I’ve now listened to the second volume of stories, Paternoster Gang: Heritage 2 and while I’m no closer to understanding why heritage, I do feel the series is finding its feet. I’ve several thoughts about the structure of the boxsets so far and what I particularly think works. I share them below…
Three stories per set
It’s easy to compare this range to Jago & Litefoot, and I feel the choice of three stories per set helps distinguish them and keep the price down. I often felt the J&L boxsets had three stories in the arc and one off-beat tale, often the second. The Paternoster Gang works differently.
As I said above I’ve no idea what the heritage of the title is meant to mean (and Big Finish has used chronicles and diary already) and we don’t have arcs either. I don’t mind that. I did think three stories meant one for each principal character, but that would be too easy.
Part of me wants to know more about Vastra. Not just her backstory but also her motivations. I’ve come to the conclusion it wouldn’t help. Perhaps she can meet the Doctor in a main range set in the deep past? For these stories I’ve decided she acts as a replacement for the Doctor and the focus is therefore on the companions, Jenny and Strax.
I do want to know more about Jenny, but so far I feel she’s had the best opportunities to reveal depth. Strax in the other hand is very well realised by Dan Starkey and a brilliant comic character. Do Sontarans have depth? Maybe we shall find out one day. They could be like Vulcans and only once in long while their personalities become inverted. Perhaps not. Can you imagine hundreds of millions of Sontarans writing poetry or debating the meaning of life at the same time?
I’m very positive about this range. Yes we have a gap for Victorian era Doctor Who spin-offs but this doesn’t feel tokenistic. In this second set my sense is the range has found its feet. Long may it continue.