Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

In this week’s “Reference Acknowledged”, Deb, Kat, and Lynne discuss the Eighth Doctor’s impact on fandom, how and why he was brought into “canon”, and the importance of naming Big Finish Companions during “The Night of the Doctor.” Thanks to Christian Smith for this week’s topic suggestion. We are ALWAYS happy to talk about the Eighth Doctor!

This week’s “year of…” title credited to Trevor S!

As a reminder, many Big Finish titles are available on streaming service so if you’re curious and want to check them out (and we suggest you do!), a quick search may grab you free Big Finish content. Warning: Big Finish is highly addictive and may result in you purchasing many many more titles but we don’t see this as a bad thing!

How do you feel about Eight? Drop us a tweet or let us know in the comments!


Verity! TV Movie commentary
Extra-special thanks to this week’s editor, Steven Schapansky of Castria!
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Comments on: "Eight – Not Enough" (10)

  1. Joe Cleveland said:

    My happy thing: My growing addiction to Big Finish! Their recent sale on Alex Kingston titles was enough for me to justify getting the big bundle of the Series 1-9 Diaries of River Song, and they are terrific! There’s such a range of emotional beats in the series — playful, scared, yearning, loving.

    Really, that’s been true of all of the Big Finish stuff I’ve listened to so far. Clever writing with great plot twists and reveals and then all those emotions!

    I’ll echo the plugs for the Dalek Universe collection. And listening to the Tenth Doctor collaborate with the Fourth and Fifth (so far) in the Out of Time collection—so much fun! And I could go on: Paternoster Gang, River Song and the Tenth Doctor, the Eighth of March collections, …. Me: kid; Big Finish: candy store.

    I haven’t acquired any Eighth Doctor episodes yet, but it’s only a matter of time. As a new who person, though, I might have to get the Christopher Eccleston Ninth Doctor collections first…

    Doctor Who on Big Finish — such a treasure trove! (Please, please, Jodie Whittaker, do some Big Finish!!!)

  2. hobbes said:

    Any chance that you will discuss the 8th Doctor Stranded boxsets at some point? They are some of my very favorite Doctor Who stories! 🙂 Apart from the great and funny stories I really like how Tania Bell, a trans character is written in them. I am also trans and having these stories with a queer love story between Liv Chenka and Tania just makes me so happy! AND Tania is played by a trans actor, which is just brilliant! Would really like to hear your thoughts on them 🙂

    • Viola said:

      That’d be so great, I love Stranded! I wish more people talked about Helen & Liv, they’re such great companions and characters. I really like the addition of Tania to the cast and it’s always nice to see representation in DW. And Liv/Tania are 😍😍😍

  3. Icon_UK said:

    I don’t know what it says about my Doctor Who fannishness (is that a word?) because though I’ve watched the show since Pertwee, devoured the Target novelisations as they came out back in the day and never really grew out of loving the show, it honestly never occurred to me for a single moment that the 8th Doctor wouldn’t automatically be canon for the new series, “Half human, on my mother’s side” and all.

    I don’t recall it being a big deal, but I suspect I just didn’t move in the “right” fan circles to hear otherwise. (Such people are probably the same ones who hope RTD will “save the series” by excising the entire Chibnall era from the DW timeline, which suggests to me that they are not only to be avoided socially, they have no clue as to how RTD’s mind works. I mean, I’m not saying I do either, but I find it unfeasible he’d discard ANY era of the show)

    So whilst I loved the surprise of “Night of the Doctor”, the fact the 8th Doctor was being acknowledged didn’t surprise me (especially after “The Next Doctor” and “The Eleventh Hour”) though the Big Finish characters getting a name check was pleasantly unexpected.

    Steven Moffatt’s novelisation of “The Day of the Doctor” also includes references to “Night of the Doctor” and reveals the twist that the Elixir the Sisterhood gave him on Karn to guide his regeneration was actually nothing more than sugared water, so his regeneration was no different from any other, except that he believed it had been and acted accordingly.

    • IHi Icon_UK,

      Im a female fan who has watched the show easily as long as yourself, with fuzzy memories of Troughton stories I saw as a young child.

      I’m one of those people who, until ‘Night of the Doctor’, didn’t include the 8th Doctor as canon.

      This was not for evil reasons. It was just simply because if the 8th Doctor spin-off telemovie was canon then so, in my mind, were the Peter Cushing movies and also Rowan Atikinson and Jim Broadbent and Joanna Lumley and everyone else in ‘The Curse of Fatal Death’.

      Once the 8th Doctor was established in the show, I was happy to include it in my view of canon. Along with K9 and co, Torchwood, Sarah Jane Adventures and Class. I’m still on the fence about the K-9 kids show from a few years ago…. not sure I can quite add that to my viewing list.

      I also exclude Big Finish from canon as ‘not televised’ and put it in the same collection with the comics in the Annuals, the comics more generally, the computer games, the books and the stage plays. Big Finish is good alternative universe storytelling but not relevant to 99% of the viewing population who don’t know it exists. Like Sherlock and the many other Shelock Holmes pastiches are to Conan-Doyles stories.

