Doctor Who Audio Dramas: Listening Order and Guide

The Doctor Who audio dramas can be quite overwhelming – over the past 20 years, there have been more audio dramas than there have been episodes of the TV show. This guide is here to help you out.

Where to start?

Choose this if you’re completely new and don’t know where to begin.

The full listening order

Choose this if you want to listen to most of the dramas in a natural order

The full listening order, without any reviews

Choose this if you want to listen to all of the dramas in a natural order, without my opinions clouding your judgement.

Recent Updates

Listened to Sarah Jane Smith: Comeback and The Tao Connection.
Added An Ocean of Sawdust, Dead Media, Torchwood: The Vigil, and Torchwood One - Latter Days to The Flux.
Added a section about how to save money to the top of the Listening Order.
Listened to The Church and the Crown and Bang-Bang-a-Boom!.
Behind the scenes: modified my abbreviations system, so that I can more easily indicate content warnings.
Added Harry Houdini’s War, Tartarus, and The Companion Chronicles: The First Doctor Volume 3 to The Flux.
Shifted a number of things out of the flux and into the guide.
Listened to The Sandman.

Older Updates

Listened to …ish and The Rapture.
Added The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield Volume 5: Buried Memories to The Flux.
In the backend, I fixed the boxset code, so that I can add notes alongside my reviews.
Listened to Spare Parts.
Listened to The Plague Herds of Excelis.
Added Rose Tyler: The Dimension Cannon to The Flux.
Listened to Zygons: The Barnacled Baby and Excelis Decays.
Added Short Trips: #HarrySullivan and The Diary of River Song Series 6 to The Flux.
Listened to Zygons: Homeland and Zygons: Absolution.
Listened to Excelis Rising.
Disentangled Excelis and Bernice Summerfield Series 3. Previously they were mixed together into the same segment, but as I’m listening to it I’m realising that the narrative connection just isn’t there. Excelis is its own thing, which happens to feature Bernice Summerfield for one episode.
Listened to Excelis Dawns.
Changed the background colour of “Maybe” reviews. It should make it easier to distinguish between a “Maybe” and an unreviewed story.
Listened to The Legacy of Time, but since that’s not yet in the guide I can’t post a review.
Added Torchwood: The Hope to The Flux.
Rewrote most of the text in segments 40 through 45 (2006 and 2007).
Added Time War 3 and Emissary of the Daleks to The Flux.
Split the Unbound dramas into 2 segments: the six episodes that were released in 2003 and the sequel episodes in 2005/2008. This should make for a better listening experience overall.
Decided to no longer count the home video release When Being You Just Isn’t Enough as part of the guide. Due to this, the Zygon audio dramas are now in their proper place in 2001 (instead of being delayed to 2008 by the video release).
Listened to Companion Chronicles: The Revenants.
Rewrote most of the text in segments 33 through 39 (2005).
Listened to The Light at The End.
Moved Trial of the Valeyard to a more correct position (previously it was in with the 50th Anniversary Specials, when it should have just been with the other bonus releases for that quarter).
Rewrote most of the text in segments 25 through 32 (2004).
Added The Legacy of Time and Battle Scars to The Flux.
Listened to The New Series: The Eighth of March.
Added The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller and Memories of a Tyrant to The Flux. The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller is in a bit of an unfortunate situation – it’s a collection of adventures set between the end of Series 1 and the start of Series 2 of The Eighth Doctor Adventures. But it’s also been released between Ravenous 3 and Ravenous 4. Since we don’t want to break up storylines, this means I’ve had to push The Further Adventures… back 6 months, so it will be much later in the guide than it would have otherwise been.
Rewrote most of the text in segments 20 through 24 (2003).
Listened to The Switching.
Added Torchwood: Serenity to The Flux.
Rewrote most of the text in segments 13 through 19 (2002).
