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Some Big Finish News From Gallifrey

 
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wshaffer



Joined: 09 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:50 pm    Post subject: Some Big Finish News From Gallifrey Reply with quote

At this year's Gallifrey, I went to the Big Finish panel and took a bunch of notes. Here's my summary of the Big Finish news from the panel:

Jason Haigh-Ellery started off the panel by showing a couple of clips from some musicals he's directed recently: Footloose and Never Forget, a musical based on the music of Take That, who I gather are a hugely successful pop group in the UK. As someone who's not that into musicals but is generally geeky, I was most interested in the bit in Never Forget where they made it rain on stage. (And built sensors into the rain machine so that it stops raining right on whatever bit of the stage an actor wearing a live microphone is standing on, therefore avoiding the whole electrocution thing.)

There was a lot of discussion of the download service. Not much that was news to me, though Haigh-Ellery did use the opportunity to informally poll the audience about things besides the audios that people might be interested in downloading. (People seemed to be most keen on scripts and PDFs of books. Somebody asked about extended versions of plays that had to be cut to fit on CD, and Haigh-Ellery said that they could release an extended version of "Minuet in Hell". Response to that was decidedly lukewarm.)

Someone asked if there was going to be a second volume of The Inside Story to cover audios 51-100. Apparently Big Finish don't think there's enough demand to make it worth doing. Someone did ask about the possibility of doing "Inside Story"-style articles on individual stories and making them available for download. There was some interest in that, though I don't think it was quite enough to really sell Haigh-Ellery on the idea.

One interesting item of news on the download service: based on the early numbers, it does seem like it's doing its job of broadening Big Finish's customer base in the Americas. 40% of download customers are American, while only 12-13% of CD sales are to Americans.

Someone asked about the possibility of Big Finish doing Serenity/Firefly audios. Nope - they can't get the license.

Haigh-Ellery was reluctant to divulge too many details of forthcoming releases, but did offer the following tidbits:

    Whether or not there will be a Season 4 of Sapphire and Steel depends on sales of Season 3. So, if you like the Sapphire and Steel audios, buy them and tell your friends to buy them. (I just picked up the first audio, "The Passenger" at the con.)

    A third season of 8th Doctor/Lucie Miller audios is planned for next year.

    The January, February, and March stories of next year will be a running story arc over three plays, and will feature a new companion. No word on which Doctor (or Doctors) will be featured. Jason Haigh-Ellery and Lisa Bowerman will direct.

    There are some plans afoot to do something special to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Big Finish's Doctor Who line in 2009. Haigh-Ellery said that they've been so busy with the download service and the like that they haven't thought that much about it, but that he'd like to do something different, but "not Zagreus different."

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Mikoto



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, I liked 'Minuet in Hell.' Evil or Very Mad

Also, a 'different' release would be nice ... possibly one that doesn't make my brain leak out through my ears.
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wshaffer



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I liked "Minuet in Hell", too - I probably would buy an extended version if they released one. Sure, the plot makes no sense, and the American accents are dreadful, but it's good fun.

It will be interesting to see what they come up with for the "different" story. Though, I'll admit, even though it's not very original, I would like to see them do a "proper' multi-Doctor story with Doctors 5-8, just because we've never gotten to see the 8th Doctor really interact with his other selves. Plus, I'd love to see Lucie's reaction to meeting earlier Doctors. ("Oh. My. God. You mean it's possible to have worse dress sense?")
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shipoftheline



Joined: 09 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am eagerly awaiting the release of their Phantom CD. I have been holding out on the download since I don't want to pay for it twice.

I was a bit bummed we didn't get to see the Big Finish presentation because it is one of my favorite Galley things. Confused
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emay
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Joined: 29 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for providing this summary! I'm also sorry I missed this panel.

It's nice that the downloads are working, since maybe they'll be encouraged to do more. At ChicagoTARDIS Nick Briggs said people's illegal downloads of Big Finish products really cut into their profit margin. He added that having famous actors as guest stars meant write-ups in Doctor Who Magazine but not necessarily more sales.

On another note, I also enjoyed Minuet in Hell once I decided not to pay attention to the silly "American" accents. Listening to Paul wittering on about being in hell is especially fun. I'd also like another insider book about the audios or additional releases of scripts. Gary Russell said a couple of years ago that they'd contracted to do three books of scripts and that once they had three releases, that was it.

I intermittently listen to Sapphire and Steel, which had a third release despite its shaky second season. I find the stories to be too predictable.

Oh, did anyone make comments about the CD extras? I'd love a gag reel for some productions. Smile
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Mikoto



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Downloads will fix that loss of profit, I think. Not entirely, but to a huge extent with American fans (because the price differences between a US and UK subscription really are big enough for us to be allowed to be a little whiny). There's a similar big to-do within the anime fandom about illegal downloads ... meanwhile, studios are ignoring the easy steps towards fixing that and losing the minimum number of people.

Of course, Nick Briggs tends to be quicker off the draw than these American businessmen. *snicker* I am really immensely pleased about this.
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TVM Drinking Game (updated!):

One for:
~ 'Two hearts'
~ 'Thirteen lives'
~ A clock
~ 90s-grade CG
~ Reference to Puccini/Madame Butterfly

Two for:
~ Gratuitous Doctor Who continuity
~ Overtly Messianic imagery
~ Beryllium/atomic clock
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wshaffer



Joined: 09 Dec 2007
Posts: 30
Location: San Jose, CA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shipoftheline wrote:
I am eagerly awaiting the release of their Phantom CD. I have been holding out on the download since I don't want to pay for it twice.


I did buy the download (I was impatient, and curious for an early peek at how the download service would work.) It's well worth it, but part of me kind of wishes I'd waited for the CD with the nice packaging and the extras.
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wshaffer



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Estelle, I don't remember any specific comments about the CD extras - although it's interesting that you mention gag reels, because at the Blake's 7 panel I learned that there is a gag reel on the extras CD for "Liberator", the third Blake's 7 audio. I think it's a brilliant idea, and I hope it catches on.

Also at the Blake's 7 panel, they showed some video of the actors in the studio during recording. I don't know if you remember how on one of CD extras for the 8th Doctor/Lucie plays, Paul talks about wanting to get a video camera in the studio, because the actors look so funny while recording? It's definitely true - the actors make faces and jump up and down and push each other around and everything.
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emay
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wshaffer wrote:
I don't know if you remember how on one of CD extras for the 8th Doctor/Lucie plays, Paul talks about wanting to get a video camera in the studio, because the actors look so funny while recording? It's definitely true - the actors make faces and jump up and down and push each other around and everything.


Yeah, he said the actors probably look pretty funny in their booths while pantomiming the action. I remember that during the recording of Neverland, India Fisher said she put her hand on her hip whenever she had to voice the part of Sentris.

I'll have to check out Blake 7. Smile
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wshaffer



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Blake's 7 audios are fun, though they do take a bit of getting used to for fans of the original series. (They're a "reboot" with a new cast, so everyone sounds wrong at first, but I got used to it pretty quickly.)

India Fisher is in them, playing a character who's very different from Charley!
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