Things have moved on since the days when Big Finish put out one release per month. Back then the main choice listeners had to make was whether to opt for CD or audio cassette (does anyone else miss the rewind button? Just me?), but with so many new releases as the range expands it’s inevitable that fans have to prioritise which ones they’re going to buy.
There are, however, ways to enjoy the company’s output without putting your credit card under intolerable strain. Some of the best deals apply to their extensive back catalogue but there are also some surprisingly affordable prices for their new and upcoming releases too. Here are our tips for keeping the costs of your Big Finish listening affordable…
Information is power, as someone once said, so sign up for Big Finish’s newsletter and you’ll be notified of the special offers which frequently apply at weekends – often it’ll be an individual story or set of stories with a particular theme, discounted for a limited period. You’ll also receive discount codes to access free preview downloads (typically the first episode of an impending release). It’s also worth seeking Big Finish out on Facebook, Twitter and You Tube to ensure you’re kept in the loop.
Big Finish Bargains offers box set releases at special discounted pre-release prices. Current examples include Classic Doctors, New Monsters Volume 1 (due in July) for £20 and Doom Coalition 3 (October 2016, also £20). Box sets typically include three or four stories, plus bonus material (behind-the-scenes interviews) so really do offer good value. It’s also worth bearing in mind that pre-releases come with free postage. Recent box sets including The War Doctor 2 and Doom Coalition 2 can still be found at £20 each, though best get in quick before they revert to a higher regular price.
You’re probably already aware that a range of subscriptions are available. Main range CD subscriptions are priced at £65 for six releases or £130 for 12, meaning you get a 30% saving on the regular release price. It’s worth noting that you can opt for a subscription deal on already-released stories as well as those still to come – start with, for example, release number 150 (Recorded Time and Other Stories) and you can pick up every release up to number 161 (The Butcher of Brisbane) for the price a 12 release subscription. Plus you’ll get a subscriber bonus CD (The Five Companions in this case) thrown in for free.
If your shelves are starting to groan under the weight of all those books, DVDs and audios you’ve piled onto them you might be ready to make the move to downloads. Opt for a download subscription and the price comes down to £54 for six releases and £109 for 12. Bargain hunters who want to enjoy Big Finish’s early stories can download releases 1-50 (that’s everything from The Sirens of Time to Zagreus) for just £2.99 each.
Click on Big Finish for a Fiver on the Ranges page and you’ll find back catalogue titles from series like Gallifrey, I, Davros, UNIT, Dalek Empire, Cyberman, and Doctor Who Unbound for £5 each. Go to Big Finish For Free and you’ll find numerous individual episodes at no cost to download, plus a few other treats such as some Dorian Gray stories.
If you like your Doctor Who in handy bite-sized chunks you may like to check out the Short Trips range, each one a complete download-only story for £2.99. And a special mention for Toby Hadoke’s Who’s Round, the long-running series of (often very revealing) conversations with actors and behind-the-scenes personnel from Doctor Who’s long history which can be downloaded for no charge.
Finally, be sure to look out for news and reviews on everything Big Finish on The Doctor Who Companion!
Those are our tips for making the most of Big Finish – what have we missed? Let us know below!