‘THE JUSTICE OF JALXAR’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Jago & Litefoot with the Fourth Doctor and the first Romana
It is nice Tom Baker got to reunite with two gents again!
‘The Justice of Jalxar’ is the third story featured in this season of ‘Doctor Who’ audio adventures by Big Finish, starring Tom Baker and Mary Tamm. It features the Fourth Doctor and the first Romana meeting with Christopher Benjamin as Henry Gordon Jago and Trevor Baxter as Professor Litefoot. 🙂
Jago & Litefoot made their ‘Doctor Who’ debut in the TV adventure ‘The Talons of Weng-Chiang’. They’ve had many audio adventures since then including a ‘Companion Chronicle’; their own spin-off series and having adventures with Colin Baker’s Doctor. It’s very nice the two meet Tom Baker again.
This two-part adventure is by John Dorney, who has penned plenty of ‘Doctor Who’ audios over the years by Big Finish. The story takes place in London of course at around the turn of the 20th century – 1899 to be specific. It seems this is a story taking place after the ‘Jago & Litefoot’ series took place.
I haven’t been able to hear every single ‘Jago & Litefoot’ audio beforehand. I’ve heard the two gents on audio before in ‘The Worlds of Doctor Who’ and ‘The Sixth Doctor: The Last Adventure’. To me, it was easy to get into the two characters, especially since I do know what they look like from ‘Talons’.
It was alright for me to hear them in this audio adventure with Tom Baker’s Doctor and John Dorney writes well for them here. I enjoyed Jago and Litefoot’s bantering with each other and having them paired with Tom Baker’s Doctor and Mary Tamm’s Romana was equally delightful. It was a lot of fun.
The story involves a new vigilante prowling the London streets called the Pugilist – known as ‘the saviour of the virtuous and the protector of the weak’. Jago and Litefoot are in a pub discussing the issue when they receive a visit from an old face they never thought they’d see again – the Doctor! 😀
Or rather the Doctor they met during ‘Talons’ of course. The two gentlemen receive help from the Doctor and his glamorous friend Romana in order to solve the mystery of the Pugilist. Once they start investigating, they find dark crimes unveiled and soon…’the justice of Jalxar’ will be unleashed.
Now I think it’s fair for me to say that ‘The Justice of Jalxar’ isn’t as epic as ‘The Talons of Weng-Chiang’. It’s a two-parter of course and no-one can expect John Dorney to top up on the greatest that ‘Talons’ has. And he doesn’t try to. He writes a fun adventure for our four main heroes in this. 🙂
It’s also clear from the recording as well as the CD interviews that Tom Baker, Mary Tamm, Trevor Baxter and Christopher Benjamin enjoyed being in each other’s company. I’m sure everyone had a fun time making this story, especially with it being easy to visualise in post-Victorian London setting.
Things do get interesting when a gas-powered robot ventures in onto the scene. This happens to be the Pugilist who comes from the planet Jalxar and is really called a Justician. Essentially the robot is judge; jury and executioner. It can kill anyone who shows any signs of feeling guilty. Very dangerous!
So you don’t want to be within reach of this robot. Because once it senses guilt from you, it will kill you on the spot. In the story, the Doctor, Romana, Jago and Litefoot work together to find out what’s going and stop the menace that is happening within the city, caused by the Jalxar robot here.
I believe most of the story is set in the dark night like it was in ‘Talons’. But I do wonder what the story would’ve been like if it was set at daytime too. It probably wouldn’t be effective, but it makes me think. There are scenes set in rowdy club bars or something with dangerous criminals in them. 😮
Tom Baker is brilliant as the Doctor throughout this adventure. I loved it when he expresses joy in meeting Jago and Litefoot again. He’s keen to solve the mystery of the Pugilist within the London area and is happy to enlist Jago and Litefoot’s help once he and Romana begin to search for a ship. 🙂
The Doctor does spend quite a bit of time with Litefoot since they share similar intelligence according to ‘Talons’ once they track down the Pugilist in London. He does reunite with Romana and Jago later on in ‘Part Two’ and he manages to outwit the likes of Harvey Marsh and his goons in this.
The lovely and late Mary Tamm is equally good as Romana in this audio adventure. I like how she’s introduced to Jago and Litefoot. She does spend quite a bit of time with Jago in the second half of ‘Part One’. She tolerates Jago’s bumbling and doesn’t belittle him while they’re having an adventure.
Mary Tamm’s elegance and radiance shines throughout this story. I like it when she keeps calm and controlled once she and Mary Brown have been taken captive by Henry Marsh and his lot. It was also amusing towards the story’s end when Mary Tamm’s Romana wasn’t sure about having a muffin. 😀
Christopher Benjamin still sounds pretty good as Henry Gordon Jago. He’s pretty down-to-earth and out of his depth at times. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t resourceful and does provide help at times. He’s quickly enchanted and ‘charmed’ by Mary Tamm’s Romana once he meets her for the first time.
The camaraderie between Jago and Litefoot is pretty strong, considering all the ventures they’ve had together. It was amusing when Jago dressed up as pirate when getting into the Jolly Roger Club, I believe. Jago would definitely have the theatrical benefits for that since he runs a theatre in London.
Trevor Baxter is equally good as Professor George Litefoot. It was fun to hear him and Jago in a London pub at the start of the story where he shows concern for the Pugilist running rampant in London. It was funny to hear his reaction to Jago’s anger at the newspapers getting his name wrong.
As I said before, Litefoot has similar intelligence to the Doctor when investigating the Pugilist case. He keeps bodies of the victim in the mortuary where he works and he shows the Doctor what the Pugilist has done. Litefoot also dresses up as a pirate like Jago I believe and uses a convincing accent.
The story also features Mark Goldthorp as Bobby Stamford, who knows a lot about the Pugilist and self-sacrifices himself to save Mary Brown. There’s Rosanna Miles as Mary Brown; Ben Bishop as Stone and Adrian Lukis (who’s done plenty of ‘Doctor Who’ audios beforehand) as Harvey Marsh. 😀
‘The Justice of Jalxar’ is an enjoyable audio adventure with Tom Baker’s Doctor, Mary Tamm’s Romana, Christopher Benjamin’s Jago and Trevor Baxter’s Litefoot. It’s not as good as ‘Talons’, but it was very entertaining. I’m happy Jago and Litefoot got to met Tom Baker’s once more with Romana.
The CD extras are as follows. At the end of the disc, there are some behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew. These include with Tom Baker, Mary Tamm, Christopher Benjamin, Trevor Baxter, etc. There’s also a trailer for the next story with the Fourth Doctor, Romana and K-9 called ‘Phantoms of the Deep’.
‘The Justice of Jalxar’ rating – 8/10
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