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Karen Hellekson

The Keys to the TARDIS: Doctor Who Big Finish Audio Dramas

Doctor Who Big Finish Audio DramaThose of us who were Doctor Who fans back in the day—you know, before the reboot, the era now known as classic Doctor Who—suffered during the long hiatus when the program was not on the air. Spin-off books and comics were interesting but somehow, I don't know, derivative. Doctor Who fans had a long wait: the last classic episode aired in 1989 and the reboot aired in 2005, with only a single canonical Doctor Who text in the interim to sate us: 1996 saw the airing of the made-for-TV backdoor-pilot movie. There was joy—they did it and the Doctor rocked! There was despair—it was kinda bad and wasn't picked up as a TV show! The despair was further compounded by the lengthy rights-related delay between the movie's airing and the region 1 DVD release in 2011: 15 years.

What about the classic-era sensibilities die-hard fans like me loved? How to get that classic Doctor Who fix? Answer: Since 1999, Big Finish Doctor Who audio dramas. Once I gave them a listen, there was no going back. Here they were, blasts from my past, Doctors and companions, and not only were they good, they were in many ways even better than the original show, particularly in terms of character growth. One hundred fifty episodes have been released in the Doctor Who series, the tagline of which is, "Classic Doctors. Brand new adventures."

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