A good starting point for Bernice Summerfield?

Not that I don’t already have way too much on my plate, (according to the site I’m tracking 20 different sets), I do really want to listen to some Bernice Summerfield after hearing everyone say she’s a better time-travelling archaeologist than my dearest River! :flushed:

The problem is, I don’t really want to start from the beginning. I know this is totally unlike me, but I feel like another huge rabbit hole isn’t good for me right now, plus I think I’d like some slightly more modern stories to get into.

Is there a good jumping on point, with as little homework required as possible, but a nice arc with some fairly modern Bernice audios? :pray:

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I started with “The Doomsday Manuscript” and Series 2. For Series 2 especially, the novels are where the main plot is. The four audio dramas were rather average. Another good starting point is The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield, which is two boxsets with the Seventh Doctor and Ace before jumping into the Unbound Universe with David Warner.

This is such a hard question to answer because Bernice’s stories are almost as messy as River’s!

The initial releases are all novel adaptations. I would always encourage new listeners to go for the Time Ring Trilogy which I think are all great and do give Bernice a lot to do without too many other ongoing characters, save her erstwhile husband, Jason Kane.

The next lot of audios were interspersed with the books with a couple of fairly significant events occuring in the books. That said, I still haven’t read any of the books and I understood and enjoyed the audios just fine.

So the run from The Secret of Cassandra to The Crystal of Cantus has some good stories and a lot of them are relatively standalone. Within those releases, Season 4 is Benny vs Doctor Who monsters and Season 5 and 6 have a similar vibe. As long as you know who Jason, Peter, Adrian, Bev Tarrant and Brax are, you’re pretty okay with the majority of these releases.

Later seasons focus on the Collection (where Benny and the regulars live) and an impending war and it all gets rather involved but Season 9 is still pretty standalone,

BF designed Epoch, ostensibly as a reboot/jumping on point but it gets messy pretty quickly - it does however introduce the new cast of regulars - Ruth and Jack, principally, who then continue through the next lot of box sets.

As I’ve followed her from the very beginning - pre Doctor Who licence - I’m the worst person to ask.

That said, you have stirred an itch in me to relisten to the Benny audios from the start and weave in the copious books and short story collections I still haven’t read!

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I started from the very beginning, with the novel adaptation stories because I am a start at the beginning kind of person - however these stories can be shaky in that classic early BF way. So if that doesn’t appeal as much, I second the above - jump on with series 2, or with the boxsets. There are points where you have to go on Tardis Wiki and read plot summaries of books and because this is BF, they never tell you when that should be and sometimes it’s confusing until you figure out there was an event in a novel that you have no idea about.

I must say, now I’m listening to the audiobooks, it is filling in a lot of context that skimming the wiki missed, so. Yeah. It’s one of those classic BF ranges that makes dubious amounts sense without a spreadsheet and the wiki. But don’t let that put you off! She really is wonderful!! I just really recommend googling a ‘Bernice Summerfield listening order’ list first to know where everything slots in.

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The Wiki article Bernice Summerfield (series) - Tardis Wiki does show the order in which the novels and short story collection fit in with the audios. I’ve been very slowly working through Series 2 (I just have the novel The Glass Prison left). I’ve listened to the first three boxsets of New Adventures.

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I haven’t read all of them but so far I adore the Benny short story collections — there are some absolute gems in there!

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Thanks for the suggestions. I definitely usually do everything from the beginning in order.

Maybe I should. It’s just a bit daunting at the moment!

I guess I’ll wait until our VNAs club has finished. I will meet her there.

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It’s not far till Love and War. And we’ll also get Shadow of the Scourge in Audio Club.

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Shadow of the Scourge in May, Love and War in October and Benny’s other Main Range appearance The Dark Flame in November.

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I’ve started from the beginning, but I am doing a BF from the start run. First Season is hit and miss but I’ve been told it gets good right from Season 2.

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