Mannequin Madness in Victorian London (Mahogany Murderers reviewed)

I start this review of the Companion Chronicles Series 3 Story 11 The Mahogany Murderers featuring Jago & Litefoot with a confession. Having been getting into Big Finish for the last three of four years, this was the first Jago & Litefoot I had listened to!

Confession to one side, I also only got hold of this (and series 1) through some sales. I have also subscribed to the 2012 specials releases so will also get to the two Voyage stories. Hopefully this will begin to redress the shortfall in my listening.

“What did I think of this story?” I feel you asking through the internet; click on past the break and I’ll tell you!

The Story

Jago and Litefoot meet up in an alehouse in which they are ably served beer by Ellie Higson, played with great enthusiasm by Lisa Bowerman who also directs, this being a Companion Chronicle. Here they take it in turns to narrate the events of the previous few hours in which they have singly yet jointly taken on a gang of murderous thieves who escaped prison by being reincarnated in life-size and life-like mahogany mannequins intent upon the future conquest of no less than the British Empire!

Thankfully our heroes prevail against these foes perilous and having renewed their friendship following the events of The Talons of Weng-Chian (reviewed here) we feel poised for the unleashing of further adventures.

The Production

Christopher Benjamin (Henry Gordon Jago) and Trevor Baxter (Professor George Litefoot) are astonishingly on the money recreating parts they played 32 years earlier. According to the extras they hadn’t even stayed in touch yet the chemistry is intact and from the interaction in the extras, genuine. In the world of Companion Chronicles this also features three people not two and doesn’t feature the Doctor at all.

The story is of its time and leaves plenty of scope to get the duo back for what turns out to be at least seven boxsets and two specials with the Sixth Doctor. They also get to re-join Leela for some of this. The unusual parallel narrative gives the listener plenty of time to enjoy two people re-forging their relationship and works well in this story though I imagine it would get a bit annoying if every story were told this way. I can’t imagine Ace and Hex for example managing to narrate a whole tale this way. Alan Lane deserves credit for the writing and I note he has written a lot more for J&L to which I look forward.

Conclusion

A really decent story and a return for two well realised characters that have since made a niche for themselves. I have  the boxset for Series 1 so expect some more reviews at some point!

Any thoughts from anyone else?

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