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Is it Time to Give Big Finish the New Who Licence?

Guest contributor Freddie Coates investigates the possibility.

three-doctors-2005-smith-tennant-eccleston

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.

destiny-of-the-doctor-The-Time-Machine-mainWith 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.

day-hurt-timewarWith 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.

tennant-ecclestonThe 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?

Step back in time...

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117 comments
Castrovalva
Castrovalva

Hey, if you want an interesting one to try, this month they have a Sixth Doctor Dalek and Charley Pollard audio for only 2.99 (instead of 14.99).  Try it out.     

Bigfinish.com  - search for Patient Zero



BJAMES
BJAMES

I think that would be cool. But I still can't see Eccleston getting involved. David Tennant actually made a few audio appearances before he became the Doctor , but he is a fan. I can see Matt Smith getting on board, and perhaps Billie Piper, John Barrowman, Catherine Tate, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill and Freema Agyeman reading some companion chronicles. And that medium just cries out for John Hurt's involvement. We are getting a John Hurt Doctor book in July, called "Engines Of War", but I think that's BBC Books.

LordRassilon
LordRassilon

I envision three periods of the timeline of The Doctor for which this makes sense:


9th (Hurt), during the events of the Time War. This, is of course, the most popular request.


10th (Eccleston): Set between meeting Rose, and taking Rose with him. Aye, there is no reason to conclude that the events in 'Rose' are as linear as they seem, and the indications of ahat regeneration of the Doctor having adventures without Rose, such as the photograph aside the Titanic, give room for a large span of his timeline to explore, without Rose.


13th (Smith): The time between Amy departing, and meeting Clara. 


I would be most interested in hearing more of Hurt's brilliant voice.

Diana van der Pluijm
Diana van der Pluijm

Yes. It's about time. Even though I (still) don't listen to Big Finish (I just can't find the time, har-de-har), I know enough people who do and who'd be thrilled to hear 'their' Doctor have all sorts of new adventures. 

DamianChristie
DamianChristie

"The Night of the Doctor featured the 8th Doctor, the only classic Doctor to return for a televised story ..." Incorrect! Peter Davison, the 5th Doctor, was the first of the classic Doctors to return for a televised story - in 2007's Time Crash, the Children in Need episode which ran for a similar length as The Night of the Doctor and paired Davison with David Tennant's Doctor. And unlike The Night of the Doctor, it was actually televised on the BBC, not on its red button service. Tom Baker, the 4th Doctor, became the third classic Doctor to appear in the modern series in the last few minutes of The Day of the Doctor.

WhoPotterVian
WhoPotterVian

I don't buy Big Finish audios because I'm not really a fan of audio dramas but I'd make a exception for the 10th Doctor. David Tennant is by far my favourite Doctor and one I would love to see get some new adventures. One audio drama I would definitely buy is one where 10 and 11 meet up because they have such fantastic chemistry that was such a joy to watch in Day of the Doctor.



JacobAdams
JacobAdams

They could do companion chronicals if they can't get the actors back. Could you imagine Catherine Tate telling us an unheard of adventure? It would be awesome! 

Seekles
Seekles

I suspect Big Finish will gain access to make stories from the Eighth Doctor (near the end of his life) - Eleventh when the licence comes up for renewal in 2016. There is no classic and new anymore, The Night of the Doctor firmly got rid of that awful divide. It's all one show. Merchandise typically splits the show up into heritage and current now. The former is Doctors 1-11 and the latter is 12. That's a great concept and doesn't conflict with the era that is currently being crafted for our new Doctor.

As for Big Finish doing stories featuring War - 11? Well you'll get David, Billie, Freema, Catherine, Matt, Karen, Arthur and Jenna with ease, I suspect, but it won't be long before it turns into Nicholas Briggs writing and directing the majority, Daleks galore and just utter fan rubbish. The Tenth Doctor meets Jamie McCrimmon, etc.

Being given access to four new Doctors would be the kick Big Finish need to breathe life into their existing main range and consult their Doctor Who licence as a whole. However, I fear Big Finish will carry on in their current ways, albeit with four new Doctors. A shame.

DonSmith4
DonSmith4

This is awesome but one of the things that makes Big Finish work is because Doctors 4 through 8 do not have the in demand careers that War through 11 have now. Would Big Finish be able to get Hurt, Eccleston, Tennant and Smith ?

