Big Finish Audio Books

I’ve just started listening to the audio books from Big Finish.  For the last couple of days, I’ve been listening to Paul McGann as the Doctor.  Now for those of you who aren’t familiar with the Big Finish audio books, they’re not really books in the sense that someone is reading you a story.  They’re actually productions, and are very much like an episode of the TV series, but without the video.  The production quality is high, and the “books” are basically a long episode.

I feel like we’ve been cheated.  We had one movie with the 8th Doctor, and it could have been much better.  With the audio books I can actually picture the Doctor in his 8th incarnation, and listening to him is just joyful.  He makes a very good Doctor, and I’m now wishing we’d had more time with him in the series.

My point?  Oh yes, my point.  My point is that I suggest you check out the audio books if you haven’t investigated them before.  I’ve been reviewing them on Goodreads.  If you’re wondering if a book is worth your time I’d suggest checking the rating on the site.  You can also leave a review for the next person!

Tom Baker Talks About His Return

From Unreality Primetime:

Following his surprise appearance in last Novembers Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, former Time Lord Tom Baker has expressed his thanks to fans and wished them all a happy New Year!

Baker, who appeared on our BBC screens as the fourth incarnation of The Doctor from 1974 – 1981, appeared briefly in the global celebration of the hugely popular BBC family sci-fi series, The Day of the Doctor, helping to guide then current Time Lord, Matt Smith on his quest to save the world from himself.

His appearance was warmly welcomed across the world, and Baker has revealed on his official website how he felt “swamped in love” following fans reactions, as well as revealing that he and Matt Smith did not discuss his appearance in the episode, explaining:

“Wonderful messages came in from around the world following his cameo in the The Day of the Doctor, which he revealed was filmed in Cardiff last spring. Through the wintry darkness of April, I travelled to Cardiff where my scene was to be shot. The BBC decided that I shouldn’t stay in a hotel in Cardiff in case people guessed what I was there for. Matt and I did not discuss the scene or talk about what it might mean; God forbid! No, we started just after eight am and about four hours later I was released.”

Baker also took the opportunity to reveal his experience of the London ExCel three day party held in the shows honour over the weekend of the anniversary, explaining:

“It was tumult: the fans cheered as if I had come back from the dead and the cheering did the trick… I travelled back in time: it was wonderful. I enjoyed it all.”

Finally Baker divulged his power-less Christmas period having been in the midst of the South East storms which left many homes without power over the Christmas period, as well as thanking fans for their support:

“Sue & I had to manage the best we could in the darkness, trying to be cheerful and entertaining ourselves. He looks forward to completing more recordings for Big Finish Productions in the New Year. I have never been happier at work than I am with my colleagues at Big Finish. The actors are well cast and are wonderful company.

“I am constantly touched and amazed by the personal stories people have told in my guestbook about how watching Doctor Who helped them through difficult times and inspired them to make something of their lives. Thank you for sharing these wonderful stories with me and other fans. I certainly find it very interesting.”

Doctor Who returns later this year for its eighth series, with new Doctor, Peter Capaldi at the helm of the infamous Tardis!

Moffat Interview – 50th

I’ve been purposely avoiding the site to avoid spoiling things for people.  However, it’s been 4 days.  At this point if you haven’t seen it run away now… actually, no, just get off the entire internet.

So from here on in, we’re a spoiler-included site.  Fair warning.

BBC America posted an interview with Steven Moffat about the 50th, Rose’s role and other fun stuff.:

Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat, clearly on a high from the achievement of “The Day of the Doctor,” its astronomical U.K. ratings, and Guinness book world record for biggest TV drama simulcast, gave a lively interview to a group of journalists as the Doctor Who celebration in London came to a close. And finally, he had the freedom to discuss the decisions behind the closely-guarded Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode, which was finally made public yesterday (November 23).

Interestingly, Billie Piper, who returned for the episode, never had any interactions with her Doctor, the also-returning David Tennant, instead sharing all of her dialogue with John Hurt‘s War Doctor. And certainly she wasn’t playing the Rose Tyler we’d come to know. But Moffat explained his approach to Piper’s return in today’s roundtable discussion.

