The Eighth Doctor

This is essentially the Eighth Doctor fan club where we can discuss the Eighth Doctor in general, his two TV stories, the BBC EDAs, the DWM comic run, his Big Finish stories, etc. What do you like about the Eighth Doctor? What draws you to him? What are favorite eras/series/arcs/etc?

7 Likes

It’s no secret that I adore Eight. I mainly know him through the audios and the Movie, but I have recently picked up the EDAs again, and this time maybe I’ll finish them!

I’m a Lucie Miller girl forever and ever and ever - though some of the episodes in that run are a little wobbly, she is such a brilliant character that I can forgive them. I just love how despite everything, Eight is always so full of joy - despite losing his memory every other episode or being tortured and kidnapped, he always regains a wonder for the universe.

And a big part of that is definitely how compelling Paul McGann is. Is the Movie good? No. But is it brilliant? Yes, totally. He’s just so wonderful to watch and brings such a Doctor-y vibe to everything. He’s also so pleasant to listen to on audio, which helps, and he always makes even subpar episodes better.

10 Likes

So I first got into Big Finish by listening to things I was familiar with - River Song, Tenth Doctor Adventures, Torchwood, stuff like that. I wanted to try some Classic Doctors but was intimidated by the sheer number of them, so I decided to pick the Eighth Doctor, and at the time Stranded had just released so I jumped into that (knowing of course that I’d missed a lot backstory with the companions but for once I was okay with that).

I loved Stranded! Some of the stories are better than others but overall I really loved it - especially Liv Chenka and Helen Sinclair.

So I decided to go back and listen to the entire history of Liv - starting with Robophobia and then I started the Eighth Doctor Adventures with Blood of the Daleks.

I was pleasantly surprised at the Lucie Miller range, although it’s earlier Big Finish so not quite as polished. Some of the stories themselves aren’t amazing but I really liked the Eighth Doctor and I love Lucie.

I was really looking forward to Dark Eyes as I’d seen reviews and heard it was peak Big Finish. But honestly came from it a bit disappointed, although there are some gems in there.

I sailed through Doom Coalition, which I thought was a big improvement over Dark Eyes, and am now on Ravenous.

Soon my Eighth Doctor audio binge will be complete and I might listen to Stranded again, or at least some of the best episodes.

Then I’ll catch up with the Main Range during our Audio Club.

Really my favourite thing about the Eighth Doctor has been he’s had some great companions, so I’ll be interested to hear what Charlotte Pollard is like.

Onwards!

7 Likes

Oh, I think you’ll love Charley! She’s another great example of an early Big Finish companion done right, and India Fisher makes the character her own!

I dipped my toes into Eight by beginning from the very beginning: his Big Finish debut Storm Warning. I then listened through his first few Main Range audios as I worked my way through the Main Range. I then jumped onto Stranded once it launched (loved it), and currently, I’m slowly working my way through all Eighth Doctor audios in order, so I’ll be listening to Lucie Miller, Dark Eyes, Doom Coalition and Ravenous for the first time!

I’m glad that Eight has had an entire life of his own on audio. Paul McGann truly seems to enjoy playing him, which is why it’s always a joy to listen to Eighth Doctor audios, even if the stories can be challenging, weird or experimental. And he’s had great companions as well! I can’t imagine where he’d be without BF, and I consider his audios canon, because otherwise we only have the TV Movie and the minisode to judge him by, and they don’t do him justice.

9 Likes

8 and Lucie just might be my favourite Tardis Team, period.
They are amazing together, and Paul McGann and Sheridan Smith have such extraordinary chemistry together on audio.
Thinking of those two travelling together in the TV Movie gothic cathedral Tardis is a joy - I am currently listening to their second season of adventures. Just two pals bumbling around the universe getting into scrapes :blush:

The Eight Doctor is amazing even if (or perhaps because) he doesn’t do robes :sunglasses:

6 Likes

I love the Eighth Doctor and followed him mostly through his Big Finish stories. His boundless energy and zest for life are contagious and joy for exploration and curiosity of the unknown is wonderful. His Big Finish stories are some of my favorites and it’s great to see an arc through multiple series of his stories. We have about four or five seasons worth with Charley (and Audacity, and C’rizz), a small mini-season with Company of Friends and the Mary Shelley trilogy, four seasons with Lucie, and then the boxset seasons (each boxset series is about one season’s worth of material): Dark Eyes, Doom Coaltion, Ravenous, Stranded, the post-Stranded sets, Time War. There’s just so much, and unlike the other seven Classic Doctors, there isn’t any TV to slot in amongst. You can take his Big Finish and listen to it in an easy-to-figure-out order (barring a few special releases like Sontarans v Rutans).

His comic run is primarily DWM, though there’s the Titan miniseries and some stuff from Radio Times. Four collected editions that are fairly easy to follow (I’ve read the second two for sure and maybe got my hands on Volume 2 once upon a time). What I’ve read of them, I’ve enjoyed.

The EDAs are a more mysterious lot to me. I’ve read books 1-3, 5-6, 8, 10 and 23. I wasn’t able to get a hold of Genocide, and I just wasn’t able to get into Kursaal or Longest Day. And beyond that, I just haven’t gotten around to any others. Is it worth trying to plow through the whole series, or are there good ones to attempt and others to skip? I liked Sam Jones, but couldn’t tell you why or what about her really made her character stand out from any other companion.

