The Best Stories of 2014

Our recent poll has come to an end, with over 80 people picking their favourite story of last year! As a treat before the release of War of The Doctors, writers/actors Billy Treacy and Joel H Joelson provide their thoughts on these stories and what made them fan favourites.

Billy Treacy: I’m glad this story is so high on the list, though in truth I think it’s a shame Joel’s stories didn’t occupy all three spaces here! He wrote some amazing things for last year and this year is beyond dynamite. I threw a little idea at Joel and he expanded it and added to it. I think it’s fair to say if I’d written this, it would’ve been pretty bog standard, if that. I can’t go without mentioning Phoenix Smith’s incredible narration too. He’d been suffering a cold, but pulled through it all in an admirable manner with true style. In all honesty, it was easiest the editing session I’ve ever had.

Joel H Joelson: For The Story Teller, I was given a basic synopsis (in the form of that pre-titles bit) and just told to run with it. And run with it I did. It’s got adorable urchins, fights, Phoenix Smith, all the things I enjoy about Doctor Who (if you’re reading this Steven, hire Phoenix, he’s amazing)! The thing which makes this episode stand out for me was the chance to use a different perspective. I’ve already done some audiobook-style stuff for Dynamite (in Convolution of the Doctor and some upcoming stuff I’m not allowed to talk about), but doing one from the villain’s perspective is something different altogether (although it’s probably been done before in an obscure 90’s novel I haven’t read). It was great to do some world building for Cratelon as well, and it sort of comes across as Dickens’ London meets 1984 as designed by Autoglass. This one also gave me a chance to write one of those big bloody speeches that the writers on New Who seem to love so much (for reference, I watched The Rings of Akhaten, and it’s better than I remembered). In conclusion, it was fun to write, but even more entertaining to listen to. The end.

Billy Treacy: Jim feels like such a long time ago, even though it’s actually been just less than a year. It was one of the many ideas in my little Aimless Wanderings scrapbook, and it was one that tickled me. I believe I was inspired partly by Big Finish’s The Four Doctors, where one individual is thrown through The Doctor’s timestream, although I’ve been told it also has similarities to The Light at the End. That aside, everyone knows now that multiple Doctor stories are by far the funnest to make and the most entertaining to listen to - there’s a reason this story is rated so highly. Throw as many pugs into the afterlife as you like, but nothing is more enjoyable than putting four Doctors together in the same room and just leaving them to talk. Throw in someone who has been hard done by because of them, and it just makes it better. The use of standalone stories with the events in The Tea Room as a framing device is a technique I particularly enjoyed - it gave us the best of both worlds. Though it would be nice to see the four Doctors together in action, wouldn’t it? You’ll have to wait just a little while longer for that... Also, here’s a bit of trivia: the dates mentioned in each part are the birthdays of the actors playing The Doctors.

Joel H Joelson: Jim is definitely the point when everything coalesced and the format of the series solidified. It’s got the Doctor (all four of him) doing awful things, bizarre happenings, silly villains and a relatable character at the core. Speaking of Jim, much applause has to be given to Christopher Thomson, who plays Jim with just the right balance of intensity and exasperation to make the character funny but realistic. My favourite individual episode has to be part one, simply due to my undying love for the terrifying force of nature that is Fruit Pastel.

Billy Treacy: Martin’s Last Bark is a game changer within our series. The story leads on to our biggest adventure yet - one that we’ve been planning for over a year now with ever increasing levels of excitement/anxiety - and the characters really get pushed to their limits; you’ve never heard Pompous like this. Where Martin was concerned, Jon Gransden always hated my obsession with pugs, so when I originally made one my companion in the audios, he wasn’t particularly impressed. I’d be getting jibes about Martin’s uselessness/respiratory problems left right and centre from Mr G, and unwavering suggestions to put Martin out of his misery - preferably through explosives. About a year ago, I figured I might as well do it just to shut Dynamite up, but in a slightly more dignified and heartfelt manner. I have a habit of killing people’s favourite character’s. Sorry. Speaking of killing people, I killed King Radolf Randolf Fuzzlechops Randolf III too! And the entirety of Metebelis 14! So two pugs with one stone, I guess.

Joel H Joelson: Here’s a secret for you: I’ve known about Martin’s death since July. I had to live with the knowledge that Billy ‘Heartbreaker’ Treacy would ruin everyone’s Christmas for HALF A YEAR. It’s an amazing finale to the Darker Paths story arc, with what is probably the best writing for any Aimless Wanderings audio so far (even better than A Pompous New Year!) and better acting than a lot of actual Doctor Who. Oddly enough, we’d already mostly finished War of the Doctors before I got to read this one, meaning I saw the effect before the cause. Weird, innit? I didn’t have that much input to Darker Paths, aside from The Story Teller and co-writing Corner of the Universe, so it was interesting to see the events unfold from an outside(ish) perspective. Also I’ll never forgive Billy for destroying Metebelis 14. The poohead.

2 comments:

  1. :D Haven't yet listened to these ones, so I'll be sure to. :)

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  2. Interesting... For a moment, I thought that "Jim" was going to win... Talk about being suprised.
    Also, glad to see "The Story Teller" on the list - it deserves it! :-D

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