In the ever-expanding Doctor Who universe, the Paternoster Gang – Strax, Madame Vastra, and Jenny Flint – have always fascinated me. It always felt like there was more to tell, so much untapped potential. Well, after a long break from their audio series and nearly a decade away from our TV screens, it’s high time to catch up with these characters. This audio is a delightful return to their world.
The first episode, “The Ghost and the Potato Man,” sets the stage for an exciting adventure. Our trio finds themselves in a tangle of mysteries involving a vanishing magician’s act and some criminals. The plot expertly navigates the mystery of said criminals, who seem to vanish into thin air after their misdeeds. Adding a fresh twist to the group, fan-favourite, Ellie from the Jago & Litefoot series joins the gang.
Strax’s unexpected talent as an on-stage comedian is sure to have you in stitches, and there’s a heartwarming scene that deepens Jenny and Vastra’s relationship.
Let’s talk about the core trio. Dan Starkey, who embodies Strax, seamlessly blends humour and warrior prowess into the character. He’s a standout in the quirky dynamics of the Paternoster Gang and makes Strax one of the most endearing figures in the Whovian world.
Neve McIntosh, known for her role as Madame Vastra, delivers a captivating performance that peels back the layers of her character. Her ability to convey Vastra’s complex personality, from her stoic exterior to her genuine affection for Jenny, enriches the story.
Catrin Stewart, who plays Jenny, infuses the character with an infectious energy, bringing her to life with authenticity. The chemistry between McIntosh and Stewart is palpable, making the Paternoster Gang’s dynamics even more engaging.
Throughout the series, McIntosh and Stewart play crucial roles in breathing life into the Paternoster Gang’s adventures, adding to the charm and authenticity of this beloved trio’s escapades.
In “Trespassers,” Dan Starkey takes on an additional role as the writer for the second story, “Symmetry of Death,” crafting a complex plot enriched with sci-fi elements. His ability to bring out Strax’s unique humour adds depth to the character, making him even more endearing.
In a series that heavily relies on character dynamics, Dan Starkey’s portrayal of Strax shines, contributing to the charm of the Paternoster Gang’s latest audio adventures. His impeccable comedic timing and unwavering commitment to the character deserve recognition.
In “Symmetry of Death,” the trio investigates a locked-room disappearance alongside a simultaneous murder. While there are moments that might feel a bit otherworldly, Neve McIntosh’s emotionally rich performance stands out.
The final episode, “Till Death Us Do Part,” introduces Paul McGann’s 8th Doctor to the Paternoster Gang. Jenny’s determination to marry Vastra, despite her hesitation, takes them on an unexpected journey. The story is character-driven, especially for Jenny, offering a refreshing departure from the typical Victorian escapades, with a revelation that lingers.
“Trespassers” is an exciting comeback for the Paternoster Gang, with a deep dive into character development. While it might not convert those unimpressed by the trio, it undeniably hints at new possibilities.
Overall Rating: 8/10
The Paternoster Gang: Trespassers 1: Rogues Gallery is avaliable here.