Audio Play: Doctor Who Audio Visuals

The Doctor and companions.

Audio Visuals (1985-1991) was a Fan Work series based upon Doctor Who. It was created by Nicholas Briggs, Gary Russell, Bill Baggs, and a couple dozen of Briggs' pseudonyms. The series is notable for being the source for much Ascended Fanon, and for kick-starting the careers of its creators in Doctor Who proper.

Towards the end of the classic Doctor Who series, a group of fans created this series of short audio stories and Fan Fic. Fan Wank was generally Averted: unusually for a fan production, the series barely even mentioned the events of televised Who, let alone got excessively into it. From the second story onwards, in which the Doctor regenerates, Nicholas Briggs played the Doctor for the remainder of the series, which lasted four seasons. In the planned fifth season, Briggs' Doctor would have regenerated. Although the Audio Visuals productions were in violation of copyright, The BBC chose to look the other way.

The Audio Visuals are not canon to either the Whoniverse or the Doctor Who Expanded Universe, but when Big Finish Doctor Who was eventually licensed, the company adapted several of the Audio Visuals stories into official Doctor Who audio play episodes. One Big Finish audio, the Seventh Doctor story "Frozen Time", acts as a sequel to the Audio Visuals story "Endurance", though obviously with a different Doctor. The Audio Visuals Doctor was also incorporated into the canon of the Doctor Who Magazine serialised comics.


  • The Doctor: Stephen Payne in the Pilot Episode "The Space Wail". He regenerates into Nicholas Briggs in the second story, "Time Ravagers": a rather level-headed — if very hammy — incarnation with a fondness for tea.
  • Greg Holmes (Doctor Who Magazine editor Richard Marson, played by another Doctor Who Magazine editor Gary Russell in his last story), this series' first companion. A 16-year-old schoolboy from modern day Earth, whom the Doctor meets in "The Space Wail". He leaves in "The Mutant Phase".
  • Nadia, (Sally Baggs) the Doctor's short-lived other companion, who he meets later on in "The Space Wail". An Emotionless Girl who tries to become more human. Lasts until the third story, "Connection 13".
  • Ria (originally Patricia Merrick, then Heather Barker and Liz Knight), a companion who he meets in "Maenad". The longest-running companion of this Doctor next to Truman. Appears until "Planet of Lies".
  • Truman Crouch, the companion the Doctor meets in "Secret of Nematoda".


  • A Spot Of Tea: Briggs' Doctor is extremely fond of tea.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Several of the audio stories were later reworked into official Big Finish Doctor Who episodes.
  • Alternate Continuity: Like virtually all works featuring a fan-created Doctor, the series doesn't explicitly state whether the stories feature a future Doctor, an alternative one or both. The Doctor Who Magazine story "Party Animals", mentioned below, makes the AV Doctor explicitly a future Doctor, but it doesn't say which one. "Wormwood" does something trickier: a shapeshifting character pretends to be the Nicholas Briggs Doctor for several chapters, with his introduction scene even mirroring the regeneration into Briggs in the Audio Visuals.
  • Anyone Can Die: To a greater extent than Canon Who, Audio Visuals tended to kill off its companions.
  • Arc Words: "Justyce [sic] will be served." Echoed occasionally in Big Finish Doctor Who these days.
  • Ascended Fanon: To a limited extent. Nicholas Briggs' Doctor has made a few appearances in the Doctor Who Magazine. In the first story, "Party Animals", the Seventh Doctor meets Briggs' and his companion. In the second, entitled "Wormwood", the Eighth Doctor seemingly regenerates into him, although it turns out to be a ruse. Temperons, Psionovores and drudgers have appeared in Big Finish.
  • Camp: The otherwise very dark "Cloud of Fear" has one of the campiest scenes of anything, ever, when the Doctor teases Greg about his badly-dyed hair. (You really have to listen to it to understand.)
    • Well, when a hair-dye meant to make one's hair magenta turns it pink, I'd tease them, too!
  • Emotion Eater: The Psionovores, as their name would indicate.
  • Fan Work
  • Iconic Item: The toothbrush, similar to Five's decorative vegetable.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Very few of the tapes have stuck around, and as they were not officially licensed there's no hope of Big Finish officially releasing them as they were.
  • The Other Darrin: Gary Russell as Greg in "The Mutant Phase" (his last story).
  • Promoted Fanboy: Gary Russell, who has subsequently worked as script editor on Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood and edited Doctor Who Magazine, among other things. Nicholas Briggs went on to take over Big Finish, appeared in Torchwood and has done Dalek, Cyberman, Judoon, Ice Warrior and Nestene voices on Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures.
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