The Doctor will do his best overprotective grandfather impression in the upcoming episode of Doctor Who, but you’re going to need headphones to take in the full spectacle. “Knock Knock,” Season 10’s fourth episode, will be a brief slide into the horror genre, helped along by binaural— “3D sound” — technology.
As Radio Times reported, this week’s episode of Doctor Who, “Knock Knock,” will feature the show’s first-ever 3D sound experience with the help of binaural recording and the BBC iPlayer.
Binaural recording is a method of audio recording, using two microphones instead of one, which gives the listener the sensation of actually being in the room with the characters. It’s similar to the technology used in IMAX theaters and at-home 3D stereo systems. So, the first knock on-screen might sound like it’s to your left while the one right after might switch to sounding like it’s behind you. It’s a technique guaranteed to send shivers up your spine when used in the horror genre, and that’s exactly what the fourth episode seems to be aiming for.
You’ll need headphones, as the effect doesn’t really work too well without them, and access to the BBC iPlayer. The binaural edition won’t air on television, but it feels likely that it’ll be available for purchase on iTunes at a later date.
“Knock Knock” sees Who bringing in a horror element again with the introduction of the Landlord, a creep-tastic, elderly gentleman who bounces tuning forks on walls and lords over the old house Bill and her friends are trying to move into. But the Doctor is convinced something is wrong, a theory that feels pretty on-point given the episode’s vibe and the Time Lord’s track record.
Promo photos have revealed a disturbing wooden figure, and the proffered binaural clip on the iPlayer is just spooky enough to make you jump. There’s no word on whether or not BBC will continue with binaural experimentation to terrify the masses. Luckily, Bill doesn’t scare too easily, so she and her friends might get the house anyway.
Doctor Who airs on BBC and BBC America Saturdays at 9 p.m. Eastern.