We love StoriesBig Finish produce great full-cast audio drama for CD and download, featuring many popular television fantasy series.
There are special offers on the Companion Chronicles all this weekend! With 82 releases to choose from, we've asked the Big Finish team to choose their favourite releases...
We start off with former Companion Chronicles Producer David Richardson:
'It’s no easy task to choose a favourite from a range for which I produced 70+ stories, but The Rocket Men is a story I listen to again and again. It’s a simple conceit - a sky station overtaken by jetpack-wearing pirates - but the clever structure and emotional core to the story make it so much more than that. William Russell gives a beautiful performance as Ian Chesterton, and John Dorney’s script is rousing and moving and exciting. And Howard Carter’s sound design and music are just sublime. I listen to productions like this just to admire the sheer brilliance of my colleagues.'
Executive Producer Nicholas Briggs has chosen the swan-song of a dear friend of the Big Finish family:
'I’m going to nominate The Last Post, because it’s a lovely story and is particularly poignant because it’s the last thing the lovely Caroline John recorded for us before she passed away. Such a fun lady who I spent many an hour giggling with. And she’s on top form here as the brilliant Liz Shaw, first companion of the Third Doctor.'
Head of Big Finish Jason Haigh-Ellery has gone straight back to the beginning with his choice of a celebratory adventure:
'Released in November 2013, this was Big Finish's other Anniversary story, The Beginning taking place at the start of the Doctor's adventures. Terry Molloy's portrayal of Quadrigger Stoyn is a joy - and the whole production works wonderfully well as a genuine celebration of 50 years of William Hartnell's incarnation of the Doctor.'
Torchwood Producer and frequent range contributor James Goss couldn't decide between his two favourite choices:
'I love both Simon Guerrier's Home Truths and John Dorney's Solitaire. Home Truths because it really was the most unlikely idea ever - Sara Kingdom is back, and this time she's... well, I won't spoil it! But Simon Guerrier developed it into a really heart-tugging sequence of linked plays that worked both as new first Doctor stories and an epic of a fallen world. Solitaire because it's just lovely and clever and teasing and funny and all about Charley Pollard.'
Vortex Editor Kenny Smith is somewhat of a Companion Chronicle connoisseur, and has suggestions for every type of fan!
'The thing I love about the Companion Chronicles is that there's so many of them, telling different types of story. If I'm in the mood for a serious play, there's plenty to choose from, especially Simon Guerrier's Sara Kingdom trilogy, or the same writer's Oliver Harper and Steven Taylor plays. But at heart, I'm someone who likes to have fun, and it's hard to ignore The Scorchies. It's just... insane. It shouldn't work - alien puppets trying to take over the Earth whilst singing songs - but somehow, it does. The genius of writer James Goss, director Ken Bentley, actors Katy Manning and Melvyn Hayes, and music from Richard Fox and Lauren Yason is perfect. And it makes you wonder what kind of sick puppy producer David Richardson is, to come up with an idea like this. As I said, it shouldn't work, it really shouldn't... but it does. Brilliantly.
Dark Shadows producer Joseph Lidster has chosen a Katy Manning crossover caper.
'I'm going for Find and Replace. It's a funny, clever script by Paul Magrs that's genuinely heart-breaking. It's not just about what it means to be a companion but it explores the universal themes of nostalgia and love. It's a truly gorgeous drama featuring Katy Manning giving one of the finest acting performances I think there's ever been in Doctor Who.'
Producer's assistant Joe Smith has let his love of classic action movies guide his choice.
'The Selachian Gambit is Die Hard with Sharks! Could there be a better pitch? A brilliant update of the classic Troughton 'base-under-siege' premise, but with an extra helping of air vents and murdering psychopaths. Frazer Hines and Anneke Wills manage to bring life to an entire space station crew, as well as the terrific Aquaphibian-esque growls of the Selachians. Well worth getting your teeth into!'
Director of over fifty Companion Chronicle releases, Lisa Bowerman ultimately chooses the most popular title to date:
'Certainly both the Sara Kingdom, and Oliver trilogies. Of course The Last Post is not only a wonderful story, but incredibly poignant. Both Rocket Men Companion Chronicles are cracking. Find and Replace was hugely, nostalgically emotional for lovers of the 3rd Doctor - but I have to give a big shout out for The Mahogany Murderers - it's the small but beautifully formed acorn that grew into the mighty oak of Jago & Litefoot… and who wouldn't want to spend an hour in the fine company of those two gentlemen?
Finally, we turn to the current producer of the Companion Chronicles Ian Atkins for his favourite release – and a look ahead to some future releases...
'For me it has to be The Scorchies. While the range itself is frequently fascinating and unusual and gives a rare glimpse of periods you didn't think you'd encounter any more as a fan, this one really is (literally) something else. Back from my days reviewing Xena and Buffy for Xpose and Shivers, I got very wary about musicals in cult/genre shows - it took me an age to "get" Once More With Feeling - and it took a while to summon up the nerve to take the plunge on Scorchies. But what an absolute joy, born of the very shows and vibe of Rainbow, Blue Peter and Ragtime from my childhood. "Joe is Making a Thing" is an office mainstay as my colleague Joe Smith arrives each morning, and "We Killed the Doctor Dead" has to be one of the best cliffhangers of all time! As the new producer of The Companion Chronicles, it's a huge responsibility to look after something of such consistent quality, but such varying formats too. Perhaps with next year's Second Doctor set we'll see if Frazer fancies a follow-up to "Time Traveller". If you listen carefully, you may hear the tuning up of a guitardis even now...'
The entire range of Doctor Who - The Companion Chronicles is available at special offer prices for the whole of this weekend. Single disc titles are just £5 each (plus relevant postage and packaging) with special bundles also available. Click here for full details.