into the science that keeps cropping up.  Yup, our rabbits seem to have donned lab coats.  Grab a glass and join us in celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Doctor Who!

Direct download: TST114-121513.mp3
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Episode 113: If I Could Save Time in a Stasis Cube

Slices of time held in stasis as art.  It seems we just can't get away from The Day of the Doctor.   This week we try to explain those impossible 3D paintings made by Gallifreyan artists.  And while we're at it, we delve a bit into how Time Lords see and experience time.  Oh, and then there's the bit about how the Doctor can break inside the time lock that surrounds the Time War.

All the while, Daisy squeeks and rasps thru larygitis recovery.

A-series and B-series temporal ordering philosophy
A Brief History of the A-Theory/B-Theory Debate about Time

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The big day has come and gone.  Our road trip, which started back in July, has come to an end.  Now it's time to sit back and unpack the souvenirs and develop the pictures we got along the way.  Or, in this case, review three more (slightly unofficial) celebrations of the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who. This week we're talking about "The Five(ish) Doctors - Reboot", "An Adventure in Space and Time", and "The Light at the End".

And we only found a few rabbits hiding in our suitcases.

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Episode 111: The Day of the Doctor

We couldn't wait to get this up for you.  This week we have our raw, unedited thoughts on the 50th Anniversary special, "The Day of the Doctor".  No news, no feedback...and amazingly very little rabbit chasing.  Just gushing and squeeing and loving this best of all anniversary episodes. 

WARNING: Massive spoilers.  If you haven't seen "The Day of the Doctor" yet, don't listen to this show until you do.

Direct download: TST111-112313.mp3
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Episode 110: Victory of the Eleventh

We're tuning it up to 11 this week.  It's time for us to take a look at the Eleventh Doctor and the story "Victory of the Daleks".  We also seem to be in the midst of a rabbit invasion, so watch your step.  There's also a bit of time traveling as our future selves pop in to review "The Night of the Doctor" that exploded onto the internet after we recorded this show.

WARNING: Contains rabbit chasing

The Night of the Doctor

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Beneath the motorway is something that keeps eating cars.  Usually, it's a pothole.  In "Gridlock" it's a plothole.  Oh, Russell T. Davies wants us to think it's the Macra, but we know better.  This week on the next to last stop on the Road Trip to the 50th Anniversary we attempt to fill in these plotholes and give you a look at the Tenth Doctor story "Gridlock".

WARNING: Contains rabbits

About "Lord of Cragsclaw" by Bill Fawcett, the book with the Mrem.

Direct download: TST109-111013.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:09pm PDT