Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Definitive (and highly speculative) Ranking of Big Finish's "New Series" Offerings

Big Finish have announced a lot of projects since they got their license extended to include modern Doctor Who. Yesterday they announced the long-rumoured Tenth Doctor Adventures, which will be a trilogy of single disc stories out in May 2016. This is all cool but, like a lot of people, I'm not sure I can afford it all right off the bat so here is my ranking of how much I'm looking forward to these projects, from least to most anticipated:

#9 Torchwood
Never got into the series, never really felt it worked outside a few good episodes in the second season so I'm skipping it.

#8 The Churchill Years
On the one hand I'm interested in having Churchill travel in the TARDIS for one story and that one of the others is set during his retirement. On the other hand, without the usual excuse of the relevant Doctors being dead I'm not sure I can be bothered with stories where the Doctors are read in by other actors.

Call me back when you have Ian McNiece and Colin Baker in an adaptation of Terrance Dicks' novel Players.

#7 Jago & Litefoot & Strax
I don't doubt it'll be entertaining, it's Jago & Litefoot, but just slipping in Strax seems a sad halfway house to the Paternoster Gang spin-off fans have been asking for. Still, as a one-off special it'll probably be amusing enough.

#6 UNIT: The New Series
UNIT has always been a problematic property for Big Finish. Hell, not even just them: BBV, Reeltime and even the BBC after, oh, 1975 have never really been able to make it work without the original cast. The Kate Lethbridge-Stewart/Osgood team seems like it'd have a chance and I'm really interested to see how it goes but quietly cautious, as well.

#5 Classic Doctors, Brand New Adventures
Halfway down the list, right between “meh” and genuine anticipation, we have a box with Peter Davison vs. Weeping Angels, Colin Baker vs. Judoon, Sylvester McCoy vs. Sycorax and Paul McGann vs., um, Sontarans. Yeah, in all seriousness no one could figure out a fourth new series monster for McGann to go up against? Also, these stories seem to be companion-free and I've never been fond of that format.

#4 The Diary of River Song
I am very, very curious about this because it will be the first time, aside from that one scene in Closing Time, that River will be written by someone other than Steven Moffat. Not that I don't like Moffat's River, it would be funny to be looking forward to this if I was, but getting other creative perspectives on this character is something I'm really looking forward to. Speaking of which...

#3 River Song in Doom Coalition 2
Mainly, this snaps #3 because I was already looking forward to it. I loved Doom Coalition 1 and I want to see where this goes, especially if the Eleven returns. River's presence is icing on the cake.

#2 The Tenth Doctor Adventures
Whilst Series Four is far from my favourite part of the RTD era, I have to admit the Tennant/Tate team was amazing. There are also only three stories in the first season so I feel confident in the quality control going into this. Big Finish have a tendency to go a bit overboard when they have a big signing and whether it's a conscious decision or the consequence of Tennant's schedule I'm glad that there's some restraint coming into this.

#1 The War Doctor / The Eighth Doctor: The Time War
I'll be perfectly honest here: I think the War Doctor needs a good old-fashioned redeeming. Not in the sense that the character went through a redemption arc in his one television appearance but in the sense that he was built up as this monster the later Doctors denied even being a part of themselves but he was... well, a cuddly grandpa sort played by John Hurt. If Big Finish can do for the War Doctor what they did for Colin Baker then I will be very happy. 

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