      Although now that Chibbers has had his fun ruining the current eps for me by making the Galifreyans child abuser psychopath cybermen and the Doctor into Space Jesus, I’m more than happy to canonise ‘The Curse of Fatal Death’ and acknowledge Joanna Lumley as the first female Doctor and Jonathan Pryce as a true Master.

      • P.S. it’s worth watching the ‘Curse of Fatal Death’ to play ‘Steven Moffat’s plot points bingo’ at a high level for Moffat’s era of DW.

  4. Neil A Ottenstein said:

    I haven’t finished listening to it, but just got to the part where Grace is not mentioned in “Night of the Doctor” and is not in Big Finish. It might come up later, but Big Finish created new characters for both Daphne Ashbrook (Captain Ruth Matheson) and Yee Jee Tso (Warrant Officer Charlie Sato) who have appeared in a few stories.

  5. Eric Gjovaag said:

    Just a heads up, if anyone wants to meet Paul McGann or ask him about any of this, this summer, our local convention, BritCon, has him, as well as Yee Jee Tso. It’s in August in the Seattle area, and we’d love to have you!

  6. Viola said:

    Yes, I think the 8th Doctor is very pretty and I will say that proudly! Doesn’t make me or anyone less of a fan, this kind of gatekeeping and shaming female fans can go away and should’ve never existed in the first place.

    The TV Movie was the first thing I watched when wanting to see what else is there other than New Who, it just seemed more approachable & less intimidating than starting all the Classic seasons. And it came out after I was born unlike anything that came before it 😀
    This was good timing as this was in 2013 summer, so when The Night of the Doctor happened, I knew what a big deal it was. I liked the TV movie, not all of it, but I thought it was fun and I wished 8th got more time on screen. I’d love to see him in the 60th!

    Right now, 8th is one of my favourite Doctors. I started listening to Big Finish a couple of years ago, and 8th & Charley stole my heart, I love them. Since then I listened to all the Lucie Miller stuff (I’m fine! because nothing! bad! happened!), Dark Eyes, Ravenous, Stranded and now listening to Doom Coalition (bit of a timey-wimey order).

    I vividly remember opening good old Tumblr on 14th November 2013 and seeing everyone reblog 8th Doctor footage I’ve never seen before and went “whaaaat” and watched it immediately and didn’t know what to do with myself. I wish Grace was mentioned, even if in the grand scheme of things they didn’t spend much time together. What is also sad that due to when it was filmed, Liv and Helen weren’t mentioned either and he would absolutely not skip them.

    I agree about the 8th Doctor having the warmth you talked about, it’s very charming but he can be shady as well (like all the Doctors) and it’s a good contrast. Paul McGann’s voice just makes everything better. I was someone who never found any of the Doctors attractive (although had no problems with with other fans doing so) but his voice(!!!) 8th is the only exception to this “rule”.

  7. Lesley said:

    My Doctor Who Happy Thing the week I listened to this episode of the podcast was indeed very 8th Doctor related. I’ve never had any doubt he was a ‘real’ Doctor and I’ve never really subscribed to the idea of canon in the show, it’s all over the place! – create your own canon would be my advice 🙂 Anyway the really exciting Happy Thing was I attended HippFest, a silent film festival and Paul McGann was narrating the film!!!!

    This was meant to happen just at the start of the pandemic and I was gutted when it was cancelled. It’s great that he came back to do it nearly 2 years later. The film was a bit weird – L’Homme du Large – French from a story by Balzac. Lots of fishing, rocks and storms and brooding, quite surreal imagery and a leading character called Nolff (a very Doctor who name actually!) who often looked strangely like a ageing Marlon Brando. Heavy on the men doing what they ‘need’ to do and the women being dutiful, dying and having convent or marriage as the sole life choices. But all that was offset by having the lovely Mr McGann 10 feet away reading the French captions – in English obviously.

    Didn’t have the nerve to approach him, never do when I have these chances!, but as my seat was at the edge of the off stage area where they gathered beforehand I could hear his unmistakeable tones admiring the cinema, which is an entirely correct thing for him to do and so further increases my McGann appreciation score! The Hippodrome is the oldest purpose built cinema in Scotland, built in 1912, served it’s time as a bingo hall and derelict building and then renovated about 20 years ago by the local council. It’s a pleasure to go to see films there and it’s so heartening to see it surviving the pandemic. I also went along to see Dawn, a biopic of Edith Cavell, a British nurse who helped soldiers escape Belgium in WW1 and was shot by the Germans in 1915, on the same day as my birthday so I’ve always been interested in her. That was a much better film from the female perspective, apart from the outcome obviously, and I highly recommend it if you ever get the chance to see it. It was accompanied by a pianist and percussionist with a specially written score – I never thought silent film could be so enthralling!

    So this Verity episode being all about the Eighth was a perfect companion for my week – thank you!

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