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Welcome to Episode 193…

The News

We have a new composer! Murray Gold has been turfed out via the back door and new guy Segun Akinola has been drafted in to not only compose the incidental score but also put a new theme together. Best of luck!

Merch Corner

More new Torchwood is on the way as Big Finish announce Series 6: God Among Us, a new audiobook from the BBC, The Caves of Androzani, read by Peter Davison is due for release this November and also coming this November, a new documentary DVD from Reeltime Pictures: The Doctors: Villains!

“Warriors of Kudlak” Review

Snarly aliens, shady laster tag owner and plenty of investigatory action all feature in this story. We’ve been big fans of SJA thus far so does this one keep the momentum going or are we fooled into a false sense of security like Kudlak and his AI Mistress?

Thank you for joining us for 193. Next week it’s classic Who and the Seventh Doctor is back for Dragonfire. Have a grrrrrrreat week and until next time – Allons-y!

Welcome to Episode 192…

The News

This year’s San Diego Comic Con will see the first panel featuring the new cast and producers from the new series of Who. Can we expect a trailer?

Merch Corner

The fan fiction book The Temporal Logbook II: Further Journeys is out now with all proceeds going to charity; Robert Harrop preview the Second Doctor and K9 and the Series 11 dvd and blu rays are already up for pre-order!

“The Impossible Planet” Review

Often viewed as a cool story within a mediocre series (not our opinion of course), it’s about time we tackled this creepy two-parter. An enjoyable one or are we watching through the gaps in our fingers?

Thank you for joining us for 192. Next week we’re back to The Sarah Jane Adventuress and Warriors of Kudlak. Have a great week and until next time – Allons-y!

Welcome to Episode 191…

The News

Australian comedian Rob Lloyd is taking is Who-themed comedy show Who, Me. tour across the UK.

Merch Corner

A collection of the Lethbridge-Stewart novels from Candy Jar Books are available for free this weekend on Kindle, there’s new Who Talk commentaries for The Massacre and Revenge of the Cybermen and Eaglemoss are offering 17% off for Fathers Day with code FATHER17.

“Torchwood – Ghost Machine” Review

We’re loving the excuse to watch Torchwood as we review these stories. Ghost Machine certainly has some dark undertones but is it entertaining enough to keep us engaged or do we switch off and watch Ghostbusters instead?

Thank you for joining us for 191. Next week it’s modern Who and that cheeky Tenth Doctor is back for our review of The Impossible Planet. Until then have a great week and until next time – Allons-y!

Welcome to Episode 190…

The News

All of Who since 2005 is on iPlayer, Big Finish makes their first steps towards digital-only releases and the BBC close the legendary Maida Vale Studios.

Merch Corner

Jenny – The Doctor’s Daughter out now from Big Finish, the 10th Doctor story Infamy of the Zaross is coming on vinyl as an HMV exclusive and we bring you the details regarding Class coming from Big Finish this August.

“The Masque of Mandragora” Review

We put this story off last month but it’s back and the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane are ready to get stuck into this sort-of-historical. It’s wizardry and superstition vs science in this series 14 four-parter. We into this or are we pulled down by Mandragora Helix energy?

Thank you for joining us for 190. Next week it’s the Torchwood story Ghost Machine. Until then have a great week and until next time – Allons-y!

I’ve been looking forward to a 7th Doctor series from Titan. Over the past few years, we’ve had decent releases featuring, at first, the modern Doctors until they ventured into classic territory with the likes of the Fourth and Eighth Doctors notably. I’ve grown to love the 7th Doctor and, coupled with news that two writers from the classic series itself, Andrew Cartmel and Ben Aaronovitch would be running the show, it’s great to finally get the story.

The main characters are, as you’d expect, right here to enjoy and seamlessly plucked straight out of McCoy’s tv era. The Doctor and Ace are presented to us in a way that feels at home with the tv show. It “feels” very Series 25. Andrew Cartmel is on writing duty and if you’ve watched McCoy’s era plenty of times you get the same feel from this that equals his overseeing of the show. Although the medium sometimes suggests you need to be direct and in your face, Cartmel’s story is mysterious and timey-wimey. It has a sense of intrigue that made the classic series fun to watch with the Doctor playing the investigator with aplomb.

The alternate cover for Doctor Who - The Seventh Doctor: Operation Volcano
The alternate cover for Doctor Who – The Seventh Doctor: Operation Volcano

Although this is a double-issue in terms of single comic releases, Cartmel manages to take us to different places in space and time with ease and you get a sense of “this feels timey-wimey but I can’t wait for the next issue”. I’m not left feeling my brain has been taxed too much but I feel like there a lot more to this story. Although there are no high-impact action scenes (with the exception of a small case of fisty cuffs involving Ace) the level of suspense builds. There’s a lot of elements here that make a crackin’ Who story; mysterious alien ships, military units working alongside the Doctor, conspiracies, controlling alien snake-things and a sprawling story.

