|Jago & Litefoot|
The sands of time are running... and they are in pursuit of Jago, Litefoot, Leela and Ellie. As the final battle gets underway, the infernal investigators make the decision of their lives...
Christopher Benjamin (Henry Gordon Jago), Trevor Baxter (Professor Litefoot), Louise Jameson (Leela), Colin Baker (Claudius Dark), Lisa Bowerman (Ellie), Elizabeth Counsell (Abigail Woburn), Alan Cox (Oscar Wilde), Victoria Alcock (Winnie O'Connor), Terry Molloy (Lord Ampthill), Christopher Beeny (Mr Kempston), Mike Grady (Mr Hardwick)
It is increasingly difficult to review this series while avoiding spoilers.
This one is even a difficult one to rate. It wasn't hard for me to say I loved it, but there was one big question: Was this a Jago and Lightfoot story that Claudius Dark happened to be in, or was it a Claudius Dark story where Jago and Lightfoot were two loveable side kicks? I fear it was the latter. No, I am certain of it.
That said, the face of Colin Baker does appear on the cover, so there is no real surprise.
The gold in this for me was Jago, as he resolved the issues that arose at the start of the series with Abilgail. Well written and acting ending for the matter. That piece of gold tipped the balance for me and reminded me it was a Jago and Lightfoot story.
Regardless of how you look at it, this is a great story. Well told, well written, well acted, well directed and a fitting end to the series.
I look forward to series 5. I look forward to Justice of Jalxar and I look forward to future releases involving Professor Claudius Dark.
If Big Finish has a recurring problem, it's that it sometimes tries to do too much and ends up over-reaching.
Plenty to like here too though. All the regulars are on-song with Trevor Baxter and Colin in particularly good form. Some good jokes and a pervasive sense of fun.
But as the author Justin Richards himself observes in the extras, there's really too much story to go round. The script-editor really needed to be more ruthless. Trouble is the script-editor is also the author and the author seems to have too much plot on his hands.
Kempston and Hardwicke are dire. Fans of the Australia kids show, Banannas in Pyjamas, will be reminded of the dialouge between B1 and B2. It's like that because K and H have to carry the burden of filling in back story and recounting the bits that there isn't time to play out naturally between the characters. There always some of this in any short drama but here there's way too much of it.
If it didn't happen here, then someone needs to edit each script-editors stuff when he or she are writing a story. All authors are notoriously inclined to hang onto their 'words' once they've been written.
Alternatively, the episode could have run an extra five to ten minutes limiting the need for so much third hand reportage on the plot. Given was the series wrap-up, that extra latitude might fairly be seen as more a necessity than an indulgence. Sadly only a 5. 8+ for the series.