It is the year 2092, 600 years after Columbus accidentally landed on what is now South American soil. Mankind has come a long way since those days of discovering new lands. the silence and natural harmony of our past has gone and been replaced with electric machines that can do things for us that we have never even tried to do for ourselves.
These machines store our memories, remind us to do things and do other things for us. They are not silent as they go about their work, beeping, bopping and booping as their processors whir and chirp their merry tunes. The sound is deafening but has become a part of our everyday lives.
Men who do not participate in their monthly silent treatment go mad as if their minds cannot stand the sound of living any longer. Some who have only missed a treatment or two can be saved. They undergo intensive in-patient silent treatments and are able to rejoin society. Some lose parts of their memories or entire sections.
Those however who let it go on for much too long are lost to us and must be silenced permanently. Those are very sad but necessary procedures. The part of their brain that allows them to process sound is removed. It’s difficult, and most patients do not survive the procedure. Those who do must live apart from others and be retrained to be a part of society again. They forget everything. They could be 60 years old and suddenly they don’t remember a thing and have to start all over.
Sometimes this is too sad and the Doctor gives them mercy.