Hornets' Nest (audio drama)

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Hornets' Nest
Doctor Who audio play
Doctor Who Hornets Nest.jpg
Cover of the box set release
Written by Paul Magrs
Produced by Kate Thomas
Series 1
Length 5 episodes
70 minutes each
Originally broadcast 3 September –
3 December 2009
(CD release)
← Preceded by Followed by →
The Invasion of Time Demon Quest
List of Doctor Who serials

Hornets' Nest is an audio play in five episodes based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It is written by Paul Magrs, and stars Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor and Richard Franklin as Captain Mike Yates. It was released on five CDs by BBC Audiobooks between September and December 2009. They feature multiple actors, but all five episodes contain some degree of narration by different characters.

Hornets' Nest[edit]

The Stuff of Nightmares[edit]

The Stuff of Nightmares cover

(released 3 September 2009)

  • Captain Mike Yates (retired) responds to an advert in a paper that seems to be specifically directed at him. This leads him to a small cottage in Sussex and a meeting with his old UNIT colleague, the Doctor, who looks exactly as he did over three decades ago. Once there, the Doctor tells Yates about his recent fight against a swarm of psychic alien Hornets. His first encounter with them involved their possession of an army of taxidermy animals.


The Dead Shoes[edit]

The Dead Shoes cover

(released 8 October 2009)

  • The Doctor explains that he tracked the Hornets back to 1932, to a pair of ballet slippers in a shop called Cromer’s Palace of Curios. The owner, Mrs Wibbsey, shrinks the Doctor and traps him inside a possessed dollhouse.


  • The Doctor – Tom Baker
  • Captain Mike Yates – Richard Franklin
  • Mrs Wibbsey – Susan Jameson
  • Ernestina Stott – Clare Corbett
  • The Reverend Small – Christian Rodska

The Circus of Doom[edit]

(released 5 November 2009)

  • The Doctor traces the Hornets further back in time. In 1832, a decadent circus run by a bitter dwarf entrances the simple citizens of Blandford.


A Sting in the Tale[edit]

(released 3 December 2009)

  • The Doctor finally finds the earliest infestation of the Hornets in the year 1039. A nunnery in Northumbria is besieged by wild dogs. The Hornets, new to Earth, encounter the Doctor for the first time (from their perspective) and fight to find their lost queen. This leads to a chase through the corridors and strange forgotten rooms of the TARDIS.


  • The Doctor – Tom Baker
  • Captain Mike Yates – Richard Franklin
  • Nun – Clare Corbett
  • Sister – Susie Riddell
  • The Swarm – Rula Lenska
  • Mrs Wibbsey – Susan Jameson

Hive of Horror[edit]

(released 3 December 2009)

  • Yates and the Doctor make their final confrontation with the queen of the hive, inside the paper skull of a stuffed zebra.


  • The Doctor – Tom Baker
  • Captain Mike Yates – Richard Franklin
  • Mrs Wibbsey – Susan Jameson
  • The Queen – Rula Lenska



  • The Doctor tells Yates about his "recent escapades", including "giant rats", "killer robots" and "skulls from the dawn of time". As these adventures take place with Leela and because he is now alone, this story presumably takes place just after she left him at the end of The Invasion of Time.
  • K-9 (presumably Mark II) is indirectly mentioned. It is unclear if the Doctor has started or finished constructing him.
  • Yates' breakdown, dark times and search for redemption were chronicled in his last few television stories, The Green Death, Invasion of the Dinosaurs and Planet of the Spiders.
  • The Fourth Doctor, Yates and Mrs Wibbsey are reunited one year later in Paul Magrs' sequel, Demon Quest and again in Serpent Crest.
  • While running through the TARDIS in A Sting in the Tale, the Doctor recalls someone shouting "Wait!" but he didn't stop. Though recorded 4 years before The Name of the Doctor, this scene could be argued to document a meeting of the Doctor and Clara.

Cast notes[edit]


In December 2011, these audio plays were broadcast on the digital radio station BBC Radio 4 Extra.[1]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0183qz6