The Vast & Unending Realm of Audio Spin-Offs

BigFinish have been known to give out spin-offs like raindrops, so I wanted to know;

  • What are your top three spin-off ranges?

Personally, I would have to go with;

  • ‘Graceless’

A spin-off based around the Key 2 Time miniseries genuinely didn’t interest me, but I was pleasently surprised when I managed to power through this series within a single month!

Abby and Zara are such interesting characters; they only die when they choose to, and no matter how much good they do… their powers are breaking reality apart.

It’s an emotionally mature series that deals with some quite sensitive topic; volume two deals with the loss of a baby, wiped from the timelines. Volume Three has an episode with a somewhat realistic portrayal of dementia.

Highly reccomend this if you want something different.


  • ‘The War Master’

Any range where the duo of Goss/Handcock are at the helm is going to be top tier - mainly because Nick Briggs leaves them to their own devices, resulting in some incredibly creative stories.

This range represents BigFinish at their absolute best, with stories like ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’, ‘He Who Wins’, ‘A Quiet Night In’ and ‘The Orphan’ being timeless classics.

Sir Derek Jacbo is masterful - hehehe - in his performance, and never misses a beat. If you haven’t listened to this range, you’re missing out.


  • ‘Torchwood: Soho’

Another production from the Goss/Handcock duo - though not for much longer, since Scott Handcock sadly left BigFinish to work on the TV series - I will always listen to the continuing misadventures of Norton Folgater whenever I need a good laugh.

The Soho gang are incredibly fun characters, and the stories are all masterfully written. Just sublime.

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Gallifrey and Counter-Measures for sure!
Just impeccable both of those.

It’s been a while since I heard I, Davros but I remember it fondly.

Also I am slowly going through Kaldor City which is just proving to be such a delight and is rapidly rising in my estimation.

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While I’m still struggling to come up with my top 4 audios, this is a much easier question to answer.

  1. Countermeasures

I don’t what it is about this series, but I think it is wonderful and not celebrated enough. All the plaudits go towards Jago and Litefoot but this, for me, is the spin off of choice.

  1. Gallifrey

I’m not usually one for political dramas but, just like Countermeasures, there’s something about this series which thrills me. The first three series in particular are wonderful.

  1. Bernice Summerfield

medium

Calling this a spin off fails to recognise that, without Benny there would be no Big Finish. The audio dramas they released initially with Lisa Bowerman as Benny are how the company proved to the BBC that they were worthy of a licence to produce audio Doctor Who. I utterly adore Benny and Lisa Bowerman is never short of brilliant.

  1. I, Davros

Another one where, on paper this wouldn’t necessarily appeal to me (not a fan of the Daleks nor of Genesis) but everything about this works and Terry Molloy is fabulous - although his thunder is slightly stolen by his mother Calcula who is one of the best characters to ever appear on audio.

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I havent’ delved too far into the spinnoffs, so far I’ve listened to at least one set from:

  • All Torchwood Spinnoffs
  • Rani Takes on The World
  • Class
  • The Diary of River Song
  • The Eighth of March
  • The Lives of Captain Jack
  • The Lone Centurian
  • Missy
  • Rose Tyler
  • UNIT: The New Series
  • The War Master
  • The Year of Martha Jones
  • Unbound

Which, okay yeah when you put it like that is a lot. Of those I think the ones I’ve enjoyed the most are Torchwood: The Story Continues, and The War Master.

Also want to throw out that The Lone Centurian was also surprisingly good, though I’ve only listened to the first set.

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I have both sets as I adore Rory (easily my favourite modern series companion) but they continue to sit on my shelf unlistened to! I must rectify this soon.

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I haven’t listened to much of Big Finish doing comedy, but the frist set of it definitely made me want more

Not sure hwo I’ve not gotten round to the second set yet, I love arthurian stuff, and I loved the first set, May be what I got for after I finish Killing Time and whatever the second monthly is

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Seeing that both yourself and @deltaandthebannermen have picked ‘Counter-Measures’ warms my heart.

I’ve only listened to the first set, but it made such a fantastic impression on me.

To be honest, I’ve never understood the appeal of the Jago and Litefoot stuff. It bored me to tears when I tried listening to it.

