The Justice of Jalxar (2013)

When Tom Baker joined Big Finish, one of the things that I was hoping for was a reunion between the Fourth Doctor and Jago and Litefoot. It would have been nice if it had been with Leela in either the first series or the next but actually listening to this it was good they did it with Romana as it gave the story a different dynamic. The story sees the Doctor, Romana, Jago and Litefoot on the case of a creature called the Pugilist and the Doctor is trying to get it off the Earth.

I was wondering where the story would rest in the Jago and Litefoot chronology. Baring in mind that we have had five series and two specials, a lot has happened since the events of ‘The Talons of Weng-Chiang’ and it I was looking forward to seeing whether any of those stories would be recognised. I thought that the story was a good one, I was hoping for something slightly more dramatic than what we got. But to be honest I wouldn’t have been happy unless we got a 90 minute special with Victorian London under. When you stop to think about it, your not going to get that in the middle of the series. The story does have the same vibe as The Talons of Weng Chiang and its plausible to believe that this story takes place 10 years after that story. I liked the idea of the Justician as someone who upholds the law on whatever planet is he on. His menace comes from needing someone on that planet inform him of the laws. I was thinking of the Red Dwarf episode ‘The Inquisitor’ which has the same sort of idea but funnier.

Mary Tamm does suffer in this story. Whereas in the previous stories she’s been quite involved in the plot (especially in the last two), here she is almost pedestrian. Jago and Litefoot are given all the good scenes and Romana. Tom Baker seems to be having fun going back to familiar ground with Jago and Litefoot. His good form continues in this series. Christopher Benjamin & Trevor Baxter are in the unusual situation where they aren’t the lead stars but they take this temporary demotion well and act like they usually do. I thought that Jago was at his funniest when he was travelling with Romana. It seemed right that Jago would travel with Romana and the Doctor would travel with Litefoot and George would be far more suited to what was going on that Henry. As a foursome they do work well together and the double acts were different but enjoyable.

As a Fourth Doctor adventure it’s perfectly fine. John Dorney and Big Finish assume that everyone knows ‘The Talons of Weng Chiang’ and so it doesn’t try and become a sequel and instead just refers to that story and gets on with this adventure. The Fourth Doctor’s reunion with Jago and Litefoot went just as well as it could have done. I cant say that it’s the best story of the series but there are things that I liked about this story and it’s one that I think will be better if I listened to it again in the future.

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