I love Doctor Who.
It’s certainly not the only thing that I love, and I do manage to still be reasonably well adjusted and fit into the every day world, despite the possession of certain geek-like tendencies. But the simple fact remains, Doctor Who holds a special place in my heart. And as a mere ‘entertainment’ I understand that it may not be important in the greater scheme of things, but it is nonetheless important to me.
One of my earliest, and fondest, memories as a child, is of sitting and watching Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker with my Sci-Fi fan father on most weekday afternoons. I can’t say for certain which I saw first, as our local TV station tended to have both in pretty heavy re-run rotation in between the current airings of whatever Tom Baker’s latest season was at the time, so in a funny sort of way they are both my Doctor. I certainly consider both equally responsible in warping my fragile little mind and shaping me into the Doctor Who fan I would become, and, still am to this very day.
From that point on I would see every first run episode of Doctor Who that aired, and I never once stopped being a fan, regardless of who played The Doctor, or any turbulence the show itself went through. To me, even the worst of Who was still more entertaining and more interesting than most of what other TV at the time had to offer. Except Delta and the Bannermen. I hate, no, I loathe Delta and the Bannermen. All Who fans have a story that tested the limits of even their loyalty. Delta and the Bannermen is mine. Seriously, don’t even get me started…
Anyhow, as everybody knows, this year is the much vaunted 50th Anniversary year. A time of celebrating all that Doctor Who has given us. Okay, maybe not quite all, I doubt if anybody wants to celebrate Doctor in Distress. So then, a time of celebrating most of what Doctor Who has given us.
But how does a lifelong fan become a participant, rather than just an enthusiastic observer of what Moffat and company deliver onto our screens this year, and what 2Entertain reacquaint us with by delivering onto shiny disc? Is there a function that I could provide that would be both celebratory and potentially useful?
After thinking long and hard about that I had my answer. Probably not. Let’s face it, there are enough blogs and reviews and message boards related to Who to fill the TARDIS, so what would be the point on yet another one? Not much. I am therefore going to do it anyway. Because it’s the 50th Anniversary. And because I don’t have anything better to do. Weep for me.
But what could the subject be? What is something that I can dedicate myself to doing for the next year, that hopefully won’t feel like an utter waste of time, won’t leave me or anyone unfortunate enough to stumble upon these rantings catatonically bored, and might even be of some small use to somebody, somewhere?
Bugger all, really. So to Hell with it, I’ll just start looking at, listening to, and giving my thoughts on Big Finish’s range of Doctor Who audio adventures. After all, a common question I hear amongst fellow fans, and one that I have even wondered myself, is, where do I start? I’ve long been intrigued by Big Finish’s Doctor Who audio range, but there’s just so damn much of it that it can be a little bit intimidating to try and jump into, even putting aside the cost component. But, with being all up to date so far with the classic and new series DVD range, and it being the anniversary year, I figure, what the Hell, let’s just jump on in there and see what happens.
Now, a confession. I have a fear of cheese. Also, I have only ever heard all of about three Doctor Who audios over all my years of fandom, so this is pretty much going to be all new ground for me. And yes, at least one of these things is completely true. As such, the questions become: where do I start? Where do I end? Why 42? Why cheese? If Tom Baker and Colin Baker got into a fight, would it deafen the entire population of the Earth? How many tangents can I go off on before I become truly annoying? And was this the one? As for the answers, I don’t know, we’ll just see where the TARDIS takes us, eh? It always seems to be more fun that way, anyhow.
I will, however, start with the first Big Finish release in their regular Doctor Who range, The Sirens of Time, and I plan to end this run with the recently announced Light at the End anniversary special sometime around November. And in between, I imagine things may well get a little timey-wimey. Or perhaps not. Who can say? Well, I guess I could, but what fun would that be?
I will, in all likelihood, also post a spattering of other random Who related musings, including a regular series focusing on my own personal take on each of the Eleven official Doctors, one per month, January through November, and another regular series where I attempt to defend certain aspects of Doctor Who than many fans may consider to be rather indefensible. And no, Delta and the Bannermen will not be making an appearance in this section.
So, without further ado, into the land of Doctor Who audio adventures we go. Starting tomorrow.
Or maybe the next day…