By doing so, they have – in my opinion – repaired the damage that was done to the eras of the 5th, 6th and 7th Doctors. Basically, they have given the companions better storylines and returned some of them to their original paths. E.g. Mel was supposed to be an expert in computers, but John Nathan Turner for unknown reasons decided to have her as a screamer.
The writers have also given the classic Doctors new companions to go with the ones they originally had. E.g. In the TV stories, the 5th Doctor and Peri didn’t spend much time together. At the start of 'Caves Of Androzani' Peri had given us the impression that she had got used to travelling with the Doctor. Therefore, a lot had happened after defeating the Master in the previous TV story “Planet Of Fire”. To fill in this gap, the writers sent the 5th Doctor and Peri to ancient Egypt, where they would find their new companion, Erimem, in a story called 'The Eye Of The Scorpion'.
At the end of the TV story 'The Trial Of A Timelord', we assume that the 6th Doctor dropped Mel off at home – as it were – and continued on with his adventures. The writers of Big Finish took this advantage and have given this incarnation of our beloved Timelord, a lot of new companions. Not only that, but they have given him a proper final story, which links perfectly well to his regeneration scene at the start of the TV story 'Time And The Rani'.
The 7th Doctor has some adventures on his own, which obviously link up to the Movie, where he regenerates into the 8th Doctor. But mainly, he continues his adventures with Ace, since that in the TV story 'Survival' the adventure ends with the Doctor and Ace making their way back to the TARDIS. The storyline with the 7th Doctor and Ace continues in the audios, but to make things a lot more interesting, Big Finish created a new companion. Thomas Hector Schofield – otherwise known as Hex.
As for the 8th Doctor, he had been given a brand new series of his own. What I thought was interesting about this series was the fact that before Doctor Who returned to our screens in 2005, Paul McGann was the current Doctor, even though he only appeared in the TV Movie back in 1996… And thanks to Paul’s return to the series via mini episode 'The Night Of The Doctor', it has been confirmed that all the 8th Doctor audio stories are now cannon!
In 2012, Tom Baker overjoyed myself and millions of others, as he joined the audio stories by returning to the role of the 4th Doctor. The 4th Doctor adventures are brand new stories with companions Leela, K9 and Romana.
From what I’ve listened to from this range, it is absolutely incredible!
In my personal opinion, Big Finish have come up with some pretty AMAZING stuff!
We, the fans of the classic series of Doctor Who, have had the chance to listen to Doctors 4 - 8 take on our favourite monsters, the Daleks, the Master and the Cybermen, on many occasion. Sometimes the Doctor reunites himself with his past companions.
If you have never heard of Big Finish Productions, and you’re a hardcore Doctor Who fan just like me, I’d recommend these stories:
All of them! *Chuckles*
Red Dawn, The Mutant Phase, The Eye Of The Scorpion, Spare Parts, The Church And The Crown, Omega,
The Gathering, Circular Time, Son Of The Dragon, The Key To Time Trilogy (The Judgement Of Isskar, The Destroyer Of Delights & The Chaos Pool) Excelis Dawns & Cobwebs
The Whispers Of Terror, The Marion Conspiracy, The Spectre Of Lanyon Moore, The Apocalypse Element, The Holy Terror, Project: Twilight, Project: Lazarus, The One Doctor, … Ish, Davros, The Wormery, Excelis Rising, Medicinal Purposes, Catch 1782, The Nowhere Place, The Reaping, The Condemned, The Doomwood Curse, Trial Of The Valleyard, City Of Spires, Wreck Of The Titan, Legend Of The Cybermen, The Curse Of Davros, The Fourth Wall, Wirrn Isle, The Acheron Pulse & The Sixth Doctor: The Last Adventure (The End Of The Line, The Red House, Stage Fright & The Brink Of Death)
The Genocide Machine, The Shadow Of The Scourge, Dust Breeding, Excelis Decays, Colditz, The Rapture, The Dark Flame, Flip Flop, Master, The Harvest, Night Thoughts, The Settling, Frozen Time, Return Of The Daleks, Enemy Of The Daleks, The Angel Of Scutari, Project: Destiny, A Death In The Family, Forty Five, UNIT: Dominion, The Shadow Heart & The Klein Trilogy (A Thousand Tiny Wings, Survival Of The Fittest & The Architects Of History)
Storm Warning, Sword Of Orion, Stones Of Venice, Minuet In Hell, Chimes Of Midnight, Seasons Of Fear, Time Of The Daleks, Neverland, Zagreus, Living Legend, Shada, Something Inside, Blood Of The Daleks, Horror Of Glam Rock, Human Resources, The Zygon Who Fell To Earth, Sisters Of The Flame, The Vengeance Of Morbius, The Company Of Friends, The Eight Truths, Worldwide Web, Deimos, The Resurrection Of Mars, An Earthly Child, Relative Dimensions, Lucy Miller, …To The Death, The Silver Turk, The Witch From The Well, Army Of Death, Dark Eyes 1-4 & Doom Coalition.
