Big Finish: Once and Future

Here’s a discussion thread for the whole of Once and Future, Big Finish’s entry into the 60th Anniversary festivities. Feel free to discuss any and all entries to the series here, including the upcoming Coda: The Final Act.


I started listening to Once and Future yesterday and have already heard the first three episodes.
It is just a complete nostalgia fan-fest!

But if I have one critique so far then it is that this seems more like Big Finish 25th Anniversary Celebration Specials rather than 60th Anniversary Specials. I am not as into the recent Big Finish stuff and do at times feel as if I am missing out on some of the story, which is a bit annoying as the collected Once and Future releases still is a bit of a economic commitment :slightly_smiling_face:


I don’t remember that much of it but I have rated it high, which often means that it was fun. I might have to re-listen to this before the Coda.


It’s absolutely more a celebration of Big Finish characters than of 60 years of the show IMO, especially something I can’t say because of spoilers!


In case you did not know. There is an option to blur spoiler stuff at the forum:
Skärmavbild 2024-07-11 kl. 11.19.52



I know lol I just thought it would be too obvious even then, lol


I haven’t listened to all of O&F, mainly because I can’t bear Jenny or Lady Christina so I didn’t want to listen to those two. Apparently the one with Jenny is one of the better ones though. I’ve listened to all the rest, and imo they range from enjoyable enough to completely perfunctory.

I liked the one with 10 and Missy best, I think. That one was a lot of fun. Most of the rest of them left me quite cold, I’m afraid, and I was especially disappointed to have no strong feelings about Time Lord Immemorial because Warner, Eccleston, and Liv Chenka should have been awesome but instead it was basically fine.

I am intigued for the Coda, and I am pleased that Benny will be in it, but I’m not expecting a lot from it. I know a lot of people criticise the ‘dartboard approach’ which is totally reasonable, but I don’t think it’s my issue. I think for me, I was just kind of uninspired. The whole degeneration thing fell really flat for me, it didn’t seem to serve any real purpose except getting all the Doctor Whos in, and though I did enjoy the reveal that it was the Twelve slash the Union behind it, I felt the whole thing just a little disjointed, and none of the stories were strong enough individually to capture my imagination


The one with Jenny is really good.
Peter Davison and Colin Baker together + a really good story.

Though when did Colin Baker become the Curator? That certainly threw me for a loop


I believe its in Stranded (and Colin’s contract…)


I really enjoyed the first episode of Once and Future—it was an enjoyable romp with some fun character interactions. I got progressively more disappointed in the series as it went on when it proved that all the episodes were going to be like that.

That being said, I did love The Artist at the End of Time, which was much more melancholy, contemplative and heartbreaking than the rest. Definitely my favourite episode of the lot and the only one I feel like revisiting in the near future. I’m also really interested in the Coda! Jo Martin’s Doctor, Vienna AND Benny is definitely the ‘dartboard’ lineup I’m most excited about.


Why? I love her. One of the saddest things about RTD 1 was that she did not return.


I was one of those who preordered the entire Once and Future series and was sorely disappointed by most of it. Yes, there are individual highlights, as mentioned above, but overall, the entire series felt a bit too random to really work for me. Although the Coda doesn’t particularly excite me, I still plan to listen to it for the sole purpose of hearing Jo Martin’s BF debut.


I think I am in that favourable position to have heard folks talk it a bit down here recently.
Low to no expectations :grin:

But there is a bit of a “fanfic come to life” feel over the series as a whole, or as if someone has used @shauny 's story dice as a basis for choosing characters for each story.


I can’t really say why, there isn’t any good reason. She just irritates me. I like that episode well enough but I think I would find it quite unbearable if she came back


Oddly enough I can’t stand the Doctor’s Daughter but find myself really liking Jenny for some reason :slightly_smiling_face:


That is just because that it is not connected to your nemesis RTD anymore :stuck_out_tongue:


This seemed to be another example of BF loving working with certain actors so just put them together in a box set. Bad idea.


I only ever pre-order anniversary specials from BF and so was excited for this. Sadly, even though I always try to find the positives, I’ve been very disappointed with the whole series.

I don’t mind the dartboard approach but the narrative logic of this series just never seemed to gel and a couple of the releases were downright poor with other being little more than middling.

Past Lives is a poor opener. It’s a sequel to a story that doesn’t exist. Sadie Miller doesn’t convince me as Sarah Jane and there’s a lot of the Monk doing stuff which isn’t really explained.

The Artist at the End of Time is better but there’s not a huge amount of story and the mystery is a bit of an odd one.

A Genius for War was much better but was really just a Time War audio slotted into the series which meant it felt much more coherent (and was far less random in its dartboard approach).

Two’s Company was awful. An unconvincing Harry recast, Christina and Jackie and Colin Baker (again).

The Invasion of… was fun mainly because of the presence of Tennant and the Paternoster Gang with Missy but the whole chunk with another not brilliant recast mars it and I think the novelty of those characters being thrown together will probably lose its appeal on subsequent listens.

Time Lord Immemorial, as many have said, should have been amazing - Nicola Walker, Gina McKee, Christopher Eccleston AND David Warner in an audio together and it’s just dull - with the characters being paired up in different combinations.

The Union was okay and did give some closure to the story. I’ll be honest and say I don’t get BF’s fascination with the Eleven/the Twelve/the Collective/the whatever we’re calling them now so that ended it all on a bit of a damp squib for me.

I hope Coda lands on the better side but the randomness of those characters doesn’t fill me with a huge hope as it feels closest, in terms of character choices, to Two’s Company.


Disclaimer: I listened to all of these out of order.

Past Lives: I thought it was fine. Wouldn’t listen to it again, but I wasn’t so bored that I wanted to shut it off in the middle.

Artist: Awesome. I love Colin’s Curator; he was the highlight of the story.

Two’s Company: What happens when you pick a bunch of random characters from a hat. Trash story, and can we stop pairing Six with every Tom, Dick, and Cephalopod in the DW/BF universe?

Union: Same as Past Lives

I didn’t expect much from Once and Future, and they delivered. I’m intrigued by the Fugitive Doctor’s audio, though.


Just listened to the fourth episode “Two’s Company”.

I have only listened to one story with The Eleven a long time ago so it didn’t dawn on me that the villain of this piece was an earlier incarnation till I was told it in the behind the scenes stuff, very much felt as if you had to know stuff beforehand to get this story.

And Jackie Tyler, Lady Christina + Harry Sullivan together felt really “kitchen sink” to me. It did feel like they didn’t bother with an actual story because the combination of characters should be enough for the listener.
Yeah a bit disappointed with this one.