Saturday, April 15, 2017

Jumping off points for audiobooks

I used to have a regular three-hour commute. During that time, I listened to a lot of audiobooks. When I tell people about my long drives, I often joke that I could recommend several good audiobooks.

And I have. Last year, I shared a short list (see part 1 and part 2) of audiobook recommendations. Most of these are from an audio production company in the UK called Big Finish. They put out a lot of great full-cast audio productions, which is kind of like listening to a great TV program. Among other things, Big Finish is especially well known for their excellent Doctor Who full-cast audio stories. Big Finish has the BBC license to make audio stories, featuring the original cast.

A friend is about to take a long trip, and asked me for audiobook recommendations. And as usual, I started with a few Big Finish titles. I thought I'd share the similar list here.

If you are a fan of the classic Doctor Who, I hope you will enjoy this list. I've selected stories based on a a few criteria: they are all stories I love (and often re-listen to), they are all quite inexpensive, and they are all good "jumping off" points. These are older titles that have "earned out" at Big Finish, so they are available at a big discount. Here you go:

Doctor Who

The well-known, long-running BBC science fiction program. I've arranged these stories according to Doctor.

5th Doctor

Peter Davison as the 5th Doctor, with companions old and new.

6th Doctor

Colin Baker as the 6th Doctor, with new companions.

7th Doctor

Sylvester McCoy as the 7th Doctor, in a free one-off story.

8th Doctor

Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor. A few stories featuring new companion Charlotte (Charley) Pollard.

Spin-off series

Several spin-off series. Except for Unbound, these don't require much (if any) familiarity with the TV show.


A few stories from their "What-if" series, featuring new actors as the Doctor. Non-canonical, but very good.


Earth is at war with their own android creations in Orion, and leverage captured Cyberman technology in a bid for victory. Series 2 is less good, so I'm not recommending it. But it ends well at series 1.
  • Cyberman 1 (eps 1, 2, 3, 4 : $3 each, or $12 for a bundle of all four)

Dalek Empire

The Daleks conquer the human race, and our struggle for freedom. Series 1-2 are good, but I think series 3-4 are quite dull; series 3-4 take place well after series 2 anyway, so 2 is a good stopping point.


More closely related to X-Files, about a military unit that investigates unexplained encounters.
  • The Coup (prequel, free)
  • UNIT (eps 1, 2, 3, 4 : $5 each, or $15 for a bundle of all four)

I, Davros

About the creator of the Daleks, this tells the story of Davros as a young man during the Thousand Year War.
  • I, Davros (eps 1, 2, 3, 4 : $5 each, or $15 for a bundle of all four)

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