In Review: Big Finish: The Lives of Captain Jack Volume 03

Captain Jack Harkness - time traveling con-man, savior of the Earth, and intergalactic adventurer.

Synopsis: Captain Jack Harkness – time-traveling con-man, savior of the Earth, and intergalactic adventurer. He has lived many lives. These are three more of them.

Review: The Lives of Captain Jack Volume 03 is a welcome distraction right now. These three stories by Guy Adams, Tim Foley, and James Goss give listeners characters who have more complicated and fraught lives. They remind us to stop and live each day sandwiched between two more days in a straight line.


“Crush” by Guy Adams teams Captain Jack Harkness and Jackie Tyler once again. For a tale written prior to current events, the story proves remarkably timely commentary on social distancing.

Jack promises Jackie a luxurious space cruise, and it all goes drastically wrong in a new twist on the cozy murder mystery. The plot is less important here than the character exploration. Jackie’s naturally extroverted nature is contrasted with that of the systemically introverted aliens who share the replacement transport. In the process of dodging and apprehending the murderer, listeners get Jackie’s points of view on widowhood, loneliness, and luck

All the while, listeners are treated to wonderful banter. We definitely need more Jack and Jackie in the future.

“Mighty and Despair” by Tim Foley is inescapably sad. Unfortunately, that’s what listeners get from an introspective exploration of immortal Jack Harkness and the Time Lords other ancient enemies — vampires.

However, Foley off-sets the tragedy with a narrative of day to day existence with a cherished mortal in the wake of unspeakable loss. That day to day story is a treat not to be missed, as it gives John Barrowman and his costars a chance to sing.

“R&J” by James Goss is the main event. Captain Jack Harkness meets River Song. This story is brilliantly structured — a maze that can only be navigated by two-time travelers. It is very much a companion piece (no pun intended) to River’s entire relationship with The Doctor and Jack’s entire relationship with The Doctor. It’s an homage to time, love, and internal logic.


As great as the writing is throughout. None of the storytelling would ultimately matter without John Barrowman, Camille Coduri, and Alex Kingston. The three of them preternaturally inhabit their roles at this point and are supported by equally capable actors.


Thank you, Big Finish, for three more wonderful yarns. I’m looking forward to The Lives of Captain Jack Volume 04. 

Also, thank you for taking advantage of your digital formant. It’s heartwarming to know that you will be recording in isolation for the duration. Stay healthy; stay safe!

Big Finish: The Lives of Captain Jack Volume 03
  • Story
  • Performances
  • Audio Production

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.
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