Jago & Litefoot Series 9 by Jonathan Morris, Justin Richards, Simon Barnard, Paul Morris (CD review)

May 22, 2015 | By | Reply More

If you can’t quite believe that ‘Jago & Litefoot’ has made it to Series 9 then join me in the gobsmacked department. Jago (Christopher Benjamin) and Litefoot (Trevor Baxter) have charmed the Big Finish viewers with the combination of a charismatic pair of actors who have outgrown their original characters and power through these boxed sets. This continual reinvention and a concentrated effort of finding new and intriguing stories to tell, freshens up the premise every time. This time around we are off into the unknown with a series of four adventures that entertain and challenge and, for Series 9, we are all at sea!

JagoAndLitefootS9CD

If this was TV, I would suspect that the writers fancied a change of scene and some outside filming. Audio may confine us to the studio but in our heads are away with Jago and Litefoot and their amazing infernal investigators on a cruise. Well, you do get to a certain age when cruising has its attractions. They leave behind their assistant and landlady of their local, Ellie, who is looking forward to the break from their constant pursuit of the odd and unusual and downright dangerous. The ship, Fata Morgana, offers a change of prospect and some fresh sea breezes which is shorthand for murder, mayhem and mystery.

  1. The Flying Frenchmen by Jonathan Morris

Unsurprisingly, there is a mystery and guess what it’s in the mist. What appears to be a normal sea mist envelopes the ship and time stands still. They are trapped and going in circles.

Worse than that, they meet another ship and it looks like it’s been in the most a long time. As is the nature of cruises there is also a widow in search of a new husband and, as Lady Danvers (Sarah Badel) circles barracuda-like, as the likely candidates considers their fate. Will they ever escape and which fate is worse?

It’s a nightmare but surely it’s not above the skill of the pertinacious pair to solve the mystery and exit the mist. For an entertaining hour, they ponder the imponderable. Not a huge amount happens and it’s all in the words and that creates the ship, the mist and what follows. Oh, and some lovely noises of the sea, too. You may get slightly sick.

2.The Devils Dicemen by Justin Richards

It’s time for Monte Carlo and there is something to be investigated and Henry Jago’s nose is slightly out of joint when Professor Litefoot makes a new friend, Doctor Luke Betterman (David Warner), who is happy to help him investigate another in a series of deaths who have apparently committed suicide. Henry makes a play for the tables with Aubrey the Purser (James Newall), but it’s not just his cash the House is after.

Typically, Jago is more than willing to put his life on the line and the mysterious Madam Diaboloque (Miranda Raison) is more than willing to take it.

  1. Island Of Death by Simon Barnard and Paul Morris

As the cruise continues to get curiouser and curiouser, the pair and their fellow passengers arrive at a remote island with evidence of a missing expedition. Lady Isobelle Danvers (Sarah Badel) and Mr Tibbs (Dan Starkey) accompany the duo and, when Lady D gets possessed, the team must find out quickly what the cause is before they are all lost or ‘Lost’ as this definitely has a hint of that popular show.

  1. Return Of The Nightmare Justin Richards

As the final episode reaches the dramatic denouement and explanation of the story arc, we get to decide if it was worth going on the cruise with Mr. Jago and Professor Litefoot. The stories are all linked and the final one brings us back to London in a way that no cruise is ever likely to.

As one of the passengers is brutally slain, another is forced to explain what is happening and if possible how to stop it. A story within a story is necessary at this point but it brings everything to a satisfactory conclusion with the coda setting up the next adventures.

What disappoints me about ‘Jago and Litefoot’ is the lack of the women taking any credible part in it. They seem to have been wiped out of this series. There are three or four characters who happen to be female and two who might be said to be significant. One is a merry widow who makes passes at our virginal boys and, as such, is the butt of much humour in the script. The other, Ellie (Lisa Bowerman), the landlady of the Red Tavern, has become a place-marking cockney who merely comments on the plot but does not take part. Ellie has been a fearless vampire and fearless woman in the past but, sadly, she has been edited to virtually nothing. Previous adventures also featured Leela, who at least provided a counterpoint to the endless male.

I was also a little disappointed by the ending and I was hoping that the series arc had more significance than it was afforded at the conclusion. It seemed like a big build-up for a relatively low key end. The series is set up for its next boxed set, of course, and the pair will continue and even a below par Jago and Litefoot is superior to many other products.

Sue Davie

May 2015

(pub: Big Finish. 5 CDs 300 minute 4 stories. Price: CD: ££35.00 (UK), Download: £30.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78178-359-7)

cast: Trevor Baxter, Christopher Benjamin, Conrad Asquith, Lisa Bowerman, Jamie Newall, David Charles, Sarah Badel, David Warner, Miranda Raison, Dan Starkey, Anthony Howell and Jonathan Coy

check out website: www.bigfinish.com

Category: Doctor Who, Music/Audio

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