‘Doctor Who’ has long been in the practice of experimenting and pushing the boundaries of the show’s usual format. This has particularly been the case under the stewardship of Steven Moffat, with episodes such as last season’s ‘Sleep No More’ moving the show’s writers and audience alike outside of their usual comfort zone. But while Moffat is leaving at the end of this season, he’s not through experimenting just yet.
The latest such experiment is set to come with the fourth episode of the season, titled ‘Knock Knock’. The episode is set to see an alternate version released through the BBC iPlayer following the episode’s initial broadcast on May 6th. But what sets the iPlayer version apart? Well, according to Radio Times, the streaming release of ‘Knock Knock’ will include a binaural audio track. Per the BBC, this will create “a 3D surround sound effect for anyone wearing headphones, placing them at the heart of the action in this nail-biting episode.” The episode’s monster of the week has been described by the ‘Radio Times’ as “evil floor-creaking termites” (you can see one in the banner image). Given that, one can’t help but imagine how the use of binaural audio might serve to enhance the episode.
In basic terms, binaural recording is a process that involves using a pair of microphones in combination rather than one. The placement of the microphones during recording is meant to mimic as closely as possible the positioning of a person’s ears. This allows the recording to more closely approximate the way in which the listener would actually hear the finished product if they were standing in the room as it was produced. Notable albums that have been recorded this way include Lou Reed’s ‘Street Hassle’ and Pearl Jam’s aptly titled ‘Binaural’.
The tenth season of ‘Doctor Who’ is currently underway, with new episodes airing on Saturday evenings. This season will see showrunner Steven Moffat and star Peter Capaldi bid their farewells. In addition to Capaldi, the season features Pearl Mackie, Matt Lucas, and Michelle Gomez.
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