Another enigma awaits the analytical attention of these august allies, but will it be their last?
Trevor Baxter, known to Doctor Who fans as Professor George Litefoot, sadly passed away in July last year. Quite rightly, this meant the character would be retired 40 years after Baxter originated the role. With it, the end of the Big Finish audio series ‘Jago & Litefoot’ after its thirteenth series in 2017. But not before one last “Corks!” from the pair…
Jago is celebrating New Year’s Eve at the Red Tavern. But his constant companion Professor George Litefoot is nowhere to be found! The story is simple one, but what it lacks in scale and swashbuckling it more than makes up for with flourish. Coming to such an abrupt end, it’s a relief to see that the focus was on character and the emotional journey of the duo as opposed to frantically typing up loose ends before the final curtain.
With the kind permission of Mr. Baxter’s estate and his agent, ‘Jago & Litefoot Forever’ has drawn upon a wealth of unused clips from recording days. This is done with exceptional care to construct the story around the absence and craft a performance that showed both actor and character at their best. Occasionally you can hear the seams, but it’s clear that this difficult task was undertaken with the utmost respect. As discussed in the interviews included in the release, Trevor Baxter’s deep affection for this series would suggest that this is what he would have wanted.
The Series That Wasn’t
Since series thirteen ended on a cliffhanger, ‘Jago & Litefoot Forever’ cleverly works around how that would have turned out. Series fourteen sadly won’t be made, but its great to hear little references to events that carry on from the end of the previous series. Little glimpses of the kind of adventures Henry and George will continue to get thrown into. The story also uses flashbacks of previous stories to reminisce through the show’s past.
Every recurring character from the history of the series gather for a tribute to the duo. Of course, Lisa Bowerman as Ellie Higson and Conrad Asquith as Inspector Quick are along for the ride. But there’s also some familiar voices from people who have worked with Baxter and wanted to pay their respects. If you can avoid it, don’t look at the episode’s credits before you’ve heard it. Christopher Benjamin as Henry Gordon Jago shares some beautiful words with intentional double meaning that address his clear appreciation for his friend. The plot is perfectly crafted as a tribute both to Trevor Baxter and the series as a whole without ever seeming out of character.
After appearing together for only two episodes as guest stars back in 1977, who could have predicted that Trevor Baxter and Christopher Benjamin would reunite 32 years later? Let alone that they would star in a beloved audio series that would maintain its popularity until the very end? Paul Morris has crafted the fitting final chapter in ‘Jago & Litefoot Forever’ that makes us immediately want to pop in our ‘The Talons of Weng-Chiang’ DVDs and do the whole lummy thing again!
‘Jago & Litefoot Forever’ is available to buy now from the Big Finish website. This release contains both parts of ‘The Jago & Litefoot Revival’ previously reviewed here part 1 and here part 2 as well as a disc of interviews.
Jago & Litefoot Forever by Paul Morris
Henry Gordon Jago finds himself celebrating New Years’ Eve without his best friend. Where has Litefoot gone? Together with his friends Ellie, Quick, and Dr Luke Betterman, Jago is on the trail of the missing professor and dear friend – and it will lead to one of the strangest cases in their infernal investigations…
The Jago & Litefoot Revival by Jonathan Barnes
Tonight’s lecture to the Club For Curious Scientific Men will be given by Professor George Litefoot, pathologist – assisted by his esteemed colleague Mr Henry Gordon Jago, theatrical impressario – who will recount a sequence of outlandish events in London and Greece, ruminate upon the nature of good fortune (or rather its absence), and provide a surprising account of a mercurial old friend.
The lecture starts at 7:30 and will include an interval.
(This release contains both parts of downloadable Short Trip Doctor Who – Short Trips: The Jago & Litefoot Revival, as well as a disc of interviews)
Written By: Paul Morris
Directed By: Lisa Bowerman
Christopher Benjamin (Henry Gordon Jago), Trevor Baxter (Professor George Litefoot), Lisa Bowerman (Ellie Higson), Conrad Asquith (Inspector Quick), Louise Jameson (Leela), Colin Baker (The Doctor), Rowena Cooper (Queen Victoria), David Warner (Dr Luke Betterman), Jamie Newall (Aubrey), Stephen Critchlow (Sir Humphrey Eagleton / Charlie Lucas)
Producer David Richardson
Script Editor Justin Richards
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs