Attention all Doctor Who classic series veterans and new recruits! Big Finish, that bastion of nostalgia and narrative innovation, have 30% off subscriptions to their main range of Doctor Who Audio dramas. Hot-click-it over there now and have a sniff around…
This discount is for subscriptions only – that’s committing to 6 or 12 monthly releases in a row, starting from whenever you like – so you could get twelve consecutive stories from last year if you wanted or start from the latest and get them once a month as they come out. You can purchase CDs in the post or direct MP3 downloads. As before with the subscriptions, if you get a December release there’s a Christmas bonus story thrown in and if you’ve got loadsa cash to spare, a 12 release subscription also gets you a free-gift priced at £10.99.
“You can now subscribe for £130 for 12 CD releases, £65 for 6, and £109/£54 for a 12 or 6-release download subscription respectively.”
There was already about 10% off for subscriptions i.e. downloading 12 stories was £140, now reduced to £109. For those who haven’t tasted the luscious fruits of their labours, I can highly recommend getting stuck-in to more than a few of their collection. Nick Briggs, master of the wobulator and the man behind the mic for both the New Series Daleks and Cyberman launched their monthly range of Classic audio stories in 1999 with The Sirens of Time - an epic romp bringing together the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors.
Since then they’ve not looked back and have started adventures with the Eighth, Fourth and even hypothetical alternative reality Doctors! I listened to some of the first when Big Finish started at the close of the Twentieth Century (I just like the way that sounds – humour me) then moved away for a while, recently rediscovering their latest output with a great deal of pleasure and surprise.
[pullquote align="right"] Listening to William Russell and Carol Anne Ford literally felt like I’d just watched a wonderful re-discovered black and white Hartnell Classic![/pullquote]They now have a series featuring adventures with the first three Doctors, voiced by the actors who played their companions, while simultaneously reprising their own roles… I know that sounds a bit naff but they’re actually really good! I’ve listened to William Russell, and Carol Anne Ford (Ian and Susan in the first season back in 1963) in a three hander with one other voice artist, perform a six-part epic and literally felt like I’d just watched a wonderful re-discovered black and white Hartnell Classic. These ‘Companion Chronicles’ are as inventive and surprising as the rest of the Big Finish ranges – and there is a bewildering amount on offer.
Let’s be clear – these are NOT talking books. Apart from the Companion Chronicles which are nearly there, these are full-cast, full sound-effect, fully scored dramas. I was a bit of a cynic at first and in fairness there are a few turkeys in there – but I have genuinely been surprised by the potential for Who on audio to be gripping and engaging. Particularly worth a mention are the stories with the Seventh Doctor, leading up to A Death in the Family. Unfortunately there is a fair bit of back-story but it is some of the best Doctor Who I’ve experienced – right up their with the best of the Classic and New Series on TV. Oh and the Jago & Litefoot series. And The Architects of History! And The Emerald Tiger!… In fact just have a quick listen to this delicious slice of sinister from A Thousand Tiny Wings with the Seventh Doctor in 1950s Kenya.
I’ll stop gushing. The Time Scales, a site, run by fans independently of Big Finish collates rankings from listeners to help you gauge which to go for – there may be a bit of bias in there but I’ve found it pretty useful. Enjoy!
Those of you who are already inducted into the Big Finish world – what would you recommend to any newbies? Biggest thrills? Best place to start? ones best avoided? Share your tips below…
(Via Big Finish.)