Last month’s The Jago and Litefoot Revival: Act One was a real treat for fans of classic and modern Doctor Who alike, as it brought two of the most beloved of the Fourth Doctor’s buddies together with the Tenth Doctor. In a killer twist – look away now if you haven’t caught up yet - we learned that none other than the Eleventh Doctor was involved in this unlikely team-up, as well! So does this second part match up to the heights of the first?
Short answer: yes, completely. The joy of having the past and (near) present of the show collide is doubled as both Jago and Litefoot are paired with their own modern Doctor. Writer Jonathan Barnes mines the odd couples for some great moments of comedy, as the Victorian adventurers are either perplexed by their old friends’ new manner or confused by his very modern speech patterns.
On the story side of things, Barnes has embraced the idea of dropping Jago and Litefoot into the sort of plot that wouldn’t be out of place in the 21st century TV series. In line with many an episode written by, say, Steven Moffat, the foe is a high-concept monster that feeds off some conceptual energy. Moreover, it is also revealed when exactly this adventure comes during the life of one of the Doctors, which makes for a poignant moment that will definitely leave a lump in your throat.
Act One rather favoured Trevor Baxter as Litefoot, as he had to do most of the heavy-lifting as both his own character and the Tenth Doctor, but this time around it is absolutely Christopher Benjamin who steals the show. Jago is on top form in this episode, and Benjamin clearly relishes wrestling with the various alliterative tongue-twisters. For my money, Barnes gives him one of the best ever descriptions of the Doctor when Jago calls him “that mercurial many-faced magus”.
With some stellar writing, a winning combination of characters and, of course, a pair of cracking voice performances, Act Two ensures that The Jago and Litefoot Revival has to be the strongest of Big Finish’s Short Trips range to date. Here’s hoping for Act Three, where a certain Northern fella in a leather jacket turns up…
THE JAGO AND LITEFOOT REVIVAL - ACT TWO / DIRECTOR: LISA BOWERMAN / WRITER: JONATHAN BARNES / STARRING: TREVOR BAXTER, CHRISTOPHER BENJAMIN / PUBLISHER: BIG FINISH / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW