Assorted Jago and Litefoot audio stories from Big Finish- In case you haven’t heard of the, these are two beloved characters from the classic Doctor Who story The Talons of Weng Chiang set in the late 1800s. Henry Gordon Jago runs a theater, and is so lovable I can’t imagine anyone not wanting to hug him. His bravado masks fears and insecurities, but beneath that is a truely brave and good soul. Professor George Litefoot is a pathologist, but wins the audience’s affections simply by the polite and kind way he deals with having dinner with the Doctor’s “savage” companion Leela. When offered meat instead of cutting off a slices she picks it up to gnaw the whole hunk and Litefoot, while surprised, goes with it, copying her. And the audience goes “Awwww.” Big Finish got the actors back after all these years to return to the characters in new audio stories.
Mom adores the guys, so while I will never catch up with the rest of Big Finish since my 2013 cold turkey experience, we recently caught up with Jago and Litefoot. We spent a month listening to sets 6- 12 plus a couple they did with the fourth (Tom Baker) Doctor. So that’s about thirty stories! I can’t possibly discuss them all.
Basically, the series is as variable as any series, but the two guys are so endearing that they elevate everything. There are some particularly wonderful stories, and there are also things that don’t quite work for me. Take in the last set Ellie as villian. Ellie is a barmaid friend of their’s who had this whole “being a vampire” thing (it happens) she’s been semi cured of until the Master showed up (it happens) and among other things he revealed the fact Jago killed her brother (it happens). So she has villian powers and a motivation to turn on her heroes….and it just doesn’t work for me. Some of the stories on that set were great but I wasn’t sold abrupt “good ol’ Ellie becomes kill anyone monster” or the resolution. Maybe if it had just been a “kill Jago and Litefoot monster”….
But never mind, an unconvincing bit of arc or a wobbly story once in a while are fine. Many are actually excellent. Basically, the series is as variable as any series, but the two guys are so endearing that they elevate everything.
“That’s my trouble, Litefoot.” “What?” “I’m not awfully–well I’m not so bally brave when it comes to it. I try to be, but I’m not.” “If it comes to it I don’t suppose anybody is.” “Well I thought I ought to tell you anyway. In case I let the side down.” “You won’t, Henry. I know you won’t.”
Companion sketch #30: Investigators of infernal incidents and Machiavellian machinations, Mr. Henry Gordon Jago & Professor George Litefoot. Associates of several incarnations of the Doctor, and briefly companions of the 6th.
(Keen-eyed followers might notice I’ve recycled the line art from my old “Baker Street Justice Society” pic. Much as I’d love to do 100% new art for Jago & Litefoot, the list of companions I’m covering is 121 names long. Sue me.) ;)