“I thought the story of Rose, which was beautiful, was done,” he said. “I didn’t want to add to it, and I didn’t feel comfortable adding to it, really. That was always [former Doctor Who showrunner] Russell [T Davies]‘s story. But we did want Billie. And I liked the idea of bringing back the Bad Wolf version. The way Russell ended it in “The End of Time,” by just sort of looping it around, was perfect. I didn’t want to stick another bit of it in. That would be wrong. I just wanted to get Billie Piper, one of the absolute heroes of Doctor Who, back in the show, but without interfering with the story of Rose Tyler. I just thought I might spoil something. I might trip over my bootlaces doing that.”

If Billie had declined the role, Steven says, “There would have been options” in terms of other Who actresses to bring back. But, he said, “none of them would have been as perfect as Billie, who, in some ways for me, represents the revival of Doctor Who more than anybody else. I know I’ll get in trouble for saying this, but if you look back at the first two years of Doctor Who‘s revival, it’s all about Billie. It’s all about Billie. It’s her show for two years. I mean, it’s really startling watching ‘The Runaway Bride’ and you’re going, ‘Where is she? Where’s the star of the show?’ So it was great to have her. We’d have done something else [if we couldn’t get her.]”

Speaking of Mr. Davies, he and Moffat are clearly still in close contact. Moffat said Russell was the first email after watching the 50th anniversary episode. And Moffat also revealed a bit about their working relationship in the interview when asked if he prepared Russell for the plot of “The Day of the Doctor.” “It’s difficult with Russell because he doesn’t like spoilers. When we worked together on the show, we tried not to spoil each other. I’m really serious. When I was doing ‘Silence in the Library,’ [he said], ‘I want you to have River Song pre-figure something about what’s going to happen to Donna, and I said, ‘Don’t tell me what’s going to happen to Donna!’ And I said, ‘What kind of thing is it?’ ‘It’s sad, Steven. It’s very very sad.’ I said, ‘OK OK, I’ll put something sad in.’ [Former production head] Julie Gardner was sitting there saying, ‘You’re working on the same TV show. You can’t behave like this.’

“But [for ‘Day of the Doctor], we did coordinate around some stuff and I said to him I was possibly treading on your toes, so here’s roughly what we’re going to do. He said, ‘I read half your email and then I stopped.’”

As far as singling out Tom Baker as the only classic Doctor to return for the 50th, Moffat said, “I know I had all of the 11 Doctors there, but you can’t have a scene with 11—or even 12— people there. You can’t do it. To have the longest-standing Doctor make an appearance and show the current Doctor [Matt Smith] where to go, well, that’s irresistible, isn’t it? It’s important that you get to hear that voice again and get all his little mannerisms into one scene. It’s just wonderful.

“But, you know, I get the impression—I don’t know the man at all—that he’s warmed up to doing Doctor Who and to that part of his life. He’s doing the audiobooks for Big Finish.” However, on having Baker return again, Moffat said, “I have a slight paranoia about ‘it seems like every bugger is playing the Doctor, more or less all of Equity. It’ll have it’s own Spotlight section next.’ I think, quite soon, it’s going to go back to a militant ‘There’s one Doctor and that’s who he is.’ He’s one man with many faces, he’s not a committee of people with unusual hair. Because we had John Hurt as well. So very shortly, we’re going back to just one Doctor.”

That one Doctor, after Matt Smith‘s departure in the Christmas special, will be Peter Capaldi—which, I’ll have you know, is pronounced “cah-PAL-dee” and not “cah-PAHL-dee,” lest you want a tongue-lashing from Moffat on proper Scottish pronunciation. The Thick Of It star has obviously [spoilers!] already appeared on the show, in a stunning close-up, in “The Day of the Doctor,” which was always the plan. “All The Doctors, all The Doctors would fly in to save Gallifrey and change The Doctor’s timeline – how could you not do that? I knew there was gonna be a new one [Doctor] so I wrote it with not knowing who would be doing that. We did manage to cast somebody where you can use half his face for less than a second and everybody knows who he is. He looks cross!”

Capaldi has shot his regeneration, which Moffat teased: “He’s brilliant. The energy, the vitality he brings to his performance. I mean, he works. He’s likeMatt [Smith]. He works, he’s a worker. And he’s an extraordinarily vital and physical performer. People keep talking about this elderly Doctor, as if that’s something of an achievement. But this man is not at all elderly in style. He leaps around the place probably more than any other Doctor in that first scene. But that’s not how he’s going to play it. That’s just him in the post-regeneration madness. It’s something we’re still working at.”