Caroline John – the Last Post

The busy month of October included amongst its many releases this poignant gem featuring Caroline John in her last outing as Liz Shaw. Sadly Caroline passed away before this was released which adds to the layered meaning of the title.

I present my usual whirlwind review with a postscript.

The Story

This is the second story for James Goss in this season of Companion Chronicles due to the Time Museum having been pulled forward from the anniversary to open the run. Before writing this I carried out a quick search for all my reviews featuring James’s work; to date I have always enjoyed his writing and this is no exception.

The title plays on the meaning of Last Post the bugle call played in final salute to the fallen or last post as in the final letter received by those about to die.

James Goss expertly weaves a tale that not only threads through most if not all of the Liz Shaw stories as seen on TV but also widens her family out to include her mother. It transpires that Liz’s mother Emily is member of a committee whose members keep dying after they get a certain letter in the post stating their time of death. It turns out that a computing device (with a great link back to an earlier story – no spoiler) calculates the end of the world from data. There are also scorpions that bend time-lines and a mad scientist.

The Production

Lisa Bowerman once again directs excellently, Caroline John’s performance is very natural and there is a terrific turn from Rowana Cooper as Emily Shaw, Liz’s mother. So much fun was clearly had that a sequel was referred to in the CD extras and was in progress at the time of Caroline’s death.

Postscript

It is natural to feel disappointment that there will be no more Liz Shaw but I feel a better way to mark her time is to be pleased for what we have had.

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