Added markers for the out of print Bernice Summerfield books.
Listened to The Ratings War.
Rewrote most of the text in segments 1 through 12 (1976–2001), to be more informative and clear.
Listened to Bernice Summerfield: The Gods of the Underworld.
Rewrote this page and the introduction on the listening order. The advice should now be more clear and more useful.
Added Tales from the TARDIS, which was missing.
Added an audio drama count, so now you know how many audio dramas you’ve listened to. Fun fact: between 1976 and 2018, 1277 audio dramas were released.
Added The War Master: Rage of the Time Lords to the guide.
Renamed the segments, so that they use colons instead of em-dashes (so it’s UNIT: Incursions instead of UNIT — Incursions). Updated the style to make the segment numbers less prominent and the series name more prominent.
Added God Among Us 3 to the guide; Torchwood: Sargasso and Short Trips: The Same Face to The Flux
Added segments 302 through to 307.
(Monthly Adventures Q2 2019, UNIT: Incursions, The Third Doctor Adventures Volume 5, The Tenth Doctor Adventures Volume 3, The Paternoster Gang: Heritage 1, The New Series: The Lives of Captain Jack Volume 2)
Removed all spoilers from the guide (previously, the “Featuring” column of tables could reveal twists, such as character deaths or the existence of a secret character).
Modified the tables for boxsets, so that there is only one recommendation for the entire boxset – since you can’t buy the individual stories, it didn’t make sense to recommend them all seperately.
Listened to The Time of the Daleks and Neverland, thus finishing Segment 13.
Added Torchwood: Sync and Short Trips: Under ODIN’s Eye to The Flux.
Added The Tenth Doctor Adventures Volume 3 to The Flux.
Added Doctor Who: The Moons of Vulpana and The Third Doctor Adventures Volume Five to The Flux.
Listened to Embrace the Darkness.
Added UNIT — Incursions to The Flux.
Listened to Seasons of Fear.
Listened to The Chimes of Midnight.
Added Torchwood: The Green Life to The Flux.
Listened to Invaders From Mars.
Listened to Dalek Empire I: Project Infinity, thus finishing all the audio dramas for 2001.
Added Year of the Drex Olympics and The Monsters of Gokroth to The Flux.
Listened to Dalek Empire I: “Death to the Daleks!”.
Added Ravenous 3 to the guide.
Re-arranged the guide into seperate pages. A side effect of this is that there is no more javascript in the guide! Yay!
Listened to Dalek Empire I: The Human Factor (segment 12).
Added Audiobook: The Winged Coven to The Flux.
Listened to Dalek Empire I: Invasion of the Daleks (segment 12).
Removed the “Featuring” section from Dalek Empire tables, to avoid spoilers.
Added all the BBC Audiobooks to the guide, under the Misc segments. We are missing Tales from the Tardis, which I am unsure on how to include.
Added a “New Ranges in year” section under each year heading, and links to navigate between years.
As of yesterday, Big Finish has renamed the Main Range into “The Monthly Adventues”, which is a much more sensible name. This name change has also been reflected across the guide.
Added an audio drama I missed: Real Time to segment 19.
Listened to The Skymines of Karthos, finishing all the audio releases for segment 11.
Updated the segment titles, so that they’re more flexible when they adapt to different screen sizes.
Listened to The Extinction Event (segment 11).
Major Overhaul to the listening order. Visually, it should be almost un-noticeable, but many segments have been changed, many have been added (there are 38 more segments than before). The overall result should be that it’s easier to keep track of where you’re up to – instead of being a continuous stream of segments, segments are now divided into years, and they follow a repeating pattern every 6 months (or every 3 months later on in the guide): A Main Range segment for the period, then segments for all the Big Finish series that were released during that period, then a segment for every BBV release from that period, and then a segment for all the miscellaneous releases that couldn’t be in other segments. (A much-wanted side effect of this is that there are no more “complex” Main Range segments that include a bunch of things that aren’t part of the Main Range).
