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4) The Chimes of Midnight (2002)

Arguably the most celebrated story of Big Finish’s first flush, Robert Shearman’s festive chiller found the Eighth Doctor and Charley investigating a series of murders in a (possibly haunted) house on Christmas Eve 1906. An irresistibly spooky blend of Upstairs Downstairs and Sapphire & Steel, it may yet stand as the finest Doctor Who Christmas Special in any medium. (If only it hadn’t come out in February…)

They said: “The month I spent writing The Chimes of Midnight was one of the unhappiest of my career. I’ve never felt less confident about a script.” – Robert Shearman

We said: “In concept and realisation, this is as perfect as Doctor Who has ever been.” (DWM 316)

5) Spare Parts (2002)

Doing for the men from Mondas what Genesis did for the Daleks, Marc Platt’s horrifying, tragic Cyber origin story is a silver-plated classic that would provide inspiration for not one but two TV stories (2006’s Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel and 2017’s World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls). It was followed six months later by another TV dry-run, the acclaimed Jubilee, which writer Robert Shearman would retool as the 2005 TV story Dalek.

They said: “Over the years, the Cybermen had been reduced to disco robots with no depth of character and precious little real menace. Now I had a chance to dig up and dust down the originals.” – Marc Platt

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About Doctor Who Magazine

As eagerly awaited episodes of Doctor Who arrive on television, this Special Edition reflects on the production of Series 12 with contributions from the show’s stars – Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill – as well as executive producers Chris Chibnall and Matt Strevens. Other highlights include features celebrating the 20th anniversary of Big Finish, tributes to the much-missed Terrance Dicks and articles going behind the scenes on the creation of the latest Blu-ray box sets. Packed with exclusive interviews and all-new material, this is the essential guide to the last 12 months of Doctor Who.