If you missed the two special Sixth Doctor releases at the end of last year, you may not realise that Henry Gordon Jago and Professor George Litefoot accompanied the Doctor on his travels and were left back in London rather later than they thought – but the psychedelic colours on the box set and the groovy new version of the theme tune are a rather large clue!
It’s an experiment that on the whole is successful: it’s very much a homage to Adam Adamant Lives! (the 1960s show starring Gerald Harper, produced by Doctor Who’s Verity Lambert, which saw an Edwardian adventurer unfrozen in the middle of the swinging Sixties), with Litefoot running a bookshop, and Jago stepping into Leonard Sachs’ shoes as the master of ceremonies for a version of The Good Old Days. Both are used as catalysts for adventures, with the pair’s own history the partial cause of the others. There’s a different slant on a number of elements of the series which help to give it a new life.
We get the inevitable 1960s name dropping – Andy Warhol, Morecambe & Wise etc. (although obviously in this version of history, Tony Hancock didn’t head off to Australia!) – and some of the iconography of the period is plundered, sometimes in more subtle ways than others. The pair are aided by Ellie, as well as Duncan Wisbey returning as Sacker (sort of), and Justin Richards provides a neat little mirror of the plot beats of The Talons of Weng-Chiang for the final story, The Last Act.
It’s made clear very early on that the daring duo are going to get back to their proper time and place – eventually – but this makes for a very different series of adventures. Congratulations to the team for pulling it off.
Verdict: Jago & Litefoot as you’ve never heard them before! 8/10