Big Finish Productions have been creating new Doctor Who stories for 20 years. Doctor Who: The Legacy of Time is an epic, six part adventure celebrating this 20th anniversary. The story continues with The Sacrifice of Jo Grant.
The Sacrifice of Jo Grant starts boldly. An eye witness recounts the tale of how Jo Grant saved the world from holes through time. Saved the world by sacrificing her own life. This instantly sets up the intrigue and mystery as to how that situation will come about.
That mystery has many possible answers in a sci-fi world, especially when we find out this report is from the 70’s. Or was it the 80’s? However, Jo is very much alive in the modern day. Paradox? Divergent timelines? Temporal echo? The title does give away the ending a bit though. Or does it?
Friends – Old and New
Part of the brilliance of The Legacy of Time has been the different pairings we’ve heard thrown together. Sometimes characters from completely different parts of the Whoniverse are thrown together for the first time. For instance, Bernice Summerfield and River Song in Lies in Ruins. Other times we get to enjoy a reunion of sorts.
We are treated to two different types of reunions in The Sacrifice of Jo Grant. Jo once again teams up with Kate Stewart and Osgood from the UNIT series, their previous encounter occurring in UNIT: Assembled. Katy Manning and Ingrid Oliver have such brilliant chemistry together that it’s no wonder Big Finish wanted to reunite them again. It’s also delightful to find out that their friendship has continued to develop ‘off-screen’ (or should that be ‘off-air’).
The second reunion, and one of the highlights of this entry, is older Jo getting to interact with the Third Doctor. Jo isn’t the same woman that The Doctor is used to assisting him in his lab, and as such she throws a few surprises his way. Similarly, he isn’t quite the Doctor that she might thinks he was. There is a lovely scene in a restaurant where we see both how much Jo has grown since her time with the Third Doctor and how much the Doctor truly respects and values her.
The Third Doctor here is played by Tim Treloar who does an admirable job filling in the rather big boots, not to mention cravat, left behind by the late Jon Pertwee. Treloar adds his own flavour to the character which towards the beginning felt like it slipped occasionally into more Second Doctor territory but by the mid-point it just becomes part of his interpretation of the character, performed with such enthusiasm that by the end it feels perfectly natural.
The Bigger Mystery
As the trio work to close these holes in time we get hints at the wider story arc for this anniversary six-parter. Someone is trying to interfere, to stop them fixing the problem and they’ll resort to deception to do it. The way this mystery intervention is weaved into the plot of the story in a gentle way means that it still works as its own stand alone story while also adding to the overall development of the arc as a whole.
Jo and the Doctor aren’t the only ones with some great character moments in this piece though. Kate gets her own touching chat over the radio. I don’t want to give away too much but it’s an emotional moment with admiration at its heart.
As the run-time of the story counts down, listeners and characters are very well aware that the initial tease from the top of the episode has yet to be solved. The conclusion keeps the audience guessing right up to the end.
It was a joy hearing the modern UNIT team dip their toes into the past and interact with the classic UNIT era. With talk of a village you can just picture them in Devil’s End as in The Dæmons all those years ago. This story also does a wonderful job at showing off the characters of Kate and Osgood. If someone goes into this having never heard the new UNIT series before they would surely be at least tempted to check out some more afterwards.
An epic six-part adventure celebrating 20 years of Doctor Who at Big Finish!
Time is collapsing. Incidents of temporal chaos and devastation are appearing throughout the many lives of the Doctor and his friends – fallout from one terrible disaster.
The Doctor must save history itself – and he will need all the help he can get.
1. Lies in Ruins by James Goss
2. The Split Infinitive by John Dorney
3. The Sacrifice of Jo Grant by Guy Adams
4. Relative Time by Matt Fitton
5. The Avenues of Possibility by Jonathan Morris
6. Collision Course by Guy Adams
- Tom Baker (The Doctor)
- Peter Davison (The Doctor)
- Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor)
- Colin Baker (The Doctor)
- Paul McGann (The Doctor)
- Tim Treloar (The Doctor)
- Sophie Aldred (Ace)
- Lisa Bowerman (Bernice Summerfield)
- India Fisher (Charlotte Pollard)
- Karen Gledhill (Allison Williams)
- John Heffernan (The Nine)
- Anna Hope (DI Patricia Menzies)
- Louise Jameson (Leela)
- Alex Kingston (River Song)
- Katy Manning (Jo Jones)
- Ingrid Oliver (Osgood)
- Jemma Redgrave (Kate Stewart)
- Hugh Ross (Sir Toby Kinsella)
- Pamela Salem (Rachel Jensen)
- Georgia Tennant (Jenny)
- Lalla Ward (Romana)
- Simon Williams (Group Captain Gilmore)