Polyphase
Polyphase

I think it's a great idea, There are plenty of gaps to fill in :)

AztecsDaleksAndCavemen
AztecsDaleksAndCavemen

I feel Big Finish doesn't need the new series' characters. It's amazing without.

FisherCrane
FisherCrane

I think they could do new-who stories in the style of Big Finish's Companion Chronicles. A companion is telling a story, with other voice actors playing other characters in the story. We could have CC's with Jack, Jackie, Martha, Micky, Clyde, Rani, Adam, Wilfred, River, and others.

Also, Arthur Darvill is in Big Finish's Frankenstein soon. David Tennant may return, because he was in Colditz , Unbound, and a couple of others.

Temporal_Tomato
Temporal_Tomato

They should have got it from the start. David's practically a guarantee, as he did plenty of Big Finish prior to being cast as the Doctor, and I'm sure it'd be quite special to him as he would be returning to where he had his first role in the Whoniverse, but now as the Doctor.

RichardTyler
RichardTyler

There are always war doctor adventures. John Hurt is an amazing new addition that we know little about...just a thought...

KarenBee
KarenBee

While I think this would be a great idea, from a practical point of view I imagine this would be limited to companions adventures and perhaps a few for 10. Chris is unlikely to come onboard (but would be awesome) and Matt's and Karen's careers are on a huge upwards trajectory in the US so woukd be difficult to schedule them either individually or together into the future. I haven't heard much of Matt's audio work but understand it is top notch as would be expected.

Arthur and Alex Kingston are both highly experienced and excellent radio actors/ voice artists so could see them easily fitting into this and as someone has also mentioned, the Paternoster Gang are obvious candidates as well.

I can see DT becoming a fixture on BF if this happens very similar to McGann as both already manage a mix of TV and theatre parts in the UK interspersed with voice work. DT is also fannish enough to want to do this and would have the capacity.

So maybe Paternoster Gang hijinks, some River adventures and a selection of companions and fingers crossed - new Doctor/Donna or Martha stories (or a new companion).

Of course Stephen Moffat owns most of these characters, so woukd also need to be on board to make it happen.

BF is fabulous and often better than the mothership programme!

Deus_Ex_Machina
Deus_Ex_Machina

Yes.

As you said, the main issue is the availability and/or willingness of all the actors involved, but if they could sort that out then definetly. Big Finish do amazing work. They've never produced a bad story, all their stuff is absolutely brilliant.

Ivegotnewkidneys on the 23rd
Ivegotnewkidneys on the 23rd

2 things I would love to happen if Big finish ever gets the rights 1) a story where the Cybus and the Mondasian Cybermen meet and 2) Donna meeting the fourth or sixth Doctors 

TomFlynnLaSusa
TomFlynnLaSusa

I'm gonna open a can of worms here...a big one I know.  But I like to think of all possibilities.


If Eccelston isn't interested in returning...and these are audio stories...why not consider a voice actor replacement?  Someone who can do a fairly good 9th Doc impression and continue the adventures then?


We're not unfamiliar with other actors taking over the role: Richard Hurdnell took over the First in the Five Doctors.  impressionists have been used before.  Why not now?

trenzalew
trenzalew

I reckon when they're up for renewal in 2016, they'll get some new Who stuff.

Ivegotnewkidneys on the 23rd
Ivegotnewkidneys on the 23rd

I would love for this to happen I've recently been getting into audios although so far I've only listened to the fifth doctor stories and It would interesting how big finish would do a weeping angel story if they ever get the rights 

FreddieC
FreddieC

It seems more likely as AudioGo have gone into administration

Liana21
Liana21

Id love have Modern Doctor Big Finish ranges, they make a such great and lovely work with the classic and I'd love have Matt telling me a story in my ears.

Actually, I have one audio book read by him, and it's delicious.

Timhogan
Timhogan

Honestly I don't see why they wouldn't allow this.  I mean just limit it to only past doctors and not the current Doctor.  So Capaldi couldn't get one until the 13th Doctor comes, but 1-11 is fair game. 

TheCapaldiMasterplan
TheCapaldiMasterplan

I think David would be the most likely to return at the moment given how light his schedule is compared to Matt's. Chris is completely unpredictable - there's every possibility he may return, but there's every possibility he may turn it down.

