The A-Z Of Big Finish by Sue Davies (article).

May 3, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More

If you haven’t heard of Big Finish then you must have your head in a bucket and speaking of buckets, I’m sure they can be used in many creative ways to make sound effects.

A is for

…Adric yes he’s coming back to ‘Doctor Who’ very soon. Actor Matthew Waterhouse was last heard in an excellent audio from the ‘Dark Shadows’ range

…The Archers – ok, only 2 that I’m aware of have appeared but it got a name check recently. It’s David Archer (real name Tim Bentinck who is starting to carve out a guest niche)

…’The Avengers’ – old school a new version of the original but lost TV episodes has already been issued with more to come. These are excellent thrillers with good old-fashioned violence and drinking of the scotch.

B is for

…Baker, Colin – Doctor Number 6 has carved out his persona and made himself into a far more likable chap than his TV counterpart and the stories are pretty good, too.

… Baker, Tom – who finally could resist no longer. He has joined the fold and is currently enjoying some excellent adventures with companions Romana and Leela.

…’Blake’s 7’ – the new and old range of audio adventures, audio books and even Avon’s autobiography are available.

…directed by Ken Bentley. That is all I need to say. Other directors are available.

…Bowerman, Lisa – the alter ego of Ellie the barmaid in ‘Jago & Litefoot’. Also plays Bernice Summerfield and directs many of the Big Finish audios. Proving that if you want multi-tasking, ask a woman or Nick Briggs.

…The Brigadier features in UNIT and other ‘Doctor Who’ audios in name only but Nicholas Courtney did make a ‘Companion Chronicle’ called ‘Old Soldiers’ which will make you cry,

… Briggs, Nicholas – a founding father of Big Finish, this chap takes on some serious duties including writing, directing and acting. Known for the award-winning ‘Dark Eyes’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes’

C is for

…’Companion Chronicles’ if you feel the lack of the first three Doctors then these attempt to fill the gap with the assistants narrating their own stories.

…’Cyberman 1’ and ’Cyberman 2’, two standalone series about the cyber race and its subjugation of Earth. When the human race is fighting a long war against these cyborgs in the Orion Cluster, they decide that upgrades might be a good idea. Written by Nicholas Briggs.

…Counter Measures, the team that accompanied the Seventh Doctor in ‘Destiny Of The Doctor’ are brought together in this magnificent 60s spin-off. Now with two series already, the team of Rachel, Alison and Chunky Gilmore are headed up by the ever slippery Sir Toby.

…Cornell, Paul – who created Bernice Summerfield (see under own entry).

…Charley Pollard (where do I start?). Companion to the Eighth, the Sixth, Patient Zero and now has her own series coming out.

D is for

…Daleks as Nick Briggs is the cold and dark heart of the metal machinators and Dalek Empire another spin-off which deserves attention.

…Dorian Gray – yes, the team at Big Finish not only bring you the original ‘Picture Of-’ by Oscar Wilde but an excellent episodic adventure ‘The Confessions Of-’ which has the silky voiced Alexander Vlahos telling us his terrible tales. Spread across the centuries, there is pain, glamour and quite a lot of evil here.

…’Dark Shadows’ the ultimate soap that for daytime drama this show was staple viewing on prime time for the youth of America in the 60s and 70s The audio books and plays capture the spooky, melodramatic and occasionally hilarious nature of the original in the way that the movie by Tim Burton just didn’t. With many of its original stars reprising their roles, it also offers the chance for the Big Finish repertory players to get involved.

…’Dark Eyes’ is an Eighth Doctor story that took the world by storm and won an award (possibly more) here when Paul McGann takes a young Irish lass aboard the TARDIS…

…Downloads or CDs. Time to save the planet indeed.

E is for

…Eight Doctors well, sort of, with time off for being dead, being in ‘The Hobbit’ and filming minisodes for the BBC and radicalanti-50th anniversary dramas and, being in rep, all the living ones are represented here.

F is for

…Fan favourite and in the recent minisode ‘Night Of The Doctor’, all the audio companions of the Eighth Doctor got a name check…so now its canon…

G is for

…Gallifrey and Gary Russell. Not content with the Doctor having adventures that fill in the gaps here, Gary Russell gave us Romana (1 and 2), Leela and new characters Narvin and Irving Braxiatel (see also Bernice Summerfield) having their own adventures in ‘The West Wing’ meets ‘House Of Cards’ meets ‘Doctor Who’. Oh yeah and the Sixth Doctor gets to be evil.

…Guest actors and with a plethora of ‘Doctor Who’ alumni to choose from there are squee moments as originals come back to play themselves. Big Finish is also good at picking out some talented actors when they are cheap. To date David Tennant and Benedict Cumberbatch anyone?

H is for

…Hadoke. Toby and his comedy podcasts. Did I mention podcasts?

…’Highlander’. Get your fix here. Fans of the films and TV must have been delighted to find the immortal lives on and more heads get swiped off shoulders in these new adventures.

I is for

…Iris Wildthyme. Might have been until the grand uncle said surnames first. See under W.

…’I, Davros’. How the evil monster came to be. See also Molloy, Terry.

J is for

…Jason Haig Ellery or as we call him, The Boss.

…’Jago & Litefoot’ if you haven’t discovered the amazing adventures of the superstars from ‘The Talons Of Weng Chiang’, you’d better get a move on. They’ve got 7 series and counting. Start with ‘The Mahogany Murders Companion Chronicle’ to get up to speed.

…Jubilee by Robert Shearman. Adapted for TV as ‘Dalek’, this is an incredible intense and very dark episode in the Sixth Doctor’s history. Get it now. See also Robert Shearman.

