Big Finish is a British company that produces audiobooks and plays, and their motto is: “We love stories.” They certainly do. They own the rights to produce audios of Doctor Who, Blake’s 7 and Dark Shadows, among others. I’ve only listened to stories in the Doctor Who universe (these include Torchwood and Benny Summerfield), and most of them have been excellent.

I have been watching the Classic Who series starting with “An Unearthly Child” and am currently up to the Fourth Doctor’s second series having just finished watching Terror of the Zygons. Next up is Planet of Evil. This means I have just started season 13 of the Classic series and I am sorry I waited so long to start watching Who. Granted, I grew up in the US where we didn’t get any Who at all until the 1970s, and then it was on PBS and they didn’t really support it. As I mentioned before, I did see a couple of episodes here and there but I never really took to it.

Anyway, every once in a while, I hand my credit card over to Big Finish and buy a slew of stories. They had a sale for Peter Davison’s 70th birthday the other week, and I bought a bunch of his stories. I listened to the 7th Doctor story “Colditz,” and decided I needed to know more about the character of Elizabeth Klein, so I bought some more of those stories. This morning, I finished listening to “Survival of the Fittest” and I really liked it. So now I need to get the rest of the stories in that arc.

Big Finish does do some great stories, but they’ve allowed wokeness to seep in and some of the stories are ruined for me as a result. For example, the 8th Doctor series “Stranded.” The premise is interesting and I really wanted to like it – how will the Doctor and his companions survive in a foreign place and time without the Tardis? But, included in the story is a sidebar about the attraction between Tania, a trans woman on Earth, and Liv Chenka, a woman from a different planet in the future. I wish them happiness with all my heart, but their relationship is NOT central to the story of how the Doctor is going to fix the Tardis and get back to his travels. And, before anyone even thinks about calling me a transphobe, I will point out that I am not a fan of the Doctor/Rose romance either. I thought it was stupid and pointless. I was OK with Amy and Rory because their story was neither. Their romance served a purpose. But I can’t for the life of me figure out what the purpose of the Tania/Liv romance was other than to show just how “woke” the writers are.

I am not a fan of Jodie Whitaker’s Doctor. To paraphrase a review of Sarah Brightman in “Phantom of the Opera,” Jodie couldn’t act scared on the subway at 3 a.m. And her companions, the “fam,” are just as bad. Ryan is supposed to have dyspraxia, but once we learn about this in episode 1 of series 11, we never hear about it again. Yaz is a stupid character played by an actress who has zero range. And now we hear rumors that she and the Doctor may start having a physical relationship. I’m betting that Bradley Walsh is glad he escaped when he did.

But my general point here is to say that I am afraid that Big Finish will start doing 13th Doctor stories once Jodie leaves the show and that they will sell so poorly that the company may not survive. I hope this doesn’t come to pass, but I’m still nervous about it. But, until then, I’m buying as many of the old stories as I can afford.

Today is Peter Capaldi’s 63rd birthday. I hope he has a lovely day. He was a brilliant Doctor and, from what I gather, an even better person.

Peter Davison had his 70th birthday just the other day, so 2 Doctors in the same week. I hope his was lovely as well. To celebrate this birthday, I just bought a bunch of Big Finish stories featuring the 5th Doctor: The Elite, Circular Time, The Kingmaker and Cold Fusion. I started The Kingmaker this morning. From the blurb, it seems that there are some issues with the Doctor and the Princes in the Tower. I’m a British history buff, so this is right up my alley (as was the 2nd Doctor story, The Glorious Revolution – which I loved). I’ll report back when I’m finished.

I just finished reading this book by the 5th Doctor, Peter Davison. I haven’t made my way up to his era yet in my Classic Who journey, but I’ve seen him in some other things (The Last Detective, Campion, The Five-ish Doctors, A Very Peculiar Practice, etc.) and I’ve liked him in everything. His autobiography is exactly what I thought it would be – self-deprecating, gentle, funny and honest.

He’s had a very varied career with several professional highs (Love for Lydia, All Creatures Great & Small, Doctor Who, Campion) and also quite some lows (Parting Shots). His personal life has also seen highs and lows, including 2 divorces.

This was a very entertaining book that gave me a lot of insight into someone who’s been both a leading man and a character actor. He’s carried entire series, and has also done one-offs in established programs. I was drawn to it because of the Who connection, but I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is interested in a good read.

One of the things that’s happened since I was last here is that I’ve discovered the joys of the British sci-fi series Doctor Who. I have vague memories of having seen some episodes back in the 70s when I was in my teens (looking back on it, one of them has to have been City of Death, considered one of the all-time greats), but I didn’t pay attention at the time. But, back in 2013, when I heard that the series was about to celebrate its 50th anniversary, I decided to check it out and see if I could figure out what all the excitement was about. So I did, and I was hooked.

In those days, the re-booted series was on Netflix and I started from Christopher Eccleston’s first episode, “Rose.” I worked my way through the Tennant years and then the Matt Smith years, watched the BBC special where Peter Capaldi was announced as the 12th Doctor, and then watched “An Adventure in Space and Time,” and then the big one itself, “The Day of the Doctor.” Even though I loved some episodes better than others, I was a Whovian. It got to the point where I could could discuss New Who somewhat knowledgeably, and I made a point to search out YouTube videos produced by serious fans. All was well.

But then, Peter Capaldi quit before he was fired and the new show-runner, Chris Chibnall (of “Broadchurch” fame), decided to take the show to a “new level,” and he hired a woman (Jodie Whittaker) to take his place. And nothing would ever be the same again.

To be continued…