As a consequence of the Major Overhaul, updates before this one may not make sense anymore.
Listened to The Stone’s Lament (segment 11).
Added Night of the Fendahl and Doctors and Dragons to The Flux.
Moved as much of The Flux into segments as I can.
Listened to The Secret of Cassandra (segment 11).
Listened to The Doomsday Manuscript (segment 11).
Added Gallifrey: Time War 2 to The Flux.
Updated some behind-the-scenes stuff, so that tables come pre-loaded with the appropriate row colours, rather than relying on your browser to run a script. If you visit this page semi-regularly, you may have to press Ctrl + r (or Cmd + r on MacOS) to convince your browser to update the colours.
Listened to The One Doctor, finishing segment 10.
Listened to Colditz (segment 10).
Listened to Primeval (segment 10).
Added The Comic Strip Adaptions Volume 01 to The Flux.
Listened to The Eye of the Scorpion (segment 10).
Added The Kamelion Empire to The Flux.
Listened to Project: Twilight (segment 10).
Updated the list to have “previous in range” links.
Listened to Bloodtide (segment 10).
Listened to Dust Breeding (segment 7).
Changed the default background colour of tables to be lighter, to make reading them easier.
Listened to Wirrn: Race Memory (segment 8).
Upgraded my rating for Red Dawn from “yes” to “definitely”.
Added Sword of Orion, The Marian Conspiracy and Red Dawn to my list of favourites.
Listened to Loups-Garoux (segment 7).
Added The Astrea Conspiracy to The Flux.
Added potential segment numbers to The Flux.
Fixed the Last of the Titans rating to be “yes” rather than “maybe”
Listened to Falling (segment 252).
Listened to Last of the Titans (segment 9).
Listened to Minuet in Hell (segment 7).
Listened to The Stones of Venice (segment 7).
Added Torchwood: God Among Us 2 to The Flux.
Listened to Sword of Orion (segment 7).
Listened to Storm Warning (segment 7).
Added the Fourth Doctor Adventures Series 8 Volume 2 to The Flux.
Listened to The Mutant Phase (segment 6).
Added Black Thursday / Power Game to The Flux.
Listened to The Holy Terror (segment 6).
Listened to The Shadow of the Scourge (segment 6).
Downgraded The Sirens of Time (segment 3).
Listened to Dragon’s Wrath (segment 4).
Updated the Bernice Summerfield jumping-on points section.
Added Missy to The Flux.
Listened to Just War (segment 4).
Listened to Birthright (segment 4).
Listened to Walking to Babylon (segment 4).
Listened to Beyond the Sun (segment 4).
Added The Revisionists to The Flux.
Finished segment 5 (by listening to The Rani Reaps the Whirlwind).
Added The First Doctor Adventures Volume 3 to The Flux.
Listened to Oh No It Isn’t! (segment 4).
Listened to Conduct Unbecoming (segment 5).
Listened to Silent Warrior and Old Soldiers (segment 5). total so far: 24
Since some of them are going to be released as audiobooks soon, I added the prose releases to the Bernice Summerfield segments.
Listened to Segment 5 (I scream).
Added The Diary of River Song: Series 5 to The Flux.
Listened to Segment 2.
Split up some tables, so the Main Range tables haven’t got Short Trips mixed in (with a couple of exceptions).
Listened to The Trial of the Valeyard (segment 141).
Listened to Night of the Stormcrow (segment 144).
Finished listening to segment 1.
Added the Fourth Doctor Adventures Series 8 Volume 1 to The Flux.
Numerous typo and stylistic corrections (thanks to Leslie!)
Listened to The Paradise of Death (segment 1).
As part of a site-wide style update, the guide now has a lighter background and a few elements have shadows to help them pop out.
Added more navigation links (previous, next in range).
Created this recent updates section.
Added next segment links.
Changed the rating for The Marian Conspiracy from “Yes” to “Definitely”.
Listened to Pescatons, Exploration Earth, and Slipback (segment 1).
Had to re-add “no” to the rating system, specifically for Pescatons.
Finished listening to segment 3.
Updated the rating system so that its “definitely/yes/maybe” instead of “definitely/yes/no”.
Added The Hollow King to The Flux.

