Big Finish, the company responsible for the vast range of Doctor Who audio stories featuring cast from the classic series, have had one hell of a year so far. They’ve announced a UNIT series starring fan favourites Kate Stewart and Osgood and begun making original audios for all-but-dead spin-off Torchwood – but their latest announcement pretty much tops all of that.
The company have confirmed that they’re mixing the previously segregated classic and new series in a brand new set of audios to be released next year – and perhaps the biggest new series addition is Alex Kingston’s River Song, who disappeared (quite literally) from the show two years ago. In a pretty damn exciting development, River will be teaming up with the Eighth Doctor in box-set Doom Coalition 2, and starring in her own audio titled The Diary of River Song (where the Eighth Doctor will return the favour by cameoing in the final instalment of the four-part series) – the cover art for both can be seen below:
For those who can’t stand River (and don’t worry, this is Doctor Who, where every fan has to hate someone), Winston Churchill, who’s been seen a few times in Eleventh Doctor episodes, will also be getting his own four-hour audio titled The Churchill Years, in which Churchill reminisces about his numerous adventures with the Doctor, and the numerous homicidal aliens the two encountered on their travels (this is all historically accurate, Churchill really did fight aliens in his spare time). That’s narrated, naturally, by the actor who played Churchill, Ian McNeice, and the cover can be seen below:
For those who’ve been itching for a Sixth Doctor story featuring the Judoon (space rhinos, essentially), it’s your lucky day – the fourth and final new audio announced by Big Finish was Classic Doctors, New Monsters, in which the Fifth through Eighth Doctors tackle monsters from the New Series (aside from the Sontarans, who are called ‘new monsters’ here but were created in 1973, go figure) in four separate adventures:
In all seriousness, this is a pretty awesome announcement – Big Finish has stuck firmly to classic series characters and foes previously, so this new mash-up of old and new series elements is a huge step forward for a company that’s been coming on leaps and bounds lately. It’s a fantastic way to utilise the show’s 52-year history, and introduce some new series only fans to the audios through some familiar elements, so props to Big Finish. I’m still not sure why the Judoon are back, but nothing’s perfect.
All audios are to be released online and on disc in 2016.