At the moment that Jago & Litefoot Series 2 ended we were surprised by the appearance of Leela. Having developed a strong identity for the series this could easily be a retrograde step and move the characters back into a science fiction milieu instead of the supernatural fantasy that it was becoming. With this reservation, let’s tuck into another feast with our favourite Victorian adventurers as they return in June 2011’s Series 3.
The four stories
We get to grips with the return of Leela in the Justin Richards story Dead Men’s Tales. Any doubts over the introduction of Leela immediately vanish and the chemistry between Louise Jameson and Lisa Bowerman’s Ellie Higson is wonderful. The one downside is that having Leela on-board does squeeze Ellie out but then she probably needs a rest after the events of Series 2!.
Back to the chemistry; I refer you to the following:
“Mild and Bitter.
Not only is it fun but it also sets up a future time traveller plot (Leela is tracking breeches in time with a view to closing them) along with the undead and the roughest pub in London. A great start
Next up is the Matthew Sweet story The Man at the End of the Garden. Every series of Jago & Litefoot seems to have one story which isn’t quite part of the arc – this time the honour falls to Matthew Sweet’s story. Having said it doesn’t really fit it is a well written, chilling tale which is a horror story about a little man who gives a young girl a magic book in which she can write stories that come true! Of course it all ends up in confrontation and much of the story happens in a house under attack by birds.
All very claustrophobic and a memorable ending
John Dorney takes the reigns with the beautiful story Swan Song which has immediately become one of my favourite of his stories. The story starts in the present and focusses on young, crippled scientist Alice and we learn that the theatre will be destroyed in World War II and rebuilt to be used for experiments in time travel. John Dorney avoids a happy ending / history re-written for the better and instead works in an emotional outcome.
I can’t recommend this single tale highly enough. It all ends with the imminent end of the world…
And it’s left for Andy Lane to finish the series with the wonderfully titled Chronoclasm. Giant metal spheres, a maniacal villain and Wendy Padbury. As the moment of chronoclasm approaches Henry Gordon Jago crosses his own timeline and two versions of him are required to save the day. Andy Lane takes us deep into the psyche of the villain and in stripping him back to his motives he gives the vehicle for his salvation but also diminishes his impact.
I am in two minds as to whether or not this could have been avoided, but the main thing is the day is saved and everything is resolved. Or is it? Leela’s time ring does not work and just who is Claudius Dark?
I didn’t expect to enjoy this as much as I did but actually by the time it ended it became one of my many favourite Jago & Litefoot series. I had already heard Series 4 and was prepared to find this a mixed bag. I’m very pleased to say it isn’t!
Am I alone? What did others think? Let me know!