Where to start?

There are a lot of audio dramas, enough to make anyone confused. When I first found them, I couldn’t work out what I was supposed to listen to first. That’s why I made this guide.

The reason why it’s not obvious where to start is because they’re not just one series. There’s lots of ranges available: The Fourth Doctor Adventures, The Paternoster Gang, UNIT, Dalek Empire, and so on. Each of these can be listened to on its own (and often each release within a series can be listened to without listening to any others).

In general, you only need to listen to the previous parts of a series if a release has a number directly after its name (such as Ravenous 3 or Dalek Empire II). If it has the word “series” or “volume” before the number, then you’re fine to listen to it out of order (usually).

But…. how do you choose where to start?

Starting Place A: The Monthly Adventures

One of the best places to begin is Big Finish’s flagship range of audio dramas: The Monthly Adventures. Each month, they release an adventure featuring one of the classic doctors. For the most part, the adventures are entirely self-contained, so you can just choose any one of them and listen to it.

Note: The Monthly Adventures used to be called the Main Range, so look out for that terminology on older pages.

The first 100 are available for around £3 each from the Big Finish website, and the first 50-ish are also available for free if you’ve got a Google Play or Spotify subscription.

I recommend just choosing one that sounds interesting, and giving it a go.

Starting Place B: The Nth Doctor Adventures

Another great place to start is with a doctor you really like: the First, Third, Fourth, Eighth, and Tenth doctors all have their own series of adventures you can sink your teeth into.

The First and Third Doctor Adventures are released as volumes, each volume containing two (2.5 hour long) stories. Each volume is standalone (you don’t need to listen to the previous volumes).

The Fourth and Tenth Doctor Adventures are released as individual episodes, with each episode being around 1 hour long. Each episode is typically standalone (you don’t need to listen to previous episodes). Note: from Series 8 onwards, the Fourth Doctor Adventures were released in volumes, rather than as episodes.

The Eighth Doctor Adventures were originally released as individual episodes, and are now released as named boxsets (each with four (1-hour long) stories). The boxsets are not standalone. If you want to listen to Ravenous 4, you should listen to Ravenous 1–3 first.

Starting Place C: Spin-offs

Another place to begin is with a Spin-off series. Some popular ones are: Dalek Empire, UNIT, The War Master, and The Paternoster Gang.

There are a lot of spin-offs available – some are long storylines (like The War Master or Dalek Empire), some are released as standalone boxsets (like UNIT or The Diary of River Song), and there are also several standalone boxsets based around different characters from the New Series.

Starting Place D: Randomoids and Other Sales

If you don’t want to commit to spending a bunch of money on stuff, then another option is to look out for sales. There’s typically a big sale every month-ish, so keep your eye on the Big Finish news page.

Additionally, there’s a weekly discount: every week on the Big Finish podcast, a new random release (a Randomoid) is selected and given a 25% discount. You don’t have to actually listen to the podcast to get access to the discount, you can just go to the podcast’s description and follow the instructions there.

Note: Buying dramas in sales is a great way to save money if you’re just interested in occasionally listening to something. But if you’re planning on listening to an entire series, it can sometimes be cheaper long-term to buy bundles.

Starting Place E: Everything

If you want to listen to everything, or would feel more comfortable with a pre-defined ordering, then head on over to my full listening order (or the version without reviews, if you’d prefer).

Note: The reviews in this guide are still a work in progress – so far, I’ve reviewed 70 audio dramas.

This guide couldn’t have been created without the efforts of MaximumSpidercide. Their Ultimate Doctor Who Universe Listening Order helped me to understand Big Finish better, and inspired me to make my own guide. There are a number of minor changes between their guide and mine: I’m a bit looser with the ordering of things, because my segments are explicitly numbered (rather than implied, as in their guide); I try to avoid segments with only one story in them; I don’t include all of the audiobooks; and I do include the Unbound series, even though it’s set outside of the Doctor Who Universe.