Is it Time to Give Big Finish the New Who Licence?
Guest contributor Freddie Coates investigates the possibility.
I started watching Doctor Who as a young boy with The Christmas Invasion back in 2005. I had heard about the show at school and I decided to sit down and watch it. Unfortunately being a newcomer I didn’t understand much but I watched it anyway, oblivious to the regeneration and all that jazz. This was where I started to get into Doctor Who.
When Series 2 aired, I watched the whole thing avidly and got a few of my friends to get involved. After Doomsday I could not wait until Christmas! But the five or so months in between was a prospect I was not looking forward to! So this is when I started researching and eventually I found out about other Doctors, regeneration and etc. I managed to find repeats of older episodes. This kept me interested in-between the gaps (aka the dark ages). But over the past few years, as I became a more and more avid fan (believe it or not), I then discovered the Big Finish audio dramas and fell in love with them. When Tom Baker signed up I was immediately lining up to download his adventures. Big Finish are an amazing addition to the Doctor Who universe.
With the 50th anniversary, Big Finish were allowed to expand their contract slightly in a collaboration with AudioGo. The Destiny of the Doctor audio stories were the first audios to feature “New Who” characters, such as the 9th-11th Doctors and their companions.
The Night of the Doctor featured the 8th Doctor, the only classic Doctor to return for a televised story (even though it was 7 minutes!) During his regeneration, he remembered several companions if his from the Big Finish stories (“Charley,C’rizz, Lucie, Tamsin and Molly”) that made Big Finish’s audios canon.
With the revival of the series now a good 9 years ago, some may be starting to grow just a tad tired of seeing the same TV episodes, particularly the Ninth and Tenth Doctor’s. Fans have been talking about whether Big Finish could ever get the New Who licence. How great would it be to have new adventures featuring the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctor and maybe even a few series following Gallifrey with the War Doctor! And how about even a few more Torchwood audio dramas, following on from the Lost Files? Or going back further and contain Owen and Tosh?
This would give the chance for what the fans would want in an anniversary special the “11/12” Doctors would be a ground-stone for Big Finish, the Whoniverse and the fandom! This would be a feat which would be widely accepted! There would be a whole new set of companions for the companion chronicles and even the adventures of Rose and Mickey/Metacrisis Doctor in the parallel Earth.
The only problem would be, do the New Who Doctors want to come back? Christopher Eccleston seems the least unlikely to return after his difficult departure and the fact he still turned down the 50th all those years later. David Tennant is still a popular television actor with Broadchurch (UK) and the upcoming Gracepoint (USA), on top of these he is a widely used stage actor especially for Shakespeare. Out of all the New Who Doctors though, he’s probably the most likely. Matt Smith has just finished with Doctor Who so if he were to come back, it would be either in a few years time or if he was out of work, something he is not with American Psycho and How to Catch a Monster already under his belt, and now the Terminator franchise for three films.
In my opinion Doctor Who and Big Finish would both do well from a new contract including a few New Who clauses. But it might be a difficult task on the Doctor front and getting people to be involved. But what do you guys think? Is it something you’d like to see if it could happen?