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Ok, so, a long time ago [ profile] x_los was bugging me about Who-related lists and how I should have them, and more recently [ profile] tardiscrash posted a list on his fandom journal, and I was reminded how many moons ago I attempted to buck the trend by yes, making a list, but instead of Who eps focussing on BFAs. Except I stole that from [ profile] aralias.

Still, here is my bigass list of the first 40 BFAs and general (sometimes spoilery, to the extent of 'IT'S GOT DINOSAUR SKELETONS') descriptions/reactions of the sort that are useless to anyone who's listened to them already. It's weird now to look at what I thought then, because this was when I'd only first really started to discuss this aspect of fandom with other people and I wasn't really doing relistens. So I've got updated thoughts, for what they are, in bold, but even then they're less thoughts and more ... squee and snark. At some point I'll keep updating this list as I'm well past the episode 40 mark, but for now, here we go.

bold is for amazing
strikethrough for terrible
and italics is for completely forgettable

1 The Sirens of Time I love that it's Gallifrey, and I love their interactions, and I adore Six and Seven and actually really like Five for once but ... for a 'Three Doctors together for the first time!' story it's a little .... not as awesome as it should be.

2 Phantasmagoria Even were the story, pacing and characterisation of this not terrible, David Walliams 'I'm a lady' voice made me want to poke out my ears with a hot iron. Potentially awesome villian fell all to pieces as well.

3 Whispers of Terror I don't even - oh yeah, Six and Peri are trapped in a building and there's pseudo-political Orwellian type stuff going on. It suffers from the standard 'Big Finish were finding their feet' syndrome.

4 The Land of the Dead This is actually pretty good crack, especially compared to Five's others, but it's nothing amazing. It has Dinosaur Attack Skeletons and a villain who occaisionally seems like Ainley in very poor disguise.

5 The Fearmonger If you give one audio to your friends, give them this one. The Aciest, Professoriest, most well-written audio. One of my top three of all time, definitely. Probably top two. The use of extra characters, the use of music, the story, the setting, the acting. It. Is. AMAZING.

6 The Marian Conspiracy Not particularly relistenable, but solid audio and good intro for one of the most awesome companions of all time. However not to be missed on account of the Evelyn. Interestingly I've now relistened to this a number of times and would probably give it more kudos now. Still not mindblowing, but very very solid and good fun. Props for making Bloody Mary sympathetic.

7 The Genocide Machine If this wasn't Seven I would not love it as I do. But his moral outrage is pure, and so is my adoration. It's a good standard Dalek story, the only problem is ... it's a standard Dalek story, and in the year of 2010 we've been so inundated with Daleks they don't have much power anymore. Equally this I'd give a lower rating, having heard more Seven audios and more ... audios. My biases show overmuch, although I do love his moral outrage.

8 Red Dawn This is a good Five story. Villians with honour are win, and even if it's predictable, it feels like a Doctor Who story you could see on screen.

9 The Spectre of Lanyon Moor Unfortunately very forgettable, but for bonus points has Evelyn and the Brig in it, so still worth a listen.

10 Winter for the Adept Another Pretty Good Five audio, mainly interesting for the nervous ghost and Not!Charlie.

11 The Apocalypse Element I am alternatively horrified and amnesiac regarding this episode. I don't care if it has Romana in it, the plot is all over the place and it's boring.

12 The Fires of Vulcan It has Seven and Mel and history and circular time. It is Fires of Pompeii but possibly even slightly better, and teasing Seven is adorkable. It is love.

13 The Shadow of the Scourge An amazing, awesome Team TARDIS who know each other and know their shit. Everyone is competent and the joy of it is watching the Doctor go in with a plan and then seeing it all go wrong. As usual amazing emotional payoffs and everyone being savvy re everyone else is the standard and it is awesome. As usual? As ... usual? Oh baby Alex, you are in for some disappointments. But this is still one of Seven's best.

14 The Holy Terror This is also pretty awesome, and has earned its bolding through Six being brilliant and Frobisher being hilarious, and wonderful literary references and great almost!assassinations and two brilliant villains, but it is kind of creepy so I have only listened to it the once.

15 The Mutant Phase I honestly do not remember a single thing that happened in this audio. It may as well as not have happened. ... Yep, I've even gone and looked it up on wiki, and I still don't remember it.

16 Storm Warning This is a brilliant intro for Eight and Charley and Ramsey. The accents may make you wince a little but the story is wonderful and almost steam-punky in elements.

17 Sword of Orion It is a Cybermen story. A very boring cybermen story.

18 The Stones of Venice Genre savvy characters and high drama all over the place. Win and pie.

19 Minuet in Hell The reason this does not get a bold, honestly, is Eight's terrible overacting. Aside from that it is good cracky fun, with demons and corsets and the Brig. It is The Next Doctor on dope, essentially.

