Big Finish has been expanding their Whoniverse since gaining access to characters and elements from Doctor Who's Modern Era, like River Song, the new UNIT and Torchwood. Now, ten years after her initial appearance, we finally have the long-awaited return of the Doctor's daughter herself, Jenny, as she sets out to explore the universe and make her father proud. In retrospect, The Doctor's Daughter was a run-of-the-mill episode that was greatly helped by Georgia Tennant's spirited performance, which helped give Jenny a personality despite little character development. Now, some time has passed since that episode and Jenny has been zipping about all over the place and getting into scrapes, which is exactly what this whole box set is really about: the escapes of Jenny and her companion Noah continuously getting into sticky situations. Despite being as much the adventurer her father was, she lacks the expertise and knowledge that has long benefited the Doctor, so it's fascinating to have a young female clone of him trying to solve problems and commune with new friends despite being perhaps a few days or weeks old.
This creates a lot of potential for Jenny's character as she's constantly learning how to approach situations, adjust her manners and face her enemies. Plus, she even gets her own companion in Noah, who's pretty much a blank slate; an outsider with no memory of who or what he is, which creates an interesting new dynamic as both characters are learning from each other. All of this is set up in the opening story Stolen Goods by Matt Fitton, which sees the return of Stuart Milligan's Paul Lyde-sounding, frog-man hybrid Garundel as he tries to con Jenny out of her spaceship until she crosses paths with Noah, and together they set out on their adventures whilst also being on the run from the cyborg known as the COLT-5000. This establishes the lighthearted tone for what is to come in this set, and continues on in John Dorney's Prisoner of the Ood, which sees a completely different side to the peaceful species, this time as a ruthless police force hunting down a criminal in modern 21st Century Earth. This story does lack the momentum felt in the first, so the pacing does feel sluggish; the supporting characters are blank slates, and there's not very much going on story-wise, which is disappointing considering it's Jenny encountering the Ood.
Neon Sign by Christian Brassington is not that much better. Yes, it can be creative and imaginative, but its deep political message is way too on the nose. Essentially, a sexist dragon forces women to stay at home to serve men who shoot themselves up on drugs all day, so the female empowerment message lacks any subtlety whatsoever and detracts from the drama. This is also a shame considering that we have Jenny going up against a dragon, but the actual explanation of the dragon is a massive letdown and makes no sense whatsoever. Things do improve again with the last story in the set, which is Zero Space by Adrian Poynton, and sees Jenny and Noah on a space station positioned within an area with nothing in it and manned by an army of 200 clones of the same two scientific people who run the place. This story does have a good handful of twists and turns in the story, and the cloning station provides a fitting backdrop for Jenny and Noah's climatic confrontation with the COLT-5000. Plus, that surprise cameo at the end was perfection.
Jenny - The Doctor's Daughter is a fun enjoyable romp with two great stories that bookend the set coupled with two less than memorable entries in the middle, so this release may not be one of Big Finish's finest outings, but is fun nevertheless. This does expand of Jenny's characterisation and make us root for her more than we did in her solo TV outing. Here, Jenny is allowed to be a fun character with lots of room to grow and evolve, and that is greatly helped by the sparky yet spirited Georgia Tennant who still manages to give Jenny real personality, as well as being both charming and likeable at the same time, plus she's helped by the equally likeable Sean Biggerstaff as Noah. It's thanks to these two leads that there is entertainment to be found, even if this set is a bit uneven in quality, but if Big Finish irons out the kinks and gives Jenny another series then there is real potential to become something that is quite extraordinary.