The format allows the writers to tell stories about the first three Doctors who are sadly no longer with us. The actors reading the story give us impressions of their voices, as well as those of the companions, with variable results but we get the general idea.
So I listened to a number of short stories before moving on to Project: Lazarus. The Short Trips were Neptune, Lepidoptery for Beginners, The Little Drummer Boy, The Switching and Lant Land.
I originally intended to go into greater detail about each story, and the writers and actors involved but it was actually quite hard to find that information on the Big Finish site. All of these stories were bonus content released with other main range releases in my subscription. Instead let me say that these "enhanced" audio-books are not to my liking. I much prefer the full cast audio ranges which I am so addicted to at the moment. I listened to these five stories in the car and they were just like aural wallpaper to me. Once or twice the quality of the impersonation stood out and impressed me, and I wish I could name-check the actors involved, but the stories themselves just passed me by.
More impressive is another short story in my downloads basket that I may have listened to when it first came out in September 2009. Mission of the Viyrans by Nicholas Briggs and directed by Barnaby Edwards. Peri and The Fifth Doctor are having a fine time on a massive party planet but something is seriously wrong. Peri finds herself a prisoner of the mysterious Viyrans and struggling with her imprecise memories of what happened. I mention Peri first because this is a very Doctor light story. Peter Davison appears briefly but this is mainly an encounter between Peri and the Viyrans.
I was immediately much more engaged with this story and it was quite a neat one with a clever central idea. The Viyrans were created by Nick Briggs and I am tempted to chase down their other appearances in Big Finish, but I'm going to stick to Evelyn and the Forge for the moment. My only problem with this short story was that it needed an epilogue to explain the plot twists which probably should have been clearer in the main story.
Mission of the Viryans gets 3 out of 5 memory probes, whereas the above group of Short Trips gets 2 out of 3 original Doctors. The audiobooks are just not my thing.