Big Finish Productions has been releasing original, full-cast Doctor Who audio dramas since 1999, long before the classic British sci-fi series returned to television from cancellation. With a deep catalog of over 200 adventures featuring every surviving actor to play the Doctor except for current star Peter Capaldi and his immediate predecessor Matt Smith, there are bound to be a few classics that have become about as beloved as any iconic TV episode.
At least two of these fan favorites are getting a special re-release in the next year or so — on vinyl, no less.
“The Chimes of Midnight” by Robert Shearman, an atmospheric “Christmas Carol” mystery of sorts featuring Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor and India Fisher as his Edwardian companion Charlotte “Charley” Pollard, will be released on vinyl in October.“Spare Parts” by Marc Platt, an origin story for the sinister Cybermen featuring Peter Davison’s Fifth Doctor and Sarah Sutton as the brilliant scientist Nyssa of Traken, is due out on vinyl in April 2017.
Each vinyl edition is limited to 500 copies available only from the Big Finish website — and they’re not cheap, chiming in at over $100 U.S. But for true collectors and Big Finish aficionados, they may be hard to resist! Each set includes four heavy, 180g vinyl discs in premium packaging with four-way gatefold sleeve cases, rigid slipcases and new cover art from Tom Webster. Also included: access to a digital download, so you don’t have to dig up a turntable just to listen to the stories.
Although these two 2002 stories feature different versions of the Doctor and were written by different people, the authors have one important thing in common: Both were asked to adapt their works into episodes of the TV revival of Doctor Who that started in 2005 and continues today.
“Chimes” hasn’t been adapted to TV yet — although it has aired on BBC radio, and it’s kind of like a demented Downton Abbey Christmas special. However, Shearman’s “Jubilee” became TV’s “Dalek” for Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor.
Platt — who wrote for the original Doctor Who just before it was canceled in 1989 — got screen credit when “Spare Parts” was adapted into the two-part TV story “Rise of the Cybermen”/”The Age of Steel” for David Tennant’s 10th Doctor.
This isn’t the first time Big Finish has released a Who audio on vinyl: Their contribution to the series’ 50th anniversary, a multi-Doctor special called “The Light at the End,” also had that honor. It has, of course, sold out.
Vinyl countdown: Big Finish trailers
Artwork and clips courtesy Big Finish Productions