April 2014 gave us the return of Jago & Litefoot in a series loosely known as Jago & Litefoot on the run. Astute listeners will recall that at the end of Series 6 they defeated The Colonel only to end up accused of a plot to assassinate Queen Victoria! Lumme! How will our adventurers retain their freedom? Where will they run to? Who will help them?
Let’s find out …
First up is a Jonathan Morris tale The Monstrous Menagerie in which our heroes get the key to a house in Baker Street owned by Professor Dark (!). No sooner have they settled when they are approached by Conan Doyle who needs help. This is the time after Holmes has been killed off at Reichenbach and Conan Doyle is trying to move on …
What follows is a tongue in cheek romp in which we have time travel, dinosaurs, glowing dogs and a villain named Baskerville. Yes, we learn where Conan Doyle got all his ideas from for his future stories. Great entertainment and a crowd pleasing story.
James Goss gives us the second story in the boxset, Night of 1,000 Stars and this is also his Jago & Litefoot debut. This is a highly introspective story which finds a drunken and maudlin Jago hosting an evening show at the house in Baker Street with Litefoot, Ellie and a suddenly re-appeared Leela playing the various acts.
This gives plenty of chance for back-story as the characters examine their relationships and try to ward off a fiendish spirit. Be warned, not everything is as it seems.
Although this is an original tale it suffers, for me, from being the second story. I have found in recent boxsets that the second story is always detachable from the rest and I also ended up thinking so what when I got to the end. Plenty of others loved it so don’t be put off by my view, please
Back to more traditional ground with The Murder at Moorsey Manor by Simon Barnard and Paul Morris (who created The Scarifyers as heard on Radio 4 Extra and available from Bafflegab).
Our intrepid investigators of the infernal are in disguise as Holmes fans invited to Moorsey Manor. Here they meet other Holmes fans who become victims of an Agatha Christie style set of murders, very much in the style of And Then There Were None. Knowing the ending of the Christie does leave the listener spotting the murderer but that aside this is a great and authentic tale of gruesome murder spiced with droll humour and ingenuity. No aliens, time travel or ghosts required; our heroes do unfortunately end up arrested …
Finally, and traditionally, Justin Richards brings things to a close with Wax Princess. Arrested by Inspector Abberline we are suddenly in a Jack the Ripper story that leads back not only to Jago’s beloved theatre but also to the Queen!
With the help of Ellie and Sgt Quick we are treated to sinister goings on, evil wax dummies, sundry murders and all this before the Queen gets rescued. This leads to a royal pardon and a beer at the Red Tavern. All would end well but wait, who’s this waiting in the wings desperate to audition for the stage? Could it be… [spoiler]The Scorchies!!! (I jest ye not!)[/spoiler]
I of course look forward to series 8 and beyond! If you haven’t a copy of your own the Big Finish product page is an essential next stop!