November 23rd is less than two weeks away, and in these 11 days leading to the Doctor Who 50th anniversary we here at Nerd Bastard’s want to share with you a few of our favorite Whovian things. Today is the eighth day in our countdown, which is fitting considering yesterday’s surprise return of the Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann is the 50th anniversary prequel minisode, “The Night of the Doctor”. It was the first onscreen appearance of the Eighth Doctor since the 1996 television movie which introduced him. Between then and now the Eighth Doctor has starred in dozens of Big Finish audio dramas, cementing himself as one of the most beloved Doctors.
But some of you may still be scratching your heads, thinking, wait–who? And in what? What’s an audio drama? It’s basically just what is sounds like: a drama performed only through audio, like a radio play. In the years before the 2005 season relaunched the series on TV, Doctor Who lived on with all surviving Doctors coming back to reprise their roles.
Beginning with 2001’s Storm Warning, the Eight Doctor has adventured with companions Charley (India Fisher), C’rizz (Conrad Westmaas), followed by Lucie (Sheridan Smith), Tamsin (Niky Wardley), and eventually Molly (Ruth Bradley, picture above) his current companion. Many of these audio adventures have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra, but all are available for purchase on Big Finish’s website (and here for older adventures).
And yet Big Finish’s doesn’t only produce Eighth Doctor adventures, there’s all sorts of new material starring the Fourth (Tom Baker), Fifth (Peter Davison), Sixth (Colin Baker), and Seventh (Sylvestor McCoy) Doctors, including plenty of returning and new companions. Being audio dramas the age of the actors matters little, and in an act of real time travel, these audio dramas allow listeners to travel back to almost any point in the Doctor’s history.
As for the 50th anniversary, Moffat may be sticking to his story of “No Classic Doctors in the 50th” (though McGann’s surprise reappearance only further proves Moffat lies) there’s one 50th anniversary special starring Doctors Four through Eight: The Light at the End. It was released in October, and while I haven’t yet had a chance to listen, Doctor Who Magazine raves it’s, “pure gold.” Judging by their past releases, I wouldn’t expect anything less.
Listen to the trailer below,
Speaking of Sound Cloud, Big Finish has a few audio dramas hosted for free on the service in case you’re interested but don’t yet want to cough up any dough.
So next time you’re complaining you don’t have any new Doctor Who, assuming you’ve actually watched the entire 50 year run of the series, you’ve still got hours of new adventures available to you thanks to Big Finish. (And guess what? They also produce audio adventures for Dark Shadows, Bernice Summerield, Stargate, Sarah Jane Adventures, and more!)