Big Finish is really where I’m at with the Eighth Doctor. I’d love to see some of the novel and comics companion make the jump to audio (or audio companions make the jump to comics or novels). I kind of wish that the Eighth Doctor had gotten a full, ongoing comic run like the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors did. But, for now, I’ll just wait for the next Big Finish set to drop next month.

5 Likes

Kursaal is the first book I’ve had to dnf in a long time, it really did not work for me. I’m attempting to just stubbornly go through every EDA but I have seen many lists floating around that have suggestions of highlights and skippable ones - I haven’t read enough to feel confident making suggestions but I have seen people telling other people that you can pick and choose

1 Like

Yeah, it was an interesting premise, but didn’t grab me enough to want to keep going. I kept feeling like putting it off. And when you’ve got it through an inter-library loan from another library and no guarantee of renewal, I eventually just gave up.

1 Like

I find Company of Friends a lot of fun, but the Mary Shelley trilogy starts well (with Mary’s Story and The Silver Turk being great) but the last two stories kind of average. Couple questions. First, should Big Finish do more Fitz, Izzy and other novel/comic companion stories? And should Big Finish do more stories with new original companions set early in the Eighth Doctor’s life?

1 Like

I would love to see Fitz in more audios! He and the Doctor have such a fun dynamic in the novels, and I would love him to get a real rub of audios.

Izzy’s story, I agree, was pretty weak in A Company of Friends - to me it felt like it was leaning a little too heavily into the weird misogyny of the comic book world

4 Likes

May 24! Storm Warning hits the Audio Club on May 24.

2 Likes

(I liked Kursaal)

Even though I’m generally a completionist, there’s definitely quite a few EDAs you can skip if you just want the highlights and major plot beats. Broadly speaking, at least for the first half, Kate Orman’s the only one advancing the character beats, and Lawrence Miles is the only one advancing the plot, and the other writers just move around them. More specifically, my list of essentials for the first half of the EDAs is:

Vampire Science
Alien Bodies
(Longest Day)
Seeing I
The Scarlet Empress
(The Taint)
Unnatural History
(Autumn Mist)
Interference
The Blue Angel
The Taking of Planet 5
Shadows of Avalon
The Fall of Yquatine
The Ancestor Cell

Parentheses are for books that aren’t good, but introduce inportant plot points, you should be able to find a plot summary or something for them and be fine

Beyond that, I liked and still highly reccomend:
Beltempest
Revolution Man
Dominion
Genuinely Everything between Interference and The Ancestor Cell

I’m not far enough into the Justin Richards era to know which ones will turn out to be relevant

3 Likes

I adore Eight. He might just be my favourite Doctor, dethroning Eleven after 14 years of loving him. I first watched the TV movie on New Year’s Day, as part of a watch party with the Torchwood Discord server. I felt like I didn’t get the full experience through a small streaming screen, so only a month later I decided to revisit it. Since then I have seen the movie four more times (three this month alone!), and listened to many audios. Learning the first 50 main range audio dramas are available for free made it very easy to get into, and I must thank Shauny for commissioning me so I could afford the buy the next 20 of his audios. Just finished The Twilight Kingdom today, so I still have plenty more to get through, but I’m excited. So far they haven’t missed! Even the ones people told me were bad or worth skipping I found myself rating at least a 7/10.

I also started reading The Eight Doctors, but I don’t have an awful lot of time to read, so it’s going slowly. Some people told me to skip it but unfortunately I’m a completionist and I must read everything, just as I must listen to everything. I’m having fun, at least.

5 Likes

Hey, The Eight Doctors isn’t that bad. I actually really enjoyed it.

3 Likes

Ok the movie is fun but why would you watch it three times in 11 days?! :laughing:

2 Likes

why WOULDN’T you watch it three times in eleven days!? (has had weeks where I’ve watched it every single day :sweat_smile: comfort film of all time)

7 Likes

I’d count the Charley stories (Storm Warning through Zagreus + the Audacity Boxsets and the Charley/Eight boxset) as one or two seasons. Storm Warning is a great season opener as it’s just a great story that shows off the early Eighth Doctor and is great, solid introduction to one Charlotte Elspeth Pollard. And then Neverland/Zagreus, what a season finale. Haven’t actually listened to The Further Adventuress boxset yet (have it, haven’t listen to it). There’s only a couple in here I don’t like. Embrace the Darkness is fine, it doesn’t stick with me afterwards. And then Minuet in Hell is horrible. The subject isn’t to my liking and the American accents are awful. It’s a shame that this was McGann’s only true encounter with the Brig (Zagrues doesn’t count as the Brig). On the other hand, maybe Big Finish can have Jon Culshaw in one of these now. What are your general thoughts on this era?

3 Likes

I’m loving 8. I’ve only listened to Charley audios so far. I’m in the middle of Creed of Kromon so far. I really like his energy! And Charley is so good. I really wanna jump into the boxset era audios but I want to experience his full timeline beforehand. So I have a ways to go!

5 Likes

Would you judge me if I said I actually watched it three times in three days :face_with_peeking_eye:? I’ve been having a stressful month and it cheers me up immensely.

3 Likes

I seem to be the only person in the world who likes Minuet in Hell. It and Scherzo are the only audios I’ve listened to more than once so far (so many to listen to, so little time!). I do have a fondness for mental institution stories though, so that might be why. I find the invention of a new US state very silly, and while the accents are ridiculous they didn’t bother me too much.

3 Likes