13.1: The Stuff of Nightmares by Paul Morris
Jago and Litefoot, the two spin off characters spawned by the Tales of Weng Chiang from the Doctor’s fourth tenure, are possibly the most entertaining of all the spin off creations of Big Finish have ever put out, and it continues to do the business, this see’s the two in their thirteenth release main range box set, re-visit that most special part of the past, that effectively gave birth to them all those 30 odd years ago. Morris as spun a rather clever drama here, with, the setup story of this four parter.
We start our adventure with Litefoot experiencing a rather unpleasant nightmare, one in which the roles of his relationship with Jago are reversed, and where he is to have an autopsy performed on him by Jago. Waking from this hell, it is not soon before we realise that this is all part of the plot. However, strange happening, a time agent who is killing suspects who may or may not have information over the late Magnus Greel are falling like flies. What is more it’s not so long before the time agent is on the trail of Jago and Litefoot, as she has discovered that they may be able to assist. Meanwhile Jago and Litefoot and Ellie are attending a psychiatrist in order to address the nightmare that they are all now having, only for this to be scuppered when the time agent arrives. However, the result is not a good one for either Jago or Litefoot as they both end up being transported to a parallel universe.
Wow, what a beginning on what promises to be a rather splendid release. All the required elements are here, and what is more Baxendale and Benjamin ably accompanied by Bowerman and Asquith are all there to make this a rip roaring release.
13.2: Chapel of Night by Jonathan Barnes
We continue our story with the two intrepid detectives of the infernal now trapped in a parallel world taking on the Chapel of the Night, an organisation that seems intent of comforting those that are in the midst of life threatening storm, one in which they are intent on taking their own lives. However, the Mrs Bartholomew is at hand to grab these poor souls from the brink with her Chapel of the Night and save, them, or is she. It would appear that her motives are somewhat at odds with her intent. Which soon becomes apparent, and, Jago and Litefoot have to enlist the help of Inspector Quick, whom coming from this parallel universe is equally at odds with the two as his recollection of them is not what is should be. It is good see however, that with their quick witted abilities they are able to unmask quite literally Mrs Bartholomew as a fraud, and put right as best they can after the damage that has occurred as been done.
Again I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and it made great gardening listening, a chore I do not particularly like that well, it made it pass in much more amicable way, and I really got into the story. I especially like the setup we have here of the character of Mrs Bartholomew, being taken over by something else that seemingly want to or needs a time travelling soul in order to bring back her master. Again it just leaves you wanting more
13.3: How The Other Half Lives by Matthew Sweet
How the other half live for me is the stand out story on this release? I literally loved the way that it is written so well done Matthew Sweet here on a first rate story. Firstly, the comedic manner in which Jago (of our time) is told that in this time he is married to an itinerant Chinese orphan Xiu Xiu is so funny. Also it is rather amusing that we also learn that Jago is now working as torcher, a trade that somewhere forced to undertake to make ends meet (no pun intended), whereby they literally went through the effluent and waste of the masses of London town in order to perhaps find a discarded item of some worth in order for them to be able to live. Jago’s verbal explosion on finding out about this is wonderfully acted by Benjamin and shows why this series is just so good. He really does make the character alive with his ministrations over the shock of finding out what he does in this world. However, Xiu Xiu and Jago are up to no good, they want the Prof to stuff the giant Rat of Weng Chiang and then they will earn their fortune by displaying this as a freak show exhibit. However, the plan goes horribly wrong. As in this world the Litefoot is being ripped off by a scam of a nurse whom is supposed to be looking after him, only to be running a con with her boyfriend in Litefoot’s house. It soon comes to light that there are also the remains of Magnus Greel’s cabinet there, which, means that our Jago and Litefoot may have away home, however, there are too many stumbling blocks in their way. This is packed, packed with fun and a rather pacy story line that makes for a stunning story all round. As I have said this for me is the stand out one of the lot. Fantastic stuff.
13.4: Too Much Reality by Justin Richards
And so on to the last story in our four parter, something that is not so apparent with other Big Finish releases now utilising the three story format (what is that all about). Not only are our two still trapped, and seemingly have no way back, but now we are greeted with a parallel two investigators whom have saved them from the cabinet of Chiang, and in doing so lost their last potential escape plan in the shape of Aubrey and Betterman, as sort of more upmarket version of time travelling investigators but very much a mirror of the beloved two. (Personally have we had a reveal here of a spin off, of the spin off here who know, wait and see I think is the best comment I can make here) However with the wonderful David Warner and his sidekick Jamie Newell in toe this makes for a good if rather confusing story line. We have in fact now got all four in full play of the story line which is only adding to the need to “listen” to get the full story and its foibles. The story belts along with aliens being seen and bodies that are literally fading out of view in front of our eyes. This can only mean one thing it is a job for Aubrey and Betterman, Jago, Jago, Litefoot and Litefoot!!!! Ably assisted by Quick. The story however, does one massive thing, and allows us to get the two infernal investigators back into their own time and back where hopefully in the not too distant future we have release number 14 on our shelves or hard drives to listen to. This has been an absolute pleasure to listen too, and believe you me I have listened to this more times that I care to recall but never a chore. This has been one of those release that I know I will be coming back too time and time again as it is so good. Well done to all the cast, the writers the directors the producers. This is one of the finest creations out of the Big Finish stable and proves time and time again why I just cannot wait for that time of the year when these are released