‘THE JABARI COUNTDOWN’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Jabari with the Seventh Doctor, Chris and Roz
The third episode of the first volume of ‘The Seventh Doctors: The New Adventures’ is ‘The Jabari Countdown’ by Alan Flanagan. After this, Alan Flanagan wrote ‘Downward Spiral’ with Sarah Sutton.
Alan Flanagan has also written a number of ‘Dark Shadows’ audios for Big Finish. Not that I’ve heard many ‘Dark Shadows’ audios, but I can tell this story is a creepy haunted mansion type of adventure.
In the story, the TARDIS arrives inside a ship making its way to island on Earth during the Second World War. The Doctor, Chris and Roz meet this group of mathematicians visiting the strange island.
Once they get onto the island, they enter inside a strange castle and become trapped with an unknown threat. The Doctor, friends and mathematicians must work together to solve some puzzle.
I could get a sense of Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’ when listening to this audio episode. I’m not sure if that’s what Alan Flanagan was going for here, but I wouldn’t be all surprised.
Again, I enjoyed Sylvester McCoy’s performance as the Doctor in the episode. It’s amusing how he bluffs his way to the mathematicians and declares that Chris is his butler while Roz is her secretary. 🙂
Sylvester’s Doctor is also good at working things out when it comes to the Jabari that turn out to be aliens infecting the mathematicians inside the castle on the island. He uses pretty good wits in this. 🙂
Incidentally, the Jabari as aliens are almost reminiscent of the Weeping Angels. In that, they infect their victims by having them say numbers that count down like with Amy during ‘Flesh and Stone’. 😀
Just to talk about the mathematicians, there’s Janine Duvitski as Alpha Wheeler, who is like an old granny of the group. There’s Leonie Schliesing as Zsa Zsa Straus, an Austrian actress/mathematician.
There’s also Franchi Webb as Eleanor Blake, who is later revealed to be incorrectly classed as a male called Michael instead of a female. There’s also Rupert Young as seemingly villainous Binkum Fray. 😐
I like the interaction Sylvester’s Doctor has with Alpha Wheeler. She turns out to be the one who organised the coming together of mathematicians on the island. The castle happens to be her ship. 🙂
Travis Oliver as Chris Cwej gets an interesting story in this episode. Early on in the TARDIS, Chris tries to get Roz to play hide and seek with him. I don’t know Chris well, but I get that he’s a little childish.
He also has an interesting relationship with Eleanor Blake whom he falls in love with. When Eleanor gets embarrassed by her gender confusion in front of Chris, he quickly gives her a kiss, which is nice.
Yasmin Bannerman as Roz Forrester gets separated from the Doctor, Chris, Alpha, Eleanor and Fray when they are inside the castle on the island. She spends quite a bit of time with Zsa Zsa in the story.
It’s interesting how Roz and Zsa Zsa are separated from the others and they get to go inside the TARDIS where Zsa Zsa is repeating numbers. Roz almost has a flirtation with Lt. Fray in the tale here.
I liked the mention of Lot’s wife from the Biblical book of Genesis being used as a puzzle to defeat the Jabari. I’m not sure if them Jabari are monsters that manifest themselves when inside the house.
The episode also features Silas Carson who appears briefly as Arbuckle, who comes to the house on the island at the story’s beginning. Silas Carson is well-known for voicing the Ood in ‘Doctor Who’. 😀
There are good amounts of tension and confusion, especially when Chris and Eleanor are running away from a rampant Fray whilst the Doctor deals with Alpha downstairs. The drama did escalate! 😀
The episode ends with Fray arrested and gagged I believe while Eleanor is offered to either join the Doctor to go to the 21st century or join Alpha back to her home. Eleanor chooses to go with Alpha. 🙂
I quite like the farewell between Chris and Eleanor. I expected Chris to give Eleanor a kiss, but he tells her to close her eyes before he departs in the TARDIS. She counts to 10 as the TARDIS vanishes.
‘The Jabari Countdown’ is an enjoyable episode in ‘The Seventh Doctor: The New Adventures’ – Volume 1. It was good having an adventure on a haunted house-ship with the Doctor, Chris and Roz.
‘The Jabari Countdown’ rating – 7/10
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