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Hell Is That Noise: Live-Action TV
Examples of Hell Is That Noise from Live-Action, where a sound terrifies the characters because they know something dangerous is nearby.
  • Doctor Who has a few, especially due to the “screaming companion” effect, and Steven Moffat’s philosophy of “Doctor Who takes place ‘’under your bed, in the dark’’.”
    • The two-part story The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances: The characters become terrified of a little boy asking, “Are you my mummy?", because very soon, they will, too!
    • [Episode Link]: There’s a pattern of beats that creeps out even the Doctor. “dat-dat-dat—DAT”. The sound of the Master. It gets ‘’really’’ complicated, too. That sound is coming from inside the Master’s head, from when he looked into the Vortex of Time-Space. That sound of knocking also heralds the death of the Tenth Doctor. Plus, the Master's drumbeat was in the theme tune from the very first episode of Doctor Who. note 
    • "EXTERMINATE!!!" If you hear a Dalek say this, there's a good chance you're not going to survive. It's no wonder The Doctor was horrified when he found out that Daleks managed to survive the Time War.
      • Used to its most terrifying effect in "The Stolen Earth", where it was broadcast by thousands of alien ships invading Earth. Anyone having any idea what the broadcast means is terrified beyond sense, with one character declaring "There's nothing we can do. I'm sorry, we are dead."
    • The classic series made use of electronic music more prominently than the revived series, resulting in many such moments. One of the most famous times this happened is right there in the very second story, which introduces the Daleks (as if that won't be obvious enough). The reveal of the Doctor's new nemeses is accompanied by sliding, metallic walls of sound, and a high-pitched electronic screech.
  • Star Trek: Voyager: In "Equinox," the extra-dimensional aliens have to open portals into our universe to attack. When a portal forms, the first thing they hear is a high-pitched, whining hiss. It's pretty creepy for the characters, who are asking, "WHERE IS IT? WHERE IS IT?". If they aren't fast enough, it's the last sound they'll hear.
  • Babylon 5: The sound of a Shadow vessel. They like to scream telepathically into the minds of their prey, to add terror to their attacks. As though their cleave beams which can split most ships in half with one shot need added terror.
  • The X-Files episode "Avatar" involves an old woman spirit-thing that visits AD Skinner in his dreams. When she appears, she makes a sound made up of garbled, distorted, agonised-sounding voices and a high-pitched shriek. He is terrified.
  • In Game of Thrones Season 3, The Boy's Cold-Blooded Torture of Theon Greyjoy includes blowing an unpleasant-sounding horn, slowly driving the victim mad.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: One episode had dozens of whispers start up once an already disturbed cast member turned off the light to go to sleep. Hearing the voices would make her turn the lights on, and break her glass. Just ordinary whispers, very loud and very numerous, when the good doctor is supposed to be completely alone. She gets even more disturbed by finding out who's making the whispers.
  • In-universe example on Friends: Chandler flinches every time he hears, "OH. MY. GOD!" and realises he's run into Janice again.
    • Ross's "sound," his term for the discordant music he plays on his keyboard, which everybody except Phoebe hates, in "TOW Chandler Crosses the Line":
    RACHEL: "Oh, I can't believe I ever let him touch me with those fingers."
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