TheSoundofDrums
TheSoundofDrums

I think this would be a great idea. Quite frankly I'm really surprised Big Finish haven't already been given permission to use New Who Doctor's and characters. I mean what harm can be done and it can only expand the show's story even further within a different media. As well it will allow all those actors who have been involved since the shows return to participate with fun reunions and fun times working on these new adventures together. It would be silly not to let Big Finish work on New Who. They have a great reputation under their belts already and I think they'd be able to expand the Tenth and Eleventh Doctor's stories even further with stories told off screen to their televised episodes. I won't hold my breathe for Eccleston to come back though.

shyx111
shyx111

Yes!

I, for example, would like to know what Eleven did all that time he travelled alone, aside rapping XD

BJAMES
BJAMES

@Castrovalva Charley has her own box set on the way this month as well. Go India Fisher!

Who is the Doctor
Who is the Doctor

@AztecsDaleksAndCavemen  But the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Doctors are not getting any younger, nor are the companions from those era's either.  So Big Finish better be looking at reworking the contracts with the BBC to allow the use of the new era Doctor's and companion's or look at a significant reduction in there business in the next 15 years as the actors pass away or become unable to work.

Who is the Doctor
Who is the Doctor

@KarenBee  From my understanding, Big Finish has each script approved by the BBC in any case to ensure that it isn't conflicting with plans that Moffat has for the show. 




Liana21
Liana21

I want Donna meeting Six, and meeting Tegan and Adric

Imagine how much sass could be.

TheOncomingSnow
TheOncomingSnow

@RoastNewt  I never did understand why the rest of Series 5 of SJA wasn't novelised. It'd be the perfect way to have dealt with it and a tribute to Lis.

Liana21
Liana21

Thy could amplify and develop a lot of things: Nine with Jack, and even Mickey; Ten with Martha, Donna or his time alone and Eleven with Clara, Craig and River.

Liana21
Liana21

I think that because it could be easier get a past Doctor than the Titular one, you know,

The_Eternal_Dalek
The_Eternal_Dalek

@TheSoundofDrums They have offered them it (at least Eccelston and Tennant when the classic era was redefined to include RTD's run on the show) but it was Big Finish that refused it. Steven Moffat is a big supporter of it and has jokingly told Matt Smith they would be his retirement home on his last day of filming so it is very much a case of encouraging Nick Briggs and co to take the license rather than the other way round/

Liana21
Liana21

I'd like a Modern Doctor range, and also it could sere for fill gaps, like the Time War, the adventures with River, Jenny's, the Paternoster's and even for mix up Classic and Modern.

imagine how cool could be a story with this cast

David Tennant

Peter Davison

Catherine Tate

Janet Fielding

Sarah Sutton

and Georgia Moffet

Liana21
Liana21

I want Eleven and River, and a Time War range with John Hurt and Lalla Ward

Who is the Doctor
Who is the Doctor

@The_Eternal_Dalek @TheSoundofDrums  According to the FAQ on the Big Finish website, they say that they can use only the first 8 Doctors and their companions in accordance with the license with the BBC.  So that is what is out in writing, but as to what is going on behind the scenes, we don't really know.

Liana21
Liana21

They make great stories for the classic Doctors, I can't pass for the web without fall in love with anyone, so I can't see why they're afraid of going modern. Nick Briggs has been enough involved on the TV series, as voice of the Daleks and the Cybermen, that I think he could get the touch of it for the Audios.

Liana21
Liana21

Nor the TARDIS would be big enough for bear it.

Liana21
Liana21

You're not going to mate with me rainbow

The_Eternal_Dalek
The_Eternal_Dalek

@Liana21 They aren't afraid of "modern" they just don't want to do it, they want to stick to the first eight Doctors and that's their prerogative really.

Liana21
Liana21

I didn't mean the effects, I meant the ambient and the way of be of Nine, Ten and Eleven and their relationship with their respective Companions.

Huknar
Huknar

@Liana21  I think the audios are modern anyway. They are just a bit long. "Storm Warning and Seasons of Fear" felt very much like a modern episode because thanks to our minds, the special effects are top grade. :) Some of them even have very good soundtracks!