Jago & Litefoot & Strax – Review
Gustaff Behr gives his spoiler-free verdict on Strax’s Big Finish debut.
Among the numerous Doctor Who spin-offs Big Finish produces, I can honestly declare that the Jago & Litefoot range rank at number one when it comes to this author’s favorites list. But what happens when New Who invades and throws a funny Sontaran into the mix? Hilarity of course!
Jago & Litefoot & Strax is the first official Big Finish crossover which mixes their Classic Who continuity with New Who, but one of the most basic traps to fall into when these crossovers take place is to litter it with references, indirectly forcing the fact that the stories co-exist within the same universe down our throats. This is also a trap this release avoids thankfully. There are hardly any references to New Who save one at the very end which feels well earned. It also all but guarantees that the infernal investigators will come face to face with the Paternoster Gang at some point in the future. My guess is November next year.
The main draw of this title is of course the fact that it features Strax the Sontaran. The fandom’s opinion is split when it comes to the silly Sontaran and some audio lovers won’t take too kindly to this abomination stepping into the escapades of the infernal investigators and stealing the limelight, but let me assure you, as funny and entertaining as it is listening to Strax getting genders, names and everything else in this story incorrect, this two-disc special still feels very much like your traditional Jago & Litefoot tale. For the most part, this story feels more like Jago & Litefoot featuring Strax as opposed to a 50:50 split. Strax’s interactions with the Jago & Litefoot cast prove to be as humorous as the hype surrounding this title predicted, but I found myself laughing at poor Ellie the most, who stands in for Clara in that Strax only knows her as “boy”.
The stars of the show, the theatrical thespian and the proper pathologist, continue to delight and divert listeners with their one of a kind chemistry, wittiness and discourse. These things have come to classify the Jago & Litefoot collection and have only aided this series in becoming one of Big Finish’s most victorious, which has recently been renewed for an eleventh season. Although I must plead guilty that adding Strax to the equation has only enhanced the already marvelous dialogue which says something when you think about just how out of this world the dialogue in this spin-off is.
The plot is classic the Jago & Litefoot. For those of you new to this spin-off, these stories are more often than not very macabre and abnormal to some degree. While not always twisted, the writers of Jago & Litefoot have this peculiar way of combining light dialogue with disconcerting story ideas. As out of place as it sounds it’s one of those things that I can only see Jago & Litefoot getting away with. The narrative however, isn’t as creative as 99% of the other J&L titles are, but this can be forgiven as the main draw is Strax meeting the infernal investigators.
There is a big difference in the style of this tale compared to other Jago & Litefoot titles: This special feels more science-fictiony than others which typically tend to walk a thin line between supernatural and extraterrestrial, often blurring them.
Question of the hour: Will you like this story? Well this all depends on whether you like Strax or not. He is a big part of this story and if you disliked him on television, chances are you’ll dislike him here as he is essentially lifted straight from the television series.
Rating this story: 9/10.
Bring on the Lizard Woman and the Ninja Housemaid!