Recently, Big Finish have been given permission to do stories with characters from the NEW series of Doctor Who. If you buy 'CLASSIC DOCTORS.NEW MONSTERS', You will have the 5th Doctor taking on the Weeping Angels, the 6th Doctor and the Judoon, the 7th Doctor against on the Sycorax and the 8th Doctor taking on the Sontarans.
There are also stories with Riversong, Winston Churchill and Captain Jack Harkness – speaking of which, Big Finish also do TORCHWOOD stories!
If you think all this news is amazing… They have done stories with the 10th Doctor & Donna, and they have even gone into the time war itself with the dark journeys of the War Doctor!
Big Finish Productions are famous for the expansion of the Whoniverse, by creating dozens of spin off series: Jago & Litefoot, Iris Wildthyme, Graceless, I Davros, Sarah Jane Smith, Gallifrey, Charlotte Pollard, Counter Measures, Dalek Empire, Cyberman, UNIT, Vienna and the most famous of them all, The Adventures Of Bernice Summerfield!
Big Finish have also done various methods when it comes to Doctor Who. They’ve turned the old stage plays into proper full cast audio adventures, They’ve got a series called THE COMPANION CHRONICLES, where the companions of the first eight Doctors tell stories from their own perspectives.
There’s also a series called DOCTOR WHO: UNBOUND, a series of 'what if’s'. E.g. What if the Doctor was a woman? What if the Doctor never left Gallifrey? What if the end did justify the means? What if the Valleyard won at the end of Trial Of A Timelord? (This series of stories I seriously recommend).
Big Finish have also got the hugely favourable habit of turning Doctor Who novels into full fast audio stories! The latest one to be released will be “Cold Fusion” written by Lance Parkin and it features both 5th and 7th Doctors!
Speaking of which, there are a number of multi-Doctor stories to listen to:
The Sirens Of Time, The Four Doctors, Zagreus, Project: Lazarus and The Light At The End. These stories I seriously recommend listening to!
Throughout the classic series of Doctor Who (TV stories wise), many stories were written and final drafted into scripts. But due to things such as time and money issues, some of the stories were shelved and, at the time, forgotten about… Between 2009 and 2013, Big Finish Productions got their hands on those scripts and did what they do best. Turn them into audio adventures, with some narration added.
Another recent addition to the Big Finish works, is their recreation of the 3rd Doctor era. With Katy Manning and Richard Franklin resuming their roles of Jo Grant and Captain Mike Yates, the actors are teamed up with (what I seriously believe is an excellent choice for the part) Tim Treloar as he does the voice of the Third Doctor!
Putting the entire Whoniverse aside, Big Finish Productions have done audio stories with other shows: Blake’s 7, Dark Shadows, Sherlock Holmes, Dorian Gray, Terrorhawks, Survivors, The Avengers, The Prisoner, The Scarifyers and Pathfinder Legends… Some of these, Big Finish are still working on.
In my opinion, if Big Finish never existed, the world would probably be completely and utterly miserable for us nerdy/geeky people. Just like Doctor Who, I reckon Big Finish Productions will go on forever. The company itself has inspired a lot of fan filmers to adapt to audio stories – which is another form of writing altogether!
A MESSAGE TO BIG FINISH:
Whenever I listen to a trailer for a Doctor Who story, Nicholas Briggs usually says at the end
"Big Finish, we love stories” … Big Finish, we (the fans) love your stories! And we always will!