Review: Doctor Who: Big Finish Audio: 4th Doctor Adventures 2.4: The Justice of Jalxar

Justice of Jalxar, The coverArriving in late Victorian times, the Doctor and Romana need help from people with local knowledge – Henry Gordon Jago and Professor George Litefoot…

In these days of crossover TV episodes, we’ve got quite used to the format: the stars of another series make an appearance, usually shorn of much of the trappings of their own show, and make a contribution to proceedings that our normal heroes wouldn’t be able to match. It says a lot about how Jago & Litefoot has become part of the recognised Big Finish landscape that this is how this works: we are pretty much expected to know who the pair are (and that they continued their infernal investigations after The Talons of Weng-Chiang), and any annoying continuity problems are quickly sidestepped with a jump into their future (this is a decade beyond Talons), and a lack of mention, except possibly obliquely, of any other meetings between the pair and the Doctor.

There’s the expected confusion when Romana is accompanying the Doctor rather than Leela, and the combination of the prim and proper Time Lady with Jago works well. This is the young, still sometimes wet behind the ears incarnation of the future manipulative Machiavellian President of the Time Lords, and it makes a refreshing change to hear that persona interacting – John Dorney gives Mary Tamm plenty to do (a hallmark of this run of stories), as well as providing some little digs at Superman and Judge Dredd along the way. There’s perhaps a little bit of retconning in the Doctor’s description of his guilt (a point noted by a ten-year-old fan who thought that was much more the province of the 21st century Doctors), but Baker has a delightfully throwaway attitude to the situation which stops it being excessively soul-searching.

If you’ve not caught Jago & Litefoot’s own adventures, then you’re missing a treat; equally, if you listen to this because of their involvement, then get hold of the other Baker/Tamm collaborations, because this is a great example of both.

Verdict: A pleasure to listen to.  8/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order The Justice of Jalxar from Big Finish

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