Back in 2013, lots of people connected with Doctor Who was finding ways to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the adventures of everybody’s favorite Time Lord…unless you’re a really big fan of Morbius or something. Anyway, the folks at Big Finish, who have been producing original licensed audio dramas based on Doctor Who since 1999. They did the big multi-Doctor drama The Light at the End, which was my gateway into the wares of Big Finish (read about it here), but they also produced this release in their Companion Chronicles series, The Beginning, starring Carole Ann Ford.
Every week in 2018, the plan is that my friend Rod is going to ask me some geeky question that will answer in a post. This week is Week #5, and Rod brought up a question which blends my favorite TV show, Doctor Who (both of them) with another long-running but very different science fantasy series, The X-Files.
So each week, I’m writing up an article in response to some geeky question from my friend Rod. This week, the question has to do with companions on the TV show, Doctor Who.
Now, similar to a question Rod recently asked me regarding the Legion of Super-Heroes comic books series, I find that my answer requires a lot of back-knowledge to understand. In that case, instead of including all that background info in the main post, I wrote up a separate article that was more of a reference it.
I’m doing the same thing here, because I find that to answer the main question, I have to come to a clear understanding in my head of which Doctor Who characters qualify as companions, and which do not.
A month or more ago, I wrote a wishlist for the Doctor Who Christmas special. Twice Upon a Time aired just a few days ago, and featured the last Doctor Who story for Peter Capaldi as the lead character and Steven Moffat as lead writer and showrunner. It was a real mixed bag of a project, with some elements that worked beautifully, and others that left me a bit disappointed. Continue reading Reflecting on Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time
A while ago I posted a list of things that I wanted to see in Doctor Who before we were introduced to the 13th Doctor. Now, with the season behind us, we have only one episode–the Christmas special–still before us. How did I go? And now that those 12 episodes are behind us, what is on my new wishlist of things I want to see before Peter Capaldi bows out this December?
During the 90’s, while Doctor Who was completely out of production, the BBC authorized a series of “New Adventure” novels featuring the ongoing adventures of the show’s final cast, the 7th Doctor and his companion Ace. The books took on a darker tone than the series had, with more vicious and crude content.
The supplemental material that comes with Energy of the Daleks reveals that part of the intention with the story was to give the Fourth Doctor an opportunity to encounter the Daleks in a more typical adventure than he ever had on television: one that didn’t feature Davros and which involved the Daleks up to their regular galaxy-conquering, exterminating, shenanigans. The story hits this target but it’s not a very high bar to be aiming for. If one doesn’t have built-in nostalgic love for the Daleks and their screechy voices, then there’s not much to raise this story above the “ordinary” level.
There’s something about Doctor Who which brings out the craziest in people. I’m not talking about fans (maybe that’s true, but if so it’s probably true of anything people get fanatical about), but about writers and creators. Stories often feature insane, far-reaching plots and concepts. This was true back in the original series, and only seemed to increase during the “wilderness years” that followed its cancellation in 1990. Indeed, I read a bunch of the New Adventures line of novels that came out during that time period and it seemed like the writers reveled in doing whatever crazy thing they wanted to the characters or the concept. In the modern series, actual changes to the core concept are more restrained, but the show still gives writers the opportunity to let their imaginations run wild.
Spare Parts is advertised on the Big Finish website as being one of its most popular Doctor Who audio dramas, and it’s easy to see (or hear) why: not only is the story gripping and the production strong, but it addresses one of bigger unanswered mysteries of the television series: the origin of the Cybermen (easily the franchise’s second most popular monster, after the Daleks).
Neverland is the most latest of the main range Doctor Who audios from Big Finish that I have listened to. It stars Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor, India Fisher as the audio-only companion Charley Pollard and Lalla Ward as Romana, who was a regular on the TV series back in the 1970’s.
Now, it’s not the latest main range Doctor Who audio to be released, make no mistake. Indeed, it came out in 2002, and is number 33 in the line which now boasts 230 titles! But, it is the most recent one that I have listened to.