Category: Radio and Audio Dramas

Adventures in Space, Time, and Sound

I live in the middle of nowhere. If I ever want to go to the city, it takes a minimum of 3 hours to get there. So whenever I head over to urban areas I like to listen to audiobooks or radio dramas. Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Doctor Who audio dramas, so for the show’s 60th Anniversary, I figured I’d drop a big list of some of my favorite Classic Doctor Who audios, with one drama per Doctor and all tied together by the central theme of meddling with time. So enjoy.

1 – “The Massacre”

When it comes to selecting appropriate audio adventures from the 1st and 2nd Doctor’s tenure, the only proper options are the missing episodes. For those unfamiliar, these are episodes that were broadcast back when the BBC had a junking policy towards its master tapes, given its limited storage capacity and the nonexistence of home media at the time. Many of these episodes have been recovered, but several remain lost to time, with only the audio tracks surviving for people to experience.

Fortunately for many Whovians, most of the missing episodes from Hartnell’s tenure on the show are from his worst season, Season 3. During this time, Hartnell’s declining health and backstage backstabbing producer politics caused the show to suffer, and if not for a change in producers and Doctors, the show might have ended much earlier than it did.

Unfortunately for me, this means that my sample of episodes to choose from is not among Hartnell’s best. One serial in particular, “Galaxy 4”, is such a by-the-numbers Star Trek social satire (What if the ugly aliens are actually good!?), that the actors infamously rebelled against it, resulting in the insulted producer firing Maureen O’Brien for the slight. Another serial, “The Celestial Toymaker”, gave us a character that’s returning for the anniversary. But anything good this story does “The Mind Robber” does a thousand times better, to say nothing of the weird implications of Michael Gough playing a Chinese villain. And yet another serial, “The Dalek Masterplan”, is the longest and perhaps the most epic Classic Who serial of all time, at a whopping 5 and a half hours long. However, only about half of that is any good.

Cheer up Vicki. At least you don’t have to be in “The Dominators”. Now that really isn’t “flipping” Shakespeare.

The Excursus of Evangelion

Should have worked. Didn’t.

 Wait, you want me to go into more detail? Okay, okay, fine.

After the End

Evangelion: After the End is an audio drama made shortly after the end of the original NGE tv show, wherein after the massive success of the show’s finale, NGE is suddenly granted a second season, which leaves the characters struggling to come up with an appropriate plot. It’s something of a footnote in the larger history of Eva. I didn’t discover it until I was midway through my article on the other Eva manga (coming soon), and even after learning of it, my main thought was “Huh. This looks interesting. No way in hell it’s available in English though.”

But I was wrong! As luck or fate would have in its way, a fan-translation has been available since the early 2000s, and is readily viewable on Youtube in three parts. So, despite it not being part of my initial retrospective plans, I figured After the End was worth taking a slight detour to check out. The synopsis promised fun metatextual humor, and with Hideaki Anno writing (and guest-starring), surely his creative vision would steer the story in a satisfying direction, right?

Well, one would think.

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