Big Finish Short Trips
The Big Finish Short Trips are a collection of short story anthologies published by Big Finish Productions based on the BBC Television series Doctor Who, beginning with the collection Short Trips: Zodiac in December 2002 and ending with the loss of their license in 2009. The Short Trips name was inherited from similar collections published by the BBC, who decided in March 2000 that it was no longer financially viable to produce collections of short stories. Big Finish Productions negotiated a licence to continue producing these collections, publishing them in smaller runs and in hardback, thus allowing for a higher cover price and increased profit margins than on the BBC collections.
Big Finish's licence with BBC Enterprises only allows them to use copyrighted material from the "classic" Doctor Who series (1963–1989 and 1996), which means that their stories can only feature the first eight Doctors and their companions. There are also difficulties in using the Eighth Doctor's companions Grace Holloway and Chang Lee as the copyright to these is owned by Universal Television. As with their various Doctor Who Audios, Big Finish cannot produce any material using the Ninth, Tenth or Eleventh Doctor's or make any other references to the new Russell T Davies or Steven Moffat-headed series in their works.
In May 2009 and after 28 collections, Big Finish announced that they were ending the Short Trips series as the BBC had not renewed it for a second licence, eventually halting sales of the books on the Big Finish Website in December 2009. Even so the books are still available via off-site retailers and a final 29th volume collected the editor's favourite story of each of the previous volumes.
The Big Finish Short Trips volumes are produced in a slightly different manner from their BBC predecessors: instead of being centrally produced, Big Finish commissions editors for the volumes, who in turn commission stories from writers for the themed collections. Because of this, each volume is produced depending on the working methods of its editor – some editors commission stories on invitation from writers, whilst others welcome unsolicited submission of stories. How The Doctor Changed My Life featured stories all written by previously unpublished authors. This was as a result of a competition, run by Big Finish in 2007, to seek out new talent.
Each collection is conceived around a single theme, with the individual stories exploring that theme:
|Short Trips: Zodiac||Jacqueline Rayner||December 2002||The signs of the Zodiac|
|Short Trips: Companions||Jacqueline Rayner||March 2003||The Doctor's companions|
|Short Trips: A Universe of Terrors||John Binns||June 2003||Horror|
|Short Trips: The Muses||Jacqueline Rayner||September 2003||The Nine Muses|
|Short Trips: Steel Skies||John Binns||December 2003||Confined environments|
|Short Trips: Past Tense||Ian Farrington||April 2004||Historical settings|
|Short Trips: Life Science||John Binns||June 2004||The nature of life|
|Short Trips: Repercussions||Gary Russell||June 2004||Unforeseen consequences|
|Short Trips: Monsters||Ian Farrington||August 2004||Monsters|
|Short Trips: 2040||John Binns||October 2004||The year 2040|
|Short Trips: A Christmas Treasury||Paul Cornell||December 2004||Christmas|
|Short Trips: Seven Deadly Sins||David Bailey||March 2005||Seven deadly sins|
|Short Trips: A Day in the Life||Ian Farrington||June 2005||The hours of the day|
|Short Trips: The Solar System||Gary Russell||September 2005||The nine planets of Earth's solar system|
|Short Trips: The History of Christmas||Simon Guerrier||December 2005||Christmas past, present and future|
|Short Trips: Farewells||Jacqueline Rayner||March 2006||Death and other kinds of loss|
|Short Trips: The Centenarian||Ian Farrington||July 2006||The life of one man - Edward Grainger|
|Short Trips: Time Signature||Simon Guerrier||September 2006||Music, time and consequences|
|Short Trips: Dalek Empire||Nicholas Briggs with Simon Guerrier||December 2006||The Dalek Empire series|
|Short Trips: Destination Prague||Steven Savile||May 2007||The city of Prague|
|Short Trips: Snapshots||Joseph Lidster||June 2007||The effect the Doctor has on people|
|Short Trips: The Ghosts of Christmas||Cavan Scott & Mark Wright||December 2007||Christmas: past, present and future|
|Short Trips: Defining Patterns||Ian Farrington||March 2008||The causes and effects of the universe|
|Short Trips: The Quality of Leadership||Keith R.A. DeCandido||May 2008||The many leaders the Doctor has met|
|Short Trips: Transmissions||Richard Salter||July 2008||The art of communication|
|Short Trips: How The Doctor Changed My Life||Simon Guerrier||September 2008||The after effects of meeting the Doctor|
|Short Trips: Christmas Around the World||Xanna Eve Chown||December 2008||Christmas in different countries|
|Short Trips: Indefinable Magic||Neil Corry||March 2009||The magical life of the Doctor|
|Re:Collections||Various||May 2009||The final book and a collection of the best stories from the series|
The collections have mixed established Doctor Who writers from the television series, such as Ben Aaronovitch, Ian Briggs, Andrew Cartmel, Terrance Dicks, Glen McCoy, James Moran, Marc Platt, Helen Raynor and Eric Saward with writers who made their name in other Doctor Who spin-off ranges, such as Paul Cornell, Joseph Lidster, Philip Purser-Hallard, Gareth Roberts, Gary Russell, Robert Shearman, Lance Parkin and Kate Orman, and writers from other literary spheres, including Dan Abnett, Lou Anders, Scott Andrews, Jonathan Clements, Peter David, Richard Dinnick, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Brian Dooley, Diane Duane, Andy Frankham-Allen, Nev Fountain, Lizzie Hopley, Todd McCaffrey, Juliet E. McKenna, Paul Magrs, James Moran, Gary Owen, Stel Pavlou, Steven Savile, James Swallow and Matthew Sweet.
- Big Finish's Short Trips page
- Outpost Gallifrey's reviews page
- Interview with range editor, Ian Farrington