Synopsis: Four brand new stories featuring the investigators of infernal incidents, in one box set:
The Flying Frenchmen (by Jonathan Morris)
Jago and Litefoot embark on a cruise. It’s supposed to be a relaxing break, but what terrors lurk in the mysterious fog? And what about the other ships that seem trapped along with the Fata Morgana – are they friend or foe? Or something much more frightening?
The Devil’s Dicemen (by Justin Richards)
Arriving at Monte Carlo, Jago is keen to try his luck at the famous casino. But if he’s not careful he could lose a lot more than just money. While Litefoot makes a new friend, Jago and ship’s purser Aubrey find themselves playing for high stakes at the Clandestine Dark Casino.
Island of Death (by Simon Barnard & Paul Morris)
Arriving at a beautiful island, Jago and Litefoot discover evidence of a missing expedition. Can they discover what happened to the ship’s crew – before it happens to them? And will they be able to avoid the amorous advances of the formidable Lady Danvers?
Return of the Nightmare (by Justin Richards)
There is a murderer loose aboard the ship. If Jago and Litefoot can solve the mystery of the strange fog and return to London, will that make matters better, or far worse? The answers lie deep in the past, and they soon learn that not everyone is who – or what – they might seem.
Review: First of all this set is my introduction to Big Finish’s ‘Jago & Litefoot’ series, but I do remember the two characters from the classic Tom Baker ‘Doctor Who’ story ‘The Talons of Weng-Chiang’ in which they played a key role in helping The Doctor solve that mystery. So I had a rough idea of what to expect and I wasn’t disappointment.
Both Jago and Litefoot are every bit as British, eccentric and pompous as I remember them. When I first saw them in Classic Doctor Who all those years ago. I remember thinking about how they were very similar to Charters and Caldicott from Agatha Christie’s novel ‘The Lady Vanishes’.
As is normal with these Big Finish box sets we get four stories, which are all loosely linked to tell a bigger story.
In this case our eccentric detectives of all things paranormal are on a cruise taking a much deserved break, but their attempts to wind down and enjoy the passing of time are soon cut short when their ship is lost in a mysterious fog, which seems to have taken them to a mysterious dimension where there are many ships sharing the same name, but with alternate versions of Jago and Litefoot from different countries.
I personally thought that the french versions of Jago and Litefoot were a hoot.
To close out this first story Jonathan Morris lends a plot device from ‘Back To The Future’ so that he can return Jago and Litefoot’s ship back to its true course. The explanation of what had happened and the plot device that was used was something that I particularly enjoyed.
The second story sees the ship having to dry dock for some repairs in Monte Carlo. Where the gambling houses have taken on a particularly sinister turn. As Jago goes to try his hand at some card games he and his friend Litefoot become embroiled in a dangerous mystery that could be the death of them.
I have to admit that I found this second story rather slow and hard to follow. I can’t put my finger on why this particular story didn’t grab me, but it felt like the weakest of the four stories. Which is a real shame because the opening moments of it really got me rather excited, but then it sort of slowly fizzled downhill from there on in.
The third story by Simon Barnard & Paul Morris kind of picked the ball back up again and ran with it. It also leads pretty smoothly into the closing story as well.
The sound design and acting performances in this third one worked really well together.
The mystery of the crew from the previous ship to be stranded on the island was pretty compelling and kept my interest. I though the alien voice work for the creatures in this story was really well done.
The final story, which was penned by Justin Richards more than makes up for his slight miss with the second story. It sees our heroes return to London where they finally learn about the origin of the mysterious fog that their ship got lost in during the opening story.
This final story played out like your traditional murder mystery and reminded me a little bit of some of the classic Sherlock Holmes stories, where nothing is entirely what it seems. The story also reveals that some of the people that our detectives have mingled with during the cruise are not who they were claiming to be.
I loved the sound scape in this and how Richards was able to create a real sense of danger with his description of the fog and the metallic taste that our heroes taste as the beast is about the strike. I also liked the final moments where Jago and Litefoot’s local pub becomes the centre of a dramatic end to the story.
The conclude I really enjoyed spending time with Jago and Litefoot and listening to some of their stand alone adventures. Sure they are very British and a little on the eccentric side, but they are enjoyable to spend some time with on a sunday afternoon.
Kudos have to go to Director Lisa Bowerman, who did a fine job in bringing these four stories together, but she is probably going to come at me with a machete for not listening to series one before diving into series 9.
Special mention should go to Sarah Badel who provided some fantastic comedy moments throughout most of the stories in this set as the amorous Lady Isobelle Danvers, who causes our heroes some concern. Even has them competing with each other to win her affections at one point.
- Lady Danvers comedic turn and the fantastic twist with the fog
- The second story just didn't do it for me
- Voice Acting10
- Sound Editing9.5