Big Finish’s “Jago & Litefoot” was my very first official foray both into the world of “Jago & Litefoot” and Big Finish, and I have to say that I enjoyed my time so much that I couldn’t wait to hear what would happen next to the pair, and the second series did not disappoint at all.
The second series of “Jago & Litefoot” follows the same format as the first series in which each of the four individual audio dramas are stand-alone stories in itself, with the final drama in the series being the one that concludes the particular story arc for the series, just like a season in most television shows do.
Aside from this, as we have already established the main characters and the recurring characters for the series, the writers for this series were able to sink their teeth in more and were able to further develop these characters, which, I’m pretty sure, will keep on continuing until this immensely popular Big Finish series ends.
One thing that I really liked about this series is that the writers and Big Finish itself weren’t afraid of innovating and experimenting a little bit with the stories, which were accentuated by the particular choices that each director for each story made as a whole. Also, I loved the fact that each story managed to have unpredictable twists and turns that kept me guessing a lot; and that at this point, we as an audience are pretty much emotionally invested now with our main and recurring characters.
The acting, direction, writing, sound effects and score were even more brilliant this time around, and I think that each story in this series was really strong.
However, my favorites in the series would have to be the first story, “Litefoot & Sanders” by Justin Richards, and “The Theatre of Dreams” by Jonathan Morris.
Now, before I go into spoilers, here is your warning….
As I mentioned earlier, “Litefoot & Sanders”, which was written by Justin Richards, is one of my favorite stories of the second series mostly because it got to me emotionally, and because I was literally at the edge of my seat and just staring at my Spotify screen in suspense from a particular point in the drama.
This story picked up seconds after the end of “The Similarity Engine”, and shows Professor George Litefoot (Trevor Baxter) solving a case with a certain Gabriel Sanders (David Collings). Of course Henry Gordon Jago (Christopher Benjamin) gets a little bit jealous of this Sanders fellow, and decides to don a disguise and follow them in their investigation.
Later on, it turns out that Sanders is not only a murderous fiend, but is also a vampire, a fact that Litefoot had known from the very beginning, and had decided to team up with him to lure him out into the open. Fences are mended, a thrilling confrontation happens, and poor Ellie Higson (Lisa Bowerman) ends up becoming one of Sanders’ victims.
I loved this story because I felt more emotionally invested in it. I felt bad for Jago, had a very bad feeling about Sanders from the start, didn’t really realize that Litefoot knew what he was doing until nearing the end of the story, and felt really bad about Ellie’s fate. I loved how Litefoot actively didn’t include Jago in the investigation because he was protecting him and because his ruse needed finesse, which, of course, didn’t work at all.
“The Necropolis Express” by Andy Lane continued the saga by bringing Jago and Litefoot to the pauper’s grave in order to make sure that Ellie didn’t turn into a vampire. Unfortunately for her, the cemetery caretaker, a mad scientist in disguise who was also in league with Sanders, resurrected her in order to demonstrate to his former colleague, Litefoot, that his experiments were a success.
Ellie’s resurrection was chilling indeed, and so was Sanders’, but I am very glad that Ellie is back, although it complicated matters as she is half a vampire now.
This was a good and strong story, and I like how this series’ big bad, starting from this story, was actually a big part of the series, turning up now and then or being mentioned more frequently than last series’ big bad.
I really loved “The Theatre of Dreams” by Jonathan Morris as it not only delved deeper into our two main characters, but it was able to pull off something that would, I think, have been visually stunning, into audio format. This story was the most experimental and innovative one they have done for the series, and I am so glad they managed to pull it off.
Here, the “Theatre de Fantasie” shows up in town, with the power to grant people their deepest desires. The theatre then is employed by Jago, who, by some stroke of luck, ends up becoming the manager of the New Regency Theater, which belonged to a friend of his who is currently in Paris.
In the end, it turns out that the “Theatre de Fantasie” is actually a living theater that preys and feeds off the dreams of its victims, and turns them into mindless zombies, while they are trapped in their own little dream world full of both dreams and nightmares.
Thankfully, mostly because of Litefoot being as keen and sharp as ever in noticing that time was passing by too quickly and that the audience was laughing but not moving their mouths at all, Jago, Litefoot, Quick (Conrad Asquith) and Dr. Ormon Sacker (David Wiseby), were all able to get out of the theater, which ended up folding up on itself in a very “Doctor Who” fashion.
I think this would have looked stunning visually, and for some reason, the audience laughing reminded me of those wooden dummies in “The God Complex”. I love the fact that they really made use of theater terms and that they actually were able to escape thanks to Jago proclaiming that they were self-aware and broke down the “fourth wall”.
This was a surreal piece of work, and I love how it explored the deepest desires of the pair, and their worst nightmares as well.
“The Ruthaven Inheritance” by Andy Lane was a perfect way to wrap up the second series. It was a good and strong story with surprising twists and turns, and concluded well with a little bit of a surprise at the end.
In this story, both Jago and Litefoot are put through the wringer as Sanders’ warning that they would lose everything they hold dear to them came true.
Jago lost his theater and retained his debt, while Litefoot lost his job as a lecturer and police pathologist in one go because of the fact that Ellie is living with him while he searches and experiments for a cure for her. (I love the fact though that he’s been feeding her black pudding in the meantime).
Litefoot is then offered a job in examining some bones that have been unearthed at the Ruthaven Estate, and asks Sacker to come with him. However, it turns out that Ruthaven and his family are genetic experiments created by Sanders and Litefoot was lured their to be killed.
Thankfully, Sacker is the one who bites the dust, and Ellie gets her first taste of blood after saving her dear Professor. He, however, deduces that the underground river in the catacombs he is in might be key to ridding themselves of Sanders, who, at that very moment, was busy in the Ruthaven Estate outlining his evil plans and getting ready to be rid of Jago, who had followed Ellie to the estate.
Jago then manages to save the day by throwing an ax to topple a chandelier, thus trapping Sanders in the crumbling and very wet mansion.
Ellie, no longer under the influence of Sanders, hopefully is getting better, and everything seems back to normal in the end, with Litefoot being reinstated, and Jago getting back his theater.
However nothing could have prepared me for the surprise that they had waiting for us at the end- Louise Jameson pops up as Leela with a proclamation that they have a case to solve together, just as Quick gives Jago and Litefoot a new case to solve.
I loved the way that this series wrapped up, and I loved how menacing and terrifying David Collings’ Sanders was throughout his entire run as the cruel vampire.
Also, I loved the fact that this series knows not only how to handle their characters well, but that all the little pieces in all of the stories fit perfectly together in the end in such a satisfactory way.
Interestingly enough, in my Classic Who watch, I am almost at “The Invasion of Time” in which Leela does leave the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker), so it was interesting to hear Jameson here, so many years after she first played Leela.
Of course, as she is older, her voice is deeper, but aside from that, in the few lines Leela does have here, it looks like she hasn’t forgotten at all how to play the lovable “warrior of the Sevateem tribe”.
All in all, Series 2 was stronger than the first series, which not only experimented with the audio drama format, and reintroduced a very old friend, but continued and developed the ongoing series as well.
Did you like Series 2 of “Jago & Litefoot”? What was your favorite story in this series? How did you like Louise Jameson returning as Leela at the end of the last story? Also, how do you listen to Big Finish audios, do you do anything while listening or do you just end up not doing anything because you get so invested in it? Let me know what you think in the comments below!