What We Learned At Big Finish Day 6

A chilly January day in Slough found your correspondent heading to Big Finish Day, the latest of the audio producers’ popular one day events. In no particular order, here goes with all the news from the day…

  • Sylvester McCoy got down to the last two for the role of Bilbo in The Lord of the Rings movies before losing out to Ian Holm. He did win the consolation of playing Radgast in The Hobbit, though.
  • Paul McGann’s Doctor is to get a new companion in his next Big Finish series of box sets, titled Doom Coalition.
  • In a riotous Fifth Doctor companions panel, there was much debate as to what constitutes a box set (prompted by concern from Sarah Sutton that, containing just two stories, the Fifth Doctor Box Set doesn’t really qualify).
  • Sylvester McCoy doubts there will be a sequel to The Fiveish Doctors as so many people gave their time out of goodwill to make it. He does, however, fancy the idea of himself, Peter Davison and Colin Baker taking over Top Gear.
  • There’s some concern at Big Finish that the sheer number of different Doctor Who ranges they have makes it difficult for new visitors to the site to know where to start – expect some changes…
  • Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding and Matthew Waterhouse will be recording more Fifth Doctor stories this year.
  • Despite their best efforts, Big Finish sales in the USA remain low. This may be because they don’t have Radio 4 so aren’t used to listening to drama.
  • Sylvester McCoy would like to do a Big Finish audio featuring the Tetraps, provided they don’t drip sweat on him when they’re hanging upside down like they did when he filmed Time and the Rani.
  • If Big Finish haven’t produced an audio version of your favourite cult show it may be because the rights are tied up elsewhere (Quatermass, several Gerry Anderson shows), the cast would be too expensive (Babylon 5), or they doubt there would be a market for it (various others).


  • Those old enough to remember it were enthusiastic about a Big Finish version of 1980s one-series BBC sci-fi series Star Cops.
  • Matthew Waterhouse declared he’d be up for recording a story with Tom Baker’s Doctor. Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding seemed less sure…
  • Peter Davison sometimes tries to cut the number of lines he has to say in Big Finish scripts.
  • Sylvester McCoy would love to record an audio version of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
  • Big Finish have had a lot of requests to adapt All Consuming Fire, an Andy Lane Doctor Who novel that features Sherlock Holmes.
  • Janet Fielding was Paul McGann’s agent when he won the role of the Eighth Doctor. She flew out to watch the filming in Vancouver and told him to be prepared for his life to change forever…
  • For those playing ‘Big Finish Bingo’ at the event, there were lots of mentions of the legendary Big Finish lunches.
  • Sarah Sutton would like to do a story set in World War I. Matthew Waterhouse fancies a mind-swapping story where he gets to be the Doctor. Janet Fielding just wants to do something that has to be recorded in the Seychelles.
  • Big Finish are thrilled to have secured the rights to produce The Prisoner. Much amusement at discussions over who which actors they could get ‘to be Number Two’.
  • Winding up his fellow panellists something rotten, Matthew Waterhouse reckons he has given ‘definitive’ versions of Nyssa, Tegan and Romana in BBC audio book readings.

Did you attend Big Finish Day 6? Perhaps you heard something we missed (announcements of new stories/ranges still to come…) – if so, share your memories below.


Jonathan has followed the Doctor's adventures since the late Pertwee era, and he isn't about to stop now. A charity worker from Hull, he enjoys following Hull City's fortunes, listening to Bruce Springsteen and collecting all manner of Doctor Who ephemera. He blogs about Doctor Who merchandise at www.mydoctorwhostuff.co.uk.

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