Jago in Love (2012)

Jago and Litefoot return for a fourth series much to the delight of people like myself who think that this spin-off has been one of the most enjoyable that Big Finish have ever done. It’s possibly when the series might struggle because very few series have got this far. Gallifrey and Dalek Empire are quite different from how they began and it was going to be interesting to see how this series would be compared to the first three. Louise Jameson is still in Jago and Litefoot which wasn’t the plan originally and Jago in Love is the sixth story to feature Leela this year but that isn’t a complaint more a statement. The story does a nice thing of replaying a few moments of the previous story because it had been a while since I listened to Chronoclasm and it was good that this was included so that I had a vague idea of where the story was coming from. Sadly my first complaint is that there isn’t enough Colin Baker. I know we will get more in future stories but I’m an impatient soul and would like more please. Well the story sees Jago and Litefoot deal with vampires of a sort but it’s the setting which helped make this more than just a normal vampire story (as if there is such a thing in the Dr Who world!). Moving the story to Brighton helped create a different feel to the story. Much in the way an episode of Eastenders or something that is based in one town changes when they go somewhere different this is what happens in this story.

I also liked how the first half of the story seemed to be told in a flashback. We learn how the three characters go from London to Brighton and we also discover that Jago is as the title suggests in love. Also as the title suggests, the story is led by Christopher Benjamin and he is given the lion shares of the story and also of the dialogue. This means that Trevor Baxter is rather like a spare part and only really comes into the story when he becomes possessed. There was a moment when they talk about his face and the reaction from the people around show that this would have looked great on TV. That’s the thing about Jago in Love is that I think it doesn’t try and big itself up and by that I mean whereas I have always found the opening story of the previous three series to be arguably the best and most enjoyable I don’t think that same about this one. That isn’t to say I don’t like this but I think that they have been clever in not putting all their eggs in one basket, they are simply telling a good story and introducing a few nuggets of a story arc. The story spends a while building up the drama and it’s a while before it really goes bonkers and that’s when the story really shows what it’s made of. I did suspect that there was something odd about Abigail Woburn because… well there wouldn’t be any point in ruining a perfectly good partnership otherwise.

The performances in this are all very good. Christopher Benjamin manages to make his performance seem effortless and it was actually quite nice to see Litefoot genuinely happy for once and Benjamin showed that in this story. Baxter as I have mentioned had less to do but still managed to make it seem like his contribution was just as big as always. Louise Jameson was also side-lined and I think that 2012 is her year and whilst this isn’t possibly as strong as her other stories with the Fourth Doctor, I still think that the Leela we get in for Big Finish is superior to what we had on TV. I also thought that Elizabeth Counsell was very good as the love interest. I believed in her character and found that she was the perfect person to try and ‘ruin’ the relationship between Jago and Litefoot, the sort of person that Henry Gordon Jago would go for. Nigel Fairs is a writer that sometimes I think is ok and sometimes isn’t. I found Time Vampire to be very poor but I have to say that this is his best offering so far. I think that it’s a completely different opening story to what we have had in the past and Fairs’ script has managed to be entertaining and different from what we have had in the past. I wondered at the beginning whether the fourth series would be where the it loses steam and starts to go off the rails but I’m glad to say that the dynamic duo of the Victorian age are as on form as ever. I look forward to the remaining story with the same level of excitement that I had before Jago in Love.

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