Doctor Who News The Kingmaker

Published on May 9th, 2013 | by Meredith Burdett

The Best Who Stories Ever Told…?

As it turns out, the best Doctor Who stories aren’t even on TV!

Or so says Paul Verhoeven in his blog regarding Doctor Who for social website, The Vine. He is of course, referring to the fantastic output from the good people at Big Finish Productions who, month in and month out, create amazing adventures on audio for Doctors 1-8.

Paul McGann stars in Dark Eyes from Big Finish

For those who have just started watching Doctor Who, the Big Finish adventures are a fantastic way to find out more about the Doctor’s previous lives. They tie in to the classic run of Doctor Who from 1963-1996 and embellish his world in a way that can be difficult with the budgetary constraints on television. The company employs the original actors in the roles (the surviving ones, that is) to take these particular Doctors further then they managed to go during their original tenures.

There’s also spin-off stories that focus on some of the Doctor’s old friends, UNIT, and even his long gone homeworld, Gallifrey. They never encroach on the new series (mainly due to BBC policy) but sometimes, if you listen very, very carefully, you can hear the odd linking reference or two (The Kingmaker and Gallifrey spin off series, we’re looking in your direction).

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Verhoeven offers a pleasant introduction to these stories and links them into the new series as well, all in good taste and with affection for both eras.

His introduction serves as a brilliant way to acquaint yourself with the Big Finish world before you decide to remove your credit card from its sheath and start spending untold amounts on Doctor Who stories that will blow your mind with their inventiveness.

Start getting to know Big Finish now by reading The Vine. And you can read about this month’s releases here!

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About the Author

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What happens when an eight year old kid watches the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks? He pretty much ends up here writing about the show that grabbed hold of him and never let go!




8 Responses to The Best Who Stories Ever Told…?

  1. avatar TimeChaser says:

    I started listening to the BF Doctor Who audios from the start, and they definitely have produced some amazing stories, and also helped in the renaissance of Colin Baker, proving how great a Doctor he could have been if he’d had better material to work with. I stopped listening for a number of years, but now I’m catching up, purchasing audios for download, which is nice if you don’t want to have to deal with the lag time of shipping a physical CD.

  2. avatar Chris says:

    I do have to agree that some of the best Doctor Who stories to come out in the last decade have mostly been from Big Finish. There have been great stories from the BBC like The Empty Child, Midnight, Blink, Human Nature (originally a 7th Doctor story), recently Cold War and most of the Series 5.
    But Big Finish has been able to craft superior stories for multiple reasons the main ones being that they are unhindered by a time constraint, not hindered by a budget, and, in my opinion, they generally have better writers such as Marc Platt, Paul Cornell, Robert Shearman and many others. Also the BBC adaptations of Big Finish stories such as Dalek (based off Jubilee), Rise of the Cybermen / Age of Steel (based off Spare Parts) are often inferior to their audio counterparts. Now granted not every Big Finish story is a classic and there are a couple mediocre to poor stories in its catalogue but the good ones outnumber the bad.

  3. avatar gwylock says:

    I really think Big FInish eclipse the regular TV series in every way, particularly in the BBC’s more recent efforts.

  4. avatar vortexter says:

    They are amazing because they do not ignore the rich heritage of the last 50 years of the Whoniverse- in fact, they embrace it wholeheartedly. They dont wallow in it either, they build on it and enhance it. Ever wondered what caused the Mondasians to make the jump from flesh to metal? ‘Spare Parts’ tells you and what a tale. I would happily listen and watch Doctor Who from now to judgement day if Marc Platt were to write every story in from now on. Now that’s a future showrunner for you.
    And Paul McGann. Take a Doctor who shone and gave his all for a 90 minute slice of american flavoured Who and let him run with a real batch of seasons behind him and he’ll take you to the canals of Venice, the resurrection of Mars and the very start of the timewar.
    And strangely enough, when Big Finish got the franchise and invited future writers to attend the launch, Steven Moffatt attended and walked out because it wasn’t a TV series.
    What a shame.

  5. avatar authorman94 says:

    While Big Finish can vary in quality, just like the TV Series, I’d say that when they’re at the top of their game, they’re some of the best Doctor Who stories in any medium. Neverland, Davros, Spare Parts, Jubliee, Holy Terror, Lucie Miller & To The Death rank as some of the best Doctor Who scripts of all time, and are definitely worth listening to. And I’ll always highly regard them for taking Colin Baker and Paul McGann, two of the least thought of Doctors, and giving them material on a par with the Letts & Hinchcliffe-era of the show, and giving the two of them the material they deserved to have from day one.

  6. avatar Al says:

    FYI, the Paul Verhoeven mentioned here is not the same PV as the guy who directed Total Recall, which is too bad as I was hoping for another Peter Jackson-style endorsement. I love Big Finish and consider Briggs & Co. the unsung heroes of Who fandom for keeping things alive during the interregnum and keeping the classic-era characters in focus. My only problem is there are so many of them, so the best I can do is pick and choose. Most recently I bought the Vienna spin-off starring Chase Masterson from DS9 and was quite impressed.


  7. I also agree wholeheartedly. I LOVE Big Finish’s stuff. Especially for the fact that it gave 6 and 7 much better writing and stories than the show ever afforded them.

    This, of course, isn’t even mentioning the rich and awesome range of 8th doctor stuff.

  8. avatar drewboynton says:

    Aw, I was hoping it was mad-man director Paul Verhoeven (RoboCop, Showgirls, Basic Instinct, etc etc). I’d be all for an episode directed by him.

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