We’ve had the first all-new modern-Who series from Big Finish (UNIT-Extinction), now we get the first crossover from modern to old with Justin Richards’s tale Jago & Litefoot & Strax – The Haunting. This means the regular Jago & Litefoot crew (including Ellie and Inspector Quick) get to meet the well-dressed if strange-looking Mr Strax. Strax is pursuing investigations into alien energies, when he visits the Red Tavern, later he is found unconscious by Jago (Christopher Benjamin) and Litefoot (Trevor Baxter) who take him back to Litefoot’s to recover.
Meanwhile he mistakes them for Mme Vastra and Jenny Flint…
Lots of amusement as Strax (Dan Starkey) has to learn to call Jago & Litefoot by their undercover names of Jago & Litefoot [it makes sense really]. No such trouble with Ellie Higson, who in the style of Clara before her, merely gets called Boy! There is a mystery as well, hauntings and brainless corpses, and what has this to do with Mrs Multravers (Carolyn Seymour)? Lots of investigation and for around two-thirds of the two-disc story this is mostly a Jago & Litefoot tale, as you might expect with Justin Richards writing it.
As matters become clear, investigations take a distinctly science-fiction turn and here Strax comes to the fore. This is also when Mrs Multravers takes centre stage as well and her story has echoes of a few other stories but is distinct enough to let the action flow without being just a set of tropes. Everything ends with a suitable set of explosions, much to Strax’s satisfaction.
Near the ending Inspector Quick (Conrad Asquith) makes it clear he has heard of The Great Detective of Paternoster Row, ie Mme Vastra. As Strax returns to his normal address, we can’t help but feel announcements of several follow-ups and the rest of the TV detectives of Victorian London join in with some larger than life investigations.
This manages to entertain and allow space for the main characters so shine and (for the most part) still retains a pure Jago & Litefoot feel, difficult when Strax gets the fragmentation grenades out! Lisa Bowerman again acts and directs to a T, Carolyn Seymour brings emotion to her part and the whole story brings a smile.
What more do you want?