K is for

Klein, Elizabeth. First heard in ‘Colditz’, this woman as performed by Tracey Childs is a powerful character in the worlds of the Doctor. See also ‘UNIT Dominium’.

L is for

…’Light At The End, a smashing anniversary adventure featuring the first eight Doctors.

…Legendary lunches. Save me a sandwich.

M is for

…The Master – he’s back and he’s been Geoffrey Beever in ‘Master’ from 2003 and more recently Alex McQueen in ‘UNIT Dominium’.

…Molloy, Terry as Davros. ‘I, Davros’ is a superb series about how Davros came to be and I’m not even going to mention that Molloy’s character in ‘The Archers’ only has one eye after a terrible accident and how this makes him look more like Davros because it doesn’t.

N is for

…Nyssa, Tegan and Turlough with the Fifth Doctor. The team back together again. First heard in ‘Cobwebs’.

O is for

Omega – thank goodness Big Finish have even got an audio with this title and he’s played by the original Omega, Ian Collier, that’s how close they are to the fans’ hearts.

P is for

…Production values

…Podcasts with occasional crisps and

…Passing trains in the office.

Also for Paul Spragg, Paul McGann and Peter Davison. Without whom there would be a lot less Big Finish and I’m too lazy to put them under their own places alphabetically.

Q is for

…Quotes. I wish I could do quotes but you know it’s in one ear and out the other. Nevertheless and notwithstanding, I claim that these scripts are pithy, witty and often superior to the TV ones.

…But not Q from ‘Star Trek’. At least, not yet.

R is for

…’Robin Hood’ – the BBC series had an extra life on Big Finish with some great audio books featuring members of the original cast, including Jonas Armstrong and Richard Armitage, now perhaps better known as a hairy-faced dwarf in ‘The Hobbit’.

…Romana. Both of them!

S is for

…Shearman, Robert – a writer of marvellous books. Those available from Big Finish include ‘Love Songs For The Shy’ and ‘Cynical’ in which you may marvel at how a country like Luxembourg can disappear and nobody notices and you can also be slightly sickened by ‘George Clooney’s Moustache’. You can also get ‘Jubilee’, the Sixth Doctor story that reinvents the Daleks.

Successful spin offs-including:-

…Several standalones of…’Stargate’ and ‘Sapphire & Steel’.

…Several series of ‘Sherlock Holmes’.

…Soon to be heard – ‘Survivors’!

Stone, Mervyn – the alter ego of Neville Fountain. Big Finish have produced several of his adventures in both book and sometimes audio form

… Summerfield, Bernice – the character created by Paul Cornell, first saw life in the Virgin ‘New Adventures’ and then took on her audio inheritance with Lisa Bowerman, the eponymous heroine who first is companion to ‘Doctor Who’ but then launches her own series of adventures.

Other series not beginning with S are also available.

T is for

‘Terrorhawks’ – just announced this is coming soon. Based on the 1983 series by Gerry Anderson, I’m sure it will prove to be a big hit if you stay on this channel.

U is for

…UNIT and ‘UNIT Dominium’. Bringing UNIT smack up to date, ‘UNIT Dominium’ brings together the Doctor, The Master, Klein and a variety of Big Bads.

…’Unbound’. The Doctor as you’ve never heard him.

V is for

…Vienna, a new slightly off-kilter heroine who travels the worlds, meets lots of people and kills them. First heard in ‘The Shadow Heart’ with the Seventh Doctor and notably in her standalone adventure ‘The Memory Box’, she now has a boxset of her own. Vienna is performed by Chase Masterson, who proves to be great role model for all us aspiring intergalactic assassins.

…’Vortex’, the free magazine that you get either on the site or with your CDs.

W is for

…Writers. There are too many to mention but Big Finish is very good at getting them to consistently produce excellent work. I think maybe it’s keeping them chained to the radiator that helps.

…Warner, David for ‘The Unbound Doctor’ (Masters Of War), ‘Dark Shadows’, ‘Sapphire &Steel’, a go to guy and seeing him in the TV series felt like an acknowledgment of the taste of Big Finish. Lately heard as Cuthbert, facing off the Fourth Doctor in three linked adventures, War Against The Laan’, ‘The Dalek Contract and ‘The Final Phase’.

…Wildthyme, Iris – the creation of Paul Magrs, this slightly unhinged and gin-based character travels in a red bus with a panda. She’s a Time Lady we think but we also know she has four seasons to her credit is performed by Katy Manning who is a hoot.

X is for

…that chap called X in ‘Dark Eyes’ Series One.

What? This is hard you know without invoking the spirit of Olivia Newton John and Xanadu.

Big Finish companion.

Y is for

Yee Jee Tso is another example of how the devious minds of Big Finish operate. Yee and Daphne Ashbrook appeared in the Eighth Doctor Movie but their characters were copyrighted. No problem the BF boys and girls came up with an excellent character based yarn (Y!) to bring these two into the Whoniverse as UNIT soldiers Ruth Matheson and Charlie Sato. Catch ‘Tales From The Vault’ and, soon, ‘The Worlds Of The Doctor’ which celebrates 15 years of Big Finish Who.

Z is for

…Zagreus. A story that involves the living Doctors Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann. Apparently, no one understood it. I haven’t heard it so I couldn’t possible comment.

 

© Sue Davies 2014

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  1. avatar Kitty Eden says:

    Fantastic! <3 I love Big Finish to death, this was just the thing to brighten up my day. But no mention of Braxiatel? Well, that's just sad. 😀

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