By being a huge fan of Big Finish and the audio plays, I joke that I’m a niche fan of a niche fandom.
Well, I don’t know if you can call Doctor Who a niche fandom anymore. Once you’ve hit the cover of Entertainment Weekly, once you’ve become a staple of conventions and cosplay, and once your smartphone autocorrects “Cybermen” to “CYBERMEN,” you’ve pretty much hit mainstream fandom.
It’s weird. In 2005, I could count four people who were excited about the return of Doctor Who on what was then the Sci-Fi Channel. In 2013, Facebook was exploding over Peter Capaldi being chosen as the Twelfth Doctor. It’s so cool to see a show you love become incredibly popular, and since it’s a British production where you can rotate the lead actor (someday, actress?) and supporting companion actresses (someday, actor?) without blinking an eye, I feel like you don’t have to worry about seasonal rot or standard American tropes (will they or won’t they? It’s Doctor Who, they bloody won’t) ruining the show. Sure, there have been sub-par episodes and moments of just “ugh,” but Doctor Who has been on an upward swing for the most part.
But that’s new Who. I love older Doctor Who. But…the Myrka, people. The Myrka. With a straight face, how could I POSSIBLY explain Warriors of the Deep to someone? Or the whole Colin Baker mess during his run? Or how every single planet seemed to contain at least one Welsh quarry? Old Doctor Who was badly underfunded, and while it’s given the show a moment or two of charm, it’s also led to some episode just not aging well. Someone who’s excited about David Tennant and the quality effects in, say, Blink would cringe at the special effects in an episode like The Seeds of Death or Remembrance of the Daleks.
The audios allow me to indulge in my love for old Who without cringing. Not having to worry about a visual budget allows the writers and the actors a lot more freedom. You would never have gotten something like The Whispers of Terror during Six’s run, and I could only imagine the budget concerns doing Seasons of Fear for television.
That is the reason I love reviewing the audios, and handing them out to my friends. My girlfriend calls me a “crack dealer,” because she has a flash drive with the audios on them, and my best friend has a flash drive, and the biggest Whovian I know had a flash drive, and my gaming group have flash drives…it lets people experience why Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, and Paul McGann (along with their assorted companions) are absolutely amazing, why years after their official runs are over, they’re still playing the role of Time Lord with enthusiasm. The more people who know about the audios, the better. That’s why I’ve been reviewing the audios for a forum thread somewhere on the Internet, and that’s why I started this blog (well, restarted…no, regenerated it), so people who might be wondering about the plays could have someplace to check out a bit more about them.
Note – I usually put the official CD covers from Big Finish at the top of my reviews, but if I find a really cool one on the Internet (or one that’s cooler than the actually CD cover), I’ll post it as well. I usually find them on Deviantart or Google Image Search. These covers are NOT mine and I don’t claim or imply ownership/creation. I just think they look awesome and want to give them a little love.