Please keep in mind that, although the series is officially part of the Whoniverse, it encompasses many different timelines/continuities and includes adaptations of existing works from the Doctor Who Expanded Universe. Due to Big Finish's sheer size and complexity, it also plays by the rules of the Doctor Who Expanded Universe: the TV series can at times contradict or overwrite the timelines described here, or adapt them for the televised continuity.
For a still-growing recap list of the audio dramas featuring these characters, feel free to look here.
Due to the series having Loads and Loads of Characters, the tropes pages are split into:
- Big Finish Doctor Who Doctors
- Big Finish Doctor Who Companions
- Big Finish Doctor Who Villains
- Big Finish Doctor Who Aliens And Monsters
- Big Finish Doctor Who UNIT
- Bernice Summerfield
- Iris Wildthyme
Tropes that apply to Big Finish Doctor Who characters in general:
- Adaptation Expansion: Characters who appeared briefly in the past are often explored in-depth by Big Finish.
- The Bus Came Back: With the notable exception of Dodo, all surviving classic series companion actors have returned to play their characters. The series has the occasional Long Bus Trip as a result as well.
- Character Development: All over the place.
- Darker and Edgier: Since Big Finish doesn't have to present itself as a kids' show, it can bring much more drama into the characters' lives than the TV show ever could. This is especially the case with characters like Peri, who gets tons of character development, and villains like Davros, whose childhood is shown in great detail. However, at the same time they try to avoid things that would gratuitously jar with the traditional tone of Doctor Who. There's no strong swearing or sex scenes, but there is some mild language and characters are allowed to actually have sex lives now, just offscreen. Even the New Adventures novel adaptations get some (very mild) bowdlerization of some of the more self-consciously gratuitous "90s edgy" elements.
- A Day in the Limelight: Nearly every single person, being or background character from the classic TV series gets a chance to shine.
- Hidden Depths: To the point where one-note villains suddenly seem very sympathetic, and easily dismissed companions tend to gain entire lives around them.
- Writing Around Trademarks: While the Big Finish lines have been confirmed to be canon with the TV series, the BBC hasn't licensed all of the terms, events, and characters over. This barely slows the writers down, however, and several audioplays clearly reference events from the TV series; for instance, the "Dark Eyes" series never references the Last Great Time War, but clearly covers the opening volleys and battles. In 2015, said license expanded to include all characters and Doctors up until the Twelfth.