The story kicks off with Ace, in 1967, about to burn or destroy something that we’re not yet privy to. We’re then thrust to 2029 where a team of astronauts come across a huge alien craft that also pops up in the story as the reason why the Doctor is summoned to help Group Captain Gilmore. Fans of Remembrance will know him well. He’s driving the military aspect of the story and his stern attitude and no-nonsense approach is instantly recognisable. Other characters include Prof. Rachel Jensen, also plucked from Remembrance and provides the scientific aspect, Australian and British military and a suspect looking Aboriginie.

The setup and continued intrigue into the alien craft definitely works here. Akin to many stories from the classic era, we’ve not as yet got to the “big reveal” of who and what these aliens are. The tech seems very advanced and the sheer size of the ship is immense. We’re only seeing small parasitic aliens at this point in the overall story but that only leaves you wanting more

The idea of two time zones (1967 and 2029) linked somehow by a central character (Gilmore) makes you want issue 2 to hurry up and get here. As mentioned earlier, seeing the Doctor and Ace team up with Gilmore does have shades of The Doctor and the Brigadier about it. The “supporting cast”, as it were, consisting of military and Australian locals, all seem to move along with The Doctor as you’d expect. What turns out to be a mission of mystery is soon rumbling along nicely thanks to The Doctor and his alien tech, mesmerising the other characters.

Captain Gilmore meets The Doctor and Ace again
Captain Gilmore meets The Doctor and Ace again

The Doctor and Ace have been written perfectly into this story. For the most part, they’re not actually in it as much as you’d expect. This is what encapsulates Cartmel’s wring and Aaronovich’s production. This isn’t something The Doctor has instigated. It isn’t one of those stories that sees the TARDIS land somewhere and The Doctor’s “spider senses” going off with the smell of something not being right. The Doctor and Ace were requested to assist by Rachel and Gilmore. They are along for the ride for most of the story, allowing the events to unfold. It isn’t until the story picks up halfway through that The Doctor steps up and takes charge. His little quips are spot on and Ace oozes her usual street-cred intensity. It’s definitely a comic where the voices of the actors from the tv show sound perfect in your head as you’re reading.

Artwork provided by Christopher Jones is for the most part doing the business. The likeness to the main characters is pretty much all there, especially The Doctor and Gilmore. Ace is mostly there but something about her character art I feel isn’t quite nailed. Also, I would have liked to have seen something a bit more adventurous with panel layout as it seems a little paint by numbers at times. For the most part, it’s very well done though and satisfies lovers of McCoy’s era.

Overall this first step into The Seventh Doctor’s world from Titan is a success. Cartmel and Aaronovich seem to have stepped backed into writing stories for McCoy like it was yesterday. The slightly slower pace coupled with the spot on writing for the main characters makes you feel like this could have been a legitimate episode(s) slotted into Series 25 or 26. I’m really looking forward to part two.

Score: 7.5 out of 10

The Seventh Doctor: Operation Volcano – Part One is on sale in the UK on 6th June from Forbidden Planet.

It was May 2009 when the well-loved pair of infernal investigators, Jago & Litefoot graced our hears and speakers with a Companion Chronicles release, The Mahogany Murderers. That title proved to be a pilot, so successful was it that a year later it was announced that the pair would be getting their own spin-off range. Since then, the dynamic duo has faced down villainous doctors, werewolves, the Scorchies, The Master and a whole other plethora of paranormal paraphernalia. Jago & Litefoot even saw the return of Leela and the Sixth Doctor, they travelled to Venus and back to the lost colony of Roanoke before being accidentally stranded in the sixties. And then Strax turned up on their doorstep, followed by an adventure with the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors. Jago & Litefoot have been around the block, we’ve all enjoyed their adventures. But every adventure must come to an end.

Henry Gordon Jago finds himself celebrating New Year’s Eve alone. Where has Professor George Litefoot gone? With the help of their old friends, Ellie Higson, Inspector Quick and Professor Betterman, the gang try to find their friend. But when things start to go wrong and people begin to disappear, Jago finds himself very much alone. All except for a mysterious snow globe…

Jago & Litefoot Forever
Jago & Litefoot Forever

Following the tragic passing of Trevor Baxter last year, the future of the Jago and Litefoot range was up in the air. There were still a couple of Short Trips’ releases and a further series to enjoy but what about after that? Future series’ had already been planned but not recorded. How would the range be brought to a satisfying close?

That question fell to Paul Morris to answer. Luckily he was up to the challenge and Jago & Litefoot Forever proves to be a very satisfying conclusion to one of Big Finish’s best series.