20 Loups-Garoux Oh wow. Poor Five, you're so desperate you're pretending to like girls now? Doctor Who Fails Werewolves.

21 Dust Breeding If you can condense this into just the bits with Ace and the cool Captain and Seven and the Master, you have an awesome audio. It's when the rest is added in that it gets messy and confusing. My desperation to like something with Seven AND the Master is palpable. I... I have changed this. It deserves the strikethrough. Although I do think the bits mentioned are the basis for what could have been a cool audio. Just ... no.

22 Bloodtide Oh this one is quite good! Evelyn is lovely, there's more of my favourite evar Who monsters, and it's very spooky. The mythology is a real turn off but barring that it's quite tasty.

23 Project: Twilight Dear Loups-Garoux: Please see this audio re. Mythology, How To Do It Right. I can't bold it because it's still a little weird to have vampires, and I am not good with the violence, but the writers know their stuff, and it feels more like a coherent vampire noir that Six and co have been sewn into than trying to tack vampires onto a DW story.

24 The Eye of the Scorpion Anything with Erimem in it is automatically better, though it also has Peri, so YMMV. Once again it is a Five audio, so it does not do anything for me, but also does not inspire enough to even hate.

25 Colditz Oh Ace. Nazis and circular time and so much heartache and awesome. Fabulously plotty, and you also get to play spot-the-Tennant.

26 Primeval I don't remember what happened in this audio. Even slightly. Five probably... lectured someone or something.

27 The One Doctor This is hilarious, pushes Baker's vocal talents to the max, and is quite happy to take the piss out of itself and everthing else. The intro alone is worth five stars.

28 Invaders from Mars This is pretty funny and good for some downtime, but is in no way substantial, though there are some nice continuity nods for later.

29 The Chimes of Midnight Everyone loves this one? It is very atmospheric and well made, but ends up stretching a little too long. Also a) I am, as noted, not great with violence, b) it ends up feeling a little claustrophobic by the end and c) the emotional payoff, whether due to writing or over-acting, I'mma not sure, feels cheap.

30 Seasons of Fear Circular time liek whoah! Forshadowing, tying together, brilliant villains and excellent use of peripherary characters. Use of the TARDIS for practical reasons? Just. Makes. It better.

31 Embrace the Darkness While I actually remember and I quite liked the antagonists, I don't even remember the Doctor or companion in it, and the ending was weird and not logical. So.

32 The Time of the Daleks I don't remember which Doctor this is. I don't remember what happens in it. I assume ... there are Daleks?

33 Neverland Oh this is actually very good, not the best of the bunch but I love all that 'poking into Gallifrey's dark traditions' stuff, and Romana and Vansell are always good fun. BABY ME YOU ARE WRONG. I am not willing to change this to bold just because I've since decided I adore poking into Gallifrey's traditions and the wide variation means my judgement might be completely off but I ... really really enjoy this one now. I think I might have been thrown by Charlie/Doctor stuff originally? But Neverland is good times y'all.

34 Spare Parts This could have been great, which is super-rare for me to say for a cyberman story, but it again suffers from Five Syndrome, which is that Big Finish don't seem to know how to write stories for him. In retrospect I would probably say that this one is great and reccommend it to people, but my Five bias (in BFA mostly justified) and a few other personal issues I had with this one means it was not for me. But I can see how for others it would work.

35 …ish I think people who love wordplay and so on will love this, but I found the cleverness was not enough to hold up what was basically a pretty thin plot, as much as Six acts his little heart out.

36 The Rapture It's Seven and Ace and there are a few awkward bits but it's a brilliant follow up to Colditz and basically I have the DW theme remix used in it as my ringtone, so that should tell you what you need to know. Which's a great remix and a flat audio. Still listenable but only the once.

37 The Sandman This was fabulous dark Six stuff, with Evelyn played strong and a brilliant intersection of accidentally dangerous characters blending with the deliberately manipulative.

38 The Church and the Crown I liked the nods to history, Richelieu was fun, as was Erimem, but again, Five Syndrome, which meant that what could have been wonderful was merely passable.

39 Bang-Bang-a-Boom! IIIII have a corrupted file and can't hear the last third, but unless something drastically changes I will probably bold this.

40 Jubilee This is Dalek done right, and I thought Dalek was done right, so that should tell you how awesome this is. Truly powerful, moving stuff, and it ties with The One Doctor as my favourite of Six's run. Bwahahahaha baby Alex, at this point you had not heard Pirates! Ah well, for another time.

General conclusions? Six grew on me rapidly, Eight is swings and roundabouts, Seven gives me rose coloured glasses and BFA still don't really seem to know how to write for Five. There. I've just saved you ten minutes of your time.
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