If you’re a fan of Doctor Who and haven’t yet heard Jago & Litefoot, then you’re in for a treat. This audio drama series, produced by Big Finish, is arguably the best series the company has ever created.
For those unfamiliar with the series, Jago & Litefoot follows the adventures of two characters from the classic Doctor Who story “The Talons of Weng-Chiang”: Henry Gordon Jago (played by Christopher Benjamin) and Professor George Litefoot (played by Trevor Baxter). The series picks up after the events of that story, with Jago and Litefoot forming an unlikely partnership and setting up a detective agency in Victorian London.
One of the things that makes Jago & Litefoot stand out is its unique blend of genres. At its core, the series is a Victorian detective story, with Jago and Litefoot investigating all sorts of strange and unusual cases. But the writers aren’t content to stick to just one genre. Instead, they throw in elements of horror, science fiction, and adventure, creating a series that’s both exciting and unpredictable.
Take, for example, the episode “The Bloodless Soldier” from Series 1. In this episode, Jago and Litefoot are tasked with investigating a series of gruesome murders. However, the situation becomes even more perilous as an old foe reappears. As they pursue the Bloodless Soldier, Jago and Litefoot are met with tragedy that strikes perilously close to home.
The episode is a great example of the series’ ability to blend genres. It starts off as a detective story, with Jago and Litefoot interviewing witnesses and gathering clues. But as the episode progresses, it becomes clear that something supernatural is going on, and Jago and Litefoot find themselves facing off against a very real threat.
Another standout episode is “The Similarity Engine” from Series 1. It’s a sequel to the Mahogany Murderers and sees Jago and Litefoot investigate a strange machine that can create perfect duplicates of people. It’s a fascinating concept that leads to some great character moments as Jago and Litefoot both come face to face with their own doppelgangers.
What’s great about this episode is the way it uses science fiction to explore deeper themes. The idea of a machine that can create perfect copies of people raises all sorts of questions about identity and the nature of the self. And as Jago and Litefoot try to figure out who’s behind the machine, they’re forced to confront some uncomfortable truths about themselves.
But it’s not just the blending of genres that makes Jago & Litefoot so great. It’s also the chemistry between the two leads. Christopher Benjamin and Trevor Baxter are both fantastic actors, and they play off each other brilliantly. Jago is bombastic and theatrical, while Litefoot is more reserved and intellectual. It’s a classic odd-couple dynamic, and it works perfectly.
And yet, even as Jago and Litefoot bicker and banter, there’s a real sense of warmth and friendship between them. They may be very different people, but they share a deep respect and affection for each other. It’s this relationship that really makes the series work, and it’s what kept fans coming back for more.
Of course, no series is perfect, and there are certainly episodes of Jago & Litefoot that are weaker than others. But even the weaker episodes are still a lot of fun. The writers have a real love for the characters and the world they’ve created, and that enthusiasm shines through in every episode.
It’s also worth noting that Jago & Litefoot has some truly fantastic supporting characters. There’s Leela (played by Louise Jameson), a former companion of the Fourth Doctor who becomes a regular in the later series. There’s also Inspector Quick (played by Conrad Asquith), a police officer who’s often at odds with Jago and Litefoot but who respects and admires them. There’s Ellie the immortal barmaid (played by Lisa Bowerman). And then there are the various villains and monsters that the duo encounter, from ghostly apparitions to mad scientists to creatures from other dimensions.
All of these elements come together to create a series that’s both entertaining and thought-provoking. Jago & Litefoot is a true gem, and it’s a testament to the creativity and talent of the writers, actors, and production team at Big Finish.
So, if you’re looking for a new audio drama to sink your teeth into, I highly recommend giving Jago & Litefoot a try. And to get you started, here are five standout episodes that are sure to hook you in:
“The Mahogany Murderers” Released as part of the companion chronicles range, this is the episode that started it all, and it’s a perfect introduction to the world of Jago & Litefoot. In this episode, we’re re-introduced to these characters and their wider surroundings.
“The Bellova Devil” (Series 1, Episode 2): A body is found on the Circle Line, wearing full dress uniform. It as identified as Reginald Colville – a man who was certified dead some six weeks ago! In an attempt to solve the mystery Jago and Litefoot become unwilling bodysnatchers… And thus begins a chain of events that will pit them against killer Bulgars and the mysterious machinations of the Far-Off Travellers Club..
“The Similarity Engine” (Series 1, Episode 4): As I mentioned before, this episode is a great example of how Jago & Litefoot can use science fiction to explore deeper themes. In this case, it’s the idea of identity and what makes us who we are. Plus, the scenes with Jago and his doppelganger are pure comedy gold.
“The Monstrous Menagerie” (Series 7, Episode 1): On the run, attempting to clear their names. Jago & Litefoot accept help from the mysterious Professor Dark. They also encounter Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Tired of his most popular creation. Doyle has moved onto other works that he considers more worthy. Then enters Laura Lyons.
“Jago & Son” (Series 11, Episode 1): This episode sees Jago reunited with a man claiming to be his long-lost son, who has come to London to seek his fortune. It’s a touching story that explores the relationship between fathers and sons, and it’s a great showcase for Christopher Benjamin’s acting skills.
All of these episodes (and many more) are available to download from the Big Finish website. The first five series are available to stream on Spotify. I highly recommend giving them a listen. Jago & Litefoot is a series that’s full of surprises, and you never know what kind of adventure you’ll be embarking on next.