Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

Jago and Litefoot Series 2

I'm totally delighted with Big Finish's rediscovery of Jago and Litefoot, two incidental characters from the 1977 story The Talons of Weng-Chiang. Jago is a down-at-heel theatre manager, Litefoot a police pathologist, and together they fight strange occurrences in late Victorian London. Big Finish brought the original actors (Christopher Benjamin and Trevor Baxter) back together for a one-off story in 2008; it was so successful that they commissioned a series of four plays released last year (download or CD) and another has just come out. The plays are almost entirely without reference to Doctor Who continuity, so can be enjoyed by anyone who wants something slightly steampunkish or vaguely Gothic.

I enjoyed the latest set of stories (again, download or CD) every bit as much as I had hoped. Big Finish have commissioned some of the best Who spinoff fiction writers for this project, all of them with solid records of novels and audios behind them. Also, I felt that the four stories hung together rather well despite being by four different authors, with a coherent plot arc (give that it is on the published synopsis, I think I can reveal that it involves vampires) which goes through the necessary permutations and then comes together satisfactorily at the end - indeed, I thought it worked better than the first series did.

The best of the four for me was the third, Jonathan Morris's The Theatre of Dreams, which does a bit of tampering with the fourth wall (if an audio play can be said to have a fourth wall) as well as paying homage to Jago's supposed theatrical roots. I am increasingly impressed with Jonathan Morris, who also contributed a lovely C.S. Lewis / Tolkien homage to last month's Doctor Who Magazine. Mark Morris's The Necropolis Express also has some gloriously creepy scene-setting (and I find that, although the real Necropolis Train Company ran south to Brookwood from Waterloo, there was also a northbound funeral train line from King's Cross to New Southgate). Apparently the two Morrises are not related. For completelness, the other two plays are Litefoot and Sanders by the prolific Justin Richards, and The Ruthven Inheritance by Andy Lane who did an earlier Who/Holmes crossover.

I regret to say that I was spoilered for the twist at the end of the fourth play by a Wikipedia page which I thought was on a completely unrelated subject, and which I looked at only a day after the four plays were released for downloading; so the Wikipedia contributor responsible must have worked pretty fast to deprive me of some of my pleasure in listening. But I am no longer surprised when I am reminded that Wikipedia's values are different from my own.
Tags: doctor who, doctor who: jago and litefoot, doctor who: spinoff audio, writer: andy lane, writer: jonathan morris, writer: justin richards, writer: mark morris
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