Checking Out Classic Who: The Eighth Doctor Audios

Despite only have two television appearances in the span of 17 years, the Eighth Doctor has plenty of stories. Paul McGann’s first audio with Big Finish was released in January 2001, nearly 5 years after the television movie. At first glance, the list of Doctor Who audios by Big Finish looks overwhelming. The company’s monthly range features stories from many of the Classic Doctors. There are also several spin-off ranges.  The Eighth Doctor appears in two of the ranges: the monthly releases, from 2001 to 2007 , and The Eighth Doctor Adventures from 2008-2011. His story continues in Dark Eyes, which has had 4 series since 2012.

There are two places where fans could start listening to the Eighth Doctor: Storm Warning, which was the first Eighth Doctor story in the monthly range and introduces Charley Pollard as the companion. The Doctor arrives on a British airship that was supposed to crash on its maiden voyage. Instead of dying on the airship, Charley decides to travel with the Doctor, creating a paradox that will follow her for the rest of her arc.

The first Eighth Doctor audio, Storm Warning

One of the great things about the monthly range was that it gave Doctor Who an opportunity to celebrate its 40th anniversary despite being off the air since 1987. Big Finish produced an audio for the occasion entitled Zagreus starring Paul McGann, Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker, and Peter Davison. Audio clips of Jon Pertwee as the Third Doctor are also used. Every actor who worked with Big Finish up until 2003 was involved in some fashion, with many of them playing new characters original to the story. The only downside to Zagreus is that it’s a bit confusing to listen to and definitely requires close attention. It’s not a stand alone story so you would have to listen to at least Neverland before.

In Blood of the Daleks, the first story in the Eighth Doctor Adventures, where the Doctor discovers Lucie Miller in his TARDIS. He tries to return her to her home time, but can’t land the TARDIS. Lucie reveals the Time Lords have placed her in the Doctor’s care for her protection. The ending of the Eighth Doctor Adventures leads right into Dark Eyes, which find the Eighth Doctor in a darker place. Before the “Night of the Doctor” minisode where the Eighth Doctor regenerated into the War Doctor, I thought Big Finish would cover the transformation of the Doctor (as we saw him in the movie) to the soldier who fought in the Time War. I’m not sure what Big Finish’s plans are for the Eighth Doctor now that Moffat established he tried to stay out of the Time War as long as possible before regenerating into a soldier.

 

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