In “The Return of Jo Jones,” the Third Doctor is reunited with one of his closest companions. The first adventure takes place on the Isle of Wight, where Jo is summoned to deal with a series of menacing bird attacks that have upset the natural balance of things. This encounter marks a profound shift in Jo’s world, setting the stage for the emotional journey that unfolds throughout the collection.
The second story sees Jo embarking on her first space-time voyage in decades, accompanying the Doctor to the planet Viltris in the 49th Century. Here, long-simmering grievances threaten to erupt into open rebellion, providing a backdrop for Jo’s own struggles with the passage of time.
The final tale takes place on the troubled planet Mercator, where Jo delves into the underlying tensions of the local community, while the Doctor finds himself in grave danger. Each story serves as a mirror for Jo’s own personal growth and the skills she has developed over the years.
Matt Fitton’s “Supernature” is a standout entry, featuring a moving and bittersweet farewell to Stewart Bevan’s character. It also offers a dose of Hitchcockian suspense as Jo grapples with loss and grief.
Felicia Barker’s “The Conservitors” explores themes of power, risk, and resilience, showcasing Jo’s formidable strength of character.
Meanwhile, Lizzie Hopley’s “The Iron Shore” pays tribute to the work of producer Philip Hinchcliffe and horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, highlighting Jo’s empathy and the Doctor’s determination.
The cast of the Third Doctor Adventures is outstanding, with Katy Manning and Tim Treloar giving standout performances. Manning expertly conveys Jo’s pain, perseverance, and spirit, while Treloar continues to impress with his portrayal of Jon Pertwee’s Doctor. Together, they make for a powerful and emotionally resonant listening experience.
Additionally, the sound design is exceptional, creating a rich and immersive atmosphere that draws the listener into each story. From the eerie and unsettling sounds of the menacing birds on the Isle of Wight, to the futuristic and otherworldly sounds, the sound effects help to transport the listener to each unique setting. The use of music also adds to the emotional impact of the stories, with each piece expertly chosen to complement the mood and tone of the scene.
Overall, “The Return of Jo Jones” is a long-awaited and much-needed closure to one of Doctor Who’s most beloved characters. Here’s hoping that we get to hear more of Jo’s adventures with the Doctor before she returns home.