I listened to the first episode of the Big Finish audio play Graceless today on BBC Radio 4′s streaming service. Every so often, listeners get the opportunity to experience all the good work that Big Finish does for the cost of their license fees. I’m not sure how many sales that turns into, as I’m not seeing a link on the Radio 4 page back to Big Finish. Maybe that’s not allowed when they put their shows on the air. I did find it odd that there wasn’t even an intro in the episode itself directing interested parties on where to find more. I don’t remember what happened with the 8th Doctor audios when they were aired, as part of the late and lamented Radio 7. Of course, the whole concept of radio plays is somewhat foreign to American listeners, whose only exposure to radio drama and comedy is the occasional programme on NPR. If you’re lucky enough to live in a certain region, your local public or college radio station may actually produce audio drama, which are most likely sold over the Internet, but will anyone have heard of it? The annual Mark Time Awards are held each year at CONvergence, and I’ve no doubt that the plays being honoured are quite good; I’ve never heard of a single one of them. Big Finish has done a remarkable thing in producing a catalogue of audio drama with hundreds of stories, buoyed of course by Doctor Who, but with a number of other good ranges as well. They’re overshadowed by the television series now, but are still at it, month after month, with exciting tales. Chaz is about to start listening to the 8th Doctor stories introducing Charley Pollard, and I can’t wait to hear what he thinks!