The Justice of Jalxar reviewed

Big Finish released the April Fourth Doctor Adventure The Justice of Jalxar in March 2013 to allow people to have it ahead of Big Finish Day 3. This John Dorney story was set in Victorian London and gave us a reunion of the Fourth Doctor with Jago and Litefoot. Apart from missing young Ellie Higson this was a full Jago and Litefoot tale and was action packed with plenty of supporting cast.

If you don’ have time to read this whole review, rest assured that this is a very good story. If you do then read on and mind the spoilers!

The Plot

From the Big Finish product page:

They call him The Pugilist.

It is the dawn of a new century and a vigilante is on the loose. The scourge of the criminal underclass. The saviour of the virtuous and the protector of the weak. The police are baffled, the public enamoured…  but Professor George Litefoot and Henry Gordon Jago are on the case. Or at least they will be when they’ve finished their beer.

What is the source of The Pugilist’s spectacular supernatural powers? Is he alone in his noble quest? And what is his connection to the spate of corpses discovered around London?

As they descend further into a nefarious netherworld, the infernal investigators may be out of their depth. They’re going to need help if they’re to get out of this alive. The help of an old friend and his new assistant. The help… of the Doctor and Romana.

This is a fast-moving plot involving The Pugilist, his otherworldly assistant The Justice machine (rebuilt by Bobby Stamford), Mary the pickpocket (whom Bobby cares for) and the Underworld in the form of gang-leader Harvey Marsh and his side-kick Stone.

Criminals are dying but meanwhile the Doctor and Romana are looking for a crashed spaceship. In pursuing the  Pugilist our heroes are captured, the women (Roman and Mary) taken hostage and the men (The Doctor, Jago and Litefoot) lined up for a firing squad!

Meanwhile the ruthless executioner the Justice from Jalxar wants to kill anyone who is guilty of a crime – and we are all guilty of something!

The action keeps up to the end and there are many deft touches all the way through. The story is a delight.

The Production

Not only do we have Tom Baker, Mary Tamm, Trevor Baxter and Christopher Benjamin in their usual roles but the rest of the cast are top-notch. This is set some time after the boxsets and avoids the direct mention of Jago & Litefoot meeting up with Leela and the Sixth Doctor, as well as travelling in the TARDIS. It also leaves the door open for future meet-ups with the Fourth Doctor (and presumably other incarnations).

The wider cast include Mary Brown the pickpocket played with great emotion by Rosanna Miles (Recorded Time, Paradoxicide and A most Excellent Match); Mark Goldthorp as Bobby Stamford (Sarah Jane Adventures and Foe from the Future) made a wonderful mild-mannered cabbie (with glasses and Clark Kent hair in a great nod from John Dorney), Adrian Lukis as the evil Harvey Marsh (Counter Measures – Artificial Intelligence, Children of Seth and Cobwebs) and finally newcomer Ben Bishop as Stone. All were great as was Ken Bentley’s direction – Lisa Bowerman needs to watch out!

Final Thoughts

This is an early candidate for release of the year (2013) and I have to say this series of the 4DA has exceeded my expectations.

What do you think?

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