Big Finish will relaunch its Doctor Who Main Range as a series of dedicated ranges for each of the first twelve incarnations of the Doctor, as of January 2022.
The Main Range has been going since 1999, at least once a month. In recent years, many new ranges have been introduced to the release schedule, incorporating all of the Doctors’ eras from 1963 to 2017. As the company looks to the future, a revised schedule will see a number of new range additions.
This range, of late featuring adventures for the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Doctors (although the Eighth Doctor also began his audio adventures in the Main Range), will end with release number 275. Thereafter, there will be a regular rotation of releases, with each Doctor starring in their own box sets of adventures throughout the year.
Senior Producer David Richardson teases:
“There are so many exciting new directions ahead. Where did the First Doctor and Dodo go next after leaving the planet of The Savages? What happened to the Second Doctor after The War Games? What new adventures await the Third Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith? What happened on the Seventh Doctor’s Last Day? The adventures are only just beginning…”
Big Finish chairman and executive producer, Jason Haigh-Ellery says:
“One comment we hear more often from new listeners is that they find it hard to know where to begin with our back catalogue of Doctor Who adventures. This change to our release schedule will make it easier for people to start. With a range for each Doctor, there will be a natural ‘stepping on point’ for fans.”
Creative director and executive producer, Nicholas Briggs, adds:
“As well as making our ranges much less confusing for Big Finish beginners, these changes will allow us more exciting new possibilities and creative freedom.
“By freeing the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors from the constrictions of the Monthly Adventures schedule, and giving them their own distinct ranges, we will be able to introduce more surprising cast combinations, different story lengths, and more story arcs.”
Big Finish listeners keen to complete their collection of Monthly Adventures should read the following:
- a 3-release CD / download subscription will be available, starting from #271, #272 or #273, which should enable the majority of subscribers to extend their subscription to the end of the range. Three-release subscriptions are priced at £32.50 for collector’s edition CDs and £27.50 for downloads.
- any existing subscribers who find themselves unable to purchase #274 or #275 via a combination of the 12/6/3-release options should contact firstname.lastname@example.org, who will be able to process their orders offline.
How are we feeling about this, DWC readers? Personally, I can see why they’re doing it, and it’s no great shock – they did the same with the Eighth Doctor before now and had a tester “pilot” set with the Sixth Doctor and Peri – but I’m quite disappointed. It feels like an important part of the Doctor Who mythos is coming to an end. And, bearing in mind I see all the PR from Big Finish, even I’ve got confused and blase about the order of Dark Eyes, Time War, Stranded, et al., featuring Paul McGann’s Doctor: how will a casual fan who likes to dip into the monthly audios fare? The perpetual popularity of our guide to the Eighth Doctor’s audio stories show that I’m not the only one…
Then again, Big Finish is a great company and they’ve presumably got something up their sleeves. And this does potentially mean further stories for the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Doctors, so that’s a bonus, seeing as they’re understandably neglected on CD. (Why is the Twelfth Doctor missing from the above banner anyway…? That is, unless the “first twelve incarnations” doesn’t include Capaldi, but does include the War Doctor? It’s odd if so, as their license extends to Twice Upon A Time.)