Audio Killed the Video Script

Dalek Time Controller

We all have a fascination with spoken word, to some extent. It’s the reason why we listen to (and create) podcasts, after all. The tale as told by another is a fascination as old as human civilization and possibly older, and the more skillful the bard, scrivener or storyteller, the more enthralled we become, as their words create mental images richer and more complex than any painting or tapestry. Is it any wonder, then, that within the fictional universe created specifically for a visual medium, we find ourselves fascinated by the stories shared only with our ears?

For over fifteen years, the production team at Big Finish Studios have gathered the talent, directors, writers, and editors necessary to create a working team responsible for some of the most compelling, emotional, and altogether entertaining stories the Doctor Who franchise has known. “We love stories”, as their tagline clearly indicates, and the evidence is clear. Through their craft, we know the Eighth Doctor better than we could have imagined, much to all our benefit. We learned the softer side of “Old Sixie”. We learned to fear Zagreus, the Viyrans, and the Dalek Time Controller. We met some of the best friends imaginable, in Evelyn, C’rizz, Molly, Lucie, Erimem, Liv…even Frobisher, the giant talking penguin.

This week, Jay and Keir discuss just a small segment of the many characters, plot arcs, villains, and other story elements that Big Finish has brought to Whovians that could not only adapt easily to the televised series, but would arguably be extremely well received by viewing audiences. We say “arguably”, because why else would we hypothesize such things, if not to get a lively discussion going, right? That’s “discussion”, not “flame war”. (Start that discussion in the comments below!)

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Donna, We’re On!

The Tenth Doctor Adventures

We’ve spent numerous conversations both on and off GPR discussing the relationships and balance of persona between the Doctor and any given companion in the past, and undoubtedly will continue to do so in years to come, as storyline and casting changes occur. Within the many permutations we’ve witnessed as Doctor Who fans, there may be none that compares to the TARDIS Team that was at once both the greatest friendship, and the most delightful discord, as the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble. We still put a clenched hand to our hearts as we reflect on the closure of Donna’s travels with her “Spaceman”, but with thanks to the exceptional writing of Matt Fitton, Jenny Colgan, and James Goss, and the triumphant return of David Tennant and Catherine Tate to the studios of Big Finish, we can turn the clocks back and enjoy more adventures (and misadventures) had during their time together.

David Tennant & Catherine Tate

This week, we take a listener request to review the first series of The Tenth Doctor Adventures from Big Finish. From hyperintelligent alien adversaries, to the weaponization of time, to the living embodiment of death, Tennant and Tate are so adept at their craft that we might never have seen them leave the BBC Wales set. The Doctor and Donna crash headlong into these stories with every ounce of energy we could wish for, and it’s all we can do to hang on for the ride. We discuss the strength of their symbiotic relationship, the writers’ skills at capturing their dynamic as well as pitting them against foes that bring out the best in both, and in the end, our overwhelming desire — nay, need — to continue these stories for many seasons to come.

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Growing Beyond the Screen, Live from (Re)Generation Who

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At the sophomore outing for the Baltimore-based (Re)Generation Who convention, we were thrilled to have, as we so often do at smaller, more ‘intimate’ cons, chat at length with the stars, creators, and of course, the fans of the Doctor Who universe. In addition to the casual time spent in mutual enjoyment of our favourite program, we were pleased to moderate a few panels that focused on topics that we have broached on GPR in episodes past, but now had the opportunity to dive deeper, with the added contributions of those in attendance — both the stars, and their admirers.

In this installment, our live panel takes a look at characters who, through extended content both published and recorded, have been more fully developed and realized than their on-screen tenure allowed. Joined by Don Klees of Acorn Media, Ken Deep of Long Island Doctor Who, and the always entertaining veteran Doctor Who writer, John Peel, we look at character growth in examples including the Eighth Doctor, the War Doctor, Romana, Leela, and more.

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Live from Whofest 2

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Okay, fess up. Who let the nerds out of the studio? This week, Haley and Jay surrounded themselves with the best kind of Texans: Whovian Texans. Whofest 2 in Dallas drew visits from none other than Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Terry Molloy, Nicholas Briggs, and Jason Haigh-Ellery to the southwest US, and the GPR team was there to embrace them (and in one fortunate fourth grader’s case, quite literally).

Join us as we share some of the highlights and stories from the “bigger on the inside” little convention, in what Colin Baker has renamed as the “All-Star State.”

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Mr. Baker commanding the room

Mr. Baker, commanding the room as always.

Nicholas Briggs (right) and Terry Molloy (left) starting off the Saturday Panels

Nicholas Briggs (right) and Terry Molloy (left) starting off the Saturday morning panels.

The always stunning Nicola Bryant

The always stunning Nicola Bryant.

Listener Bobby Honeycutt as the 4th Doctor with another con guest's incredible custom Dalek

GPR listener Bobby Honeycutt as the 4th Doctor, with another convention guest’s incredible custom Dalek.

An incredible custom dalek, with no silly plunger.

An incredible custom Dalek: with no silly plunger.

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K-9 making friends

K-9 making friends, as he so often does.

K-9

The hand-built functional K-9, exterior.

K-9 interior

K-9’s interior. (Gasp!)

The control system for K-9

The control system for the custom K-9. Bravo, master!

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When Dark Eyes are Smiling

GPR Post HeaderIt’s no secret to anyone who has listened to GPR for any length of time that we are tremendous fans of the audio productions that emerge from the Big Finish studios. They bring the classic era to life over and over again in artistic and magical ways, expanding upon the Whovian universe and allowing established televised characters (Doctors and Companions alike) to flourish and grow beyond their time on screen. But where we feel they truly stand out (and this may just be because in our opinions, more time with Paul McGann as the Doctor is an immeasurable gift) is with their Eighth Doctor audio dramas. The dramatic power, warmth, heart and wit behind these stories are astounding — and the productions are something to which any Whovian should invest the time in listening.

This week, we talk at length about the newest expansions to the Eighth Doctor Adventures, the award-winning Dark Eyes series. When the Doctor meets a medical assistance volunteer from World War I who is unknowingly at the center of a plot that could unravel time itself, involving every threat from Daleks, to Sontarans, to the Time Lord Celestial Intervention Agency, to the Master himself, you need four intricate and intertwined series to truly do it justice. (And we needed nearly two hours to discuss it.) So enjoy this super-sized edition of Gallifrey Public Radio…after listening to Dark Eyes, of course…

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