What Jago & Litefoot Forever proves to be is a memorial release and as such there are several flashbacks and memory flashes to give Trevor Baxter a time to shine. But these sequences are more than just an excuse to put Trevor Baxter in the show as Morris turns them into vital parts of the overall plot. Jago is reminded by Betterman that, with his faltering mind, the best way to hang on, is to remember the best moments of his life. These moments are of course those shared with Litefoot and so he takes centre stage in the shining recollections of his dearest friend. What was also glorious was that the story takes the gang back to the Museum of Curiosity and they all get to have a trip down memory lane with little snippets from other stories coming and going. It all serves as a reminder to us listener how close this gang have become over their years of investigations and intrigue.

With Series 13 having ended on a cliff-hanger which Forever addresses and ties itself into proving to be a resolution to that story. Of course, a one-hour runtime isn’t enough to delve into it properly but it does a brilliant enough job anyway. Morris mines his script for every possible emotional moment and Christopher Benjamin is just superb as he instils a feeling of humility to the bombast and pride usually associated with Jago.

As well as Christopher Benjamin and Trevor Baxter taking one last bow, the entire cast of Jago & Litefoot come out for their curtain call. Lisa Bowerman, long associated with Bernice Summerfield has found another character to shine in, in the form of barmaid Ellie Higson. Conrad Asquith has been excellent as Inspector Quick and David Warner is always a welcome presence in anything in his in. Take a bow all you beautiful people.

The final scenes are where the tears and heartstrings will be tugged at. Arriving at Buckingham Palace to receive knighthoods for their heroics in the recent years, Jago and Litefoot are expecting a small celebration with their close friends, Ellie, Quick and Betterman. Little do they know that some other familiar faces have come too. Louise Jameson pops up as Leela and Colin Baker makes an appearance as the Sixth Doctor. These moments are beautifully written. Jago wonders if the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors are there too, while Litefoot ponders on whether the Master is going to make an appearance.

Jago & Litefoot Forever might not have been the finale for the series that Big Finish had envisioned as it felt like a series that would thrive forever. And despite the fact that he is now travelling the universe in the big TARDIS in the sky, Trevor Baxter’s presence oozes over this story, almost like his shadow is always there, smiling down on anyone who listens. Well done everyone, Trevor would be so proud.

RATING 10/10

Synopsis

Jago & Litefoot Forever by Paul Morris

Henry Gordon Jago finds himself celebrating New Years’ Eve without his best friend. Where has Litefoot gone? Together with his friends Ellie, Quick, and Dr Luke Betterman, Jago is on the trail of the missing professor and dear friend – and it will lead to one of the strangest cases in their infernal investigations…

The Jago & Litefoot Revival by Jonathan Barnes

Tonight’s lecture to the Club For Curious Scientific Men will be given by Professor George Litefoot, pathologist – assisted by his esteemed colleague Mr Henry Gordon Jago, theatrical impresario – who will recount a sequence of outlandish events in London and Greece, ruminate upon the nature of good fortune (or rather its absence), and provide a surprising account of a mercurial old friend.

The lecture starts at 7:30 and will include an interval.

(This release contains both parts of downloadable Short Trip Doctor Who – Short Trips: The Jago & Litefoot Revival, as well as a disc of interviews)

Written By: Paul Morris
Directed By: Lisa Bowerman

Cast

Christopher Benjamin (Henry Gordon Jago), Trevor Baxter (Professor George Litefoot), Lisa Bowerman (Ellie Higson), Conrad Asquith (Inspector Quick), Louise Jameson (Leela), Colin Baker (The Doctor), Rowena Cooper (Queen Victoria), David Warner (Dr Luke Betterman), Jamie Newall (Aubrey), Stephen Critchlow (Sir Humphrey Eagleton / Charlie Lucas)

Producer David Richardson
Script Editor Justin Richards
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs

Welcome to Episode 189…

Hey, Who fans! I’m joined by a special guest co-host this week… Phil from the Who’s He Podcast chats all things Who and Sarah Jane so a big thank you for stepping in. Go and check out Phil’s show now (site, iTunes and YouTube), a fabulous Who podcast that’s we’ve listened to for many-a-year.

The News

500 episodes from Classic Who, starting with An Unearthly Child, kicked off on Twitch this week and Class is returning this August via Big Finish featuring Ace!

Merch Corner

Fan made ezine Whotopia issue 32 is out now and issue 526 of Doctor Who Magazine featuring Tom Baker drops this week.

“Eye of the Gorgon” Review

We’re back on to The Sarah Jane Adventures this week. More of an adult-themed story this one. Does it affect our good run of positive reviews or are Phil and I feeling a little nunned off?

Thank you for joining us for 189 and to my special co-host Phil from the Who’s He Podcast. Next week we’re looking at the 4th Doctor story we were meant to cover last month – The Masque of Mandragora. Have a super week and until next time – Allons-y!