The recent release of Doctor Who Season 10 as part of the Blu Ray Collection reminded us all how wonderful Jo Grant, played by the effervescent Katy Manning, was during the 1970’s. So the opportunity for even more Jo/Katy is just cause for celebration. Throw in a modern incarnation of the Doctor and Big Finish’s Doctor Who Short Trip, The Infinite Today, has all the elements for another hit.
As soon as the recognisable vocal tones of Katy Manning provide the introduction it is hard not to immediately begin smiling. Memories of her time with the Third Doctor and her appearance in the Sarah Jane Adventures come flooding back instantly. Calling these memories to mind helps the listener visualise the unfolding story and Manning is sublime at telling the tale. Variations to her performance, allow the differentiation between the various roles. Manning as Narrator. Jo Grant nee Jones. Plus, the Eleventh Doctor and other characters. All together it helps immerse the listener in the story.
This particular story, concocted by Sharon Bidwell, is an intriguing one. Jo is experiencing groundhog day. The same flight, journey and cabin crew. Over and over again. Enter the Doctor. Bidwell manages to capture the energetic and quirky nature of this particular incarnation of the Doctor. Jo and this particular incarnation of the Doctor are a terrific combination. Both characters share a boundless energy and eccentricity that compliment each other beautifully. If Big Finish can ever unite Matt Smith and Katy Manning then it will be something truly special.
In addition to bringing fans a dream Doctor/companion combination, The Infinite Today provides a thoroughly enjoyable short trip. The story is interesting, meshing well the characters involved, and does require an element of focus to follow properly. However, it was a beautifully executed moment of poignancy right at the very end which caused the tears to well up in this particular listener’s eyes. Unexpected but that little moment brings the whole thing together perfectly. Sublime stuff.
Jo Jones is travelling. Setting out from London Gatwick to Mexico, she lands back at Gatwick.
Jo Jones is travelling once again. Setting out from London Gatwick to Mexico, she lands back at Gatwick with the same crew and passengers.
Jo Jones is travelling once again. Setting out from London Gatwick to Mexico, she lands back at Gatwick with precisely the same crew and passengers, again.
Jo Jones is travelling once again…