Though I know some people live and die by that range - Doctor Who YouTuber, TheHostProductions, is someone I know adores it!

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It doesn’t bore me but I don’t find the stories set my world on fire. My favourite box set (which seems to be one of the lower ranking ones ironically) is the one where they get transported to the 60s.

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I only listened to the boxsets with Leela because, well, Leela, and by god they were a struggle.

I also only just listened to Graceless the other day and was astounded by how phenomenal it was, it’s still on my mind now.

But anyway my actal answers (echoing the above somewhat):

  • Gallifrey - this series is so remarkable, so wonderful, so variable, so terrible in places, but so much means everything to me. Leela and Romana are of course two beloved companions to begin, and Lalla Ward and Louise Jameson are so damn good on audio. And then you add in Brax who is so much fun, and Narvin who has the greatest character arc of all time, and you’ve got something so special and awesome. And I love it.

  • Counter-Measures - as above, this range is so deeply underrated and I keep campaigning for everyone to listen to it. The way it takes the Remembrance trio and then makes them 1000% more awesome is great, and the fact that the first.four boxsets are such a tight, excellent story is just the best. I was a little unhappy with the final two-part release, but I can forgive that for how the whole rest of the series made me fall in love with Allison forever and ever.

Hard to pick a number 3 tbh, because there are so many good ones: Benny, River, War Master, War Doctor, but I think I have to go with:

  • The Robots - The way this series both manages to be about Liv and Tula and how complicated family can be, and about the political turbulence of a world with an oppressive ruling class and an uprising of sentient robots… yeah, it’s really good. I was surprised by how much I like this series when I first listened and I am glad I did.
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Make sure you listen to ‘Wicked Sisters’ once you’ve finished volume four.

It’s technically a Fifth Doctor set, but it might as well be Graceless V.

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I almost bought it like immediately but I’m trying to be good and wait for a sale :sob: we will see how long my patience lasts though, and it is payday on Friday :rofl:

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I think with Jago and Litefoot they have fallen into the received wisdom trap. They were one of the first spin offs and featured characters from one of Doctor Who’s most lauded stories (and I’m not here for a debate on the way Talons has been re-evaluated in recent times - there’s no denying it was (and still is) a very popular story). There’s no escaping the fact that Christopher Benjamin and the sadly missed Trevor Baxter are excellent in their reprised roles but I think the box sets do get ever so slightly repetitive.

When my marathon was travelling through the Victorian era, I reviewed the first four sets (plus some of the other releases they appear in):

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Jago & Litefoot is my favourite BF range full stop.

Counter-Measures is also really good.

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The incredible thing is I haven’t listened to any of these most-recommended sets.

It’s incredible because I love Big Finish and love everything I’ve listened to, and yet apparently I haven’t even heard the best of it yet! Exciting!!

I have mostly concentrated on sets with the Doctor in, which don’t count.

For spin-offs, I actually haven’t listened to that many, but I have to have my number one as:

The Diary of River Song

Yes I can hear @deltaandthebannermen groaning as I type this. But I love River and her ability to jump around in time and space just like the Doctor, bumping into him at times, battling familiar foes or whole new adventures, is just so wonderful. It’s what really got me into Big Finish.

I don’t have enough under my belt for a number 2 or 3, but I absolutely love Rani Takes on the World and Missy - the first because it is nostalgic, fun, and full of hope (and I still miss Sarah Jane!), and the second because Missy is just hilarious.

I clearly have loads of listening to do!! When I finally finish my Eighth Doctor marathon, I will try to start The War Master.

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BigFinish are constantly putting out stuff, and that’s the beauty of it. Sure their Doctor Who licence is secure till 2031 too.

You need to inherit a small kingdom to buy them all, own a warehouse on the moon to store them all, and about twelve regenerations worth of free time to listen to them all!

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ryan-reynolds-rolls-eyes

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I’ll save that gif for the next time you mention that story with the green baby in!

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I agree with this. The Missy series is just fun. Throw in the Monk for it to quickly become farcical. Also, there are some new elements that I would like to be explored more. Super TARDIS and the War Seed.

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I’m not sure how The Mandalorian is relevant here but you do you…

:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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