Fifteen years ago, we released Doctor Who: The Sirens of Time, starting a tradition of audio storytelling for the worlds of Doctor Who and beyond. In 2007 two ranges began which would prove astonishingly popular and shape how Big Finish is seen today - we get a glimpse of their origins and - of course - provide some special offers for listeners...
As part of the Big Finish 15 celebration, we're pleased to announce:
Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles - The First Doctor Boxed Set!
New for June 2015 will be the First Doctor Boxed Set, the latest in our hugely popular Doctor Who: Companion Chronicles range. Four stories across four discs, read by fan favourites from the era and accompanied by a second actor.
Pre-orders at special prices are now available for Download and CD from here.
Big Finish's Doctor Who at 15 - Offer 9
Today we're making four Doctor Who - The Companion Chronicles available, one each for the first four Doctors at £5 for CD or Download each: The Time Museum features William Russell as Ian Chesterton, The Forbidden Time has Anneke Wills and Frazer Hines, Katy Manning voices Jo Grant in The Many Deaths of Jo Grant, and lastly Lalla Ward's second Romana is the narrator of The Invasion of E-Space.
To celebrate the teaming of Sheridan Smith and Paul McGann as the hugely popular pairing of Lucie Miller and the Eighth Doctor, we're making the entire first season of their adventures available at £5 each for Download or CD, or there's a Bundle of all eight volumes at £25 for Download or £30 on CD.
We'll see you for offer ten in but a short day!
A Few Words About 2007
"I remember when I first joined Big Finish - seven years ago! - I was desperately hoping that Jason and Nick might ask me to produce the Doctor Who Companion Chronicles. I loved them. They asked me to do four and I said I had ideas enough for eight. They gave me a run of eight, and then I said I had enough ideas to run them monthly. So they gave me twelve a year!
So I was able to bring in Jean Marsh and Anneke Wills and Mary Tamm and Deborah Watling and lots of other brilliant, lovely people. I brought in some new writers (John Dorney - what ever happened to him?), and over the course of the five seasons I produced the ideas never stopped flowing. We did comedies, we did horror, we did tragedy and we did a musical. We had the best time and people seemed to love them - but all good things must end eventually, otherwise they don’t stay good.
Or perhaps it’s just a pause. We shall see."
David Richardson, Big Finish producer
"Lucie Miller was, like her Eighth Doctor companion predecessor Charley Pollard, created by our vastly talented script editor, Alan Barnes. Jason had spoken to the then BBC7 (now Radio 4Extra) and come up with a plan for us to make some Eighth Doctor stories which we would sell and they would pre-purchase. Jason had an idea for a companion who would be an unknowing prisoner of the Daleks, trapped somewhere in a spaceship — it’s spookily close to Oswin Oswald, now I come to think of it, but there’s no way Steve Moffat would ever have heard of this. Jason presented this idea to Gary Russell and Alan. Neither of them liked it at all. Gary was already thinking about leaving and wasn’t really enthused by the whole revamp of the Eighth Doctor stories. Alan got the bit between his teeth, and before lunch he had come up with a plan for a northern, working class lass who was on a witness protection scheme set up by the Time Lords. He didn’t have a name. Over lunch, we discussed her a lot. I remember texting a school-teacher friend, asking her for popular names for ‘young people’. I don’t think Lucie came out of this, I think Alan suddenly just had a flash of inspiration, and was very definite about the ‘ie’ spelling!
My only contribution at this stage was the idea that rather than being formally brought to the TARDIS by a Time Lord, Lucie should suddenly whoosh into the TARDIS and not really know that she was in a witness protection scheme. That way, I thought, the first few stories could be all about finding out just why and how she’d got here. Then Gary made his decision to have nothing to do with it, so Jason gave me the job of producing the series. Alan and Gary had already nominated writers and they were underway with story lines. My main contribution at this stage with Lucie was that, when the scripts came in, I did a lot of rewriting and shaping of Lucie’s character. A huge amount of her lines in Blood of the Daleks are written by me. I wrote her first few scenes entirely. I could kind of hear her speaking, and I followed this through in the other stories. Alan and Barnaby Edwards also did a lot of this too.
To coin a phrase, we loved Lucie. And we all fell in love with Sheridan, who was cast from a very long two days of casting. She just shone. She was head and shoulders above the others, and the key thing was that she made us feel like we were offering her the best job in the world. She lit up the room. We did actually have a very good second choice standing by if Sheridan had turned it down, but Sheridan was always our first choice. Jason had been pushing her forward to us for ages, and I, quite wrongly, felt that she wouldn’t be right for us. Ten seconds into the audition, and I knew she was perfect. Jason is a very clever fellow, you know!
We fully expected to lose Sheridan and Lucie after one series, but Sheridan kept pleading with us not to kill her off. Every year, we sort of planned to kill her, but Sheridan was adamant that this was the best job she’d ever had and that she wanted to be still doing it even when she was old enough to be using a zimmer frame. And we loved writing for her. Stories with Lucie in almost seemed to write themselves. Her character was such a driving force, largely because Sheridan had made her so real in our minds. Eventually, it got to the point when Sheridan was becoming more and more successful, and it was becoming impossible to book her, so we felt we had to part company with Lucie. We also felt that with her being such a raw and vital character that it would be a disservice to her to have her go on and on forever. She deserved a massive, cataclysmic exit. Telling Sheridan was one of the worst things I’ve ever had to do. I’m still haunted by those sad eyes looking up at me. But she gave it her best, right up until the last, heart-rending take.
It sounds crazily over-stated, but I genuinely feel that my life has been enriched for knowing Lucie and Sheridan. We’ve gone on to create other great characters and I’m certain we’ll create many more, but Lucie will always occupy a unique part in my heart. Lucie - Bleedin’ - Miller!!!"
Nick Briggs, Big Finish Producer, Writer, and the Voice of the Daleks